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Darren H

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  1. Darren H

    2019 List Preliminary Discussion

    I pulled Cheever off the shelf on Sunday to read "The Swimmer" and decided it might be fun to read through the entire collection this year. So I read "The Death of Justina" before bed and last night and, yeah, that's quite a story -- certainly more formally strange than my general sense of Cheever.
  2. Darren H

    2019 List Preliminary Discussion

    It's the Hero's Journey, basically.
  3. Darren H

    2019 List Preliminary Discussion

    I haven't thought of that book for years! I think Doug Cummings turned me onto it soon after we first met. Rohr's is a more simplified version, I guess. His "ordering" phase would include Fowler's first three stages, "disorder" is Fowler's stage 4, and "reorder" is stages 5 and 6. For Rohr it's the crisis/skepticism of Fowler's stage 4 that divides the two halves of life. I wonder if it would be helpful to test this idea by proposing some films that might be included on the list? What I'm interested in (personally, as a 46-year-old) is the journey to becoming an "elder" as opposed to just "older." What does a well-lived second half of life look like? It's not an especially cinematic story! I watched The Swimmer (Frank Perry, 1968) for the first time this weekend. It's a brilliant and fascinating portrait of a midlife crisis but it doesn't even attempt to imagine any kind of redemption for the character. It's a grotesque world of adults wallowing in the first half of life. John Ford seems ripe for this discussion. John Wayne was my age when he made The Quiet Man, which could work. Eric Rohmer, maybe? A&F has always been dominated by male voices. One potential problem for this idea, I think, is that it could easily become a list about men.
  4. Darren H

    2019 List Preliminary Discussion

    Has anyone else read Richard Rohr's Falling Upward? It could be a useful way of thinking about this topic. In a nutshell, he sees the well-lived life as, first, a decades-long process of making order (ego formation), followed by a period of disorder, during which we discover that the tricks we've learned to make sense of the world are no longer adequate. The second half of life, then, should be devoted to re-ordering our selves in more honest terms. Falling Upward is a short book that might benefit from being even shorter, but I'd recommend it. Rohr's episode of On Being is a really great overview of his approach. It reminds me of a Thomas Merton quote I've shared on this forum before.
  5. Darren H

    A Forum for Reviews?

    Does the forum platform being used here allow for template-managed, stand-alone pages? Forum threads and reviews are categorically different to me, so I can't imagine what a review forum would look like or how it might generate enough traffic to get the attention of publicists. Which isn't to say it couldn't work. Some of my earliest online film discussions took place on the Home Theater Forum. It's still primarily a forum -- every page links to the discussion areas from the main nav -- but the front page looks like a typical magazine-style site with thumbnail teases of their latest reviews and articles. Since many of the most active A&F contributors these days write reviews pretty regularly, maybe there'd be an opportunity to build a full-fledged A&F site? Just a thought.
  6. Favorite US Releases of 2018 (Ranked) Zama (Lucrecia Martel, 2017) Western (Valeska Grisebach, 2017) Dead Souls (Wang Bing, 2018) Beoning (Burning, Lee Chang-dong, 2018) If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins, 2018) Bisbee ’17 (Robert Greene, 2018) Un beau soleil intérieur (Let the Sunshine In, Claire Denis, 2017) First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2017) Milla (Valérie Massadian, 2017) PROTOTYPE (Blake Williams, 2018) Favorite Feature Premieres of 2018 (Ranked) Jiang hu er nv (Ash is the Purest White, Jia Zhang-ke, 2018) Transit (Christian Petzold, 2018) High Life (Claire Denis, 2018) Le livre d'image (The Image Book, Jean-Luc Godard, 2018) Dead Souls (Wang Bing, 2018) Beoning (Burning, Lee Chang-dong, 2018) If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins, 2018) Bisbee ’17 (Robert Greene, 2018) L'empire de la perfection (John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection, Julien Faraut, 2018) What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire? (Roberto Minervini, 2018) Favorite Short Films of 2018 (Alphabetical) Arena (Björn Kämmerer, 2018) Blue (Apitchatpong Weerasethakul, 2018) China Not China (Dianna Barrie and Richard Tuohy, 2018) Fainting Spells (Sky Hopinka, 2018) I Hope I’m Loud When I’m Dead (Beatrice Gibson, 2018) more than everything (Rainer Kohlberger, 2018) Please step out of the frame. (Karissa Hahn, 2018) The Remembered Film (Isabelle Tollenaere, 2018) Walled Unwalled (Lawrence Abu Hamdan, 2018) Wunschbrunnen (Wishing Well, Sylvia Schedelbauer, 2018) Favorite Features I Saw for the First Time in 2018 (Alphabetical) El Desencanto (The Disenchantment, Jaime Chávarri, 1976) Geschichtsunterricht (History Lessons, Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, 1972) Kirmes (The Fair, Wolfgang Staudte, 1960) Mein langsames Leben (Passing Summer, Angela Schanelec, 2001) Moonrise (Frank Borzage, 1948) Only Yesterday (John M. Stahl, 1933) Polyester (John Waters, 1981) La pyramide humaine (The Human Pyramid, Jean Rouch, 1961) Seeking the Monkey King (Ken Jacobs, 2011) Tonari no Totoro (My Neighbor Totoro, Hayao Miyazaki, 1988) Favorite Short Films I Saw for the First Time in 2018 (Alphabetical) L'arrivée d'un train à La Ciotat 3D (Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat 3D, Auguste and Louis Lumière, 1935) Billabong (Will Hindle, 1969) Boston Fire (Peter Hutton, 1979) City Film (Lewis Klahr, 1992) Dans le noir du temps (In the Darkness of Time, Jean-Luc Godard, 2001) Hand Held Day (Gary Beydler, 1975) Love It/Leave It (Tom Palazzolo, 1973) On Sundays (Bruce Baillie, 1961) Point de Gaze (Jodie Mack, 2012) Starlight (Robert Fulton, 1970)
  7. Darren H

    Something, Anything (2014)

    Without a distributor there's little chance we'll ever see a Something, Anything physical release, but for $9.99 you can download a copy.
  8. Darren H

    Something, Anything (2014)

    I'm social media friends with most of you, but in case anyone missed the news, Paul's new film, Light from Light, will premiere at Sundance in a couple weeks. There are still some tweaks to be made, but I've seen a mostly-finished cut and, well, if you're a fan of Something, Anything, you'll love this one too. And if you've never heard of Marin Ireland, you're in for a treat. It's been really fun getting to go through much of this process with Paul. It's a lovely film, and I'm really proud of him for getting it made.
  9. Darren H

    Criterion sale at Barnes & Noble

    I had a coupon and needed to buy a book and then somehow Only Angels Have Wings, Moonrise, Cat People, and The Black Stallion found their way into my shopping cart. I keep saying I'm done with physical media.
  10. Darren H

    TIFF 2018

    I'll be back again -- for the 15th straight year, which is crazy. This is the best lineup in years. The final announcements--including the Discovery program and some stray titles--and the schedule will be unveiled tomorrow. Until, then here are my top 50 titles! (Currently saying prayers to the scheduling gods.) High Life | Claire Denis | Germany/France/USA/United Kingdom/Poland | World Premiere Wavelength Shorts 1 Wavelength Shorts 2 Wavelength Shorts 3 Wavelength Shorts 4 Chocolat on 35mm The Image Book | Jean-Luc Godard | Switzerland/France | North American Premiere The Grand Bizarre | Jodie Mack & Those Who Desire | Elena López Riera | Switzerland/Spain Ash Is Purest White | Jia Zhang-ke | China/France | North American Premiere Transit | Christian Petzold | Germany | North American Premiere Hotel by the River | Hong Sang-soo | South Korea | North American Premiere Long Day's Journey Into Night | Bi Gan | China/France | North American Premiere L. COHEN | James Benning | USA & Arena | Björn Kämmerer | Austria What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire? | Roberto Minervini | Italy/USA/France | North American Premiere Burning Lee Chang-dong | South Korea | North American Premiere Monrovia, Indiana | Frederick Wiseman | USA | North American Premiere Dead Souls | Wang Bing | France/Switzerland | North American Premiere In My Room | Ulrich Köhler | Germany/Italy | North American Premiere Cold War Paweł Pawlikowski | Poland/United Kingdom/France | Canadian Premiere Non-Fiction Olivier Assayas | France | Canadian Premiere A Faithful Man | Louis Garrel | France | World Premiere Asako I & II | Ryusuke Hamaguchi | Japan/France | North American Premiere Maya Mia Hansen-Løve | France | World Premiere The Old Man & The Gun | David Lowery | USA | International Premiere The Trial | Sergei Loznitsa | Netherlands | North American Premiere The Flower | Mariano Llinás | Argentina | North American Premiere Erased,___Ascent of the Invisible | Ghassan Halwani | Lebanon | North American Premiere RAY & LIZ | Richard Billingham | United Kingdom | North American Premiere Donbass | Sergei Loznitsa | Germany/Ukraine/France/Netherlands/Romania | North American Premiere 3 Faces | Jafar Panahi | Iran | North American Premiere If Beale Street Could Talk | Barry Jenkins | USA | World Premiere The Stone Speakers | Igor Drljača | Canada/Bosnia/Herzegovina | World Premiere Belmonte | Federico Veiroj | Uruguay/Spain/Mexico | World Premiere Wildlife Paul Dano | USA | Canadian Premiere Jinpa | Pema Tseden | China | North American Premiere Fausto | Andrea Bussmann | Canada/Mexico | North American Premiere Ulysses & Mona | Sébastien Betbeder | France | World Premiere Our Time | Carlos Reygadas | Mexico/France/Germany/Denmark/Sweden | North American Premiere Meeting Gorbachev | Werner Herzog, André Singer | United Kingdom/USA/Germany | Canadian Premiere Museum | Alonso Ruizpalacios | Mexico | North American Premiere American Dharma | Errol Morris | USA/United Kingdom | North American Premiere Graves Without a Name | Rithy Panh | France/Cambodia | Canadian Premiere Putin's Witnesses | Vitaly Mansky | Latvia/Switzerland/Czech Republic | International Premiere Styx | Wolfgang Fischer | Germany/Austria | North American Premiere Mid90s | Jonah Hill | USA | World Premiere The Quietude | Pablo Trapero | Argentina | North American Premiere Galveston Mélanie Laurent | USA | Canadian Premiere The Land of Steady Habits Nicole Holofcener | USA | World Premiere The Wild Pear Tree | Nuri Bilge Ceylan | Turkey/France/Germany/Bulgaria | North American Premiere Diamantino | Gabriel Abrantes, Daniel Schmidt | Portugal/France/Brazil | North American Premiere
  11. Darren H

    The Rider

    I haven't seen many 2018 films yet, but The Rider is among my favorites. I'm guessing I'm the only arthouse film critic who lives on a horse farm and has spent a lot of time around rodeo riders, so it was fun to talk horses and horse culture with Chloe Zhao. I'm proud of this interview.
  12. Darren H

    Podcast Recommendations?

    Pete Holmes (comedian & creator/star of Crashing on HBO) is an acquired taste. He's goofy and laughs too loudly at his own jokes and interrupts his guests constantly, but I really enjoy his podcast, You Made it Weird. The episodes are long (usually two hours), which allows for a lot of diversions and surprising revelations from guests you might have heard interviewed a dozen times before. Holmes was raised in the church, went to Gordon College on a track to become a pastor, and then gradually drifted away from religion. But he's a devoted, obsessive seeker, and every episode of his podcast is designed to eventually work its way to questions of belief and meaning. He's especially good, I think, when talking with name-brand Christians like Rob Bell or his latest guest, Kent Dobson. David Bazan is predictably great too.
  13. Darren H

    First Reformed

    Just a quick note for A&F old-timers. It looks like I'm gonna have a sit-down interview with Schrader next week for Filmmaker, and I intend to talk to him about transcendental style, Bresson, Bergman, Tarkovsky, and all of those topics we debated so passionately here (and in other fora) 15 years ago. It feels like a coming home.
  14. Darren H

    La Fille Inconnue / The Unknown Girl (2016)

    Thanks, Jeffrey. It's funny that you mention that particular line because I'm not sure that I totally believe it. Even when Jean-Pierre said it, it felt rote compared with the rest of our conversation -- like it was an idea that they were committed to and liked to mention to interviewers. I can imagine them trying to take that stance as writers, but everything about their production model is so measured and controlled. I think they pull more strings than they're willing to admit. My favorite part of the interview is when I pressed them on their expressionist style. Luc is much more chatty and he rambled for a while around the question. Then there was a pause and Jean-Pierre broke their pattern (they always take turns answering questions) to add, "It’s true. [pause] We do try to pick primary colors. We liked to see Jenny dressed in blue and burgundy." I'm weirdly proud of getting that out of him. Critics seldom talk about their films in that way, and the two of them never do.
  15. Darren H

    First Reformed

    Agreed. The long conversation near the beginning of the film was the best thing I saw at TIFF. Part of the fun was imagining Schrader alone at a computer, arguing both sides of the debate.