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Wiederspahn

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    59
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About Wiederspahn

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    Member

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Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    New Hampshire
  • Interests
    Film, Philosophy, Music, Chess, Whiskey, Basketball

Previous Fields

  • Occupation
    Filmmaker (writer/director/producer)
  • Favorite movies
    *Andrei Rublev *Nostalghia *Stalker *Au Hasard Balthazar *Diary of a Country Priest *Winter Light *Red Beard *Landscape in the Mist *Ordet *Days of Heaven *Dead Man *City Lights *L'enfant *The Puppet Master *Ugetsu *Make Way for Tomorrow *Ninotchka *The Last Laugh *Sunrise: Song of Two Humans *Sullivan's Travels
  • Favorite music
    Beethoven, Bach, Enrico Caruso, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Billy Bragg, U2, The Pixies, Built To Spill, Joe Henry, Sam Phillips, Cat Power, Spoon, The New Pornographers, Arcade Fire, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Nick Cave, The Pogues, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Jackson Browne, Beck, A Tribe Called Quest
  • Favorite creative writing
    St. Augustine, Soren Kierkegaard, Blaise Pascal, Charles Dickens, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Mark Twain, W.H. Auden, Jorge Luis Borges, Walker Percy, Daniel Boorstin, Samuel Beckett
  • Favorite visual art
    Chagall, Richard Avedon, Robert Frank
  1. Wiederspahn

    Favorite "contemplative" films.

    Jeffrey, don't know if you've ever given this a look or not, but unspokencinema.blogspot.com pretty much covers this territory as good as anyone out there. I'm sure it would lead you to what you're looking for. Also, many universities have this type of course and use Paul Schrader's "Transcendental style in Film" as a text. In it, he focuses on Dreyer, Bresson, and Ozu. In my opinion, add Tarkovsky to that list, and that's where you start for an intro to contemplative cinema course.
  2. Wiederspahn

    Seraphine

    Jeffrey, so glad you loved it. I could not agree more - one of the finest performances we've seen in years. And absolutely ditto on one of the finest films about art and artists ever made. And not only that, but art and artists mixing it up with the divine. I would be willing to wager that this film easily winds up in the top 10 of Arts and Faith most spiritually significant films. It just does not get much better than this. I remember when I saw "Andrei Rublev" for the first time. It was what made me want to be a filmmaker, made me realize that I wanted to spend the rest of my life trying to figure out how to do what Tarkovsky did. I wanted to be an artist aligned with my God. I wanted to be an artist who was truly "after it". I wanted to dive into the glorious waters of the beautiful Other. I wanted to be willing to swim across the tumultuous seas of this world of art, carried along by my God, in spite of the possibility that many in this world might consider me mad. Like Tarkovksy's Rublev, I wanted to be willing to spend years in silence so that last I could catch even the slightest glimpse of the glory of the One. Anyone who knows me, knows that "Andrei Rublev" is at the top of my film list. So with that being said, I am overjoyed that now, my dear, sweet Seraphine has made me feel, again, the way I felt when I first encountered my beloved Rublev and she joins him at the top of that list. Its only my opinion, of course, but I truly believe there have only been a handful of moments in cinematic history where it is as though the wind of the spirit blows across the screen, leaving something of the Divine for us all. Obviously, I can't say it any stronger: if its playing in a theater near you, get thee to the cinema.
  3. Wiederspahn

    Seraphine

    I just saw this last night and consider it to be absolutely fantastic. It left quite a profound impression with me. Has anyone else seen it? IMO, it is one of the year's best, and will be and should be much discussed on this board.
  4. Wiederspahn

    U2 - No Line on the Horizon (March 2009)

    I've listened to it about five times, now. Am currently listening. And I have to say I really like it. A lot. I honestly think Magnificent, Moment of Surrender, Unknown Caller, are about as good of a U2 trifecta of songs as you're going to get. And man, being one who thinks "The Band" is THE band, how about that amazing Bandesque chorus on Moment of Surrender. I love it. And Breathe is as good a rocker as they come. And how about O Come O Come Emmanuel under White as Snow. Wow. Beautiful. My main and almost only complaint has do with the drum production. But, I agree with Josh and Stef and others who think they have simply laid it bare and synthesized beautifully all that has gone before. And this is it. Here it is. This is U2. These are the guys we fell in love with when they were only a Boy.
  5. Wiederspahn

    Synecdoche, New York

    Watched this twice in the past few days. Really like it. My favorite Kaufman, for sure. I've always appreciated "Eternal Sunshine..." and "Adaptation", but thought they always came up short on the human emotion side of the spectrum. In fact, many of my actor friends who have read or auditioned for Kaufman pieces tend to say Kaufman's scripts are better than the films. And these are people who still liked the films. But these comments, and my personal feelings about the films, always made me wonder if Jonze and Gondry had become so enamored by Kaufman's style and intellectual ascent that they wound up short on the heart element. After seeing "Synecdoche..." I'm convinced this is the case. Same imaginative style, same intellectual ascent, but this time with some serious human emotion, as well. I now think only Kaufman can truly do Kaufman. The man has a singular world in his head, and its his for the making.
  6. Wiederspahn

    Ostrov (The Island)

    Finally saw this, and must say there was something that truly cut me to the quick. I feel as if I was allowed a rare peek at what a saint must look like, an opportunity to get to know one; unpredictable, mad, fiery, compassionate, loving, so remorseful over sin, unexplainable, unaware of his holiness, plucked by God's choosing, etc,. etc. I could go on and on about this dear Father Anatoly, but I'll stop there. And I would in turn throw out, that this may well be one of the truest and most profound depictions of a saintly man ever captured on celluloid. I've always appreciated for instance, Rosselini's "The Flowers of Saint Francis", though have felt there was something flat, and I mean flat beyond the flat of the stylized non-professional actor thing. In "Ostrov", there is life, just watch Father's face, in an instance madness transitions to grace so profoundly. There is seriously a mystery at work. And the image of this saint, back and forth across this isle, pushing this wheelbarrow full of coal. Beautiful. I mean, as opposed to "The Myth of Syssyphus" and the rock up the hill for nothing gig, here was the unexplainable, beyond our thoughts, wisdom of God's hand at work, while we trudge through the mire. Redemption breaks through. I absolutely found it beautiful, as did my wife. When the credits rolled, we found oureselves in tears, for we had truly come to love dear Father Anatoly. I'd love to see more discussion on this piece. It deserves it. Being a lover of Tarkovsky, Bresson, Dreyer, and the like, impulsively, and without giving it a second look, I would say "Ostrov" is worthy of as much discussion as say "Ordet" or "Winter Light". Its few and far between when pieces come along that deal so artfully with who we are as people of faith, and the tenets we hold dear - and in todays world, at that. I applaud this film and its makers, and a nation, Russia, which recognized its excellence.
  7. Wiederspahn

    Nazarin

    Christian, Definitely see it if you get the chance. IMO, one of the best examinations of faith on film there is. Right up there with Winter Light, if you found that a provocative take on faith. But, Bunuel seems to carry his agnosticism even further. As if it's possible to go further than Bergman where that's concerned. But, he took his skepticism most seriously, and tried to treat his subjects with fairness. His entire career was spent grappling with the divine. And for certain, he had strong contentions with the almighty, and a bit of an axe to grind, and he left no stone unturned. Yet, IMO, with Nazarin, he somehow manages to find that fine line that forces the honest man to take a good hard look at how effectual the man of faith's faith truly is. Which brings up a whole lot of theological worms for fodder. So, do see it. I'd love to discuss in more detail. But know, Bunuel is definitely not everyone's cup of tea, to say the least. It may just strike you the absolute wrong way. But, it is one of those films I don't think I could recommend highly enough. Especially in a forum on Arts and Faith. It takes a look at the tough questions.
  8. Wiederspahn

    Burn After Reading (2008)

    Finally saw this the other day, and must say that I really liked it. A lot! The way they use the espionage caper to serve a film that is primarily a morality tale, IMO, about the breakdown of relationships in today's hyper-paced world is masterful. I mean sure, there may be some subversive political stuff going on, and sure there's some seemingly non-sensical parade marching by, but I think it's all about relationships falling apart in today's world, and asking are we learning anything from it. Malkovich obsessed with his work, Clooney obsessed with sex, McDormand obsessed with the beauty myth. It's all one big misunderstood caper, and it's not getting anyone anywhere. I think more folks are going to come around on this one after the whirling dervish of it settles.
  9. Wiederspahn

    Let us praise Paul Newman

    Just want to offer up my regards to Mr. Newman's integral career by acknowledging one of my favorites of his, co-starring his beloved, Mr. and Mrs. Bridge.
  10. Wiederspahn

    Best Movies with Ambiguous Endings?

    Winter Light (in my opinion one of the most perfectly ambiguous films grappling with faith, ever) And lest we forget, probably one of the most disputed endings of all-time in of the the most disputed best films of all-time, Citizen Kane ("Rosebud")
  11. Wiederspahn

    Best Movies with Ambitious Endings?

    Magnolia 8 1/2 It's a Wonderful Life Ace in the Hole and I 2nd Andrei Rublev, Ordet
  12. Wiederspahn

    Creating Cinema

    Dan, That's right, I remember meeting you too! Very cool running into you here in cyber world. I'm glad to hear you're still keeping it alive in the theatre. So much to chew on, just trying to create these things that are swirling in our heads and hearts, huh? It can be a bit of a whirling dervish at times.
  13. Wiederspahn

    Slumdog Millionaire

    I'm looking forward to this. Variety review is up, and its a good one: http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117938135...yid=31&cs=1
  14. Wiederspahn

    Nada Surf

    Seeing as how I'm a power pop junkie, I would definitely be remiss to not be a part of the Nada Surf train. So, I was glad to discover this thread with other such lovers of the Nada boys singing in perfect harmony. But, unless I missed it somewhere, I haven't found mention anywhere of their latest, Lucky, which is really giving me some pure pop bliss. I have to say, they've really hooked me and hooked me hard. Big time. Though they still haven't quite matched their power pop master class on Let Go, I'm digging this record even more than The Weight is a Gift, and find it close, which says to me that these boys are here to stay. Heck, the first three tracks are way and above the price of admission, but then add track 4, "Here goes Something" a total Simon and Garfunkle throwback, and man, I'm through the roof on this one. Anyone else heard it, or written about? Andy? Josh? Anyone?
  15. Wiederspahn

    The New World (2005)

    Definitely, there is Heidegger in Malick, particulary the ideas of threshold and being. But, I tend to see more Wittgenstein, and find that Malick's poetry is more informed from Witt's interest in Kant's thoughts about transcendant idealism, which would lend itself quite nicely to film as poetry as philosophy. Boy, that Malick, huh? Guess he didn't get the memo that movies were just for popcorn.
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