M. Leary

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  1. Right, subtitled for this one. Sounds like you have watched it by now, what did you think?
  2. I am very out of the loop when it comes to film conversation right now. I fear it is because after things filter through Twitter and Letterboxd, not much makes it to forums any more - and I do not have extra time to spend on either of those platforms. So I am stuck with journals mainly. Though there is still a lot of terrific film writing out there. Much more than there seemed to be 10 years ago.
  3. One can now see the first five minutes: https://www.dailydot.com/parsec/ghost-shell-first-five-minutes-clip/ It is pretty disappointing, in that it all feels a bit flat despite the ornate CGI. Parts of it are frame for frame copies of the original, but something is just not translating into the live version (at least these five minutes). And I hope I am wrong, but I wager the 1 Cor 13 references scattered throughout the film are absent in this script. This would be a shame, given that this interplay between Paul's theology and post-humanity in the original made for one of the best pop culture biblical references in the 20th century.
  4. I would talk to the folks at Cascade though too, as I bet they would be open to suggestions for series of some sort.
  5. Have always wished Jarmusch would take this on. I think he would do well with how sharp and interior the book is. But Johnson is pretty wonderful, so this is exciting.
  6. Great review, Andrew. I wrote a paragraph or so on how this wonderful documentary connects to all that great black cinema around Burnett in LA in the 60s and 70s. There are a lot of similarities to dig into.
  7. In terms of publishers specifically geared toward film, The Critical Press and Wallflower Press are at the top of the heap right now. Otherwise, Routledge, Bloomberg, and Palgrave have pretty healthy film series.
  8. I think this would work extremely well for Image as long as the book is constructed in a specific way. Working through 100 films that were selected by a voting process one specific year would lead to a really diffuse collection. But I am familiar with a recent volume from an Episcopalian church and culture non-profit organization that was excellent because even though it is basically a survey of a bunch of random films by different authors, the parameters were set well. This resulted in a tight, focused, and helpful volume that I have dipped into several times even though I am really overly picky about film books. I would be happy to talk at some point about how that might all need to be shaped by editors to ensure the volume would actually sell - or at least be attractive to Image's typical audience. And if offered digitally, that would certainly enhance the ROI question for all involved.
  9. I think that a very fair response to any of Park's films, Andrew. I have never thought he was the sort of director who has things figured out enough to make films about abstractions like "the male gaze." He makes films about the messiness of human passions, as being intertwined with carnal, religious, historical, etc... impulses. But he has a brilliant insight into the raw language of cinema - and he has used that insight to depict human passions in a unique way. To push his films much harder than that reads too much into what he does. I know it always sounds like a cop out to say someone's cinema is resistant to traditional film critical language, but Park's films really are. And as such, you kind of dig them or you don't. I think it telling that fans of the macabre and grand guignol are attracted to his films more than others, even though they aren't straight horror.
  10. Now streaming on Netflix.
  11. Right. Hummingbirds have zero connection to the Jesus reception history excepting this film. I understand the desire to insert something into the scene that would perk it up a bit, but maybe a more thoughtful choice would have worked better. A Noahic dove? The Talmud describes God in Genesis 1:1 as a dove. The raven Jesus tells his disciples to consider? The rooster which crows for Peter? Though I guess they don't fly. But what other elements of the scene felt like weak points?
  12. These are important comments. Your first comment is something Jesus Studies has been talking about for the last few decades, and I spent a few years at conferences arguing that Jesus cinema was the best place to see this self-reference in real-time, connected to specific historical and social contexts. It is my hope that the book I am working on will push a little harder on this issue. And FWIW, Last Days is perhaps the best exemplar of an Ebionite or adoptionist Christology I have seen in cinema. This Christology argues this concept in a few different ways (and was deemed heretical quite quickly), but the gist is that the Christ came upon the human Jesus, and left him again at the crucifixion. Again, the causality here is defined different ways, but most will argue that Jesus achieved this adoption through his generosity of spirit, denial of wealth and status, and unique law-abiding nature. This is not an orthodox Christology for sure, but it is a very interesting one. It depicts Jesus in very humanist terms, as one who achieved Messianic significance by a deliberate poverty of spirit (the "Ebionite" term deriving from the Hebrew word for "poor" linked by early Christian writers with the concept in Matthew's Sermon on the Mount). Thus his spiritual biography can be seen as an iconic resistance of materialism and denial of social status as a mark of one's relationship with God. His death is the ultimate example of one broken, delivered to God as sacrifice on behalf of the idolatry of Israel. Last Days poses Jesus battle with Lucifer in these very terms. So yeah... subjective experience of Garcia present for sure. But it is an experience cast in very historic (even if heterodox) Christian terms. -- And your second comment is what I like best about Last Days. It is the most Johannine film I can think of in that it takes Jesus' Father/Son conundrum seriously. This is kind of a father/son film that happens to have Jesus in it - thus making its reflections cosmic in scale. So, so much to say about this excellent film.
  13. Under The Shadow is on Netflix now and is very much worth your time, even if you are not into Iranian political horror cinema. The film that keeps coming to mind as I think about this pretty amazing debut for the director is Sokurov's The Sun, which does a similar work of seamlessly merging a specific historic war context with supernatural elements, rendering what is often described in political and historic terms in cosmic register. Lots of notes of Cronenberg and Bergman here to enjoy.
  14. The NT theology answer to this question is its connection between Christ as Wisdom (1 Cor 1:30) and Christ as Logos/Creator (John 1:1). This is kind of the basis for a truly Christian aesthetic, right? Sorry, total aside to the thread.
  15. Right, this is such a glaring effect of the film that it has to be intentional by the writers - in that even if Brother Baxter an unconscious ghost of his experiences of the Church or a particular representative, the film's plot pivots distinctly on the two points SDG mentions above (Brother Baxter's inflexibility and divorce). I suppose one could chalk this up in part to an attempt to enhance the New Wave veneer of the film, which requires an anti-authoritarian streak for which Brother Baxter is a handy target (straight from the pages of Carney's own biography). But the film conflates the sexual and gender exploration of the New Wave into Brother Baxter's seeming potential for sexual violence, and I really detest that kind of ill-defined subtext as it creates its own sort of violence. -- But, there is something wonderful about the film despite this flaw. Carney is at his best when working with inversions of typical plot beats.. My favorite element of Sing Street has to do with the young brother/older brother relationship which, contrary to the way this relationship fizzles out in so many scripts, ends up becoming a life-begetting, tear-jerking affair. In full disclosure, I had a near identical experience with a brother introducing me to the New Wave, pushing me out of the nest, etc... (Even down to being given albums and being schooled on why they were so important; my bro could do the Patrick Bateman Huey Lewis bit long before BEE was writing.) My relationship with my oldest brother ended up much differently, in absolute tragedy. But what I think about most about our relationship is our mutual sense of discovery, desire to shed the more painful aspects of our family history, and a hard to pin down trust that outsized, emotional music had something to do with teaching us how to thrive. So big brother has his speech in Sing Street, which is perfectly executed. I have heard versions of this speech before. And so is the love we see in big brother taking up the cause of little brother without envy, sorrow, or trepidation. We see here a perfect love, a brotherly covenant, casting out fear. Even if I really don't like the form of the ending here (green screen, fans, buckets of water, etc...). Carney nails something vital about older brothers here, which is their capacity to be one of the most powerful forces in the universe.