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Everything posted by phlox

  1. Process vs Open Theism

    Thanks for sharing – it brought me back, in a comforting way, to an on-line discussion on this same topic (of course it’s mostly way beyond my understanding). I was hoping the two theologians might relate their views to some present day issues, though I didn’t listen to every word. The point about prayer did come up - If process thought denies that prayer could ever change anything, or oneself, that is discouraging. My vague impression is that process thought seems to make God too dependent on humanity, in a way that doesn’t offer much reassurance or hope. Of the two “sermons” at the end, I felt Boyd’s open theism interpretation of eschatology was far more appealing.
  2. The VFF has announced its 2017 schedule
  3. Movie Calendar

    Tulip Fever Amsterdam, 1634 (only date I saw in the film) Not enough character development...but worth seeing for the actors, lavish sets and Vermeer-like interiors
  4. Woodstock -- album

    This track from Portugal the Man's album Woodstock (June 2107) has been at the top of the alt-rock charts for months...lyrics don't make much sense, but it has a social-protest vibe
  5. Mary Magdalene biopic

    Looking forward to this portrait of Mary Magdalene –love Rooney Mara, not so keen on Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus. It will be interesting to see how the two women script writers (Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett) show the relationship between Magdalene and Jesus, and her life after the resurrection…if they adopt the “golden legend” that has her traveling to France and living in a cave, or moving to Rome as a church leader, or something else.
  6. LA Divine

    This new album from the Cold War Kids came out in April. I like this track and a couple others—though they are what has been called “relentlessly intense”
  7. A Quiet Passion

    Thanks for your further thoughts…you’ve clearly studied Emily’s work in depth…and I agree with Susan Vanzanten’s point about aspects of E.D.’s life that were omitted. I also agree that ambivalence is a better term than rejection. (What I was getting at was that she rejected the Calvinist ‘spatiality’ of heaven, if that makes any sense.) And I like your idea of “counter-hymns.” To me though, orthodox is too strong a word for her views, even toward the end. My understanding is that Emily constantly sought an authentic and unmediated relationship with God, and that while she did not believe in hell, neither was she certain of a blissful afterlife. Maybe her firmest conviction was “Who has not found the heaven below / will fail of it above.” The film came out on amazon video last week- when I re-watched it I noted the titles of the poems included, in order – For each ecstatic instant…..The heart asks pleasure first…. I went to thank her, but she slept…..I reckon, when I count at all……I’m nobody, who are you…… To fight aloud is very brave….. There is a word which bears a sword….. If you were coming in the fall…… We outgrow love, like other things….. The dying need but little, dear….. Of so divine a loss, we enter…….We never know we go, when we are going….He fumbles at your soul….This world is not conclusion….Our journey had advanced….My life closed twice before its close.…Tie the strings to my life (last stanza).…Because I could not stop for death…This is my letter to the world. This time it seemed to me that Davies does focus a lot on Emily’s spiritual struggles, in the context of mortality and bereavement…he mostly ignores her blurring of erotic and religious imagery, like the early mystics - and her literary friendships.
  8. The Beguiled

    I just wish filmmakers would not get Virginia mixed up with the deep south, the dark "Southern Gothic" atmosphere....the scenes with giant live oaks and Spanish moss are from a different region and climate (it was shot near New Orleans). The film was beautiful to watch though, a compelling story. [Spoilers] The fact that the soldier's wound didn't get infected, and that the mushrooms killed him almost immediately, made the film closer to a fairy tale, in my eyes.
  9. A Quiet Passion

    Thanks for the other titles that appeared in the film, and for the offer on your chapter – I don’t want to put you to the trouble. It seems safe to say Emily felt closer to God in nature than in church, and sought a personal, mystical experience of the divine. Her work keeps vacillating between belief in heaven and rejection of it…e.g. skepticism in # 696 “The House of Supposition –/ the Glimmering Frontier that/ Skirts the Acres of Perhaps/ To me- shows insecure…/This timid life of Evidence/ Keeps pleading- I don’t know.” Then just two poems later there is affirmation in #698, “Life is what we make it /Death -we do not know /Christ’s acquaintance with Him /Justify him though….His sure foot preceding /Tender Pioneer/ Base must be the coward/ Dare not venture- now.” Probably not many here are into Emily’s work… it does take an effort to get past the sing-song meter, to see how she used the limited hymn stanza as a foil to jolt us with her discoveries. The intensity and compression of her work is often astonishing. The process of writing and all it involved was a lifelong spiritual discipline.
  10. A Quiet Passion

    Is the dissertation chapter on line? I’d be interested in reading it. I agree-- the Emily Dickinson in the film didn’t reflect the image from her work, letters and several biographies. The opening scene led me to expect more emphasis on her spiritual struggles, instead of the drawing-room repartee which was more Jane Austen’s world, it seemed. I couldn’t find a list of the poems in the film, other than these that were definitely in: This is my letter to the world …The heart asks pleasure first….I’m nobody….Because I could not stop for death. Maybe someone else recalls a few more.
  11. Wonder Woman movie

    Great insights. Women can be both romantic and feminist, just as men can be both romantic and chauvinist. [Spoilers] Diana is a noble warrior with a strong sense of compassion, but she’s been misled by the “myth of redemptive violence” –as if destroying Ares would bring peace to mankind. She affirms near the end that she believes only love can save the world, and it does seem that her relationship with Steve is what changes her understanding. Not sure I know how to interpret the action after his self-sacrifice…does her grief for him make her more determined-- does she actually kill Ares, or only one manifestation of him? Does Trevor’s life energy pass into her somehow?
  12. Wonder Woman movie

    Or maybe the central issue was whether evil can be defeated by force, military or supernatural. I have no idea how this story fits into the context of other DCU movies, but admired the narrative arc, loved Gal Gadot’s performance, and Chris Pine was at his best. Amazing that Gadot was a former Miss Israel, a combat trainer, a law student, a mother of two daughters– and she was five months pregnant during some of the filming. That blew me away.
  13. Holy Commotion

    This song from the Pretenders' new album Alone reminds me of the "audacity of hope" era...

    Woops...sorry! Here is Catherine Coulson (the Log Lady) working as camera assistant on ST 2

    This series would have grabbed me more, without the supernatural/horror elements--but it’s interesting how many actors were also in Star Trek shows and films… Madchen Amick (Anya in “The Dauphin”)—Michael J. Anderson (Rumpelstiltskin)--Richard Beymer -- John Billingsley (Dr. Phlox) –Frank Collison --Cullen Douglas--Miguel Ferrer (commanded the Excelsior, ST3)–Patrick Fischler– Meg Foster (Jake Sisko’s “Muse”) - Hank Harris (Jack in “Carbon Creek”, ENT)-- Ashley Judd (Wesley Crusher’s first kiss)-- Robert Knepper (Wyatt, Troi’s fiance)—David Lander --Rob Mars -- Derek Mears --Wendy Robie –Brenda Strong --Carel Struycken (Lwaxana Troi’s valet, Mr. Homn) – John Savage (Capt. Ransom, VOY) – David Warner (Gorkon in ST3)--Ray Wise (Liko in “Who watches the watchers”) [Shouldn’t this thread be in the TV section?]
  16. R.I.P. Chris Cornell

    Thought we'd be hearing more from this guy
  17. A Quiet Passion

    Saw this recently… [SPOILERS] As Peter noted, the dialogue is “arch”--and the witty banter gets a little heavy-handed. As Ken said, the voice-over poems are very on-the-nose… one of the most awkward moments is when Emily holds Austin and Susan’s baby and recites her “I’m Nobody” poem to him. There was too much of Vryling Buffam, who’s only mentioned in one biography footnote as a friend of Vinnie’s. Also, Mabel Todd and Emily never met face to face. Maybe I’m not recalling correctly, but – was there really no mention of Thomas Higginson, the editor Emily was friends with for decades? Nothing about George Gould, who may have been engaged to her--or her later romance with Judge Otis Lord, who proposed marriage? Nothing about the Master Letters? Nothing about the eye ailment that disrupted her life extensively. Too many long convulsion scenes…made her look like an epileptic. [The film could have showed how, in fact, Emily refused to let a doctor at her bedside…which made diagnosis almost impossible.] Still, as a literary period piece the film is a splendid tribute, and Cynthia Nixon did a superb job of making Emily rebellious and vulnerable, unflinchingly honest.
  18. Movie Calendar

    Their Finest September 27, 1941 Catrin Cole begins work on her second screenplay for the Ministry of Information’s film unit in London
  19. Movie Calendar

    The Lost City of Z February 6, 1911 Percy Fawcett addresses the Royal Geographical Society with his discovery.
  20. What we're reading

    I remember being impressed with the book N. T. Wright wrote with Marcus Borg-- The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions--especially Wright's chapter on resurrection. His voice was one of the few that kept me open–minded...not to certainty or insistence, but possibility. An excerpt - "Early Christianity did not consist of a new spirituality or ethic. It consisted of the announcement of things that had happened… The body of Jesus was neither resuscitated nor left to decay in the tomb, but was rather transformed into a new mode of physicality; shocking and startling to the disciples and to all subsequent readers.… The contrast is not between physical and nonphysical, but rather between a body animated by soul (which will die like the animals) and a body animated by spirit, God’s spirit, which will therefore possess a quality of life that transcends the present decaying existence…. The point of the resurrection, for Paul, is that entropy does not have the last word, for humans or the world as a whole. For Paul, what mattered was that the resurrection had happened – not as an isolated bizarre miracle, but as the messianic focal point and climax of the story of the creator and covenant God with Israel and the world. This was the hinge on which the door of history turned."
  21. Sheryl Crow's new album

    This track is “Halfway there” with Gary Clark Jr. from her April 2017 album, Be Myself -- also includes collaborations with Stevie Nicks, Keith Richards, Willie Nelson, etc. As you might expect – “fallout from the presidential election is present in the lyrics”…but a great video --
  22. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

    Others here could answer better, but I recently watched this on YouTube and read through the discussion. [spoilers] Yes, it’s a stretch, to say the least, for the Wife to warm up so quickly to the Man after he nearly throws her off the boat. For that matter, it’s questionable (as Peter noted) why either woman would be attached to a man who gets violent so often. The women are stereotypes, the meekly submissive madonna and the criminally-minded vamp...the Wife shown only in daytime, the Woman shown only at night. Still the film is more nuanced than I expected… not a simplistic duality between wicked city / innocent farm. I liked the irony of the City being the scenario for the husband and wife to heal their relationship, through the spontaneous excursion...the peasant dance, etc. Also I was impressed with the optical effects-- the camera angles, the superimposed images, the stylized title cards. I can see why the film is considered a poetic masterpiece. It comes across as a dreamlike allegory, rather than a believable narrative. And, as Persona pointed out - the shadow of the cross on the bed subtly offers a Christian perspective....as does the title with its sun/son resonance. This tribute had some good insights-- http://www.ferdyonfilms.com/2012/sunrise-a-song-of-two-humans-1927/13663/
  23. Movie Calendar

    United Kingdom Sept. 29, 1948 – Seretse Khama marries Ruth Williams in a London registry office Sept. 30, 1966 – Botswana becomes an independent nation The film could have had more dramatic tension, but still an amazing story. (besides….Theo Landey!)
  24. Just as an interested observer…wonder if you’d consider films about journalists. The topics of government and cultural conflict/upheaval are so timely, but maybe too broad (or cynical). Seems like there have been many good films about journalism, both fictional and true.
  25. Movie Calendar

    Paterson June 6, 1976—a poster in the corner bar says Allen Ginsberg appeared then at the Paterson Masonic Temple.