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Everything posted by phlox

  1. The Lost City of Z February 6, 1911 Percy Fawcett addresses the Royal Geographical Society with his discovery.
  2. 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."
  3. 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 --
  4. 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 does the title with its sun/son resonance. This tribute had some good insights--
  5. 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!)
  6. 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.
  7. Paterson June 6, 1976—a poster in the corner bar says Allen Ginsberg appeared then at the Paterson Masonic Temple.
  8. This song from the Pretenders' new album Alone reminds me of the "audacity of hope" era...
  9. Hidden Figures February 20, 1962-- John Glenn orbits the earth, after relying on Katherine Johnson’s mathematical expertise. A historical drama that doesn’t generate much critical analysis…but in these troubled times it sure felt uplifting.
  10. Must admit, this has been one of my all-time favorite series….still in the midst of it. Apparently the spinoff, called “The Good Fight,” premieres on Feb. 19. Not sure I’ll watch it, would miss some of the great characters from the original, but interesting that the new cast includes Bernadette Peters.
  11. Heard this recently and like the choral effect… by Danish singer/songwriter Agnes Obel, her new album is Citizen of Glass –lyrics are obscure but music is ethereal, soothing
  12. Guess there wasn’t that much interest in this film? I agree the trailer was somewhat misleading – and the flashbacks were confusing at times. The film has haunted me, having grown up in a nearby town--the accent, the wounded-stoic attitude, the fishing boat scenes framing the story, the winter that seemed to go on forever. From a non-critic’s perspective -- I thought Justin Chang really captured it, in Variety– also Ann Hornaday (Washington Post), praising Lonergan’s “steadfast unwillingness to indulge in tidy reversals of heart or convenient happy endings….It is essentially about people: their quirks, foibles, self-deceptions and often fruitless attempts at overcoming their inner demons.…a man who may seem shut down and closed off from the world, but who turns out to be fighting every moment to keep both pain and redemption at arm’s length...”
  13. This helped me after I finally saw the film…except for the sentence about God knowing exactly how our lives will turn out (I’m more persuaded by open theism- though I guess both views embrace paradox)… A few (amateur) responses – --Couldn’t help comparing the first contact in Montana, with Star Trek VIII--the Vulcan emerging from his spaceship in Bozeman, salutes Cochrane saying “live long and prosper” in English…which they presumably knew because they had been observing Earth. This encounter led to a unified earth government, ended war, crime, poverty, etc. --It seems likely that a visit from distinctly benign, or distinctly threatening, aliens would unite us on earth…but the uncertainty of the heptapods’ intentions caused division and violence. --If the heptapods were all that advanced and benevolent, they would have done a better job of communicating—e.g., they wouldn’t have dangerously confused the word tool or gift, with weapon. --Louise was able to connect to the extraterrestrials through trust, vulnerability and respect rather than military defensiveness – as a woman, if not as a mother (she wasn’t, at the time, if I got that right). But, Louise “recalls” a children’s book illustrating planets – why didn’t she show the heptapods a picture of earth with their ships coming, and ask why? Or some other image instead of letters. --If the soundtrack/ alien noises had not been so relentlessly dark and ominous in tone, the story would have felt more inspiring – and it does ultimately transcend the dystopian vision (music affects how we think, as well as language?) --The film might have been more satisfying if it focused either on the non-linear time aspect, or the 12 alien vessels trying to make the world cooperate peacefully. Mingling the two themes was a bit muddled, for me anyway.
  14. So if Michelle Yeoh’s character will be part Greek, they’re definitely transcending nationalities (must have heard Peter’s complaint)…and they are all Star Fleet. Anthony Rapp as an astromycologist made me wonder. An exotic fungus (possibly eco-terrorism) destroyed most of the food supply on Tarsus IV, which led Kodos the Executioner to kill half the colony’s population in 2246 (“Conscience of the King”). Maybe that could be in Discovery - the event ‘talked about but not explored.’ Or some other environmental-issue storyline. As many have said…the world needs Star Trek now more than ever.
  15. That is essential to Trek, isn’t it… Interesting point about captain/ship stereotyping – but, Ben Sisko as commander of the Deep Space Nine station didn’t exemplify “ghettoizing.” Come to think of it, with all the actors from Canada, maybe they should've had more Canadian ship names. My association with Yeoh is with the character of Aung San Suu Kyi in The Lady, rather than the combative Crouching Tiger…a ship’s captain in Star Fleet (I’m guessing) seems an appropriate segue from the activist for democratic government. Still she may have a smaller role compared to the younger woman Lt. Commander on the actual Discovery ship. curious who the actress will be for the lead.
  16. Sounds good to me....Michelle Yeoh will play the captain Han Bo of the USS Shenzhou....At least it's not the Kobayashi Maru - !
  17. Upstream: selected essays (October 2016) Reading Mary Oliver’s work helps take my mind off the nightmare of the election. The theme of going upstream, further toward the source, seeking connection with the divine, draws me in through these exquisite meditations on nature, and on Wordsworth, Emerson, Whitman, and Poe. “Now I think there is only one subject worth my attention and that is the precognition of the spiritual side of the world and….the condition of my own spiritual state. What I mean by spirituality is not theology, but attitude. .. I would say that there exist a thousand unbreakable links between each of us and everything else, and that our dignity and our chances are one.… we are at risk together, or we are on our way to a sustainable world together.“ Along with glimpses of hope, Oliver also affirms the literary / artistic impulse-- “Certainly there is within each of us a self that is neither a child, nor a servant of the hours. It is a third self….This self is out of love with the ordinary; it is out of love with time. It has a hunger for eternity. The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time. I read the way a person might swim, to save his or her life. I wrote that way too.”
  18. April 14, 1642—first New World law (Massachusetts Bay) requiring all children be taught to read and write….Beth Travis (Kristen Stewart) informs her class of this in Certain Women (2016). Kelly Reichardt’s film seems like a tribute to the struggles and quiet strength of women of the Northwest.
  19. Set to be the opening feature of the 2016 Virginia Film Festival.
  20. I appreciated watching the featurette after seeing this movie. The soccer-player-turned-missionary was as much the hero as the young woman. To me the presence of faith in the film was uplifting in the best sense of the word.
  21. Well, Fuller had stated earlier, three things the mission would not be about-- the Romulan war, Axanar, and Section 31. Though if we are being somewhat misled, it wouldn’t be the first time - ! Maybe the “touchstone” concept simply means aiming for the standard set by one of the better episodes, e.g. the Romulan captain saying to Kirk, ”You and I are of a kind. In a different reality, I could’ve called you friend.” There’s a “Discovery” book and comic series scheduled alongside the show, as well.
  22. Just a couple of updates—“Discovery” now has an ad-free option for $9.99 / month. Also Bryan Fuller says the story arc takes the early TOS episode “Balance of Terror” as a touchstone….Made me wonder if it has to do with the common ancestry of the Romulans and Vulcans--or the “Time of Awakening” when Surak introduced the way of logic….
  23. According to Bryan Fuller, “Discovery” will be set about 10 years before the original series and will focus on an event from Federation history that was “talked about but not explored” … and not the battle of Axanar (Capt. Garth), or Section 31, though that will be included somehow. So if it’s in 2255, it's the time frame of “The Cage” with Christopher Pike – could it be about the Talosians? or something further back... Fuller also reports the show will have seven main characters with a female lead-- lieutenant commander – lots of diversity, aliens, etc. Must admit I’m intrigued – though paying for a show that contains ads, not so much.
  24. Saw this again (mainly because I had a free movie pass)….I agree there’s lots of unexplained stuff, like about Krall and his comrades. All three of the reboot films have poorly written villains. What a waste of Idris Elba. But this story is soooo much better than "Into Darkness." I agree about the needlessly fast & furious action scenes… but also that there is inspired beauty in the vision of Yorktown station – and that Jaylah was a sympathetic and appealing character. On second viewing I appreciated more the nods, homages, and cameos; even the gentle self-mockery of Kirk musing “Things have gotten a little episodic.” The playfulness and the bonding, the light-heartedness even in the midst of loss... genuinely came through. Star Trek’s ontological mission was to give hope for the future to a fearfully self destructive world. For me it still does.
  25. The Man Who Knew Infinity S. Ramanujan’s first letter to G.H. Hardy, 16 January 1913 Ramanujan became a Fellow of Trinity College, 10 October 1918