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Nathan Douglas

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Everything posted by Nathan Douglas

  1. I saw this last winter and it's stuck in my craw ever since, mostly because narrative cinema about North Americans' tenuous relationship to architecture and history (especially from a millennial perspective) are not a dime a dozen; personally speaking, this concept is so up my own alley that it hurts quite a bit to see it struggle as much as it does. Namely: somewhere along the way this film's lovely idea got sidetracked into an overly safe, Sundance-Institute-friendly matrix of relationships and capital-S stakes which feel imposed by committee, one fearing a lack of audience interest in the motivating idea. Kogonada lost me at the scene where one character rather clumsily tells another to stop saying what she thinks about the architecture and start saying what she feels and of course we never hear what she says; her voice fades out to be replaced by another anonymous electro-texture/ambient indie score. Instead of mystery and veiled wonder, the effect is of watching an intelligent, articulate young woman flattened into a pixie dreamer before our eyes.
  2. How Green Was My Valley The Diary of a Country Priest Johnny Guitar Apu Sansar L’avventura Andrei Rublev American Graffiti A Brighter Summer Day In Praise of Love Certified Copy
  3. Congrats, liberty. I don't know much about the comedy fests, but you tend to see a fair amount of such listings on Film Freeway and Withoutabox. Best to set aside an evening and look at them in detail, as I bet more than a few of them are rip-offs. As for my film... a lot happened! Things picked up in the fall and the film had a modest but pleasant run - about 2 regional festivals a month from September to December. Then in December it got selected for competition at Clermont-Ferrand (in February), and that was a whole new experience. Thanks to that, interest in the film has remained pretty steady even a year after its premiere; it's set for a few more festivals this summer and fall. All told, I'm very pleased with its run, but my attention is now on my new short "Cave of Sighs," which has just been completed. Back to the starting line...
  4. I could drum up something for Diary of a Country Priest but I am pretty slammed at the moment. If anyone else is burning to do it, please feel free.
  5. Like Joel, I plainly found it to be about embracing suffering because Christ embraced it first and in its most total form. Not even the evil of suffering can defeat grace. Suffering in any form *can* be a participation in His suffering and a means to greater intimacy and identification with Him, even a way of comforting Him (depending on your acceptance of sacramental theology and all it implies about the operation of prayer outside of time). It's a more serious gloss on St. Teresa's wry comment: “Dear Lord, if this is how You treat Your friends, it is no wonder You have so few. Moreover, the moment is Malick giving voice to the deep interior suffering/depression Rick is undergoing through the whole film, the sort that asks "why this? Why so long?" in cycles of self-loathing. And yet it is this cycle that paves his path to peace.
  6. It's quite different from Ark - much more ruminative and ornery, without the unifying sweep of the one-shot to tie everything together at the sensory level. Ark is a journey in every sense of the word, right up to its stunning decompression of Russian memory and literal reveal at the end; Francofonia is much more of a rambling essay drawing from a number of eras captured in the Louvre. Its treatment of the Louvre doesn't achieve the same integration of setting and subject(s) that Sokurov found in the Hermitage, but I quite liked it and found it located the necessary melancholy the subject demanded. I wouldn't know where it ranks in the Sokurov hierarchy, though.
  7. What, exactly, makes this enabling instead of collaborating? Is it any more enabling than any other fruitful, long gestating director/DP combo? In the case of Lucas, there is video footage of collaborators actively going against their better judgement to realize his wishes (The Beginning - the blacklisted documentary on Phantom Menace), but in the case of Malick everyone seems onboard and in tune with what he wants, and they keep going back for more. Doesn't seem like an unhealthy creative situation at all. Your mileage may (does?) vary, of course, but the question of whether Malick has declined or not is nowhere near settled. Many critics of his late period seem adamant that it is.
  8. Title: Diary of A Country Priest Director: Robert Bresson Year: 1951 Language: French IMDB YouTube A&F thread Title: Pickpocket Director: Robert Bresson Year: 1959 Language: French IMDB YouTube A&F thread
  9. This was a big discovery at VIFF last year. At first glance it sounds like it would fit neatly into the Sensory Ethnography Lab niche, but it's covering some of the same territory (the human cost of globalism, late capitalism, etc) by way of hypnosis, kind of like if Antonioni ditched the humans from RED DESERT and sailed off on one of the ships. Highly recommended.
  10. Whoops, it's been awhile. We've already had OUT 1 screen in full here, but spring 2016 still has a couple of must-see retros up its sleeve: A Brighter Summer Day at the VanCity and The Long Voyage Home on 35mm at Cinematheque.
  11. Title: The ImmigrantDirector: James GrayYear: 2014Language: English, PolishIMDB Link: www.imdb.com/title/tt1951181YouTube Link (a clip of/trailer for the film): Link to the A&F thread on the film (if there is one):
  12. Nathan Douglas

    Room (2015)

    Oh yeah, this is Telefilm's bread and butter, and their most promising route for getting awards bait films to their name. As others have noted, though, both Brooklyn and Room were directed by Irishmen, and that alone should disqualify them from being championed so hard with the Canadian #brand. I remember getting an email a couple years back excitedly announcing Jean-Pierre Jeunet's latest film as a Telefilm co-pro. Hooray for Jeunet, Canadian filmmaker!
  13. Nathan Douglas

    Room (2015)

    I wouldn't consider Room or Brooklyn representative of anything Canadian indie - they're international co-productions that scored some money from Telefilm (Toronto filmmaker Matt Johnson has some worthwhile comments about it in this interview). From what I can see, there is young support for indie cinema in the major centres but they tend to run in particular social enclaves. That, and a lot of the really interesting indie work doesn't get across-the-board support from Canada's major festivals (example: VIFF still has yet to screen a Kazik Radwanski feature; TIFF somehow ignored Alexander Carson's debut), leaving a lot of this stuff to a few days at the Lightbox or VanCity, or going the self-release/micro-cinema route.
  14. Just a heads up: spoilered-out block text still appears normally in the previews that show up in unread section. May want to push those blocks down further.
  15. For those who haven't seen it yet, THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER is now streaming on Netflix U.S. Highly recommended.
  16. This would be a very, very long shot but: I would love to see this community curate a Top 25 Avant-Garde/Experimental list. I know there used to be discussions here on the spiritual properties of Brakhage, Dorsky, late Godard, etc, and that we have a wealth of knowledge on the topic amongst many members. Access to films would be a challenge, depending on the filmmaker, but at the same time there is a striking amount available on home video and Youtube (Criterion's Brakhage and Frampton sets, the Treasures sets, individual works by filmmakers like Godard, Bunuel, Akerman, Jarman, more obscure shorts, etc). It would also likely be a shorts-heavy list, which would be something we haven't tried yet (and perhaps easier to catch up with, as far as seeing new films). As I said, I imagine this will be a hard sell, but if any community has the chops to exegete experimental cinema from a grounded and curious religious perspective, it's A&F.
  17. I blame your absence from the A&F Facebook group, which is what I checked to make that list. I'm still not sure how I forgot Jason Morehead. You know, I'm going to add you to the group (it's what we use for board maintenance questions and similar stuff.) I wasn't aware of any A&F Facebook group, either.
  18. Here is my schedule. This is about 95% set, give or take a couple films. Thurs. Sept 24 Tikkun (Sivan) 21:00 GCA Fri. Sept 25 Arabian Nights Vol. 1 (Gomes) 10:00 Vancity One Floor Below (Muntean) 12:45 IV8 Paradise (Dena) 15:15 VanCity Right Now, Wrong Then (Hong) 18:30 IV8 The Visit (Madsen) 21:00 GCA Sat. Sept 26 Arabian Nights Vol. 2 (Gomes) 10:00 VanCity The Thoughts Once We Had (Andersen) 15:30 Cinematheque The Last Hammer Blow (Delaporte) 19:00 IV10 Sun. Sept 27 Arabian Nights Vol. 3 (Gomes) 10:00 Vancity Dead Slow Ahead (Herce) 13:15 IV8 Sleeping Giant (Cividino) 16:00 IV8 O, Brazen Age (Carson) 19:00 VanCity Canadian Living (Shorts) 21:15 VanCit Mon. Sept 28 A Matter Of Interpretation (Haemong) 18:00 Cinematheque Mustang (Ergüven) 21:30 IV10 Tues. Sept 29 Topophilia (Rappmund) 19:00 VanCity Wed Sept. 30 The Assassin (Hou) 18:30 CPA Thurs. Oct. 1 Coping Mechanism (Shorts) 21:15 VanCity Friday Oct. 2 Break Sat. Oct 3. Taxi (Panahi) 18:45 Playhouse The Treasure (Porumboiu) 21:15 GCA Sunday Oct. 4 Chevalier (Tsangari) 11:15 VanCity Invention (Lewis) 13:30 VanCity 100 Yen Love (Take) 16:15 IV10 Murmur Of The Hearts (Chang) 20:30 IV9 Monday Oct. 5 Son Of Saul (Nemes) 18:15 Playhouse The Royal Road (Olson) 21:15 IV8 Tues. Oct 6 The Measure Of A Man (Brize) 18:45 Playhouse Cemetary Of Splendour (Joe) 21:00 IV10 Wed. Oct 7 N/A Thurs. Oct 8 Francofonia (Sokurov) 16:30 Playhouse Mountains May Depart (Jia) 21:00 CPA Friday Oct. 9 N/A
  19. Darren, I'm hedging on making time for it as I've only seen one Desplechin (A Christmas Tale) and don't know if I'll have time to see My Sex Life before the fest. Same with Garrel - my last encounter with him (Jealousy) didn't do a whole lot for me, and I figure I'll catch up with his work en masse down the road anyway.
  20. Here is my list so far. Both the Hou and Maddin will be showing at VanCity by end of October, so a fest viewing can be safely skipped (I will still probably see The Assassin early, though). We still haven't had the full Dragons announcement either, so I bet there are some surprises awaiting us (hopefully one of those is Johnny To). Planning to see 30 films again this year, time permitting. MUSTS: Arabian Nights (Gomes) Cemetery of Splendour (Apichatpong) The Assassin (Hou) Son of Saul (Nemes) The Treasure (Corneliu) Mountains May Depart (Jia) Taxi (Panahi) Aferim! (Jude) The Thoughts We Once Had (Andersen) The Forbidden Room (Maddin) PRIORITIES: The Lobster (Lanthomos) Frank and the Wondercat (Massil) Sleeping Giant (Cividino) Ville-Marie (Edoin) O Brazen Age (Carson) 1-2 short programs MAYBE Tikkun (Sivan) Victoria (Schipper) Body (Szumowska) The Project of the Century (Quintela) The Measure of a Man (Brize) Rams (Hakonarson) Men Go To Battle (Treitz) 45 Years (Haigh) Our Little Sister (Kore-eda) My Golden Days (Desplechin) In The Shadow of Women (Garrel) Embrace of the Serpent (Guerra) Dheepan (Audiard) Paulina (Mitre)
  21. June: The Welles retro is still going strong and the Janus restoration of The Apu Trilogy arrives this weekend!
  22. Link to our thread on Flight of the Red Balloon (2008). This just premiered at Cannes to raves.
  23. 1. Certified Copy 2. The Tree of Life 3. To The Wonder 4. Journey To The West (Tsai) 5. Fish & Cat 6. The Immigrant 7. The Grand Budapest Hotel 8. Computer Chess 9. The Kindergarten Teacher 10. Of Gods and Men Please get started. I'm planning to rewatch this soon because SPEED RACER is my #2 of the previous decade... and they couldn't have made a mediocre film after THAT, right? Right.
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