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Mr. Arkadin

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Everything posted by Mr. Arkadin

  1. I'm re-reading through Harris' HANNIBAL at the moment and I'm paying particular attention to his mention of God here. The other Lecter novels, RED DRAGON, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, and HANNIBAL RISING also have their own similar mentions, if I recall correctly. HANNIBAL actually opens with a reference to Reverend Sun Myung Moon, and in the last paragraph of the first chapter, as Starling washes HIV-infected blood off of Evelda Drumgo's child: "Water flying, a mocking rainbow of God's Promise in the spray, sparkling banner over the work of His blind hammer." That kind of reference sets the course for the rest. We get plenty of references to God's wanton malice, an ironic reference to the Madonna and child, Mason Verger's pedophilic history occurred at a Christian camp and he hides behind a "born again" testimony, Sammie the lunatic is waiting for a Christ who never comes, the narration ties Lecter's intended consumption by pigs with the Eucharist, so forth and so on. Considering the direction of the novel, as well as its other observations--the "Elemental Ugliness" of humankind, which it notes at least once, and its references to entropy, this strikes me as being a much darker statement than any of the films have been so far. Harris' novels strike me as concerning the existence of evil as a force in the world, but without being able to find a sincere hope for good. HANNIBAL, at least, takes note of judgment, but Lecter himself is the tool by which wicked men are punished. Evil tackling evil, it seems to suggest. Even the pure idealism of Clarice Starling lies extinguished at the end, since she has become a mirror for Lecter himself. It's interesting that this subtext never made its way into the films. We have slight bits of it here and there, but it's largely stripped away. David Lynch was reportedly offered RED DRAGON back before Michael Mann made it into MANHUNTER. The films might have registered it then. Few directors are as gifted as Lynch in creating an atmosphere of pervasive, inescapable evil.
  2. Mr. Arkadin

    House of Cards

    David Fincher + Kevin Spacey? I'm intrigued.
  3. Mr. Arkadin

    Rian Johnson's Star Wars Trilogy

    Or the L.A. Quartet...
  4. Top 25 Films on "Waking Up" Please keep nominations and seconds only in the nominations thread. All discussion of the nominated films themselves, as well as ongoing conversation about how we should best define the list's theme, should be posted here. *Note: Currently, there are no hard-and-fast rules about eligibility based on content - it’s up to YOU to advocate for what you believe fits this category. We believe the community of voters will make a wise decision about it when the times comes. That said, please think carefully about whether the film is really about what the community wants for an "Arts & Faith" list as opposed to a purely generic "top films" list that would be created on some other popular movie website. Timeline: Open film nominations and discussion: 3/29 Close film nominations: May 28 Open voting on films: June 2 Close voting: June 15th Write blurbs: June 16th – July 16th Post results: TBD
  5. Mr. Arkadin

    BoJack Horseman (Netflx)

    Season four does not offer anything as immediately impressive as season three's underwater episode, and it shows some of the strain most shows hit at this point in this run (at least major character gets an arc that feels undercooked). But it's still hilarious, and, when everything comes together, it cuts right to the bone.
  6. Mr. Arkadin


    I'll add that I have pre-ordered Mark Frost's Final Dossier. I anticipate that it will offer answers to questions no-one asked.
  7. Mr. Arkadin


    Yes. And Dougie is there, too. There is a very conscious doubling of finales here. Chapter 18 is a postscript, what Cooper calls the "curtain call." Both Cooper and Diane lose themselves there, and it's where the horror first begins to creep in. There is a suggestion that Diane is reliving the trauma she experienced at the hands of Mr. C, and she covers Cooper's face as though she's desperate to hide it. Yea, verily.
  8. Mr. Arkadin


    I wrote up my thoughts regarding the finale of Twin Peaks.
  9. Mr. Arkadin


    The finale of Twin Peaks revealed that the entire arc of the series is toward horror. Cooper proceeds beyond the boundary of his world to the territory of JUDY's world. Ever the FBI agent, he wishes to follow the trail back to its origin. It's a "be careful what you wish for" moment; in proceeding to JUDY's universe, he loses himself, he loses his sense of place, of time. He knows he must bring Laura/Carrie to the Palmer house--that central spoke in the wheel of evil, which has become inhabited by JUDY over the course of season three. And in bringing Laura there, he apparently *does* conjure Judy, but only renews Laura's sense of tragedy: Laura's scream cuts across time and space and imagination. So, in the end, Cooper and Laura share a dark secret--the face of darkness--which is why the final image of the series is of Laura whispering the unspeakable secret to Dale Cooper in the lodge. This is the ultimate mystery Twin Peaks: unspeakable horror, a bottomless void. Chilling, frustrating, and despairing. It makes the season two finale palatable in comparison.
  10. Mr. Arkadin

    A better film about...

    True enough, but sometimes you just gotta go with the better GIF.
  11. The Image team is a bit overwhelmed with the Glen Workshop right now, so please just hang right.
  12. Mr. Arkadin

    Luc Besson Sci-Fi project

    I kinda liked DeHaan in this part precisely *because* he's a really weird choice for it. What would be a tediously typical "dumb-but-charming" part with a more conventional Hollywood leading man (ala Chris Pratt) becomes something kinda interesting to watch due to DeHaan's own peculiar energy. I may write a full review of Valerian, so that's all I'll say about that for now.
  13. Mr. Arkadin

    Bond 25

    The NYT reports Craig is set to return, and Variety reports that Yann Demange is the leading contender for director (the others on the shortlist, per Deadline, are Denis Villeneuve and David Mackenzie). If this is EON's last Bond feature, it will truly be the end of an era. I bet we'll see Christopher Nolan tackle the reboot (he's kinda hinted in that direction a few different times, and WB is rumored to be MGM's partner on this new film).
  14. Mr. Arkadin


    If there is, I want to be a card-carrying member.
  15. Mr. Arkadin


    I have not yet seen Dunkirk, so I can't comment. I am considering working through those questions in a longer piece after I've seen it. Interstellar remains the only Nolan film I actually feel personal attachment to, rather than just detached fascination, so we're on a similar page there.
  16. Mr. Arkadin

    The Ninth Configuration (1980)

    I've read the novel, but I haven't yet seen the film.
  17. Mr. Arkadin

    Kino Lorber Studio Classics Blu-Ray & DVD Sale

    This is an AMAZING sale.
  18. Mr. Arkadin

    Luc Besson Sci-Fi project

    There is a scene in this movie in which This is why CGI was invented.
  19. Mr. Arkadin

    Luc Besson Sci-Fi project

    I loved this and found the experience incredibly moving.
  20. Mr. Arkadin


    I'm less interested in Dunkirk as a film in and of itself than I am interested in it as another opportunity to try to puzzle my way through Nolan's unique stew of influences and obsessions. As with seemingly every Nolan film, there doesn't seem to be any underlying logic as to who responds favorably to Dunkirk and who doesn't. Nolan's very peculiar priorities as a filmmaker--and the ways in which those peculiar priorities play out differently from project to project--continue to fascinate me.
  21. Mr. Arkadin

    Star Trek: Discovery

    It looks more interesting than I expected this to look.
  22. Mr. Arkadin

    Ready Player One

    I'm bummed out by how little I like that trailer.
  23. Mr. Arkadin

    RIP Martin Landau

    He'll always be Rollin Hand to me.
  24. Mr. Arkadin

    Criterion sale at Barnes & Noble

    These are awesome choices.