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Everything posted by SDG

  1. Okay I guess I’ve got to sign up for four more: Of Gods and Men (2010) The Miracle Maker (2000) Into Great Silence (2005) The Flowers of St. Francis (1950)
  2. If no one else has claimed them, I’ll do Witness, Spirited Away, and The Song of Bernadette.
  3. Oh my gosh, ANOTHER ambiguous tie thing
  4. We’re doing a runoff poll for the two-film director films, right?
  5. I’m glad that there’s openness to revisiting the question. I’m concerned about the “leaning toward ‘no’” part. My top 25 picks for this list certainly include such perennial honorees as The Passion of Joan of Arc, Diary of a Country Priest, and The Miracle Maker. Of course, a lot of other A&Fers feel the same way about those films. The more of us pick the same films, the more “votes” will be wasted. It’s possible that I could put together a list of 25 films and find that most or even all of my picks were wasted, while films I would have wanted to include were left out. To make my vote count, then, I should try to pick films I think might be overlooked. But if everyone does this, the obvious picks might fall between the cracks. Uncertainty about the final procedure leaves me up in the air about how to vote. I’m perfectly willing to vote my true picks, but if there’s no subsequent nomination process, I will resent every film I picked knowing or expecting that many or even most other voters would pick it too.
  6. Will the nominations thread include nominees other than the superset of the all top 25 lists?
  7. SDG

    Castle in the Sky

    All these years later, I want to say: I just reread Lloyd Alexander’s The Castle of Llyr to my two youngest kids, and it still frosts me that my brilliant list of parallels between The Castle of Llyr and Laputa: Castle in the Sky was swallowed in a site redesign between 2003 (when the board was promontoryarts.com) and 2006.
  8. SDG

    Emanuel (2019)

    Interesting, Ken. I had a much more positive response to the film, which I thought did a decent job of establishing its priors and offering sufficient perspective for the target audience, or at least for the portion of the target audience I’m most in tune with, i.e., reasonably open-minded white American Christians who either know there’s a lot about the black American experience they don’t know or are at least open to that insight. But it doesn’t surprise me that you had a different take. On topics relating to deadly violence and ways of reacting to, depicting, or framing it, your perspective is obviously different from mine, and in one way more authoritative. I don’t know, but it’s possible my experience of the film might be more common. My review.
  9. I’m sorry to see that no one has seconded my nomination for this remarkable film. De Oliveira was 92 years old when he made it, and knew a thing or two about aging. (He continued directing films until 2013, at the age of 104, and died in 2015 at 106.) I guess very few people besides me have seen it, which means it would have little chance even if I got a second. For what it’s worth, it’s streaming on Amazon, but unfortunately you need a Fandor subscription (or a free 7-day trial).
  10. Title: I’m Going Home Director: Manoel de Oliveira Year: 2001 Language: French/English IMDB Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0283422/ YouTube Link: I can’t find a YouTube link. There’s video from the film in this video essay by Richard Brody: https://video.newyorker.com/watch/im-going-home
  11. I wasn’t a fan, but I will say a word for it more than this: It didn’t make me want to close my eyes, especially when Rami Malek was onstage.
  12. I second Lean on Pete and Let the Sunshine In. I nominate Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (see especially Walter Chaw’s brilliant review).
  13. I find the animation style to be revolutionary and amazing. I saw it in 2D and can’t wait to see it in 3D as soon as possible. I know Jeff Overstreet and others feel similarly. There are tons of defenses and raves about the visual style. Walter Chaw of Film Freak Central (in a brilliant review the filmmakers singled out for high praise) very perceptively links the film’s visual style to its sci-fi premise, emotional themes, and moral outlook:
  14. Love and Mercy is the obvious point of comparison to which I kept returning — and which I kept wishing I was watching. Another musical biopic about the inspired visionary in a pop band and the recording of their most artistically ambitious album, with subplots about the controlling, Svengali-like figure under whose sway the visionary falls until he is liberated by the intervention of the woman who loves him. But Love and Mercy was itself inspired and visionary, where Bohemian Rhapsody was dull, rote, and by the numbers.
  15. It’s certainly true that a bad film, or bad things in one film, can highlight or make one more appreciative of a good film, or of good things in another film.
  16. My latest review … in Seussian rhyming anapestic tetrameter.
  17. So, I liked it better than you did, Ken. Caveat: I confess I don’t have quite the same attachment as you to the original story, although I certainly remember my parents reading it to me and I have certainly read it to my own kids. You’re right, of course, that this Grinch isn’t nearly as villainous as the Seuss character or the Chuck Jones version. That did occur to me as a potential problem while I was watching it. In the end, though, I decided I’m okay with it. I kind of like the little hints of conflict we see throughout as he struggles with his attraction to the thing he wants to hate. I’m reminded, too, of G.K. Chesterton’s revisionist take on Scrooge, whom Chesterton maintains was never such a scrooge as he purported to be. I especially appreciate the fact that when the Grinch comes riding back into Who-ville on Christmas morning, he doesn’t arrive expecting a hero’s welcome just for undoing the damage he did. He’s apologetic, expecting nothing. He goes back to his lair on Mount Crumpet. He doesn’t presume to join in the Who-celebration: He’s invited, against all expectations, out of the charity and goodness of the Whos, especially Cindy-Lou Who and her mom. In this election week, confronted with the unavoidable evidence that so many Americans are kind of okay with racism and misogyny and hostility to immigrants, it would be easy to feel that the welcoming, accommodating world of Who-ville — here depicted as a multiracial utopia in which everyone is accepted, even the creepy green outsider up on the mountain — lets us off the hook too easily. (MZS on Twitter the other day: “Hot take: everybody in IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE would’ve voted for Trump, except for Mary and Clarence. Even George is a tossup.”) But of course that raises the specter of the Ron Howard version, which subjected Who-ville to another gleeful Hollywood send-up of The Hell That Is American Suburbia, a world of enforced conformity, materialism, bullying, and even sexual decadence (the key-party game). But this Who-ville shows us not what we are but what we ought to be. What’s wrong with that?
  18. I have some thoughts I will post in a couple of hours when I am no longer under embargo.
  19. Practically everything I think of fails to meet one of your criteria. Some chapters of The Decalogue would qualify, but that’s not exactly popular cinema. The Truman Show is parable-like, but not realistic in the way I think you want. How about Calvary? Is that popular enough?
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