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Everything posted by Russ

  1. I'll volunteer for SILENCE, and will happily do SECRET SUNSHINE afterwards. Thanks for thinking of me. If there are others you want to assign me, Ken, feel free.
  2. A modest proposal: Take the list that contains the 100 films with the two-films-per-director rule, then add the films that we'd get if we imposed the one-film-per-director requirement, then have willing voters rank those films from 1-100, and the films that fall outside of the top 100 fall out and you have your new list and order without revoting just the Top 25. Is it somewhat arbitrary to decide whether a film is really your 76th favorite or 77th favorite on the list? Totally, but we just ranked 350 movies on a six-point scale. This is nothing. Between any two movies I can always figure out which one is more meaningful to me.
  3. I bet LE RAYON VERT got the shaft.
  4. Hilarious. One Hundred Is the Loneliest Number. I haven't participated in any of the voting procedure/stat discussion, so feel free to disregard this, but I think that a second vote to reorder the Top 25 really seems like a natural fit. I know that if I was sitting down to make my own personal Top 25, I wouldn't have six of the top nine films be by three directors. It'd strike me as a little too fanboyish, even if it actually approximated what I consciously think my preferences are. Nah, I would keep all six of them in the Top 25, but I'd make some hard choices and probably put 10 slots or so between each of the director's films. Now, maybe the results don't change much, but you don't know until you try.
  5. Normally when I encounter a work of art that criticizes a particular point of Christian theology or common practice I think I've developed a fairly even-handed ability to discern whether it's a good faith criticism or a bad faith criticism. I hope that doesn't come across as arrogant. In any event, the scene where Shin-ae visits the man in prison strikes me as an extraordinarily good faith criticism of orthodox theology.
  6. Russ

    The Exorcist

    Ken, I hadn't really considered the possibility of where THE EXORCIST fits in terms of my preferences, but the points you make seem all pretty sound to me. I hate to respond by diverting attention to another film, but given your comments and what I know about what you tend to like, I hope you get a chance to see UNDER THE SUN OF SATAN, which seems to me to be a match with what you're describing thematically with the stylistic austerity that characterizes some of the Bresson films we've been kicking around for a while. There's one scene in particular that's just remarkable.
  7. I am not watching much series TV presently, but I did just finish watching a super-cool show with my 10 year-old that starred Gina Carano, Werner Herzog and Giancarlo Esposito, which I really enjoyed. I'm watching DEVS on Hulu with my 16 year-old week-by-week when they drop a new episode. I'm a casual fan of Alex Garland's directorial work, and this show fits the template of his films--every time I think it's dumb it does something really smart, and every time I think it's smart it does something really dumb. If nothing else, though, DEVS has given the world a scene in which Marilyn Monroe rides Arthur Miller cowgirl, so take that, cooking competition shows.
  8. That's so great, Ken. I had OUR LITTLE SISTER in the first draft of my list, paired with Gerwig's LITTLE WOMEN. It's such a great film, but I came to the same conclusion you did--that despite all of the reasons I love it, they aren't the specific reasons why this list exists, in my mind. I have an idiosyncratic soft spot for films that portray the dynamic between four sisters. Who knew? Still, LITTLE WOMEN still made the cut because I think her screenplay really is an amazing thing--an arrangement that reassembles that well-trod story into a narrative of the Eternal Now.
  9. Here's a thread to file away films we either forgot or deliberately chose not to nominate, which based on past attention, buzz or discussion might have been expected to be pushed forward. I'll start--no SECRET SUNSHINE! I consider that a loss.
  10. That's cool, because as I developed my list I was initially adding films as pairs. That's how I got to both SUMMER and A TALE OF WINTER, because I think of them as riffs on each other. Of course, I guess you could say that about nearly all of Rohmer's films, but those two seem to me to be especially linked. I also had both LATE SPRING and 35 SHOTS OF RUM as a pair, but that's when I decided it wasn't the best way to build a list, so I took the one I like better.
  11. I'd throw lots of votes at THE LONELIEST PLANET, but I don't know how anybody who hasn't seen it is going to do so. I post-nominated GATES OF HEAVEN because it was the film that occurred to me yesterday that I wish I'd put on my list, but if it hadn't occurred to me I might well have put IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK in there instead.
  12. Gates of Heaven (1978)
  13. My guess is Nicole's transformation from not wanting Charlie to know how deeply she loves him and why, as expressed in the letter, to not objecting and allowing Henry to share it with him. As I was watching the scene I had this feeling in the back of my mind that at some point she'd realize what Henry was doing and shut it down, because I'd forgotten that it's totally part of the playbook that she'd show her growth as a person by allowing that grace to him. Speaking of playbooks, I resisted the charms of the showtunes, maybe partly because I'm not much steeped in musicals, but your review was insightful and helpful to me, Evan.
  14. I didn't love it, either, Ken, and I was really thinking it would be right in my wheelhouse. I felt largely the same way that Baumbach tilted the equilibrium toward Charlie, and then somewhat clumsily injected the plot element of his affair to try to balance things out a bit, when I'm not sure I think his character would have done that. It made me want to revisit Bergman's miniseries, though. Speaking of THE SQUID AND THE WHALE, it's funny that Baumbach gives Charlie one of Bernard's lines about all the f&*%ing he left on the table by being committed to and then married to Nicole. Here's the part that affected me the most: Despite all of the more-showy cathartic scenes in the last half-hour, the one that spoke most directly and tenderly to me is the moment where Charlie arrives at Nicole's house to find Nicole's mother chasing Henry and the New Boyfriend around with Nerf guns. He hesitates and you can see that he's realizing that everybody moves on. She's not just G-ma to him. Charlie had built something with her, married into it, yeah, but made it something that transcended the gestures and obligations of inlawdom. Hell, even after the marriage had gone on life support Charlie greets her by picking her up like a small child, and she lovingly reciprocates! She wanted to make sure the divorce demand could be withdrawn and she offered him an encouraging word in the hallway when he needed it. None of that concern becomes untrue when she acquires familiarity with or affection for New Boyfriend, but the poignance of what humans can achieve through love fades when we can be so easily swapped out and all those years of shared memories are just misplaced letters.
  15. I don't have any interest in the GOT prequel and agree with your premise, Ken. I guess GODFATHER 2 is both a prequel and a sequel, so it's not an apt counterexample, but that's the best I could come up with.
  16. Is the group of available films for discussion limited to those in the list? I ask because I'd been kicking around a comparison piece on MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW and AMOUR and Haneke's film isn't on it.
  17. Ken, that page looks really nice. Good work. My name's misspelled on the LATE SPRING blurb. If you end up not being able to get the other blurbs you need, hit me up and I can put something together this weekend.
  18. Ugh. We'll pass. The recent movie's actually on DVD, Beth. My nine year-old Daisy bought it with some birthday money and has watched it about seven or eight times (by her count), including two days ago. It doesn't really warrant that level of devotion, but there is something about the movie that's so non-Riverdale that I find it charming. Weird that they recast all of the parts for this show. As if there aren't enough of the Riverdale-type shows out there for everybody who isn't, you know, nine like the actual f-ing audience of the source material. Never been happier that we unplugged our cable, so Daise can pretty much never have to know that this show was made.
  19. Russ

    Make Way for Tomorrow

    It's positively counter-cultural to contemporary Americans because Bark and Lucy put their own love story ahead of everything else. Or, rather, what comes natural to them is taking pleasure primarily in life out of their love for one another, with everything falling into subordinate place after their own love. That doesn't mean they neglected their kids or wouldn't have given their life for their kids, but means that the value they place on their own marriage is what contextualizes everything else. It's what allows them to let their shitty kids off the hook when they act in accordance with their myopia. Their love is so unadorned but genuine that is has a transformative effect on every stranger who comes into direct contact with it. Only their own kids are by and large immune to its power.
  20. Yeah, should the blurbs be sent to you by message, Ken, or to an email address?
  21. Great list! My assumption is that y'all have the very reasonable expectation that blurb-writers be people who actually participated in the voting, but if not, or if you get caught in a bind, I'd happily volunteer to write any of these: 35 Up Gertrud Late Spring Make Way for Tomorrow
  22. Yeah, Daisy and I liked it quite a bit, as well. I actually wish it was a TV show; we'd watch the adventures of Nancy and her socially-mismatched pals every week.
  23. Doug, I think I've cracked the case of "Nancy Drew and the Hidden Film Release." I was in Target last night, and it's new on sale this week. Must have been a weird one-shot theatrical drop. I'll rent it from a Redbox this weekend and report back.
  24. Russ

    DVD Bazaar

    Like most of us, I suspect, I don't buy many DVDs these days, but I did just spring for the Criterion Ingmar Bergman box, figuring I'll have the next couple of decades to dig and dig. I have a couple of Bergman Criterion DVDs that are now superfluous that I was planning to put on ebay, but figured I'd see if anyone here was interested. I've got the single-disc releases of THE SEVENTH SEAL and WILD STRAWBERRIES and the boxes/double discs for SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE and FANNY AND ALEXANDER. I guess I was hoping to get maybe $7 each for the single discs and $10 each for the boxes/doubles, with buyer paying shipping. Oh, I also have the non-Criterion PERSONA and SARABAND, which I'd be happy to see $5 for. Is anyone here interested in them, or interested in trading any Criterions they're not particularly interested in having anymore?
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