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Posts posted by Russ

  1. 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.


  2. 4 minutes ago, Darren H said:

    I went back and forth on which Denis film to nominate and decided to go with Beau Travail because, following Melville, it's such an interesting study of good and evil. In fact, it occurred to me while rewatching The Flowers of St. Francis last week that they'd make an interesting double feature. Still, I was glad when Russ nominated 35 Shots, which I think is her other masterpiece. I nominated Late Spring in that slot instead,

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 2 hours ago, Joel Mayward said:

    Solid review. I'm curious what you mean by this:


    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 22 hours ago, Ed Bertram said:

    While MWWFT's children are no nobler, it develops the ways the parents deal with the traumas of changing parent/child relationships as a couple. It's about how they try to age gracefully and grow older and wiser together even if they perceive their children as getting in the way of that. 

    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.

  8. On 4/10/2019 at 5:04 PM, Doug C said:

    Yeah, Russ, I too saw that it is already streaming, which might have shocked me if I hadn't already witnessed its theatrical marginalization.  I suppose we should start a new Nancy Drew thread, but I'm not sure the film warrants one; I don't have a ton to say about it except that it was a good matinee for me and my 11-year-old. And watching a movie about a spunky teen solving mysteries and learning life lessons was a notable breath of fresh air after all the overinflated, "mythic" superhero drudgery on the big and small screen these days. Maybe we should just retitle this thread Good New Movies for Parents of Tweens and leave it at that. Given the title, we shouldn't have to update it more than a couple times a year.

    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.

  9. On 3/24/2019 at 3:44 PM, Doug C said:

    I can now add the new Nancy Drew movie to "fun, smart, empowering films for tweens." I find these kind of movies so rare in today's Hollywood, most of which—as you know—is superheroes, franchises, or their sequels, and all of which are overblown, self-consciously mythic (in the worst Heroes Journey-as-rote-template), and take themselves more seriously than that most stolid Biblical adaptation. Hollywood seems to have forgotten how to make clever, unpretentious entertainment, but it's movies like this that renew my hope.

    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.

  10. 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? 

  11. On 3/24/2019 at 3:44 PM, Doug C said:

    I can now add the new Nancy Drew movie to "fun, smart, empowering films for tweens." I find these kind of movies so rare in today's Hollywood, most of which—as you know—is superheroes, franchises, or their sequels, and all of which are overblown, self-consciously mythic (in the worst Heroes Journey-as-rote-template), and take themselves more seriously than that most stolid Biblical adaptation. Hollywood seems to have forgotten how to make clever, unpretentious entertainment, but it's movies like this that renew my hope.

    I had no idea there even was a new Nancy Drew movie until you posted this, and it's playing nowhere at all near me.  Lots of screens devoted to CAPTAIN MARVEL, though, which is good because I wanna show how important it is to me that my kid has an appropriate representational superhero role model by shoving a bunch of cash at Marvel-Disney's newest and latest toy show.  I thought I did that when we bought tickets to WONDER WOMAN, though, so I'm not sure how many times I have to re-enact that ritual.

    On 3/22/2019 at 5:13 PM, Doug C said:

    Hey Russ! I admit to knowing nothing about any of the filmmakers. Do clue me in on Cornish...

    Cornish has made only two movies as far as I know--this one and ATTACK THE BLOCK, which I think you'd really enjoy.  It's an alien invasion film told from the POV of a group of mostly black London housing project teens, and Jodie Whittaker plays a nurse who lives in the same building.  He did a bunch of stuff for British TV that I haven't seen and got sucked into the Marvel thing for a script, and there was some profile a month or so ago about why he wandered around for several years between features.

  12. Hey, Doug!  I will definitely catch up with this one soon.  We missed it theatrically, but it did prompt me to finally get around to seeing ATTACK THE BLOCK, which made me regret not prioritizing it all the more.  Candidly, the trailer didn't really draw me in, but Cornish's involvement would have sold me if I'd not been sleeping on his last film.  Now he just needs to not wait so long before making his next one.

  13. I've skipped the last several sales, but it makes sense for me to pick up a few titles for the girls to give me for Christmas.  Everybody wins.  So I grabbed PHOENIX, but the other two I really want--PERSONAL SHOPPER and NASHVILLE--were not in stock at the store I went to.

  14. 18 hours ago, Jason Panella said:

    They have Patchwork? I need to check their collection out more often. 

    Oh, great.  Now you're going to put it on hold and I won't be able to renew it.  ;)  Yeah, we're having a lot of fun with it.  And Daisy legit beat me the first time we played, which always boosts her enthusiasm for a new game.

  15. Hey, Ken!  Thanks for stepping up here and taking custody of the site.  It's fair to say that A&F was used for many good things--a lot of meaningful discussions of truth and beauty--and I'm glad to see that you cared to try to nurse the site back to health, or at the least to make sure it didn't dissolve into the ether.  Truthfully, I'm fine with whatever regarding alternate accounts, but agree with you that less rules are likely better than more with regard to these kinds of things.

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