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Joel Mayward

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About Joel Mayward

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    pastor | theologian | film critic

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    St Andrews, UK

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  • Occupation
    Pastor, Writer, Film Critic

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  1. Mary Magdalene biopic

    I do plan on seeing this if it plays near me in Scotland. But who knows? Sounds like its distribution has been up in the air for awhile now.
  2. Good point. Here's Part 2. Read the write-ups at Image; our list and jury members' honorable mentions are listed below: The Top 10: 1) The Unknown Girl 2) The Salesman 3) The Florida Project =4) Personal Shopper =4) The Lost City of Z 6) Graduation 7) A Quiet Passion 8) Mudbound 9) Columbus 10) mother! Honorable Mentions: Anders Bergstrom (3 Brothers Film)—Blade Runner 2049 Josh Cabrita (MUBI Notebook / Cinema Scope)—First Reformed Peter Chattaway (FilmChat)—Marjorie Prime Evan Cogswell (Catholic Cinephile)—Lady Bird Steven D. Greydanus (National Catholic Register)—My Happy Family Christian Hamaker (Crosswalk)—Only the Brave Josh Hamm (Freelance)—Song to Song Gareth Higgins (The Porch / Movies & Meaning)—Endless Poetry M. Leary (Filmwell)—Last Flag Flying Noel T. Manning (Cinemascene)—Logan Joel Mayward (Cinemayward)—Dunkirk Kenneth R. Morefield (1More Film Blog)—The Work Jeffrey Overstreet (Looking Closer)—The Breadwinner Kevin Sampson (Picture Lock)—Get Out Melissa Tamminga (Seattle Screen Scene)—24 Frames
  3. Maurice Pialat retrospective

    I watched Graduate First (Passe ton bac d'abord) the other evening, and have Pialat's debut Naked Childhood (L'Enfance nue) awaiting me at the library. The former was like seeing a director in a realist mode--more Cassavetes than Rossellini--make Dazed and Confused. It'd be a great pairing with Mungiu's Graduation, as both deal with the "bac" final exams and the anxiety of adolescence with a similar realist style, but from remarkably different perspectives. Naked Childhood is about a 10-year-old boy struggling to navigate the foster care system after being abandoned by his mother, and sounds like it could have had an influence on the Dardennes' The Kid with a Bike. I attempted to watch Police, but the DVD from the library didn't come with English subtitles, and while I am improving my understanding of French, I'm not quite ready to see a French film without subtitles.
  4. Congratulations, Joel.

    Just as an academic update: I've had a paper accepted into the International Religion & Film Conference happening in Toronto this year, so if there are Toronto-based A&F folks, it'd be great to connect. Also, I was accepted into membership with INTERFILM, the international network aiming to connect the church and film, mainly by participating in film festivals as ecumenical juries and awarding prizes. Finally, if someone here in academia wants to move to St Andrews, the Institute of Theology, Imagination, and the Arts is hiring a Lecturer in Theology and the Arts.
  5. The God Particle

    The Cloverfield Paradox was released this week via streaming on Netflix after a surprise reveal during the Super Bowl. Having now seen it, it's unbearably mediocre.
  6. The Good Place

    I just received an acceptance email from an academic theology conference where I submitted a paper proposal with this title: "A Divine Comedy? Mortality, Morality, and Metaphysics in 'The Good Place.'" In preparation for presenting the paper, I intend to rewatch all of Seasons 1 and 2 and create a full reading list of all the philosophy books and ideas referenced or shown.
  7. Phantom Thread

    Finally saw this last night, and it's exquisite. The kind of film I immediately wanted to rewatch as soon as it ended, as I wanted to revisit the story and characters, as well as better appreciate the beauty of the environments and costumes. And the Jonny Greenwood score is magnificent. I hope to write a full review, but as an initial reaction, it seems PTA-and-DDL films are *much* more interesting to me than PTA and Joaquin Phoenix.
  8. Bryce, while these don't all employ the monomyth framework implied in the original question, here are some films and filmmakers which I think touch on the transcendent by way of the immanent in terms of both form/style and content: The films of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (Le Fils, The Kid with a Bike, Rosetta, La Promesse). Seek out and watch every one of their films. The films of Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life, The Thin Red Line, Days of Heaven) The films of Asghar Farhadi (A Separation, The Past, About Elly) The films of Andrei Tarkovsky (Mirror, Stalker, Andrei Rublev) Individual films which aren't already on the A&F Top 100 list would include Ida, Of Gods and Men, Take Shelter, This is Martin Bonner, Selma, Silence, The Gleaners and I, The Fits, Philomena, and Hail, Caesar!
  9. You were fine. All blurbs have been gathered, and the full list, write-ups, and Honorable Mentions has been sent to IMAGE.
  10. Film Club Oct - Nov 2017 - High and Low

    I'm interested, but I fear I won't have the time available in this season. Still, I hope to find time to watch it.
  11. I'm working on gathering the last of the blurbs from jury members, then the list will go up on IMAGE some time prior to the Oscars. Hopefully sooner than later!
  12. Martyrs

    I watched this today, partly from Scott's praise, partly from sheer curiosity, and partly because it's streaming on Amazon Prime in the UK. It's one of the most unpleasant film-viewing experiences I can recall having in a long while, and I nearly turned it off at the halfway point. Yet, I'm glad I didn't, as only a few scenes later the film takes a wholly different turn. While the final act is just as grim and gruesome as the first, I do wonder if there's something going on here about the spiritual connection between suffering and transcendence, not only within the film's content (i.e. a story about how suffering might lead to transcendence), but in the film's form and style (i.e. using the unpleasantness of extreme horror to open one's eyes to the awfulness of human suffering, even as a critique on extreme horror itself). It's not a film I could ever recommend, nor one I enjoyed, but I can see its merits and complexity.
  13. Favorite films of 2017

    As I now live in the UK, I'm going to have to adjust my end-of-year list-making to UK release dates. So, Lady Bird, Phantom Thread, Coco, and a number of others aren't being released here until February. In fact, I'll be able to watch Black Panther before I'll be able to see Lady Bird. There will likely be films released in the UK which aren't available in the US too, hence my Paddington 2 inclusion on my 2017 list.
  14. A better film about...

    For 2017 films about the same WWII event: Dunkirk > Their Finest > Darkest Hour. They're all worth viewing, but for entirely different reasons.