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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
    PhD Candidate, Pastor-Theologian, Film Critic

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  1. That makes sense, Darren. I know some films have gone through edits following their premieres at festivals, and wondered if Atlantics had been one of them (the title seems to have changed a few times). I enjoyed the film more than it sounds like you or Andrew did, but wasn't ready to hail it as a masterpiece like some critics did at Cannes. It's a bold first feature, but I agree with your observation of the the scattered aesthetic—some of the images from the opening scenes are remarkable, from the ocean waves to the giant otherworldly skyscraper, but the film's ending felt strangely conventional to me, as if the visual ideas had run out so we better wrap this narrative up and call it done.
  2. Was there any indication that the edit you saw at TIFF differed from the film shown at Cannes, especially following its acquisition by Netflix?
  3. A report from Allocine via One Big Soul: Mark Rylance will play Satan in The Last Planet, with Géza Röhrig as Jesus and Matthias Schoenaerts as the apostle Peter:
  4. Here's Melissa Tamminga with an excellent long-form essay on the conservatism inherent within the film. I am admittedly not a Tarantino fan, but I went into Once Upon a Time with hopeful expectations...which were almost entirely dashed. I had (accurately) guessed the outcome of the narrative as part of Tarantino's revisionist history project before the first trailer ever dropped. So when Brandy the pit bull was introduced, it confirmed my suspicions, and found the expected bloodbath 2+ hours later to be anticlimactic, unoriginal, and deplorable in its worship of violence. And everything in between was...well, Melissa says it far better than I ever could.
  5. Unless someone else wants to take on the task, I'm quite happy to coordinate the EJ again this year, if everyone is cool with that. I believe Transpositions would be willing to host and publish the list again, but if it's possible to post it directly to ArtsandFaith.com, like the "Growing Older" list, that'd probably be better for site traffic and longevity of the lists. We can also republish this last year's EJ list on ArtsandFaith.com at some point in the future as well. However, it might be more work for administrators--specifically Ken--to post such lists here, so if that's the case, Transpositions is an available option, if that worked for everyone.
  6. Joel Mayward

    Them That Follow

    I only recently learned how to rename a topic title as moderator/admin. It's not intuitive, as it doesn't appear in the panel options. I'll message you how to do it.
  7. Thanks for beginning the formal conversation about a Top 100 list, Ken. I'd be happy to lead or co-lead the organizing of the list. Coordinating the Ecumenical Jury for the past few years has been a pleasure, and I'd be glad to participate in the 2020 Top 100 list in a substantial administrative way. I'm curious about the timeline--when would we envision a list like this being published online? And is the Top 100 book project still a go? Speaking of the Ecumenical Jury--are we still up for doing that at the end of this year as well? That's probably another topic for a new thread, but this conversation reminded me about it.
  8. I am definitely in for the book, and would also be open to writing a second essay on the two Varda films as a way of examining Varda's life/filmography as a key part of the "Growing Older" theme. Besides maybe Godard or Wiseman, I can't think of a filmmaker like Varda who has made her own version of Apted's "Up" series with her own experience of aging as depicted on screen. Her essay/doc films seem to encompass the very essence of the "Growing Older" list, and I'm looking forward to seeing Varda by Agnes next week at a local cinema to see if she has any wisdom on aging for us in her final film.
  9. We have a trailer for Martin Scorsese's upcoming Netflix film, The Irishman: What surprises me about this is that I'm genuinely eager to see a Netflix production which seems to intentionally highlight its CGI de-aging effects.
  10. Joel Mayward

    Late Spring

    Ozu remains a mystery to me in some ways; I find that I appreciate his films more than I enjoy them, and even that appreciation is usually muted. But I keep going back to Ozu to see what I may be missing, and Late Spring did affect me. Ken, you mentioned preferring Tokyo Story to this film, and I had the opposite response--despite their similar themes and the obvious Ozu aesthetic, TS just didn't resonate with me, but LS definitely did. The advice about happiness being created, not something that just happens from waiting around--that simple-yet-profound wisdom is something that only comes from and can be appreciated by a certain age or maturity. You have to be on the far side of that happiness creation--or have experienced the loss of it--in order to make such an observation, at least with the strength of experience behind it. I appreciate what Andrew said above, that the film prompts reflection about one's own family history. For me, it also prompted reflection about the numerous families I've counseled as a pastor, the youth and young adults who needed to grow up, as well as their parents (who often needed to do more "growing up" than their children!). For all of its distinctly Japanese cultural dynamics--and critique of American cultural influences--there's something universal about its theme of how families change and grow over time.
  11. The first half of this film is boring, boilerplate MCU CGI-saturated punchfest. The second half is a wonderful deconstruction that first half. Also, while I am tired of these MCU Spider-Man films being more about Tony Stark worship than about Spider-Man, they have something interesting to say about class systems between billionaires and the people they employ/exploit.
  12. This is really encouraging to read, and quite the endorsement. How does it compare to Falling Upward, a Rohr book you mentioned in our "Growing Older" thread as being significant for you?
  13. Final decision: just discovered that Amazing Grace is playing at a local theater at the perfect time slot. Sorry mediocre summer blockbusters, this seminary class is going to go see Aretha.
  14. I'll share the CFP as well and we'll see who sends in proposals. I'm happy to write an introduction as well as an essay (or two!) for a film (I wrote blurbs on Before Midnight and Another Year for the list). Thanks for putting this together, Ken!
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