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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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    Pastor, Writer, Film Critic

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  1. Mother! (Darren Aronofsky)

    The allegorical elements of this film are fairly obvious and heavy-handed, but there are a few elements I'm wondering about regarding their symbolism or meaning. SPOILERS all around: So, Lawrence = Mother Nature/Creation and Bardem = God/deity. The house is the created order, or the planet Earth in particular, which Mother Nature cares for and keeps alive (hence the beating heart in the walls) though it is "owned" and controlled by God. Harris and Pfeiffer are Adam and Eve figures. The Gleesons are Cain and Abel. That all seems fairly clear to me. So what do you think the following represent: The toilet monster/heart. Is this the Earth crying out for help? The yellow powder Lawrence drinks throughout the film. I have no idea what to make of this yet. The pictures of Bardem. Are they icons of sorts, or even idols (graven images)? FWIW, here's my review. I'm mostly positive on the film, though I find it difficult to recommend it to anyone.
  2. All Saints

    It's available for free download at the film's website under "Resources." Regarding my thoughts and a review, I agree with your assessment, Beth--it's not great film-making, and it's all in service of the heartwarming story. I think Corbett is a bit miscast; the role needs someone with a bit more East Coast competitive/driven personality, and Corbett just comes across as too nice, IMO. But the real-life story is quite remarkable and inspiring. As a pastor myself, I found Corbett's struggles relatable. And I honestly didn't know where the film would go or how it would end, which is a strength for a faith-based film. So, I'm mostly positive on it.
  3. Blade Runner 2

    "The sequel is skipping festival season but has begun screening and sources say it runs well over the two-and-a-half hour mark. The exact runtime has not been confirmed by Warner Brothers yet, but Sony Russia has listed the movie at 163 minutes." That's a lot of blade running. The original film length ranges from 113 to 117 minutes according to Wikipedia's page on the various versions.
  4. U2 - Songs of Experience

    U2 posted a Facebook video of "The Blackout" from the upcoming album: The post says, "First single, ‘You’re The Best Thing About Me’ coming Sept. 6th"
  5. Congratulations, Joel.

    Thanks Ken! I applied way back in February and hadn't heard anything since, and I assumed I didn't make the cut, so it was good news to receive today. I like the name of this thread. I may post updates here on my Dardennes-related PhD stuff in the future, should anyone be interested.
  6. A better film about...

    I'm writing my review of Logan Lucky now, and the "Oceans 7-11" joke made me actually roll my eyes. (I think I liked LL more than you did, but still.)
  7. The Good Place

    Just finished Season 1, and I gotta say, this is both a very funny and very complex/interesting comedy. I'm still a fan of Lost--even with its muddled later seasons and finale--and the parallels to that show are certainly apt, in terms of afterlife environment and flashbacks used for character development. It's not so much about religion and spirituality as it is about ethics and philosophy, especially the significance of human action and choices. Any show that can potentially help wake people up to better consider their personal decisions and treatment of their neighbors is laudable in our present political climate.
  8. The Good Place

    Totally missed this last fall, so I've just begun Season 1 on Netflix, and am really enjoying it so far. Very funny, while also addressing fairly deep ethical questions, which is a tough balance to maintain. It doesn't feel irreverent to me, despite not really addressing religion itself.
  9. The Son of Joseph

    Well, I ended up writing an entire review this morning.
  10. The Son of Joseph

    This is now streaming on Netflix in the US, and y'all should watch it. Definitely an A&F film. My brief Letterboxd impressions: Matt, I'd enjoy looking at that, if you still have the document.
  11. Columbus (2017)

    Reading Brett's review and reading some of the interviews with Kogonada have really piqued my interest. But Columbus doesn't seem to be playing anywhere near me, so I may have to wait for a streaming option.
  12. The Image Film Issue -- Help with PR

    Greg, I'd review it for either my own website or (possibly) my university/institute's blog, Transpositions. I'll also message you with my details.
  13. The Florida Project

    Here's the trailer for the new film from director Sean Baker (Tangerine). The Florida Project had its world premiere at Cannes earlier this year: Tangerine is a remarkable film, but it appears we don't have a thread on it yet.
  14. My wife reminded me of two more films my children have seen: Mary Poppins and White Christmas. The former certainly fits this thread's topic. I enjoyed the film well enough as a child, then didn't see it for decades. Watching it again with my own children about a year ago, especially after having gone through my own Mr. Banks-esque experience of being overworked and burned out, was like seeing it anew, with a totally different perspective.
  15. I know. It's remarkable, and my wife and I can't pinpoint the reasoning behind it--we're very open to them watching movies, and I invite them often to join me, but they are really set against it and would rather play outside or read books (which I can't argue with). I count it as a blessing, though I would *love* to introduce them to more films when they're willing. They love watching TV shows and nature documentaries, but I can count on one hand the number of movies they've been willing to see all the way to the end: Singin' in the Rain, The Sound of Music, The Music Man, Winnie the Pooh, and The Peanuts Movie.