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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. La Fille Inconnue / The Unknown Girl (2016)

    I initially felt frustrated by the "reveal" as well, but I think that was less sloppy and more intentional on the Dardennes' part. They purposefully resist convention and tropes, though in a subtle and profound manner. If this is a detective thriller, one might expect a big chase or violent confrontation or twist surprise as to whodunit. In this case, it's a moment of confession, despair, and ultimately of hope and justice being done in a way which is unexpected and disorienting. Jenny's discovery of the person responsible for the girl's death doesn't come because Jenny is a great detective who puts together all the clues; it comes because Jenny persistently listens, and good listening reveals. The actual story as to what happened isn't nearly as sensational as the systemic injustice hinted at throughout the narrative (though that stuff is important too), and I think that's also intentional. And I agree about the ending; one of the Dardennes' best.
  2. From IMDB, the release date schedule: It was also nominated for a 2017 Oscar and a Golden Globe, and was nominated or won for a variety of 2016 critics' list awards. So I'd be very hesitant to consider it a 2017 film.
  3. I have yet to see The Boss Baby, but your nomination here has moved it from my "never would consider watching" list to my "eh...perhaps..." list.
  4. You know, I'm gonna second Valerian. For its Exodus-like narrative. And for Ryan Holt's religious-like love for it.

    I've managed to avoid spoilers for TP:TR until I have the time to view it for myself in its entirety, which I've decided to do via its Blu-ray release this December. I watched FWWM this past August for the first time in theaters, and now it's had its own individual release via Criterion. So, I wanted to ask this community: if I were to purchase Twin Peaks Season 1 and Season 2, and FWWM, what DVD/Blu-ray versions or sets would you recommend? Looking on Amazon, I've seen "The Entire Mystery," "The Gold Box," and individual sets. Any reason to get the Criterion FWWM separate from the other sets?
  6. Film Club Oct - Nov 2017 - High and Low

    My research is focused on the films of the Dardennes, and they recently gave a list of 79 of their "favorite" films to a Belgian film website, which was picked up at Indiewire. The list is fascinating to me for the themes and connections between films, both in style and content. Social realism prevails on the list, as do coming-of-age or films about childhood. Lots of urban landscapes and visions of poverty or the underbelly of society. They also include a lot of films which are noteworthy for their ethical dilemmas, ones where both the characters and the audience are forced to reckon with complex moral choices, usually involving mortality. From Kurosawa, they listed Ikiru, Red Beard, and High and Low.
  7. Disney has since lifted the ban on LA Times critics, likely due to the solidarity of the film critics groups' united front. This is my attitude as well. If there's a significant jury consensus around TP:TR and it gets both viewings and votes, it'd be worth including. That said, I don't think this opens the door wide for *any* TV show to be nominated. TP:TR is a bit unique in having had a few episodes play at Cannes this year, and in Lynch himself describe it as an 18-hour film. But I would not include streaming shows like Stranger Things 2 or mini-series/anthologies like True Detective or Fargo for this list.
  8. I'd like to introduce another addition to our jury: Josh Cabrita, a colleague of Josh Hamm and Peter Chattaway in British Columbia, who has written for Cinema Scope and MUBI. Welcome to A&F, Josh!
  9. If Jeff's post is a nomination and this is a second, I will add Twin Peaks: The Return to the nominations lists. It's a piece of art which defies categorization, as I've seen critics vary on their interpretation of whether it's an 18-hour film broken up into parts, or something brand new in terms of how TV/cinema is presented. Having not seen it yet, I can't comment either way, but I hope to remedy this before the end of the year. And as Ken nominated Patton Oswalt: Annihilation, a stand-up comedy special on Netflix, I am supportive of having the jury votes decide the merits of TP:TR.
  10. I know a few episodes played at Cannes, but I'm not sure I'd be willing to call it "cinema," at least not in the traditional sense. Although, O.J.: Made in America did win an Oscar, and the criteria of "release in theaters" is evolving with the rise of streaming (e.g. Okja). So, what does the jury think? Should Twin Peaks: The Return be considered? Also, this post reminded me to pre-order the Blu-ray set.
  11. I'll second The Beguiled, Your Name., and War for the Planet of the Apes. Glad to have Gareth as part of this conversation!
  12. IMDB currently lists April 2018 for its US release. This may be one of those cases where it may end up on a 2018 list just because enough people haven't been able to view it this year. Its reception from TIFF has me really looking forward to it.
  13. Simply add new posts in a new comment within the thread. No need to limit all of one's nominees in a single post, as you're right, it would limit discussion and engagement if we just each kept adding to a single comment.
  14. In past years, we've mostly allowed the jury votes to determine such eligibility issues, especially festival vs. wide release. So, The Unknown Girl was brought up last year, and I think The Witch was nominated both 2015 (Sundance) and 2016 (wide release), but I don't think enough folks saw The Unknown Girl to vote it into the top 10 (and The Witch just didn't make it either year). In the opening post, I described qualifications as "a first time theatrical, DVD/Blu-ray, streaming, or festival release in the 2017 calendar year." I'd put emphasis on the "or", and keep it intentionally broad while also sticking with the 2017 calendar. I was also assuming US release dates here, despite my current location. If there are issues with eligibility, we can discuss it via this thread here. Also, Gareth Higgins is in as well! I've added his name to the above post as a jury member.