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Joel Mayward

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    PhD Candidate, Pastor-Theologian, Film Critic

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  1. Here's a link to my top 20 of 2020. The top 10: 1. Dick Johnson Is Dead 2. Nomadland 3. Young Ahmed 4. First Cow 5. Sound of Metal 6. The Climb 7. Lovers Rock 8. Shithouse 9. Time 10. Tenet
  2. If the digital/streaming films were made available in the UK, I would gladly participate in TIFF from afar. But I don't think that's happening; the digital TIFF Lightbox website says "not available in your country."
  3. My neglect persists. I'll see if I can make this happen ASAP.
  4. This is so lovely. Huge thanks to Jeremy.
  5. I have been neglectful in writing my blurbs due to a near-obsession with finishing an academic article I'm writing on Malick's A Hidden Life. Hopefully I can get those done this week.
  6. Good luck, Joel! Didn't know about that Weezer project, which sounds fascinating. Though there's no way to tell, I'm curious as to whether the current global situation will affect the final number of submissions.
  7. This is helpful and clarifying, and perhaps the nature of Zoom conversations vs. written or (per the Dardennes) face-to-face encounters may affect the perception of how such comparisons come across. I am going through a personal Dardennes rewatch before viewing Young Ahmed again, but I have notes written from our Zoom conversation. Like Jeff, I was excited by some of the questions and ideas being raised, and want to take another, closer look at some of the framing of relationships and pacing.
  8. Joel Mayward


    I think I was a bit more positive on Shirley than you both, Christian and Andrew, but I did think it was more an impressive exercise in acting from Moss and Stuhlbarg rather than something I found especially profound or affecting.
  9. Joel Mayward

    Da 5 Bloods

    This subplot of the story brought, for me, the strongest affective reaction I experienced with the film in the reunion scene in the coda. Other aspects of the film impressed me; that scene moved me, and that the Spike Lee signature double dolly shot was reserved for that scene suggests to me that for all of Delroy Lindo's bluster as Paul, it's Otis's character arc that may be more significant.
  10. Beau Travail is coming to the Criterion Collection in September on Blu-ray. *Begins fervently dancing in front of a mirror*
  11. Maybe this feels too obvious, but one such binary/dichotomy might be the "transcendent" and the "immanent," where the former suggests or recognizes (maybe even overtly depicts) a larger outside/exterior force much bigger and beyond us which is bringing about the events (2001, The Seventh Seal, The Tree of Life, Spirited Away, Embrace of the Serpent, perhaps even Chariots of Fire) and the latter is more about the this-ness of the spiritual experiences in a material world (Do the Right Thing, Babette's Feast, Ikiru, This Is Martin Bonner). Many of the films challenge this binary or walk a fine line; e.g., how would we classify Ordet?
  12. I can take Cameraperson and Amazing Grace. I'll try to have something written up this week.
  13. I've now written blurbs for The Tree of Life, The Kid with a Bike, and Secrets & Lies. What else needs blurbing?
  14. So, I watched this a second time this evening, and I loved it even more. The final scene left me weeping the first time, and I couldn't quite understand why. I went into this rewatch anticipating where the film was headed...and it left me weeping even harder than I had done previously. I mean, when *that scene* happens, I was totally overwhelmed. I'm not entirely sure I can explain how or why this affects me so strongly (which is perhaps true to the film's very themes); I can only to say that Harrill has done something magical here, and I am very much still on his wavelength.
  15. This is a fair point, and perhaps "the" film is too strong, but here's Luc in a 1994 entry from Au dos de nos Images: "Saw Germany, Year Zero again. Still the same intensity, the same sharpness. This is our model." The phrase "this is our model" as they were exploring how to create their signature Dardennean filmmaking style strikes me as foundational for all of their films from La Promesse onwards. Edit: I forgot that in a 2005 "favorite films" list from Telerama, the brothers list Germany Year Zero as their #1 favorite film, with Sunrise as #2.
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