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Joel Mayward

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Everything posted by Joel Mayward

  1. Joel Mayward

    Us

    Finally saw this last evening on Easter Sunday, and perhaps this is an Easter film: there are bunnies and the Bible and people coming out of underground tomb-like locations, not to mention Cartesian mind/body dualism and the explicit reference to God's will for salvation, so.... I'm still formulating my thoughts on this, but the film it reminded me of most, of all things, is Ridley Scott's Prometheus: an ambitious, go-for-broke cinematic mess of an original idea that I found really great when thinking about its individual parts--performances, the final underground confrontation, score/soundtrack, humor--but feel it really doesn't hold together as a narrative or conceptual whole. Its symbolism and philosophy is pretty incoherent once you start thinking about it, and the final "twist" was so obvious from the start as to feel like a bit of a cheat. It's the kind of film I'd rate 5/10, but still click the "Like" button on Letterboxd and the "Fresh" rating for Rotten Tomatoes.
  2. If the previous format of a Top 100 page with linkable pages for each individual film-and-blurb isn't doable due to the time/energy it would take to create, a simple countdown of sorts in 4-5 clickable separate pages (20-25 films per page) could work too, similar to the way Image currently has the Top 100 on their site.
  3. Fascinating list. I can write blurbs on the following (in order of preference, and depending on if they're in the Top 25): 1. Before Midnight 2. Faces Places 3. Another Year 4. Synecdoche, New York
  4. I was genuinely concerned about that too; they just announced that it'd be released in Belgium on May 22, which is *during* the festival (and is the day before I fly out of Cannes), so I'm hoping the film is scheduled at a time I can see it. Here's the official selection: Competition The Dead Don’t Die, Jim Jarmusch (opening film) Pain & Glory, Pedro Almódovar The Traitor, Marco Bellocchio The Wild Goose Lake, Diao Yinan Parasite, Bong Joon-ho The Young Ahmed, Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne Oh Mercy!, Arnaud Desplechin Atlantique, Mati Diop Matthias & Maxime, Xavier Dolan Little Joe, Jessica Hausner Sorry We Missed You, Ken Loach Les Misérables, Ladj Ly A Hidden Life, Terrence Malick Bacurau, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juliano Dornelles The Whistlers, Corneliu Porumboiu Frankie, Ira Sachs Portrait Of A Lady On Fire, Céline Sciamma It Must Be Heaven, Elia Suleiman Sibyl, Justine Triet Out Of Competition Les Plus Belles Années d’Une Vie, Claude Lelouch Rocketman, Dexter Fletcher Too Old To Die Young (TV series), Nicolas Winding Refn Maradona, Asif Kapadia La Belle Époque, Nicolas Bedos Midnight Screenings The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil, Lee Won-Tae Special Screenings Share, Pippa Bianco For Sama, Waad Al Kateab, Edward Watts Family Romance, LLC., Werner Herzog Tommaso, Abel Ferrara Être Vivant Et Le Savoir, Alain Cavalier Que Sea Ley, Juan Solanas Un Certain Regard Joan Of Arc, Bruno Dumont The Climb, Michael Covino A Brother’s Love, Monia Chokri The Swallows Of Kabul, Zabou Breitman & Eléa Gobé Mévellec Beanpole, Kantemir Balagov Invisible Life, Karim Aïnouz A Sun That Never Sets, Olivier Laxe Room 212, Christophe Honoré Port Authority, Danielle Lessovitz Papicha, Mounia Meddour Summer Of Changsha, Zu Feng Adam, Maryam Touzani Nina Wu, Midi Z Liberté, Albert Serra Bull, Annie Silverstein Evge, Nariman Aliev
  5. I'll confess, I'm optimistic (someone has to be!). I revisited Force Awakens this last year and enjoyed it much more than my first viewing, and I truly loved Last Jedi. I will admit, I teared up a bit seeing Leia hugging Rey through tears. It's an emotionally manipulative moment in the trailer, and...well...it worked on me.
  6. Friends, it's happening: I just received an email confirmation that my press accreditation application for Cannes has been accepted! It's been quite the process of finding and securing a media outlet, so I am grateful to Elijah Davidson at Fuller Studio for making this happen. I will now be covering the festival for a variety of outlets, and I'm so thrilled to be going. Thanks for your encouragement!
  7. Ah, I'm not suggesting you should finish the film--don't waste your time if you already hated it! I only wanted to point out where your interpretation/analysis might be addressed by later revelations in the film. But yeah, Tully isn't exactly a masterpiece.
  8. I think your overall analysis is pretty thorough for basing it on only a portion of the film, but, again, you may be missing something significant here. I'm about to leave my office so I can't dig into the depths of it, but I think the film is actually much more critical of the younger self, and Marlo needs to both reconcile her previous life with her current one, as well as remember/recall that her present (older) life is actually the one she aspired to having in the first place. So, the solution is not merely rediscovering her youth, but addressing it as the fantasy/idol it is, which requires going through the confrontation and even embrace of that idol before letting it go. Now, I may be reading it more positively and a re-watch would bring up more critiques--I do think the film excuses Tully more than it should, and the realistic/fantasy element begins to break down considerably if you really think about it--but I think concluding that Tully is arguing that growing older is inherently negative while rediscovering youth is better doesn't hold up. We could also discuss the husband's adolescent behavior (the video games, etc.) and thus the stunted growth (he hasn't grown up, which is problematic). All this being said, Ken, your observation about sex and communication are totally valid and consistent with where the film goes.
  9. I described it on Twitter as "Fight Club for Moms," and SDG kindly chided me for spoilers. What I think your interpretation is also missing, Ken, is the film's ultimate critique of such fantasies and its celebration of living in reality, as well as its (somewhat problematic) consideration of Marlo's mental health and the effects of stress and sleep deprivation. And while it's not a film I loved--I rated it 6/10--I think it's more than just being exploitative or crass, and Davis and Theron's performances are quite good.
  10. Fair enough. But I think your interpretation of the film--if you haven't read a plot synopsis by now--may be missing some key revelations which come late in the film.
  11. I need to revisit it--I've considered showing and discussing it in an upcoming seminary course I'm teaching on theology and film, but I also have a million other films I want to show as well. But it's a beautiful, affecting film.
  12. I'd be interested too, either participating or just listening. Lately the parenting thing means I'm too exhausted at the end of the day to watch the Claire Denis and Carlos Reygadas DVDs I borrowed from the university library, so I end up rewatching episodes of The Office or just falling asleep.
  13. Captain Marvel has crossed $1 billion at the box office.
  14. Fair enough, and thanks for giving it a chance. It's a difficult film to watch, as scenes go on a bit too long, and the semi-improvised dynamic makes everything a bit anxious or awkward rather than fresh or spontaneous. But I think that's part of Cassavettes' aesthetic, as well as his intent here--we're meant to feel every tension, to experience reality like Myrtle experiences it.
  15. I will make my final plea for Cassavetes' Opening Night to be seconded. It's not my favourite Cassavetes film, and it includes so many different themes--theatre/artistic process, alcoholism, guilt, addiction, mental health--but at its core, it's a film about confronting the aging process itself, staring the death of one's youth directly in the face before tackling it to the floor. I think a list about "Growing Older" without it would be missing some crucial.
  16. Title: Mountains May Depart Director: Jia Zhangke Year: 2015 Language: Chinese, English IMDB Link YouTube Link: A&F thread
  17. I second The Last Days of Disco. Clouds of Sils Maria was already nominated and seconded (and now thirded!)
  18. This sounds really interesting, and I will seek it out to watch it at some point. Unfortunately, it's not available on Amazon in the UK.
  19. Welcome to A&F, inessentials! So glad to have you as part of the conversation. You can nominate these films in the nominations thread by following this format: Title: Director: Year: Language: IMDB Link: YouTube Link (a clip of/trailer for the film): Link to the A&F thread on the film (if there is one):
  20. This is all excellent, and affirming of what I'm working on in my own research. Luc is pretty open about his atheistic beliefs, although he's not *quite* a hardcore Dawkins-esque atheist--I'm arguing that they're post-secular filmmakers, somewhere between secularism and religion. I do have some emerging thoughts on the "Levinasian turn" in film studies and the Dardennes' role in that turn (long story short, I think it's hard to wholly apply Levinas to cinema without serious caveats when he seemed pretty down on cinema/art), and I'm currently reading the Sobchack book. But the sense of philosophy through film, or film-as-philosophy (really, film-philosophy) is what I'm aiming for, only in theology (film-theology). Doug, if you ever want to talk Dardennes, let's make it happen.
  21. Doug, would you be willing to send me your notes on your Dardennes talk? I'm doing a PhD on them, and your chapter in Ken's "Faith and Spirituality" book is one of the better things I've read on them--and phenomenology is a significant part of my approach, so your title is intriguing. You can email me at jmayward (at) gmail.
  22. Joel Mayward

    Ahmed

    A new title and *possible* release date (this would be at Cannes, I assume):
  23. Ed's nomination of The Gleaners and I prompted me to nominate another Varda film, Faces Places. I think both films address the experience of aging--both people and places--but Faces Places has a unique aspect of including the presence of JR, a youthful counterpart to Varda, and her dialogue partner about both art and the process of growing older, and I think FP is more *explicitly* about aging than Gleaners.
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