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Brian D

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About Brian D

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  • Occupation
    Family medicine doctor
  • Favorite movies
    In America, Of Gods and Men, Munyurungabo, New World, Running on Empty, Where the Wild Things Are, Dead Man Walking, Men Don't Leave, The Apostle, Into the West
  • Favorite music
    U2, Dylan, Springsteen, Sufjan Stevens, Arcade Fire, Sara Groves, Innocence Mission
  • Favorite creative writing
    Novels: Gilead - Marilynne Robinson Brothers Karamazov-Dostoevsky Auralia's Colors-Overstreet Short stories: The Tumblers - Nathan Englander My Mother's Garden - Katherine Shonk

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  1. Brian D

    Paul, Apostle of Christ

    Thoughts on this film and the idea that, just maybe, I might actually find my way to liking something that comes under the frightening heading of "Affirm Films"... Full review at https://letterboxd.com/brian_d/film/paul-apostle-of-christ/ "I confess. I confess that I’m inclined to dislike and discredit any modern film that comes billed under the label “Affirm Films.” In other words, I’m inclined to start looking for all that is wrong with a film that is aimed directly at a Christian audience. I will start looking for the dead ends as soon as the opening credits are rolling. This is a bit funny, of course, because I myself am a Christian. I don’t approach the Bible or the average teacher of the Bible with a readiness to disbelieve or distrust. I don’t come to these with the expectation that they will be wrong or that they are likely to be worthy of harsh criticism. Modern Christian film, on the other hand, often seems to me an industry producing low-quality goods with high-faith labels. The label, then, legitimizes the poor product. I think this assessment is not too far from the truth. However, I hadn’t given much thought to the prejudice that I automatically bring to a modern Christian film…the expectation and assumption that it will be terrible even before I have really seen it. I don’t think I bring such a prejudice to the latest big Hollywood action blockbuster, however. I don’t bring that prejudice with me even though modern Hollywood studios have left a body of work that on the whole would be just as worthy of skepticism as modern Christian cinema..."
  2. Brian D

    Top 25 or 100 for 2018-19

    Exciting. So thrilled this is starting to roll.
  3. Brian D

    Top 25 or 100 for 2018-19

    I also strongly recommend we find a way to include dynamic female film voices like Melissa Tamminga and Alissa Wilkinson. Whether for blurbs or just voting, their contribution would be incredible. Also, BethR and other women who've played a key role in Arts and Faith.
  4. Partly because I want to find a good reason to spend more time in Arts and Faith, I would love to get a discussion going about the possibilities for a future film list. I have been more and more drawn to Letterboxd lately, but thinking (even considering) a film list would be enough to get me hanging out here some more. I miss Arts and Faith. Let's think about lists again!
  5. Brian D

    Stranger Things (Netflix)

    Any comments on Season 2? Should I prioritize it? I've very much enjoyed Season 1 as a boy who came of age in those days of ET and Stephen King films.
  6. Brian D

    The Tree of Life (2011)

    Noted...although I was assuming Penn's limited time on screen in the theatrical cut dovetailed with some script portions that included his character but were cut from the theatrical version. Seems to me that someone around here (Ryan H?) had said they had read the original script. Ryan?
  7. Brian D

    The Tree of Life (2011)

    Wow, that is exciting news. Especially given Sean Penn's statement that this film was a lot better as originally scripted than it ended up being after the edit for theater release.
  8. Back to High and Low: *spoiler alert* I was really intrigued by that final scene in a way that strongly pulls me back to revisit it. The superposing of the faces of the 2 men (Gondo and the criminal) is striking. It makes me think of what those 2 men may actually share even in spite of the dramatic class gulf between them. Of course we know that Gondo by this time is no longer in the rich, lofty social class that he once was. Perhaps a partial closing of this social class gap is suggested here. Even more fascinating to ponder, though, is the possibility that this shot suggests Gondo is not as far from the guilt and condemnation of the criminal as it may seem at first. We recall that, were Gondo to have not opted to pay a ransom for the boy's life, he may have spent a life of somehow sharing in (or at least condemning himself) the guilt of the boy's murder. 2 faces, superimposed on one another. Both human and both not far from the tormented, guilt-wracked cries of that final scene. Ah, for the grace of God to break in..
  9. Great idea! I'd be up for that or a similar category -film maybe, say, in April. I would try to join the discussion if you started a thread in a few weeks, Rob.
  10. Brian D

    2017 lists

    Some good stuff here: http://www.lookingcloser.org/blog/2017/12/25/your-favorite-song-of-2017/
  11. Brian D

    2017 lists

    Your list of favorite songs or albums from this year, please! Here is Joel Hartse's list of "audio stuff" from Image: https://imagejournal.org/2017/12/29/listening-life-17-listens-2017/
  12. Would love it if anyone would share their list of favorites for 2017. I'm too behind in this year's films to share my own list, but hopefully that will come with time.
  13. Yes, lovely list. Great job everyone! Thank you for your guiding hand, Evan! Like all good film lists, this one makes me want to spend my week watching (and rewatching) all of these. Is it possible to archive this thread in a more prominent place? The threads that appear first under top 100 are still the 2016 ones. I am only aware of the waking-up list release because I happened to be looking for it. No big deal if there's no easy fix.
  14. Excellent, Joel. Being part of that Dardennes list is a high compliment for a film.
  15. Brian D

    The Breadwinner

    Cartoon Saloon's The Breadwinner...coming out this week in some places. I love Song of the Sea and really like Secret of Kells. Maturity and creative joy that is so rare in modern animation. A new film from this group gets me a good deal more excited than the prospect of a new Pixar or Disney animated film. Not more excited than Studio Ghibli, but maybe next in line. Can't wait.