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About Anodos

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  • About my avatar
    I like to watch...
  • Favorite movies
    The New World (+ all Malick so far...); Wild Strawberries (+ most Bergman...); The Three Colours Trilogy (all Kieslowski); Jean De Florette/Manon Des Sources; In The City Of Sylvia; The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp (all Powell & Pressburger)
  • Favorite music
    Schubert, Sibelius, Beethoven, Mahler, Mozart, Berlioz, Dvorak, Bach, Stravinsky, Wagner, Brahms, Verdi, Tchaikovsky, Debussy. Buena Vista Social Club. Abbey Road. Ella Fitzgerald. Yiddish songs (!)
  • Favorite creative writing
    Tolkien, C.S.Lewis, Dickens, Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Sophocles, Homer, Aeschylus, Rosemary Sutcliff, Arthur Ransome, Du Maurier.
  • Favorite visual art
    Pre-Raphaelites. Vermeer. Rembrandt. Van Gogh. Monet. Manet. Buildings: V&A Museum. St Paul's Cathedral. Royal Albert Hall. Haddon Hall (location for Jane Eyre and Princess Bride).

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  1. Absolutely. I don't even dislike Finding Neverland, but I'm so tired of cutesy-poo 'life' affirming biopics with magical tinkly piano scores and golden-wash cinematography which try to hide all the bodies in the woodshed. The story of Christopher Robin is actually pretty sad and difficult. He was bullied at school because of his father's books, then became estranged from his parents because he married his first cousin, and his child was born with severe cerebral palsy. It is possible that the film touches on these topics, because there are scenes with Christopher Robin in his early twenties, but if so the trailer isn't giving it away.
  2. One thing I found truly unrealistic [MILD SPOILERS] was the idea that Paterson would be unable to write his poems out again from memory; or at least some of them; or at least try. Even his wife, positive and upbeat character that she is, doesn't suggest it. I used to memorise poetry as a kid, and I've scribbled the occasional verse myself, so I know how the cadences of a poem - however 'free-verse' - echo through the cranium. Especially when your brain has created those lines itself, and spent energy on trying to get each line weighted correctly, with the right word in the most telling place. That amount of passivity seemed unrealistic even for him. As to the quality of his poetry - I thought the scene with the girl was perhaps meant to be a moment when he meets someone who has real ability rather than simply inclination. She's young - eleven, I think - but there's a certain life to her poem, and a sense of potential opening up around her that she herself doesn't realise yet. Something that Paterson sees and that possibly makes him reconsider his own efforts. At least, that's how I read it.
  3. Just watched this. It's not great, but it is enjoyable. McAvoy's obviously having a blast, as most actors would with that kind of role(s). I've only seen her in this and The VVitch, but I think Anya Taylor-Joy has real talent - she's got the ability to convey an interior stillness which is important for deeper roles. Disappointed to see her next film is an X-Men spin-off, but hey ho - even Saoirse Ronan has The Host in her resume. It's nice to see Shyamalan enjoying himself, although it definitely feels like he's making B-movies now - I kinda miss the slightly pretentious early works where he was reaching for something a bit more. Nothing about this lingers in the mind like scenes from Sixth Sense, Unbreakable or Signs do. Only mildly intrigued for Glass, but I'll still catch it.
  4. Hahahahahaha.... I haven't heard that one, but I still have pretty clear memories of being a child - even a very young one - and I do find it useful when interacting with my little nieces. Gives me some idea of their thought processes and how much more complex they are than their linguistic skills can convey. C.S.Lewis has a good essay on the sense of wonder, and the important distinction to be drawn between the childish and the childlike. I'll try to find it.
  5. Yes, I nearly mentioned that this twee sensibility seemed rather akin to the Victorian sentimentalism regarding childhood. The aspect I find particularly irksome in the 'adorable-child-genius' strain is that most writers utilising it seem to have no clue what intellectual precocity or achievement actually entails.
  6. Jurassic World was 'meh' on watching, and grows steadily worse in retrospect. So shiny and hollow and inconsequential. Such a fake plasticky look to the designs, the CG - even the cinematography was bland. And the screenwriting was downright poor. It may be the most mediocre blockbuster I've seen in recent years - not offensively stupid or obnoxiously pretentious like some, but just completely uninvolving and disposable. For Star Wars? George Miller... bringing the crazy like no other. Denis Villeneuve is a good pick, Justin. Maybe too heavy-handed, but it would be interesting. Back on topic - am I the only one who notices a distinctively American sub-genre of precocious children whose gnomic utterances are a source of tearful wonder and enlightenment to the befuddled adults in their lives? I would loosely trace this back to J.D.Salinger's tortured child genius Seymour, who I found unbearable, although Salinger was a far better writer than most of his followers (the extremely annoying and incredibly overhyped Jonathan Safran Foer being one).
  7. Peter Bradshaw's 1-star review for The Guardian. Owen Gleiberman, Vanity Fair The Hollywood Reporter
  8. In regards to the opening line of the novel, you haven't mentioned a key point - that it's also the closing line. Du Maurier had a wonderful knack for arresting beginnings and haunting endings, but in My Cousin Rachel its particular power is that what opens as an atmospheric plunge into the past returns at last with all the weight of thunderous self-accusation and guilt. Really disappointed by your review - I think what we may both have missed in anticipation is that Roger Michell was not only directing but also writing the adaptation. According to IMDB it's his first writing credit. Why? Why would you suddenly think you're capable of skilfully adapting an intricate, subtle work when you're a complete novice? His more interesting films have all been in collaboration with playwrights or novelists like Hanif Kureishi and Joe Penhall. And you know what? I think it's actually harder to go from directing to writing than vice versa. There are so many British playwrights/screenwriters who could have done a first-rate job of this, and it's baffling to me that he didn't turn to one of them.
  9. The Times Literary Supplement's review by the novelist Adam Mars-Jones and the reply by Scorsese make interesting side-by-side reading...
  10. The supernatural/horror elements were - for me - what made Twin Peaks so memorable. I haven't been able to catch this 3rd season yet, but the original is still the most frightening thing I've ever seen; like the nightmare of a sensitive soul, or the fantasy of a perverse one. I know a lot of people remember it for the Log Lady or the damn fine cherry pie and coffee or the homespun, gosh-darn decent facade of small-town America, but for me it all resonates with an almost unbearable sadness. I suppose that's not too surprising if you consider the main storyline. I still love it though. Should probably rewatch to see how I feel about it eight years on from my initial viewing; I was a pretty sheltered and very young man the first time I saw it.
  11. After the drama surrounding Jane Got A Gun I wondered what would become of Ramsay. Glad to see she's found a new film and actually got it (more or less) finished. I saw many critics hoping for a shock Palme D'Or win, although in the end Ramsay won for Screenplay while Phoenix carried home Best Actor. It doesn't sound like an easy watch:
  12. I'm looking forward to it. I appreciated Force Majeure, even if the 'second act' was more of a Majeure Longueur. I sense the majority of critics were disappointed and trying to put the best face on it (although nowhere near the extent of last year with I, Daniel Blake). I was personally rooting for Zvyagintsev, based purely on previous work of course...
  13. Big fan of Du Maurier. I bought a boxset of most of her novels in my teens and found her something of a kindred spirit. My Mum is Cornish and grew up only a few miles from where Du Maurier lived, so I know the setting of many of her books very well. (I once accidentally trespassed through the grounds of Menabilly, the house she turned into Manderley for Rebecca...) You're right, Weisz is a good choice - she's fearless enough for melodrama, but intelligent enough for the subtlety and psychological complexity in this story. Michell is maybe not an inspiring choice, but he has made interesting and tricky films alongside Notting Hill.
  14. Thanks for introducing me to John K Samson. I've been listening to Winter Wheat regularly. Any recommendations for similar songwriters?
  15. I'm British and not that politically active so forgive my ignorance - what is the 'civil rights crisis' African-Americans are having? More or less the same here. In terms of our list - I think we need to accept that we are overwhelmingly a group of white dudes. I think we should just honestly nominate the films that we find fitting to the theme, rather than trying to second-guess whether the Twitterati are going to call us out on our privilege/unwokeness. I'd love it if that list includes a huge variety of cinematic styles from across the globe, but if not so be it. If we get moved sideways into a politically-charged 'relevance' I'll really wish I'd voted for 'coming of age'... On the other hand, I find this comment interesting, and I'd be interested if you could elaborate on this a little. It made me think about my own assumptions on cinematic spirituality (as tending toward the slow and meditative). One silly question - did you mean 'enervating' or 'energizing' (the opposite)? 'Cause I can't quite work out what that sentence means...