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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. Well, he's the arch-antagonist but in more of a totemic, figurehead way, and gets about as much active 'screen time' as Satan does playing a similar role in the Bible. And I think Christianity would be rather different if its holy book was called Lord of the Flies, don't you? For a slightly more on-track note: is anyone else slightly surprised the Powers-that-be-Disney have given creative oversight of the whole new trilogy to Rian Johnson? I've seen all his films, and have found them engaging and intriguing, with a slightly off-kilter, syncopated, haphazard feel to them. I certainly wouldn't have said he had the stern clarity of vision ideal for shaping a vast arc of coherent story-telling. On the other hand, I think he may do well with the smaller moments and details - give the world a slightly more 'lived-in' feel than TFA had. It will be interesting to see.
  2. I'm sure your Pan's Labyrinth is better than mine would be, so thanks but no thanks. I can't remember how I rated Joe Vs. The Volcano as it's so long since I've seen it, but I'll rewatch it this weekend and try to scribble something out. I think I can see my way to a blurb for that, unless the *other* EdB claims first dibs.
  3. Yes, and Sauron is hardly the protagonist of Lord of the Rings. I wouldn't get hung up on strict adherence to the veracity of a title. At this point 'Star Wars' is shorthand for an entire universe, and I'd just like to see it explored with a little more variety. Force Awakens was such a cautious retread of previous entries - I'm hoping to see something of a departure starting next month.
  4. Ah, didn't see your reply. Really surprised Another Woman was so low, but then much of the list baffles me. Thanks for the offer of Pan's Labyrinth - I'm actually a really big fan of the film, but I think I rated it quite low for this list. I'm just not sure it fit with my idea of the criteria involved. Having said that, I'd be happy to watch it again and try my best - if you haven't already done it, that is. I don't want to sound negative, by the way - I always appreciate something thoughtful, even if I don't agree with its conclusions. And thanks for putting in the work on this.
  5. I do agree that if they're going to make Star Wars into a movie factory they need new wells to draw from. One thing I'd love to see in the SW Galaxy is characters with an actual interior life. People who care about different aspects of existence, and aren't simply defined by their relationship to a political power-struggle. Much as I love Star Wars the world it inhabits is surprisingly empty and weightless - where's the sense of history behind these people and places? Not the immediate family history - I AM your father - but the accumulated wisdom and richness and burden of long, deep history which shapes a collective society. This is one thing Lord of the Rings, for example, manages to convey much better. Tolkien's training as a philologist meant he instinctively looked at the background detail of things - seeing the beginning from the end, as it were, which is sometimes just as tricky as vice-versa. (Oh, and I'd be well on board with a noir stand-alone, if placed in the right hands.)
  6. And just like that it's gone... Well. This is an interesting list. Kudos to anyone who can find the uniting thread in these twenty-five. I'm a little surprised neither of my nominees (Another Woman/The Lives of Others) made it in, but maybe I didn't argue their inclusion eloquently enough. Still, I suppose it leaves me off the hook for writing blurbs, although I will step up if requested. Good luck y'all.
  7. Having broken my arm badly and been unable to type for three months I've been absent from this forum, so actually expected the Top 25 to have been signed, sealed and delivered. Have we given up on this?
  8. Sounds like a horrible idea to me. I've had a decent time with some of his films, but this just seems like it would be a tonal disaster.
  9. Have to say, respectfully, that I disagree with all of this. (I'd expand and expound on this but I've just broken my arm, so typing's a laborious process...) Still, glad you rate the film so highly. I admired the previous two.
  10. I haven't seen the Emma Watson, but can confirm that this is worth a go. The animated creatures were a bit jarring, but the rest of the film was rather gorgeous.
  11. Is the original Swedish film trilogy worth a go? I ask this as someone who absolutely hated the novel - it's firmly on my list of worst-written books I've ever read - but who finds Fincher's film curiously alluring and rewatchable, despite it being built on such shaky ground. Sad about Nyqvist. Poor guy got stuck as an awful lot of subpar villains in Hollywood dreck - I'm tempted to look up one of his Swedish films so I have something more substantial to remember him by.
  12. Anodos


    I watched it once, years ago, and certain scenes have stuck in my head in a way few films manage. I recently bought the DVD, so I'll be interested to see what I think of the whole on my imminent rewatch. Nobody in Hollywood does darkness like Fincher.
  13. Fair enough, that's just not how my brain works. Perhaps because I'm not a prolific spur-of-the-moment poet in the way you describe. I write occasionally and with intense concentration, and sometimes I'll get stuck halfway and put the poem aside and when I come back to it months later my subconscious has been working on it and I can finish it easily enough. I still maintain that Paterson, who writes his poems longhand in a notebook, and is seen mulling over his work and revising it, would be able to write it again from memory. I know I would, and I'd expect anyone to at least try if it means that much to you. Heck, I think I could make a fairly good stab at it, just from having seen and heard them written down in the film.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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