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Everything posted by Anodos

  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.
  16. Anodos

    Split (Shyamalan)

    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.
  17. Anodos

    The Book of Henry

    Hahahahahaha.... I haven't heard that one, but just...no. 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.
  18. Anodos

    The Book of Henry

    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.
  19. Anodos

    The Book of Henry

    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).
  20. Anodos

    The Book of Henry

    Peter Bradshaw's 1-star review for The Guardian. Owen Gleiberman, Vanity Fair The Hollywood Reporter
  21. 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.
  22. Anodos

    Silence (2016)

    The Times Literary Supplement's review by the novelist Adam Mars-Jones and the reply by Scorsese make interesting side-by-side reading...
  23. 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.
  24. 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:
  25. Anodos

    The Square (2017)

    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...
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