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Rushmore

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Posts posted by Rushmore

  1. I would be sad about this, but it's undeniable that there are a lot of empty chairs and empty tables around here lately. I haven't been posting much either, though I'm not a very prolific forum poster at the best of times. (And, FWIW, I'm only just now resuming pre-pandemic movie habits - two nights ago I went to see In the Heights, and that was the first time I'd been to a theater since February 2020.) Mind you, I think it's still very possible that the forum could take off again - but for that to happen would probably require an infusion of new blood and a mostly new group of participants. It wouldn't be the old community back again in any case.

    A question about preserving the site: Is there an easy way to convert the board into a static site where old discussions could still be read? If so, the site could presumably be hosted at a much lower cost in time and money than an active forum. Perhaps InVision offers such a feature?

    It's worth noting that Wayback Machine has a feature for saving specific pages (the "Save Page Now" form), so this is a way to ensure any given thread will be available in the future.

  2. On 11/17/2020 at 5:12 PM, kenmorefield said:

    I was about 30 seconds into the screener and was like, oh...this is a sequel to that other film, isn't it? Honestly, I think Monty Python and the Holy Grail has ruined that aesthetic for me.

    I have to admit I find this comparison baffling. I haven't yet seen the sequel, but nothing in Jeanette looks or feels anything like Monty Python to me. Despite the oddness of its blend of artistic styles, I'd say the way Jeanette handles its themes is consistently and, in fact, rather heavily and insistently serious. It's whimsical, but never farcical.

  3. I have my account settings configured to send me an email for every reply that gets posted in a thread I follow (which is mainly threads I've posted in). The emails have always contained the full text of the replies. Recently - probably since the Invision update? - the emails contain only the first couple lines of the post so I have to click through to the site to see the rest. The convenience of reading replies directly in my email was nice to have. I don't suppose it's possible to restore the old email behavior?

  4. Chalamet is certainly capable of actual acting, so I assume it's Villeneuve's fault that he speaks every line here as if he's either drugged or just waking up from a deep sleep. Also most of the visual design looks pretty dull, though I can imagine the sandworm as shown here working well on the big screen. Overall, this trailer isn't exciting.

  5. 2 hours ago, Anders said:

    We wore masks, there was physical distancing with assigned seating and row by row exit.

    Does that mean you couldn't stay for the credits without disrupting the exit procedure? That would bother me as an inveterate credits-watcher. Not that I could really blame the theaters for not worrying about this, since I'm literally the only person I know who insists on sitting through the credits every time.

  6. I don't know Ford very well, but I recently saw and really liked The Long Gray Line, a biopic about Marty Maher, an Irish-born army officer who spent fifty years at West Point. The film turns on an interesting tonal shift that happens partway through. When Maher arrives at West Point as a young immigrant fresh off the boat, initially working as a waiter who breaks a lot of dishes, the film plays as a broad comedy with a lot of faith-and-begorrah Irish jokes and some outright slapstick. However, it eventually transitions, surprisingly smoothly, into a weightier drama with serious themes related to honor, patriotism, and teaching. It's very much carried by its stars, Tyrone Power and, just as importantly, Maureen O'Hara, who plays Maher's wife (and whose Irish accent is authentic, unlike Power's).

  7. Coming late to this thread, I'm just starting to listen to Symphony No. 1 above. In the first notes of that clarinet solo, I had a moment of confusion while I thought was listening to the main title theme from The Godfather.

  8. I have kind of a guilty fondness for the novel, which I first read as a teenager some time in the decade before last (yikes). It's a very readable book despite its length and leisurely pace, sippable like a mint julep. Scarlett O'Hara is indeed one of the great unlikable protagonists of American fiction. She's selfish, ruthless, manipulative, narrow-minded and incurious, naive and then cynical, etc. What redeems her, as a character if not a person, is her grounding in the only thing she has left at the end of the book, "the red earth of Tara": home, family, tradition, but also the farm, the cotton and corn fields that provide the necessities of life. Conceptualizing Scarlett's old life as the earth is what suggests that its essentials, whatever external events take place, are everlasting. The South will never really die.

    What looked back then, to many readers, like a beautiful tribute to the old South, is now of course a damning indictment of it, because of what's not part of the picture: any notion of the evil of slavery. Good blacks, in the world of this book, don't even want freedom; they're loyal to their families (owners), who never mistreat or abuse them. It's kind of remarkable, actually, how the book acutely depicts some aspects of its society's mechanisms of control, as Ken points out, while lacking all self-awareness about this.

    FWIW, I work at an indie bookstore, and as soon as HBO announced it was temporarily withdrawing the film from streaming, we immediately sold out of copies of the book, which had been in stock for years. New copies also seem to be out of stock from the publisher. While I want the book to be available and do consider it worth (critically) reading, and some of this is the predictable effect of a book being for in the news for any reason, I can't help but see the irony in a book that's basically about ignoring racism flying off the shelves at this particular moment.

  9. I'm hoping The Tree of Life wins out over A Hidden Life. I certainly have my personal bias here, since Tree of Life has been on my personal top 5 for years and I didn't really connect with A Hidden Life, and maybe it's just that when I saw Tree of Life at an impressionable age I was subconsciously ready for a rhapsodic Malick phase which is unrepeatable nine years later. It still seems to me that Tree of Life is a film of unfathomable depth and spiritual power, a film bursting with variety that can be explored endlessly and always remains surprising. A Hidden Life, beautiful as it is, seemed to exist in a space of lower dimensionality. I'm not sure I was surprised at any point or saw anything I haven't seen before. I don't like saying this about what I'm sure is a heartfelt tribute to a Catholic saint, but I felt like all the events were distant and ethereal, seen through a sort of spiritual haze, to the degree that it seems to show a narrower universe than Tree of Life, despite the relentlessly wide-angle cinematography. I have personal preferences about some of the other choices, but this is the one where I feel prepared to say that one film is really better and more profound than the other.

  10. 5 minutes ago, kenmorefield said:

    I confess that one of the things that bothers me about maybe going to a 1 film/director list is that the title of the project has always been Top 100 (or Top 25) Significant Films. Gong from 2 to 1 (or more accurately 3 to 1 since the last iteration had a 3 film limit), feels to me like a change in kind and not just degree, it will have become, de facto, the Top 100 Significant Directors (ranked by their favored films). This strikes me as a hard bell to un-ring and one that cements the auteurist assumptions and leanings of the list in ways I am not sure we yet realize. (I think Triumph of the Will is a Spiritually Significant Film; I don't know that I want Leni Riefenstahl on the list of Spiritually Significant Directors; much as I love Stephen Frears, I think HIgh Fidelity is Spiritually Significant because of Nick Hornby's writing, not Frears' direction. I voted for Won't You Be My Neighbor? because of the subject -- Mr. Rogers -- rather than the director -- Morgan Neville.

    Thanks for this. I'm coming down on the 2-films-per side for similar reasons, along with a growing feeling that changing course midstream is causing more confusion than it's worth.

  11. I love Nightwish, which has been my introduction to symphonic metal. (I came to it via Tuomas Holopainen's extraordinary concept album The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, which has a quite different sound despite some recognizable stylistic similarities.) I'm not entirely sure that I approach it wholly on the level of artistic appreciation - the effect of this kind of music on my feelings and nerves is such that I've been known to say, not really joking, that Nightwish is my favorite recreational drug. I agree that Endless Forms is their best album.

  12. 1 hour ago, Darren H said:

    This vote will more directly affect the list than any other we cast. I hope it isn't decided by non-voters. After months of discussion, that would be a bummer.

    I understand this and sympathize. The problem is that I'm really in two minds here, afraid to choose either option for fear of regretting it later. Some compelling arguments have been made on both sides.

  13. Interesting. It's missing too many essential A&F favorites for me to really prefer this list to the regular one (apparently Dreyer isn't too divisive around here, who knew?), but there are some choices here that would have been fascinatingly provocative. Admittedly, this list also has most of the choices that I thought were bad, including the only nominated film I outright hate.

  14. Please do post that. It would be interesting to see the candidates "sorted by controversial".

    I'm happy to see Blade Runner (returning from the 2004 list!) on there. It strengthens the list to have a sci-fi entry beyond the two obvious choices of Stalker and 2001.

    I'm disappointed by the absence of Carol and Moonlight. I hoped at least one of those would make the cut, though Carol at least always seemed like a long shot.

  15. 46 minutes ago, Darren H said:

    I taught it in my intro to film criticism class last fall, including a shot-by-shot breakdown of the opening seven minutes

    If you have a video or slide presentation or some way to present this breakdown without a ton of extra work for you, I'd love to see it! I also love the film and consider it my favorite LGBT-themed film of the last decade (edging out Moonlight and Weekend).

  16. Now I'm trying to think of other examples of "on-screen textual analysis," and wondering if there's a whole genre of literary documentaries and poetic meta-films that's been escaping me.

    (Hmm...is there any in Poetry? It's been a long time since I saw that.)

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