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Joshua Wilson

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Everything posted by Joshua Wilson

  1. Joshua Wilson

    Criterion sale at Barnes & Noble

    Nice, Evan. I'm holding out for the sweet MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS release at the end of the month. If I can swing another title, I will go with something on my long list of coveted favorites...
  2. Joshua Wilson

    A&F Site News -- Please Read

    My time here has been brief, and my participation sporadic and of doubtful value to the community, but I've enjoyed the contributions of you all, and I'm glad that this site will continue. Thank you, Ken.
  3. Joshua Wilson

    Examples of "Cinematic Parables"?

    Posted this on Facebook—just thinking out loud, but a few that come to mind, but may or may not meet your definition are: NETWORK THE MOSQUITO COAST Pretty much any Panahi film Maybe BARRY LYNDON
  4. Joshua Wilson

    Top 25 or 100 for 2018-19

    I'd be interested to participate!
  5. Joshua Wilson

    Criterion sale at Barnes & Noble

    I was only going to get one disc due to financial prudence, but due to an unexpected refund, I was able to get the Dietrich-Von Sternberg set and ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS.
  6. Joshua Wilson

    Student inquiry: Films about sexual violence and responses to it

    I know this is probably too late, but seeing that Evan responded with thoughtful remarks on ANATOMY OF A MURDER reminded me that there that film depicts serious concerns regarding rape, social views of victims of sexual assault, and how it is treated in the criminal justice system. Check the thread on that film for both his and my thoughts.
  7. Joshua Wilson

    RIP Milos Forman (1932-2018)

    Definitely prioritize RAGTIME.
  8. Joshua Wilson

    Mowgli (aka The Jungle Book)

  9. Joshua Wilson


    I will be discussing the details of the plot in this post. I saw this film last night for the first time, and I am sure that I would not have seen it in the same way if I had first watched it years ago. The title refers to a murder trial, but really there are two crimes that are at issue: the murder of bar owner Barney Quill by an army officer, Lt. Manion, and the rape of Manion's wife Laura by Quill. There is never any question of whether Manion killed Quill--there is no twist whodunnit resolution, only the question of whether his plea of not guilty by reason of temporary insanity will prevail. In the case of the rape, however, there is a great deal of ambiguity surrounding the story. Ultimately, I think that the film most strongly implies that there was no rape, but rather Manion killed Quill out of jealousy due to his wife's flirtation. There's plenty of evidence in the film to support that interpretation, despite the fact that of course we never hear the alleged rapist's side of the story, but that's not really my concern. It was alarming and very uncomfortable for me to see the way in which the issue of the rape was handled in the course of the trial. In real life, there have been some recent high-profile rape trials that resulted in the court effectively showing much more concern for the rapist than for the victim. In this film, even if we proceed with the ultimate interpretation that the rape did not take place (which I feel is the most reasonable interpretation of what we as a viewer are privileged to see) there is no justification for the way that the court handled the allegations and the presentation of the evidence, nor especially how it treated the alleged victim. Real rape victims today talk about being victimized a second time by the process of prosecuting a rapist. That couldn't have been more clearly dramatized than in this film. One of the primary lines of argument for the prosecution is to discredit Mrs. Manion by portraying her as a provocative temptress who flirted and possibly more with men in the town. Even Manion's lawyer, Biegler, (Jimmy Stewart), who objects throughout to the word choices of the prosecutor, never objects in principle to the idea that how a woman dressed or looked is not a relevant to the question of whether she was raped. The idea that a woman might "bring it on herself" by being too good looking and dressing too sexily is an undercurrent of the argumentation. Biegler implicitly acknowledges this by dressing her in an ill-fitting suit and floppy hat at the start of the trial. It can be said that he is cannily defending against a potential prejudice in the minds of the jurors, but my point is that even he will not directly argue that her looks or dress are irrelevant to the veracity of her rape claim. A particularly telling moment occurs when the question of how to refer to Mrs. Manion's undergarments is brought to the bench. When it is agreed to use the word "panties," a general snickering envelopes the courtroom. The judge reprimands all present, instructing them that he will not tolerate any more laughter due to the gravity of the situation. He invokes the interest of the deceased man and the killer, but no mention of the woman who is in the dock, having an interest in not being laughed at as she recounts what are the embarrassing details of her attack. Following this, the prosecution attorney proceeds to grill her in an unmerciful manner. This can all be chalked up to the idea that this is representative of how things were in 1959. I would find that more easy to deal with if we weren't still seeing this in real life. Much like the type of trial depicted in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD highlights racial problems in the court system that have become less overtly condoned, but are still present, this film highlights an inherent injustice to women. The problem becomes that, unlike Tom Robinson, Mrs. Manion is not nearly as sympathetic to the viewer, since it's very possible based on the evidence we see as viewers of the film that she was fabricating the story of the rape. So despite the lauded ambiguity of the trial results and the groundbreaking "frankness" of the dialogue, I feel after a single viewing that this film may do more to reinforce problematic views of rape victims that still persist, than to challenge our thinking. This is despite the fact that the prosecutor comes across as fairly villainous for his line of attack, and that our natural sympathies are with Jimmy Stewart's character to win the case.
  10. Joshua Wilson

    Criterion sale at Barnes & Noble

    I see that this post is from last summer, but I can't agree more. There's a book out there of Kurosawa's painted storyboards for RAN also, which I really need to just buy some time.
  11. Joshua Wilson

    24 FRAMES

    I finally put together what I hope are some more coherent thoughts on this film. I really look forward to seeing it again. Even if you don't read my post, I urge any Kiarostami fans to watch the video that I embedded. It's a Q&A between Ahmad Kiarostami (Abbas's son, who completed 24 FRAMES) and Godfrey Cheshire. It's Kiarostami gold, I assure you. Anyways, here's the link to my essay: https://fforfilms.net/2018/02/16/24-frames/
  12. Joshua Wilson

    24 FRAMES

    I got to see 24 FRAMES last night, unfortunately as I was drowsy from physical exhaustion. It's definitely food for thought, and a fascinating new variation on themes that Kiarostami has explored on very different ways before in his career. My initial notes towards a coherent thought on Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/magadizer/film/24-frames-2017/
  13. Joshua Wilson

    24 FRAMES

    That really speaks to the kind of film it is, doesn't it? It's more of a concept than a film in the traditional sense. I'm still thinking about whether I want to try to write up something more substantial about it. I don't know that I have the right tools at my disposal, but I think I'll try. There are already some interesting things written about it, some of which I have tweeted out links to, and including our own Melissa Tamminga's review.
  14. Joshua Wilson

    Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

    It occured to me that the complaints about Luke's character in this film (which I don't recall hearing after TFA) really have to be laid at the feet of the conclusion of TFA in the first place. There had to be a plausible reason for Luke going into hiding, and we already knew that it was connected to his failure in training Ben Solo. That was the scenario that had to be resolved in this film. Besides the fact that if you criticize Luke's character for this action, you have to be just as upset at Obi Wan and Yoda for doing almost the exact same thing after the old Jedi order was destroyed.
  15. I really enjoyed the introductory essays that tied together thoughts about the entire list. I look forward to seeing the ones on the list that I have not yet had a chance to view. Thanks for letting me contribute, too.
  16. Joshua Wilson

    Film Club Oct - Nov 2017 - High and Low

    HIGH AND LOW is one of my favorite Kurosawas as well. It's a master class in directing, script, and in acting, particularly from Mifune and Nakadai. If you only know those two from Samurai pictures, this will greatly expand your understanding of their achievement as film actors.
  17. I can write about THE TRIAL if you like.
  18. Second the Long Goodbye and The Insider.
  19. I think Orson Welles's THE TRIAL should be on this list. After the narrated prologue, it begins with the shot of Anthony Perkins waking up in his bed, to find the police in his room, . The film is of course not a realistic story, and the irony is that though K has woken up, it is clearly a nightmare unfolding over the course of the film. The surreal narrative dream-logic pursues a vision of the absurdity inherent in bureaucracies, and ultimately the cruel and pitiless violence of the police state. These are themes very much needing to be awoken to, but in this poetic, labyrinthine exploration, are somehow made more present than a more straightforward story might do.
  20. Title: The TrialDirector: Orson WellesYear: 1962Language: EnglishIMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057427/YouTube Link (a clip of/trailer for the film): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_7weUR0oMYLink to the A&F thread on the film (if there is one): http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?/topic/25906-the-trial/
  21. Title: The TravelerDirector: Abbas KiarostamiYear: 1974Language: FarsiIMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071859/YouTube Link (a clip of/trailer for the film): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98sDY2opnjk (Complete film)Link to the A&F thread on the film (if there is one):Could not find one
  22. Joshua Wilson

    Silence (2016)

    I finally finished writing a few thoughts on the film. It's both easy to keep talking about it and hard to say what I am thinking. It's a challenging film and one that now already means a great deal to me. https://fforfilms.net/2017/01/17/silence-epiphany-and-the-credo/
  23. Joshua Wilson

    Silence (2016)

    Thanks for thinking enough of me to include one of my thoughts in your Review, Evan. In the screening I was at, I noticed no sound issues. I'm pretty sensitive to sound issues. I think it was your theater, Joel.