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J.A.A. Purves

Laggies (2014)

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Laggies is one ugly film title - it should be a brand name for women's fleece-lined loungewear.

 

I like the actors involved in this, but... I dunno, it just seems like yet another variation on the story

that's been keeping the American indie-scene trundling on for the last decade.

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I really liked this film. 

 

I kept waiting for it to implode under the weight of its genre conventions, but the the characters are winning. The last act is clunky, in part because it needs the characters to suddenly act dumber than they have been through the whole movie, but man, Keira Knightley (on the heels of BEGIN AGAIN) just keeps delivering one nuanced performance after another. Her scene with Gretchen Mol is terrific. In some ways this reminded me of THE SPECTACULAR NOW in that I can see how others will not like it as much as I did but where I kept appreciating the smartness of the script and its willingness to let its characters act like actual people in the situation the movie says they are in.

 

Bump for the review link:

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I read today that Lynn Shelton has passed, so I may re-watch this to see if maybe I should add it to the page with list of spiritually significant films by women. I suspect based on the lack of chatter here that my estimation is higher than that of others but perhaps it just slipped under people's radars at the time...

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I remember liking it and reviewing it positively, but not being nearly as enthusiastic as I'd been about "Your Sister's Sister."

I watched "Humpday" after "Your Sister's Sister." I'm not sure what to say about "Humpday" other than it sure did make me uncomfortable, which is, if memory serves, part of the point. 

I'd intended to catch up with "Touchy Feely," "Outside In" and "Sword of Trust," although my enthusiasm for Shelton's work faded a bit with each of those releases, as the reviews were, if memory serves, OK at best (right?). I know she focused more on TV work the past several years, but on shows that I don't watch.

I had no idea she was battling an illness. The suddenness (to me) of this announcement has really thrown me for a loop.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Keira Knightley is an acting treasure, so I enjoy most anything she's in, but this wasn't an especially memorable film to me.  Sword of Trust was odd and engaging, but not "best of the year" material.  Still, what a tragedy, for those close to her and for our loss of a filmmaker who didn't make cookie cutter, standard issue Hollywood fare.


To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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I haven't seen Laggies, but as a quick aside . . .

I've listened to almost every episode of Marc Maron's podcast for the past decade. He's become a kind of companion in my life -- two hours of his voice, engaged in meaningful conversation, in my ears every week. During that time he's been through three relationships and has done a lot of work to become a better person. When he announced a few months ago that he and Shelton were in a relationship, I felt genuinely happy for him. She became more and more present in his recent episodes, without ever being on the mics. Over the past two weeks he's mentioned that she was feeling bad, that they'd seen doctors and had her tested for COVID, that he was trying his best to be a nurturing partner despite having no natural aptitude for nurturing.

All of which is to say that news of Shelton's death today has really thrown me because, weird as it sounds, I feel like I have a relationship with Maron and I cannot imagine watching helplessly as the person I love dies. (One night I rushed my wife to the emergency room due to a known heart condition, so I think this news is triggering my PTSD a bit.) I never met her but several friends knew her well, and they're all posting such loving remembrances. It's just so damn sad.

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Sword of Trust is now even more special as a film, with Maron and Shelton doing their thing together. If we were working on another best films about aging, Sword of Trust would be a good conversation partner.


"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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