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  1. Today
  2. Mother! (Darren Aronofsky)

    SPOILERS I thought it was three different actresses. Hard to tell from the IMDb cast page. But, I thought were watching an endless loop, opening with the destruction of one, the creation and destruction of a second, and the creation of a third.
  3. Yesterday
  4. Mother! (Darren Aronofsky)

    (We should probably just say once that discussing this film at all without spoilers is impossible) A question about this. Am I wrong in thinking that the woman seen in the very last shot is a different actress, but the woman burning in the opening shot (seen only in extreme close-up of her eyes) is Jennifer Lawrence? You'd have to check the DVD to be sure, but the fire at the beginning and the fire at the end looked like they used some of the exact same footage.
  5. Last week
  6. Terminator 6 + 7 + 8

    Linda Hamilton Set to Return to 'Terminator' Franchise (Exclusive) After waving hasta la vista, baby, more than 25 years ago, Linda Hamilton is returning to the world of Terminator, reuniting with James Cameron, the creator of the sci-fi franchise, for the new installment being made by Skydance and Paramount. Cameron made the announcement at a private event celebrating the storied franchise, saying, "As meaningful as she was to gender and action stars everywhere back then, it’s going to make a huge statement to have that seasoned warrior that she’s become return." With Hamilton’s return, Cameron hopes to once again make a statement on gender roles in action movies. "There are 50-year-old, 60-year-old guys out there killing bad guys,” he said, referring to aging male actors still anchoring movies, “but there isn’t an example of that for women.” . . . Cameron is producing along with Skydance. And the new film, which will be distributed by Paramount with Fox handling it internationally, is based on a story crafted by Cameron. Cameron and Miller created a writers room to hammer out what is planned to be a trilogy that can stand as single movies or form an overarching story. David Goyer, whose credits include the Blade and Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies; Charles Eglee, who created Dark Angel with Cameron; Josh Friedman, who created the Terminator TV spinoff, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Justin Rhodes, a frequent Goyer collaborator, were part of that room. . . . Hollywood Reporter, September 19 - - - Anyone want to take a shot at falsifying the claim that there are no female action stars in their 50s or 60s? Michelle Yeoh is 55 and still quite visible (she's playing a starship captain on the new Star Trek series, premiering this Sunday), though I must admit I don't know how much "action" her character will be involved with there, or how much "action" there has been in her big-screen roles of late (perhaps when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 comes out?). In any case, I wouldn't say she has been *anchoring* any Hollywood movies lately. Helen Mirren turned 65 the year the first RED came out, and 68 when RED 2 came out. But did she "anchor" those movies, which also starred Bruce Willis and a few others? (Mind you, the word "anchor" is used here by the reporter, and not by Cameron himself. So the distinction between a lead role and a co-starring or supporting role might not matter to him so much.) I also see a potential problem in Sarah Connor being the focus of the new trilogy. In the two movies that she has appeared in so far, she was explicitly characterized as the *mother* of the future military hero John Connor. At some point the son has to take the spotlight from the mother; to paraphrase John the Baptist, John Connor must become greater and Sarah Connor must become less. Sarah Connor was only 19 when John Connor was born, so if Sarah is now, say, 61 (i.e. the age Linda Hamilton will be on her birthday next week), John would be 42, and really shouldn't be learning the basics from his mother still at this point.
  7. First Reformed

    Yeah, those scenes between Michael and Toller are great and hit hard. I wrote up some of my thoughts on the film here. http://3brothersfilm.com/2017/09/tiff17-first-reformed/
  8. First Reformed

    Agreed. The long conversation near the beginning of the film was the best thing I saw at TIFF. Part of the fun was imagining Schrader alone at a computer, arguing both sides of the debate.
  9. Mother! (Darren Aronofsky)

    Mother! is really about
  10. Mother! (Darren Aronofsky)

    Nick Alexander's Reddit friend wrote: : It's a hard film to watch, but Jennifer Lawrence's character, in my opinion, represented God, and Bardem (who most people are calling god in their interpretations) represented the blind demiurge that created man so that they could worship him. The problem here, for me at least, is that I don't see Bardem's character (or anyone else) "creating" mankind. Mankind just kind of shows up and ruins Creation -- which ties in to how Noah failed to depict mankind as the pinnacle of Creation, leaning instead towards depicting mankind as a failed caretaker of Creation but somehow separate from it. Yes, the Bardem character feeds on the attention he gets from mankind. But he feeds on the attention he gets from Lawrence, as well.
  11. Isle of Dogs

  12. Isle of Dogs

    First trailer
  13. Mother! (Darren Aronofsky)

    SPOILERS As an aside, the number of reviewers who seem blind to how intensely Biblical virtually every incident in the film is, is rather remarkable. I found the the allegory pretty headsmackingly obvious by the time the man and woman broke the crystal, but I would think everyone should have picked up on by the time Cain and Abel showed up. This review by Michael Koresky notes the Cain and Abel comparison, but only in passing, and seems to regard the early events of the film as realistic and grounded, claiming there's an abrupt turn away from realism in the second half. Did he miss the first 2 minutes, with the earlier mother burning up and Bardem using the crystal to restore the house? The whole plot is set up as mystical and allegorical from the first shot! Koresky doesn't notice the flood narrative or the distribution of the Scriptures, and doesn't even mention there might be Christ imagery in the film. He describes Cain and Abel as the moment that "forever taints the seemingly heretofore untouched paradise," skipping over the exile from Eden and the literal boarding of the door that happened moments before. Are secular audiences really this ignorant of basic Bible stories?
  14. Mother! (Darren Aronofsky)

    Hmm, I would have thought this thread would be a booming place on here. Have not enough people seen it yet? ___ I did not like the movie. I found it ugly, unpleasant, and grueling to sit through, and I don't think its allegory leads anywhere particularly interesting. But it certainly hasn't left my thoughts much since I saw it Sunday. SPOILERS As to interpretations: The idea of Mother as the devil, is, I agree, rather crazy, and goes against all the signals the film is sending us about who to sympathize with. But there is a way you can see her as a sympathetic rendering of a Satanic figure, finally rebelling against an unjust God's cruel system, in some sort of twisting of Paradise Lost. (I'm kinda thinking of The Amber Spyglass here, a little bit? Though that comparison is really tentative.) But Mother clearly isn't set up as Satan in any normal way (she gets tempted, not the other way around, and since when did Lucifer give birth to Christ?), and you only get to that interpretation in a rather vague structural manner. You certainly shouldn't end up seeing Bardem as good and her as evil, unless you're just willfully misreading. I think the Gnostic reading has a lot more potential, though I find that Reddit poster's more-spiritual-than-thou shtick rather laughable. There's definitely a sense in the film's parallel/parody of the Biblical narrative that it's resurrecting a number of old critiques of that narrative, whether Gnostic or Pagan or New Age. Accusing God of being inconsistent and unworthy of worship, or being needy and cruel, or imagining the Eucharist as cannibalism, or viewing the material world and humanity as irredeemably corrupt, or mounting feminist and environmentalist critiques of traditional theology, etc. Of course, the movie doesn't actually add up to anything profound with all this material, just a bunch of sound and fury about how tough it would be to be Mrs. God if there were such a person, but, you know, there's not. So where does it get you? God is only out for himself and can't be trusted, and humanity is incapable of decency or restraint on any level whatsoever? None of that, to me, is edifying, or even all that compelling. Your mileage may vary.
  15. First Reformed

    It's been years since I've watched Hardcore and one feels arrogant making pronouncements about people (rather than films), but I recall thinking (and suppose I still think) that it reflected the stunted emotional development of someone coming out of a strict fundamentalist community. Granted Schrader was 33 when the film came out, but if he really didn't watch films until he was 18...it just feels like he's working through some of his issues regarding sex and sexuality. When I taught at a fundamentalist Bible college, I really felt like a saw a pattern of more sheltered young adults being overwhelmed by certain topics (especially sexuality) because they were less experienced in thinking about them, more reflexively afraid of them. I think Hardcore (and even Taxi Driver) have some overwrought qualities, perhaps even intentional, of characters isolated from sex being overwhelmed by their own feelings. (Wasn't Taxi Driver the one where Travis obliviously takes his date to a porno movie?) George C. Scott's character is a dad, but like Travis, his conflict is really a projection of a more adolescent one (fascination/fear/push/pull) with the I-have-to-save-my-daughter being more or less a maguffin (imo) to explain why he is forced to expose himself to that which he fears. Again, this is arrogant, I know, but the big surprise for me in First Reformed was not the development of skill as a filmmaker or writer, that's been there, but the deeper reflections on (what are for me) bigger questions of faith.
  16. First Reformed

    Who knows when I'll be able to see this, but I am very much looking forward to it. ☺
  17. The Red Turtle

    This movie deserves more viewers. Its clearly the best animation of the year, with every little movement feeling carefully alive, and every cut perfectly timed. Utterly gorgeous on a visual level. I confess I don't think its themes are quite as deep as others do (its ode to the life-cycle is simply that and nothing more as far as I can see), and its metaphors are perhaps a little awkward, but it makes up for it all with beauty.
  18. Mother! (Darren Aronofsky)

    It's been a long time since I was so unsettled by a film. It's certainly worth seeing and even beautiful in a certain horrible way. Maybe it's even great, though I'm not quite ready to affirm that. The Gnostic interpretation makes some sense, though we've certainly reached the point by now when all alleged Gnosticism in movies should be looked on with grave suspicion. The mother-as-devil interpretation, though, is either some kind of joke or one of the most horribly wrong readings of a film I've ever seen. It just makes no sense. You would have to fight the film every step of the way to twist it into that shape.
  19. Mother! (Darren Aronofsky)

    From a Reddit user:
  20. Mother! (Darren Aronofsky)

    The Heretical Gnosticism of Darren Aronofsky's Most Daring Film Moreover, the love that generates the world is encased in an imperfect vessel, as Lurianic Kabbalah holds. Its spark is contained in a vessel that will inevitably shatter, bringing evil into the world. When Woman ate of the forbidden fruit, it wasn’t an apple or a fig – it was the kli, the vessel of the Divine Light itself. And she shattered it. Darren Aronofsky has thus retold the gnostic myth of the kosmos, with God as Satan. It is not God who creates or maintains the world: it is the Goddess; Her; Isis; Astarte; Asherah. The Male God is the False God, as Gnosticism (and perhaps some echoes of it in Kabbalah) insists. He is the usurper of the power of the true Deity, the Feminine, the Goddess, and while she gives and nourishes, he lives only for himself. Jay Michaelson, Forward, September 20 - - - I want to hear more about this "Lurianic Kabbalah" and its "vessel that will inevitably shatter". All the "heart" imagery in the house -- and the way it is fused with the crystal that serves as an allegorical stand-in for the forbidden fruit -- reminds me of how the forbidden fruit in Noah pulsed like a heart. And there's a close-up of Bardem and Lawrence holding hands in mother! that feels, to me, very reminiscent of a close-up of Adam and Eve holding hands in Noah as they walk towards the trees at the centre of the Garden of Eden.
  21. Mother! (Darren Aronofsky)

    I liked it. *runs and hides*
  22. Mother! (Darren Aronofsky)

    One critic considers it to be a deeply Christian movie, but only if you interpret the title character to be the devil himself.
  23. First Reformed

    After reading a few descriptions of the premise, Winter Light came to mind, and if you're mentioning Tarkovsky with Bergman, my mind goes to The Sacrifice. They end pretty differently though, from each other and Pickpocket... All wonderful films though, so I can't wait to see this one! Thanks for avoiding spoilers and/or clearly marking them. I hate reviews, including one I just read of this film, that seem to assume it's fair game to reveal what seem to me to be major spoilers even if they don't happen toward the end. I don't mind hints and suggestive allusions, but not why start revealing plot points and character developments? This makes sense, now that you say it. I once argued some sort of similar (the only time I've presented on film at an academic conference; literature is my domain), that Schrader's Transcendental Style misreads Dreyer's transcendental style, which is more of an integration of transcendental and immanent. My larger argument was that Schrader's book can be considered an early example of "post-secular" scholarship, which is still pretty "secular." Hardcore is the only Schrader film I've seen, and I thought it was an interesting and even important take on the Midwestern Dutch Reformed world that is very much my background, even if it was rather unfortunately on the nose. (Schrader was at Calvin College at the same time my parents were attending, for instance...I also went there.) It seems like this film foregrounds spiritual elements in a way that one didn't while still including a critique of religious institutions/norms. If the film's examination of environmentalism and corporate irresponsibility is anything like Hardcore's look at pornography and prostitution, I'll be pleased. But I'm just speculating now... I'm looking forward to coming back and seeing how others have already interpreted it.
  24. Movie Calendar

    Experiment In Terror Ticket to ball game at Candlestick Park: Aug 8, 1961
  25. Movie Calendar

    One, Two, Three (1961, Billy Wilder) “On Sunday, August 13, 1961, the eyes of America were on the nation’s capital, where Roger Maris was hitting home runs number 44 and 45 against the Senators. On that same day, without any warning, the East German Communists sealed off the border between East and West Berlin. I only mention this to show the kind of people we’re dealing with—real shifty."
  26. Downsizing

    Nearly 3 years later, and Damon was able to fit in both THE GREAT WALL, and SUBURBICON to his schedule. At least this one looks like something I'd go see, whereas those other two..... edit: A brilliant casting director would have brought in Rob Brydon as the tiny professor in the box.

    Oops! I forgot to add the link! Haha. Thanks.
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