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  2. Wow, I hope I have time to go back and reread some of this stuff. I still hate Sunshine though and think it is one of the worst movies ever. I wish that could be saved for posterity. And Review Haiku.
  3. Full review: https://1morefilmblog.com/2021/09/22/the-eyes-of-tammy-faye-showalter-2021/
  4. Saw it. Will review it as soon as I can. It's more I, Tonya than Bombshell, and as much as I like Chastain, I was always aware of her as Chastain mimicking Tammy Faye as opposed to inhabiting the character. Perhaps that is inevitable given movies about people who have/had such large media footprints. The script is a little too thin (I think I counted five or six montages), and while I am sure that it will have it's defenders, I didn't think it particularly brave. It was clearly sympathetic to Tammy Faye, but only insofar as she was a victim of greater hypocrisies of those around her. It never deals with her complicity despite insisting that she was more or less aware of what was going on. I think it tries hard to turn her into a Christian Forest Gump, but it always feels like a portrait from outside the subculture rather than from within. (Even Hillbilly Elegy, as much as I disliked it, felt like it was from the perspective of those who lived within that world. The closest the film came to getting me on board was when Tammy Faye and Jim have the big blow up after and he speaks of despising her "Betty Boop" voice. When she says, "I thought you liked Betty Boop..." the gestures at the core story it wants to tell (I think) of a Christian subculture that isn't so much (or only just) hypocritical but is blind to the implications of what it SAYS. The former is not practicing what you are preaching. The latter is not recognizing or understanding what you are preaching. There's also a scene later on when Falwell takes over and Tammy Faye points out he is Baptist and not "charasimatic" but in between an altar call where she speaks in tongues as a girl and that later scene, denominational differences are not really understood or mentioned. There are individual scenes or moments that work, but (as the montage comment mentions) I think the script struggles to shape them into a coherent them, mostly because it won't allow itself to be truly empathetic. Perhaps it can't. But then why bother? And I don't even mean empathetic to Tammy Faye (I think it is sympathetic, but not empathetic), I don't think it is truly empathetic to people in the church or Christians who are impacted by the cultural shifts created and sustained by religious media. There is a performative aspect to a lot of Christianity, and I get that if you wear the mask (or make up) long enough, you sort of lose the ability to see or understand yourself. In that sense, perhaps the character Tammy Faye most reminds me of is Matt Damon's Talented Mr. Ripley...only without the talents he had. I'm not even sure the film is empathetic to the inner child of either Tammy or Jim...it gestures at the notion that immature Christians are hurting children thrust into power and privilege before they have ever grown up and how religion can gloss over deep wounds rather than genuinely address them or heal them. Wanted to like it, but I just could convince myself that writers or director were in control of their material and shaping it towards anything specific.
  5. Andrew

    The Card Counter

    So, it's nowhere near as gripping or profound as First Reformed, but it's the 9/11 film America deserves. Schrader remains fixed on the US-Iraq War as a symbol of American moral bankruptcy. And the names of his protagonists remain just as significant: from the "earnest toller" of First Reformed, to Will Tell of his latest. My review: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/2021/09/the-card-counter-continues-paul-schraders-expose-of-american-moral-poverty/
  6. Looking like the "retirement" date to redirect the domain away from this board is January 17, 2022. At least that is when the Invision license runs out. I've stopped installing updates, though, so it is possible that the board could become wonky before then. I'm working on getting some pages for Top 100s up elsewhere to preserve that part of the board history.
  7. Good on you, Christian - it takes a special kind of person to be a devoted foster parent, and I commend you and your wife for it. As for this film, I loved it as well - along with Life, Animated and Temple Grandin, it's one of my three go-to films to put you in the shoes of someone with autism. I ranked it 7 or 8 on my Best of 2020 list, and was very touched when the director singled my review out as someone who got his film. I'm pretty sure communication boards are regarded as legit in the treatment world, as I seem to recall my wife and I having this conversation (she's a speech language pathologist and also adored this film). Just curious, Christian, did you make use of applied behavior analysis with your previous foster kid? ABAs are true heroes and wonder workers, in my estimation. I guess I'll link to my review: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/2020/10/diy-virtual-film-fest-part-9-the-reason-i-jump/
  8. I couldn't find a thread on this documentary about nonverbal autistic kids, which was one of my favorite films of last year. I sought it out after reading a rave review from Joe Morgenstern during the six months last year that I subscribed to the Wall Street Journal. While the film is lovely to look at - it's visually quite beautiful in ways I wouldn't have expected considering the subject matter - I was very much taken with the film's main content: a demonstration of methods depicted to show how these kids "verbalize" their thoughts. I'm no expert, and while I know the main method highlighted is viewed skeptically by some researchers/scientists, this is a rare instance where my excitement at what I was seeing made my journalistic skepticism take a back seat to hope and joy. Why am I launching a thread about this movie now? Sorry for the possible digression, but my wife and I became foster parents a couple of years ago and, having sent our one-and-only (so far) placement to her "forever home" earlier this month, we've just been contacted about possibly fostering a 4-year-old autistic boy who's noncommunicative. I immediately thought of this film. While we have very basic questions at the moment that will influence whether or not we take the boy into our home - he's a biter who, we're told, would benefit from older kids in the home who could "self protect" (uh oh! although as I told my wife, "Better to deal with a 4-year-old who manifests such behavior than a teenager!") - part of me wants to foster the boy in the hopes that we can help him become more communicative. Whether or not that looks like the communication we see in the documentary or he actually starts to speak (he hums for now), it would be interesting to learn about how to care for kids like him - even if he never becomes more communicative while with us. (Part of the reason we were contacted is because our previous placement was noncommunicative when she came to us, then blossomed through time in our home and public-school programs for kids on the spectrum - a program this boy would also be part of.) I don't really have a question. This is a thread about a film, and I'd love to hear what others thought of The Reason I Jump. But I also wouldn't mind hearing about any experience readers have had with noncommunicative autistic kids, even if that means this thread gets moved to another area of the board.
  9. Andrew

    Annette

    And this only improved with a second viewing. The opening song foreshadows nicely what is to come, which is only amplified by the echo line of "True Love Always Finds a Way." "We Love Each Other So Much" is intentionally shallow, underscoring the peril of heedless infatuation. And the closing song is quite the gutpunch after all that's come before. By including his own daughter in the opening studio scene, Carax is clearly stating that we need to do better with our female roles in entertainment, that it's no longer ok to depend on the feminine martyr trope. It's analogous in my mind to so many horror movies, where you can guarantee that the Black supporting actor will offer themselves up as a sacrifice for the white leading actors. (As I understand it, one of the major horror releases this year appallingly did this yet again.) Thanks to the evil overlord Jeff Bezos, it's possible to watch and rewatch the joyous opening minutes of this film on repeat on Amazon Prime. Which I've been doing. And will continue to do. It's my favorite film opening in recent memory.
  10. Better than it has any right to be, gliding along on the considerable charms of Ryan Reynolds (your non-Deadpool mileage may vary). Some half-hearted attempts to veneer it with a proletariat (there are no special classes of people) or spiritual (intelligent design! SOMEONE created this world and this world is a manifestation of their values/beliefs) theme. I mean it's a Ready Player One, Matrix, Wreck-It-Ralph, Lego Movie retread, but mindless entertainment is mindless entertainment....
  11. Evan C

    Annette

    Great review, Andrew! And thanks for the shout-out. This will almost definitely be my favorite film of 2021, and certainly top three. My review can be found here: https://catholiccinephile.wordpress.com/2021/08/13/annette/
  12. I have friends who either love the Burton remake or hate it. Same with the Burton-Depp combination in general. I myself am not that big a fan of their works, but I did really enjoy the Burton version on Willy Wonka. I do think George Orwell's Animal Farm would be a particularly good choice for Burton to adapt into a film. The book is political and allegorical and all, yes, but, it's also got the weirdness/whackiness quotient Burton could thrive with. Imagine Walken or Cage playing Old Major and Napoleon (either dressed as animals or just voicing them).
  13. Andrew

    Annette

    So, this is fabulous, audacious, with terrific music and a particularly impressive performance by Adam Driver. After reading Evan's review, I'm kicking myself for not giving it 5 out of 5 stars. My main ding against it was that, for a film concerning itself with female representation in the arts, it focused overmuch on Adam Driver's character. But his comments about Carax's major stylistic choice and female agency really lifted this film in my estimation. Since Edgar Wright's Sparks documentary earlier this year, I've been immersing myself in the music of the Mael brothers. They're quite capable of witty, rapid-fire wordplay (to wit, wordy odes to the missionary position, a song about onomatopeoia, and another tune that manages to rhyme hippopotamus, Hieronymous (Bosch), Volkswagen autobus, and Titus Andronicus), but they focus on instrumental complexity here instead. They meld rock, hip-hop, Broadway musical, and various classical styles effectively (including Romantic, post-Romantic, Arnold Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire, and John Adams' Nixon in China). Carax's Holy Motors would probably make my Top 50. I'm not sure yet if I love this one quite as much, but I can't see a Best of 2021 list where this doesn't make my Top 3, in a year with several very impressive films. My full review: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/2021/08/annette-a-musical-most-wonderful-and-strange/
  14. Not to my knowledge, though one could click on one's profile and get a list of that content which one could then download message by message.
  15. Andrew

    Pray Away

    Thanks, Evan. Your openness about it has arrived about two decades sooner than mine, so there's that at least. I've really only started talking about it over the last couple of years, in part to help a pair of younger relatives feel more at ease and less stigmatized over their LGBT identities.
  16. Evan C

    Pray Away

    Nice review, Andrew. I didn't know you were also bisexual. I'm becoming more comfortable with my sexuality, but it's certainly been a journey to get there.
  17. Andrew

    Pray Away

    I appreciate your comments, Evan, and posted a response on Letterbox. This was a tough watch for me as well, given my homophobic Lutheran indoctrination as a child, and repressing my own same-sex attraction for decades in a splendid act of self-loathing. I'm now comfortable in my skin as a bisexual, but it took a long time to get there, and I probably will never come out to many of my family members; what's the point of such masochism? Anywho, here's what I wrote on the film: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/2021/08/pray-away-the-rise-fall-and-rise-of-faith-based-homophobia/
  18. this is probably a dumb question, but is there a way to sort of download everything one wrote on here?
  19. Evan C

    Pray Away

    I know there hasn't been a lot of posting around here (and I know I've certainly been around here less), but I wanted to share my very rough first impressions of Pray Away, which I probably won't share to my blog or Facebook, for reasons that should be obvious if you read the review. https://letterboxd.com/evan_c/film/pray-away/
  20. Andrew's response was to an off-topic spammer on this thread who was using your question to recommend kratom. The post he was responding to has since been deleted as spam. It didn't have anything to do with your original inquiry.
  21. Ken wrote: Based on my limited experience, the main reason people investigate past threads is to review or gather information needed for nominating or voting on Top 100/Top 50 films. If those lists are to be archived--well, the 2020 Top 100 all link to A&F discussions of those pictures. Some of the older lists have only blurbs, or hit-or-miss links to the forum. FWIW.
  22. I would assume there is since I found correspondence from a previous admin to a previous owner talking about making the board archives a "subreddit." That's a bit beyond my level of expertise, though if someone else wants to investigate alternatives and recommend a proposal, I am willing to consider.
  23. 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.
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