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About BethR

  • Rank
    Getting medieval on media

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Profile Information

  • Interests
    medieval English literature, fantasy and science fiction, historical fiction, movies, music, travel, a unified Christian life

Previous Fields

  • Occupation
    university English professor
  • About my avatar
    Dandelion from "Sugarshock" by Whedon & Moon
  • Favorite movies
    Singing in the RainTo Kill a MockingbirdCasablancaGalaxy QuestBabette's Feast
  • Favorite music
    Steeleye Span. Bruce Springsteen. Warren Zevon.
  • Favorite creative writing
    William Langland, THE VISION OF PIERS PLOWMANGeoffrey Chaucer, CANTERBURY TALESJulian of Norwich, A BOOK OF SHOWINGSDorothy Dunnett, THE LYMOND CHRONICLES; THE HOUSE OF NICCOLO; KING HEREAFTERDorothy L. SayersC.S. LewisJ.R.R. TolkienPoetry: John Donne, Edward Hirsch, David Citino, Mary Oliver, Kelly Cherry
  • Favorite visual art
    medieval illuminations. JMW Turner. PreRaphaelites

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  1. Peter Chattaway, who hasn’t been active on A&F for a while, has reviewed The Chosen s1 on his Film Chat blog, as well as recaps of all 8 episodes, and more. Thanks, PTC.
  2. Is anyone else watching The Nevers? Episode 1 premiered April 11. Last night was ep. 4, so two more to go in the first half season. The remaining six episodes will be run by Philippa Goslett. No word yet whether writers/producers Jane Espenson and Doug Petrie will remain with the series. From Caroline Framke's Variety review:
  3. I'm surprised that no one has mentioned this crowdfunded, app-based series, now in its second season, which is re-telling the gospel story more or less from the perspectives of the disciples and others "chosen" by Jesus. Created by Dallas Jenkins (son of Jerry B. Jenkins), who produced or directed a couple of so-so Christian films, it is a crowdfunded project that raised over 10,000,000 for season 1, and plans to continue in this way for seven seasons. Season 1 can be viewed free online here, or by downloading the free app, which works with Roku or various TV things. I don't know if
  4. I'm usually "meh" about Oscar songs, but I feel strongly that this performance should have created a special exception and caused "Husavik" to win, not just for Molly Sanden throwing heart and soul into the song, but especially for the chorus of Icelandic sweater-wearing children. Also, fireworks:
  5. Thanks, Ken. Looking forward to watching this film this weekend.
  6. Emily in Paris (Netflix). Total fluff, but fortunately only 10 episodes, each less than 30 min, so I got through it in a Saturday afternoon/evening. The fashions are nice. Lily Collins (Edith in Tolkien) is chipper, all the men are good-looking. Created by Darren Starr, it's Sex in the City-light, with more boring social-media-marketing chatter. So I guess I stuck with it to find out if Emily would learn French, and how the romances would play out. Come to think of it, though, almost every secondary character had a more interesting plotline than Emily's.
  7. The documentary has its flaws, undoubtedly, but it seemed to provide some useful information to those among my first-year writing students last fall who watched it as part of a unit on social media. I wonder now if any of them are reflecting on it now.
  8. BethR


    I finally got to see Wolfwalkers, and it is another visually delightful addition to the work of this group of animators/creators. I think Ken and Aren both raise good points about the presentation of religion in the movie--Cromwell (here called only "the Lord Protector," a name that becomes more ironic as the story proceeds) was a famously dour and destructive historical figure, but as a character, he also fits easily into expected stereotypes, especially as there are no counter Christians. All the villagers are terrified of the woods/nature/wolves, except Robyn and her father. A certain actio
  9. The Nevers wrapped filming season 1 Nov. 15 and seems to be still on track to premiere on HBO sometime in 2021. Joss Whedon, however, will have no further involvement with the series.
  10. Regular CBS finally broadcast season 1, so I'm caught up with that. It's good, and Ken is right about Christine Baranski, although I would argue that Julianna Margulies' character called for a different style, but Margulies has never been an expressive actress, going back to her ER days. Ken, I think you definitely nailed this point: The Good Wife was trending in that direction by the final season.
  11. BethR


    I wish this film had been made as a study of four complicated people in their situations, rather than a fictionalized biopic of Shirley Jackson. It sounds as if it doesn't particularly add anything to our understanding of her writings. The book it was based on might, but I still find biographical criticism the least valuable form of literary criticism.
  12. People are raving about this new Netflix series (7 episodes) based on Walter Tevis's 1983 novel. It is outstanding serial filmmaking, both visually, and as a troubled prodigy's bildungsroman. Excellent cast. You don't need to know anything about chess (I didn't know anything except the basic moves when I read the novel, and that's about all I know now.)
  13. I'm enjoying it very much, so far. Mostly Tilda Swinton narrates (not Cate Blanchett--I don't know why I always confuse those two), but also Jane Fonda, Adjoa Andoh, Sharmila Tagore, Kerry Fox, Thandie Newton and Debra Winger. I'm sure it will be available on DVD or something eventually.
  14. BethR


    Alissa Wilkinson and Aja Romano discuss/review the film and the reactions against it on Vox:
  15. For those in the USA, TCM will show this documentary series and 100 films by women filmmakers every Tuesday in September-December 1 (14 weeks). You can find the full schedule and more here: https://womenmakefilm.tcm.com/schedule/ It looks like a great series. My DVR is going to fill up fast.
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