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BethR

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  • Website URL
    https://twitter.com/elrambo

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. 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.
  2. Ken, I appreciate all you contributed in both time and money to keep the A&F board going. I have enjoyed being part of the conversations over the years, but it does seem that almost all participants have moved to other, more public, platforms for publishing their reviews, gotten involved with other social media for discussion, etc. A&F may have served it purpose. I agree that the Top 100 (and 50) lists are worth preserving, and I'm willing to contribute to that if it would be helpful.
  3. The Atlantic takes notice:
  4. BethR

    Dream Horse (2020)

    Dream Horse, directed by Euros Lyn, is a fictionalized version of the story told in the 2015 documentary Dark Horse. A group of Welsh working-class villagers pool their money to breed and train a racehorse they name Dream Alliance. When the horse turns out to be a much better investment than expected, the surprise is more--surprising--in the documentary than in the fictional version. Under two hours isn't really that long by today's standards, but the film seemed to drag at times while hammering home class divisions and various characters' individual quirks and trials. However, Toni Collette is always worth watching, Sian Phillips has a nice minor role, and the racing footage is (I thought) well-shot for thrills. Three stars :)
  5. Interesting review, Ken. I was one of those millions watching the original TV movie The Day After, and still remember it as a horrific experience. It certainly cemented my existing conviction that we should do everything in our power to prevent nuclear war.
  6. Retreading some of the ground in articles linked above (and yes, it's published in First Things), Mark Bauerlein's history of the decline of English departments, "Truth, Reading, and Decadence." The emphasis on "identity critics" is over the top, but probably what FT readers want. Along similar lines, a former student found herself in a graduate course on Shakespeare with an instructor whose interest in eco-criticism ovrwhelmed almost anything Shakespeare actually wrote. The student was pretty disgusted.
  7. 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.
  8. 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:
  9. 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 this is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but the production quality is high and it's being offered free via smartphone with subtitles in dozens of languages and season 3 is 12% funded already. On the app, you can find a 20 minute introduction episode 0 "The Shepherd," a brief nativity that's well done. Season one trailer: https://youtu.be/K1-FoFj8Jbo
  10. 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:
  11. Thanks, Ken. Looking forward to watching this film this weekend.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. BethR

    Wolfwalkers

    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 action (not describing it because of spoilers) by the Lord Protector could also be considered hypocritical. Nevertheless, this is a beautiful movie and should become a classic.
  15. 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.
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