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Russ

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Everything posted by Russ

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/30/opinion/babylon-berlin-weimar-america.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage Sounds like Ross Douthat shares your enthusiasm for the show, Ken. Haven't seen it yet, but will prioritize it. Apparently the three seasons are now on Netflix.
  2. Sorry, Ken. I'd still like to do SILENCE, SECRET SUNSHINE and THE MILL AND THE CROSS and have drafts started. How about if I don't have them posted by Thursday morning you can enlist a new volunteer?
  3. That's awesome. It's a really great movie. Earlier this summer I encouraged my sixteen year-old daughter to watch it, and she wasn't in any hurry to do so, but then she decided to make it her mid-summer project to watch the AFI's Top 100 American Movies list, in order, so it's right there waiting for her and I at #93. So, give me a while and I'll get back to you with some contemporary reactions. It's been over a decade since I've seen it.
  4. No, there isn't a bigger Kore-Eda guy than you on the forum, and no, you're not wrong to have been underwhelmed by this film. I saw it last December and was puzzled by how inconsequential and inert it was. I mean, it's not distasteful or offensively bad, but just...inconsequential. Nobody's going to blame the acting given this cast, and his directing seems to bring life to a varied type of stories, so I have to pin it on the writing. Is it fair to wonder how much the film's failure was attributable to Kore-Eda just being overly cautious because he was working out of his cultural milieu? I
  5. I rewatched SECRET SUNSHINE this past weekend in preparation for writing on it. It had been a couple of years since I had seen it, and a few things were different than I remembered, in ways that really pleased me. It's even better than I remembered, in my view. I know there's a recurrence of comments here about Shin-ae and how her character is constructed (or not constructed), but I think the way she presents and the way she interacts with Jun are the aftereffects of what's happened before the film begins, and while you'd expect there to be some degree of sadness and grieving after the
  6. We had a free trial of HBO, so I finally had a chance to catch up with this, and it's quite good. I don't know to what degree this is an indicia of a good piece of art based on real events, but it's made me want to read and learn more about the disaster, which I remember discussing with my 9th grade science teacher when it happened. (Aside: we were asking the teacher why the Soviets insisted on refusing to admit what had happened. He said they didn't want to lose face. I said, "Well, haven't they already lost enough faces?" The class laughed and I wish I could punch the fourteen year-old
  7. I'll volunteer for SILENCE, and will happily do SECRET SUNSHINE afterwards. Thanks for thinking of me. If there are others you want to assign me, Ken, feel free.
  8. A modest proposal: Take the list that contains the 100 films with the two-films-per-director rule, then add the films that we'd get if we imposed the one-film-per-director requirement, then have willing voters rank those films from 1-100, and the films that fall outside of the top 100 fall out and you have your new list and order without revoting just the Top 25. Is it somewhat arbitrary to decide whether a film is really your 76th favorite or 77th favorite on the list? Totally, but we just ranked 350 movies on a six-point scale. This is nothing. Between any two movies I can always figure
  9. I bet LE RAYON VERT got the shaft.
  10. Hilarious. One Hundred Is the Loneliest Number. I haven't participated in any of the voting procedure/stat discussion, so feel free to disregard this, but I think that a second vote to reorder the Top 25 really seems like a natural fit. I know that if I was sitting down to make my own personal Top 25, I wouldn't have six of the top nine films be by three directors. It'd strike me as a little too fanboyish, even if it actually approximated what I consciously think my preferences are. Nah, I would keep all six of them in the Top 25, but I'd make some hard choices and probably put 10 slo
  11. Normally when I encounter a work of art that criticizes a particular point of Christian theology or common practice I think I've developed a fairly even-handed ability to discern whether it's a good faith criticism or a bad faith criticism. I hope that doesn't come across as arrogant. In any event, the scene where Shin-ae visits the man in prison strikes me as an extraordinarily good faith criticism of orthodox theology.
  12. Russ

    The Exorcist

    Ken, I hadn't really considered the possibility of where THE EXORCIST fits in terms of my preferences, but the points you make seem all pretty sound to me. I hate to respond by diverting attention to another film, but given your comments and what I know about what you tend to like, I hope you get a chance to see UNDER THE SUN OF SATAN, which seems to me to be a match with what you're describing thematically with the stylistic austerity that characterizes some of the Bresson films we've been kicking around for a while. There's one scene in particular that's just remarkable.
  13. I am not watching much series TV presently, but I did just finish watching a super-cool show with my 10 year-old that starred Gina Carano, Werner Herzog and Giancarlo Esposito, which I really enjoyed. I'm watching DEVS on Hulu with my 16 year-old week-by-week when they drop a new episode. I'm a casual fan of Alex Garland's directorial work, and this show fits the template of his films--every time I think it's dumb it does something really smart, and every time I think it's smart it does something really dumb. If nothing else, though, DEVS has given the world a scene in which Marilyn Monroe
  14. That's so great, Ken. I had OUR LITTLE SISTER in the first draft of my list, paired with Gerwig's LITTLE WOMEN. It's such a great film, but I came to the same conclusion you did--that despite all of the reasons I love it, they aren't the specific reasons why this list exists, in my mind. I have an idiosyncratic soft spot for films that portray the dynamic between four sisters. Who knew? Still, LITTLE WOMEN still made the cut because I think her screenplay really is an amazing thing--an arrangement that reassembles that well-trod story into a narrative of the Eternal Now.
  15. Here's a thread to file away films we either forgot or deliberately chose not to nominate, which based on past attention, buzz or discussion might have been expected to be pushed forward. I'll start--no SECRET SUNSHINE! I consider that a loss.
  16. That's cool, because as I developed my list I was initially adding films as pairs. That's how I got to both SUMMER and A TALE OF WINTER, because I think of them as riffs on each other. Of course, I guess you could say that about nearly all of Rohmer's films, but those two seem to me to be especially linked. I also had both LATE SPRING and 35 SHOTS OF RUM as a pair, but that's when I decided it wasn't the best way to build a list, so I took the one I like better.
  17. I'd throw lots of votes at THE LONELIEST PLANET, but I don't know how anybody who hasn't seen it is going to do so. I post-nominated GATES OF HEAVEN because it was the film that occurred to me yesterday that I wish I'd put on my list, but if it hadn't occurred to me I might well have put IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK in there instead.
  18. Gates of Heaven (1978)
  19. My guess is Nicole's transformation from not wanting Charlie to know how deeply she loves him and why, as expressed in the letter, to not objecting and allowing Henry to share it with him. As I was watching the scene I had this feeling in the back of my mind that at some point she'd realize what Henry was doing and shut it down, because I'd forgotten that it's totally part of the playbook that she'd show her growth as a person by allowing that grace to him. Speaking of playbooks, I resisted the charms of the showtunes, maybe partly because I'm not much steeped in musicals, but your revie
  20. I didn't love it, either, Ken, and I was really thinking it would be right in my wheelhouse. I felt largely the same way that Baumbach tilted the equilibrium toward Charlie, and then somewhat clumsily injected the plot element of his affair to try to balance things out a bit, when I'm not sure I think his character would have done that. It made me want to revisit Bergman's miniseries, though. Speaking of THE SQUID AND THE WHALE, it's funny that Baumbach gives Charlie one of Bernard's lines about all the f&*%ing he left on the table by being committed to and then married to Nicole.
  21. I don't have any interest in the GOT prequel and agree with your premise, Ken. I guess GODFATHER 2 is both a prequel and a sequel, so it's not an apt counterexample, but that's the best I could come up with.
  22. Is the group of available films for discussion limited to those in the list? I ask because I'd been kicking around a comparison piece on MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW and AMOUR and Haneke's film isn't on it.
  23. Ken, that page looks really nice. Good work. My name's misspelled on the LATE SPRING blurb. If you end up not being able to get the other blurbs you need, hit me up and I can put something together this weekend.
  24. Ugh. We'll pass. The recent movie's actually on DVD, Beth. My nine year-old Daisy bought it with some birthday money and has watched it about seven or eight times (by her count), including two days ago. It doesn't really warrant that level of devotion, but there is something about the movie that's so non-Riverdale that I find it charming. Weird that they recast all of the parts for this show. As if there aren't enough of the Riverdale-type shows out there for everybody who isn't, you know, nine like the actual f-ing audience of the source material. Never been happier that we unp
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