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Josie

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About Josie

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  • Favorite movies
    I am hopeless at hierarchies, but I love these directors: Bresson, Lean, Chaplin, Renoir, Truffaut, Hitchcock, Sirk . . . Bergman (except Persona, for some reason I *hate* that one!) and these films: The Dreamlife of Angels, The Long Goodbye, My Man Godfrey, The Battle of Algiers, The Lives of Others, My Life as a Dog, Seance on a Wet Afternoon, The Wrestler . . .
  • Favorite creative writing
    these are authors I have read and reread: George Eliot, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Bowen, William Trevor, William Maxwell, Raymond Chandler, Willa Cather, Marilynne Robinson, Jonathan Coe, Edna O'Brien, J.M. Coetzee, Sarah Waters, Paul Hardy, Janet Lewis, Kazuo Ishiguro, Penelope Lively, George MacDonald, Philippa Pearce, Elizabeth Goudge, Jean Rhys . . . . a few novels: Ulysses, The End of the Affair (Graham Greene), Le Grande Meaulnes, Beloved short stories: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Alice Munro, Chekov, Turgenev, Pushkin, Katherine Mansfield, Sarah Orne Jewett, Eudora Welty if I had a least dispensable genre, I think it would be poetry. I love Donne & Herbert, Frost & Dickinson & Whitman, T.S. Eliot, Robert Bly, Elizabeth Bishop, Wallace Stevens, Cezlaw Milosz, Susan Stewart, James Richardson, Olen Kalytiak Davis . . . . and so many, many more. finally (because she writes *about* art) a scholar whose work I admire: Elaine Scarry
  1. Great thoughts, Josie. I suppose that, at least for some of us, the very idea of "Christian films as a genre" is abhorrent. And it is abhorrent because we don't believe that Christians were ever meant to use art in this way - at least in the sense of working in separation from the rest of the world, working within a subculture that judges by different standards and appeals to some desires or sensibilities are are supposedly "Christian" rather than human. So I wouldn't say that it's not so much a matter of decorum or comprehension. Instead, I'd argue that the only way to understand the re
  2. I'm sorry for not responding to this much sooner. I saw it days ago and meant to, but I'm really bad at keeping up with internet conversations. (Evne this afternoon I was searching for this thread, and got sidetracked) Actually, I think there could be wrong, deplorable reasons for liking works of art. But they're beside Gombrich's point. I also think he touches on capacities of art and reasons for liking it that are vastly underrated and under-examined. I'm sorry that things are so discouraging for your daughter but impressed she's still dancing. I have a great deal of sympathy for a
  3. Not Christian, but would Ki-duk Kim's Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring qualify?
  4. "And I found myself wondering who ever uses the term "Christian film" to mean that first category." I do. Once, I had no idea that the second category existed. I grew aware of the industry and the niche market at the same time and for the same reasons I discovered that "Christian" could mean Evangelical. (Or a segment within Evangelicalism?) In my mind, a film can now be Christian in the narrow, serviceable - precisely descriptive - sense of this thread: made by and for Evangelical Christians or to proselytize. Or it can be Christian in the larger, more diffuse sense of Alyssa's pairing a
  5. Josie

    Gone Girl

    If you haven't watched Marnie in a while, you should. Or even just the first part, where hair color and femininity and disguise and the assertion/transferal of power are so disturbingly intertwined. And the sequence with the heels . . . I only know Gone Girl as a book. I thought it was shallow (and really disliked its view of humanity) but compulsively readable. I also thought it might work better onscreen: one of those novels that are either inherently movie-like or written with a movie in mind. This discussion doesn't quite make me want to reread it (I was genuinely surprised by Christian
  6. Thank you, that's very kind and heartening (especially because I tend to compact ideas and leave out connections and can end up just muddying a conversation). I can reciprocate. I've found the discussions you and J.A.A. Purves sometimes hold interesting and helpful too! I didn't look at all the links yet and hopefully will come back to them. But I read part of the Art Renewal thread and it made me want to say much more. Sadly, from what I could tell, at least two of the (very well educated) voices in that thread are missing. Both, from my weak recollection, provide
  7. I didn't look at all the links yet and hopefully will come back to them. But I read part of the Art Renewal thread and it made me want to say much more. To speak plainly, I don't actually take this man for a teacher, nor Prager for a university, nor his subject for art history. Instead, I think he revives early identifications of modernism as degenerate and amoral. I've glimpsed that before, probably through links in A&F, and I know, dimly, that it's socio-political/-religious in motivation. Here it seems at once breathtakingly naive (shot through with fallacies and fabrications) and
  8. SDG quoted Lloyd Alexander and Philip Pullman in a thread on how books begin, shunting my thoughts back to this one. I didn't write them down before because they seemed too simplistic and impressionistic and long. And now I wish I could tuck them under N Booth's last post because they seem too belated. But moving squarely back to Graham, if you've outgrown children's or YA books - whether select titles or the whole genre - you should feel neither shame, nor pressure to read them. If you find delight, wonder, refuge, lost memories and sensations - any rewards - you should feel neither sha
  9. I think the same things you do, Tucker. There's a certain irony in a professor who delivers five minute video lectures for a virtual university founded by a conservative radio talk show host mounting this argument. A sense in which his podium is the academic/critical quintessence of the free-for-all he sees in art - of eroded standards and traditions. (I don't mean that's my view; only it seems like having his ideological cake and eating it too.) And as this is a talk about taste, the irony seeps into design: his captions and illustrations &c. I don't love the Impressionists. I lik
  10. J.A.A., I've felt the opposite. That film criticism can align with literary criticism and draw upon the same movements and conventions. (I've wondered if it does so more than with visual culture studies and how else it could have turned out.) In academia, where the border between literature departments and film or cinema studies can be so porous, you could probably find that fusion in descriptions of majors and courses and even syllabi. Definitely in the critical works published by university presses. And if you look to the font of film criticism, people like Bazin or Deleuze, I think you'd se
  11. sends a sort of thrill down my spine when I read it - not quite sure why, but something to do with English nostalgia and being a hopeless Romantic. I have (read it). I also love the symmetry of its ending and how that idiom and the core dramatic elements come full circle. From the final passage: I tend to reread books I love, not just once but cyclically, making it hard to separate my affection and personal associations from more objective merit. But I do think this one stands out. It's so finely wrought and beautifully imaginative and grows on me. I have wonde
  12. I misheard this dialogue or else interpreted it differently. Doesn't Emil (or Bruno?) explain that their families came over on the boat together and that the two cousins grew up in the same house. . . or maybe across the street? I took that to mean that Bruno and Emil aren't immigrants themselves or at least that their birth country, rather than the title of the film, is ambiguous. (But for me, to disambiguate the title isn't to limit its scope or symbolism - only to concentrate them.) One of the bleaker suggestions is that to advance one rung on the ladder of assimilation just means you
  13. I feel less confused after Andrew's explanation but more guilty for misunderstanding usage. Though I do think that when Christians speak of being 'spiritual but not religious' the religious connotation is actually preserved. J.A.A., I've felt the opposite. That film criticism can align with literary criticism and draw upon the same movements and conventions. (I've wondered if it does so more than with visual culture studies and how else it could have turned out.) In academia, where the border between literature departments and film or cinema studies can be so porous, you could
  14. I'm also glad to see you here, Rebecca! Evan, I have a confused impression that faith implies belief in God (or gods) while spirituality implies belief in or openness to the metaphysical/supernatural, and that atheism and spirituality can go hand in hand. But I suspect I'm completely wrong.
  15. Yes, I think this too, because cinema is about us as well as for us. When the imposition of dress and speech codes inhibits its power to imbue its forms with meaning and tell stories - especially stories of victimhood and moral crisis - we cross a line I care about deeply. Probably far more deeply than Trevor Wax's. I know I don't perceive literature or sin through the same religious lens. I wish I understood better. I wish that Wax were more explicit than 'sewage' and the slippage of ratings standards, and assume (maybe wrongly?) that his primary concern is sexual/erotic content. In my
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