The effect is something like an absurd and endless syllabus, constantly updating to remind you of ways you might flunk as a moral being.
Glad to see someone writing about one of my least favorite descriptions for art.
This usage seems to gesture everywhere but at the art itself, both as an admonishment to the audience and an indictment of the world that has begotten the themes contained in the work being discussed.
On the Basis of Sex. Paint-by-numbers biopic. RBG is pretty impressive and I’m glad I know more of her story now. Everyone does their part and we all leave inspired. It’s fine!
Shoplifters. It’s bittersweet and so, so good. I like this improvised family, formed by choice and by happenstance, lasting as long as convenience and commitment allow. But for how long? Lots of beautiful moments – out thieving, on the beach, enjoying a rainy afternoon. I like the “mother’s” transformation over the course of the film. Interesting to see side of Japan I’m not used to – the poor, the neglected. I like this one more and more since the time I saw it.
Asking yourself, “What am I doing when I like who I am?” seems to me to be a more direct way to figure out what you need more of (and what you need less of) in life, regardless of what you think you should need. Often, the healthy, fulfilling things we’ve drifted away from are things whose significance probably wouldn’t occur to us, until we start doing them again and see how much they contributed to our well-being.
Where Self-Esteem Comes From
I’m not of the opinion that a film absolutely needs to have a clear moral framework to have worth, but I do believe that making a film is a moral act. Even if the filmmakers pose questions to which they give no answers, the formulation and presentation of the questions themselves are loaded with a moral reasoning.
On The Vexing Moral Murkiness of “Sicario”.
The Big Sick. Funny, bittersweet rom-com. I should probably watch more comedy. Shout-out to Romano and Hunter. So great in their roles.
The Equalizer 2. I hope they just quietly let this franchise slip into obsolescence. Too much going on here plot-wise, and this edition of McCall seems to have a haranguing Cosby-esque vibe where the first one had more charm. I think the highlight for me was seeing Donald Cerrone’s bit part.
First Reformed. I dig it. Some great performances. I never knew what direction it was going to go.
The “time” just provides a framework to allow you to get to a place where it’s going to be hard. If you just did it casually, it would be much more comfortable, and I don’t think it would be as transformative or profound, on a personal level.
So, I use the “time” as a beacon, or a motivator—whatever you want to call it—not to break a record, but more like if you challenge this time, it’s going to get you to a place where it’s going to be uncomfortable and hard and … you’re going to learn something.
Really loved that bit of Joe Grant’s Nolan’s 14 interview. It captured one reason a lot of my hikes turn out the way they do. I like being outdoors and have a few regular haunts. But sometimes I can’t talk myself into getting out until I have a “gimmick”, I call it. Some silly goal. Can I do 40 miles in a day? What’s it like to hike an all-nighter? Can I cover X distance in Y hours… with no running allowed? What if I hiked the same 3-mile loop until I lost my mind? So I put myself in these odd situations, and at times I’ve found myself 20 miles out from the trailhead, thinking, “Well, 20 miles to get back home. The only way home is to put the hours in… so might as well get on with it.” I go through all these emotional roller coasters and eventually there’s a certain peace that comes along, but only after I’ve really stretched.
Heat. Up to 7 or 8 viewings now? (Filed under: Heat). Caught a few more “time” references this go-round. Hanna’s wife offers him coffee before he heads out – can’t, no time. The daughter’s anxiety attack is about being late for her father. And of course the parting shot when Hanna meets with the snitch. One other minor thing: the Pietà statue at the hospital at the beginning of the movie is echoed by our protagonists at the end. I might have to call this my favorite movie.
Roma. It is a seriously beautiful but I left frustrated. In several emotional, daunting, or stressful moments the camera drifts away from our protagonist to just sort of take in the scenery. In form, it seems like it… doesn’t care? She’s a bit of a cipher. Perhaps that’s the point, and the broader time and place is what we’re meant to understand. You can see the climax coming a mile away. I like the water imagery, but the astronauts even more.
Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone. What a delight. These movies could have gone off the rails in a million different ways, but they really came through. Somehow I felt the ~magic~ in this one, like literal gasping. So fun. (Side note: this came out 17 years ago???????)
Memories of Murder. I give this a solid A-. Pretty mesmerizing, and pretty depressing. I loved the lush orchestral score. Some Chinatown vibes here and there.
Bonnie and Clyde. The criminal road trip movie is a tough one. I think I respect and appreciate this one more than I enjoy it. Those birds at the end, though. What a moment! I’ll take Badlands over this one, given the choice.
The Game. Good harmless fun. Slowly plugging the holes in my David Fincher knowledge. Current rankings: