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Category: Film

Honor in our dreams

Honor in our dreams

More paintings, more departures. Utilizing a digital knife for blending, and a steel wool effect in some cases. Imagining all of this on massive canvasses, propped up on giant easels, in one of a dozen rooms in my ancient castle by the sea. Thick walls, high ceilings, stone floors — sun and moon seeping in from on high. And mead. Lots of mead. Castles fill my mind often, but the most recent trigger was seeing two films: The Last Duel,…

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New poetry, paintings, Coda, and Camus

New poetry, paintings, Coda, and Camus

Spinozablue welcomes new poetry by John Grey, Nanette Avery, and D.R. James. Rereading some good books about Camus and his times, which strike me as highly relevant again. Robert Zaretsky’s Elements of a Life, and Alice Kaplan’s Looking for the Stranger, with more on my To Be Read shelf, including The Plague. His refusal to follow the prevailing winds, his courage under direct and indirect fire, his impassioned moral compass — we could use all of that right now. Perhaps it…

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Bedazzled Humans, Dark City, and New Paintings

Bedazzled Humans, Dark City, and New Paintings

Just watched “Dark City” again, one of my favorite movies, ever. It’s been a while since my last viewing. More than a decade, in fact. Unfortunately, the version I watched wasn’t the remastered DVD version I had seen back in 2009, which had provoked this review in Spinozablue many moons ago. It was still excellent, but just not as amazing as the extended version. It moved me, and reminded me that we’re creatures of the light, whether we live in…

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Portraits, Spirits, Islands on Fire

Portraits, Spirits, Islands on Fire

  The Tempest before the storm. Rocky shores, an island, a remote, semi-protected place for women alone. But they aren’t. And they know it. They know what awaits them offshore. They know what surrounds them, has always surrounded them. They know the countless obstacles in their way. Not just being young women. But being young women in love. Being jeune filles who love each other in 18th century France. Or anywhere else, for that matter. Sciamma’s film is a dream,…

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Bokeh: The Blur Before and After

Bokeh: The Blur Before and After

Directed by Geoffrey Orthwein and Andrew Sullivan, Bokeh is a beautifully understated Sci-Fi movie about the last two humans and what life might mean in that end of days context. Jenai (Maika Monroe) and Riley (Matt O’Leary), a young couple from America, take a romantic trip of a lifetime to Iceland, and only the first day is “normal.” Deep into that first night, Jenai wakes up, goes over to the hotel window, sees what looks like the Aurora Borealis, and…

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Genius

Genius

Genius is the kind of film literary buffs may like a lot more than we should. One reason for this, I’m guessing, is the rarity of the subject matter for a Hollywood production: literary lives. Specifically, the dynamic between editor and novelist. Maxwell Perkins and Thomas Wolfe are the central characters, with cameos from Fitgerald and Hemingway, two (more famous) authors Perkins also helped usher into world renown. Colin Firth plays Maxwell Perkins, with Jude Law as Wolfe, Laura Linney…

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Room

Room

We adapt. We create new fictions in order to adapt. The more things are beyond our control, the more fictions we create. This is the basic setup for one of the best films of 2015, “Room,” starring Brie Larson, who won an Oscar for her role as Joy, mother of five-year-old Jack. The room in question is a shed. It’s their entire world, mother and son’s. They are not allowed to leave. Joy invents games and stories and explanations for…

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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Surprisingly good, fresh, funny and touching, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl tells the story of high school kids, coming of age, learning not just about life, but about death, and how we still keep discovering new things about people after they’re gone. Even the most important things. We still keep learning about ourselves in the process, and that how we treated them while they were on this planet is everything – well, except for realizing this should apply…

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Timbuktu

Timbuktu

One of the best films of the past year is Timbuktu, directed by Abderrahmene Sissako. Understated, beautifully shot and composed, it tells the story of a village, a people, caught in the arbitrary and repressive grip of a Jihadist takeover. The focus of the film, but never at the cost of the village’s story itself, is a small family on the outskirts of Timbuktu, making a life on the dunes. Kidane, the father, Satima, the mother, their daughter Toya, and…

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It’s Their Turn

It’s Their Turn

In the last several years, there has been a long over due spate of films with women as heroes. Two recent movies have told the tale of women, based on their memoirs, testing themselves against the harshest of elements, against nature, striving to go beyond their previously known levels of endurance. This has long been the staple of hero stories for men. But it seems that finally women are getting a chance to show what they can do, what they’ve…

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