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Showing posts from November, 2016

(Not So) Recent Movie Roundup 22

It's pretty far down the very long list of reasons for its awfulness, but 2016 has not been a great movie year.  The failures of this year's summer movies have been sufficiently enumerated, but the truth is that by the time they rolled around, I was sufficiently burned out by the disappointing spring that I didn't even bother to watch most of them.  And a great deal of interesting 2016 films that I would have liked to see--such as Midnight Special, The Lobster, High Rise, and The Handmaiden--didn't even make it into theaters near me.  This post, therefore, actually covers something like five months of movie-watching, and though some of it has been worthwhile or entertaining, none of it counters my impression that 2016, in its cruelty, couldn't even offer us the distraction of good movies.
Love & Friendship - The biggest and most vexing question raised by Whit Stillman's adaptation of Jane Austen's unpublished novella Lady Susan is: why the title change? …

Arrival

It's been about four years since the movie adaptation of Ted Chiang's "Story of Your Life" was announced, and during that period, every time I heard a piece of news about the film's progress, there was always one question paramount in my mind: how?  How could you possibly take Chiang's story, a trippy, challenging piece of writing whose ultimate conclusion needs to be carefully laid out for even the most attentive and game reader, and translate it into a mainstream movie, in a medium that isn't normally permitted to spell out its themes and ideas the way written fiction is?  For me personally, there was an element of protectiveness to this wondering.  "Story of Your Life," which I first read in my late teens, was an eye-opener for me.  In its focus on the "soft" science of linguistics, in its willingness to use relatively abstruse concepts from both linguistics and physics to build its premise, and in its foregrounding of a thoroughly …