Mad Men Recap 6.1: The Hawaiian Dark Wood

Mad Men 6.1

Having just returned from a Hawaiian holiday vacation with wife Megan, Don Draper is in the midst of what is his first boardroom meeting pitch of the new season of Mad Men. It's for a Hawaiian resort advertisement, and his one-liner for the pitch reads, "Hawaii, the jumping-off point," picturing a man's left-behind clothes and other belongings on the beach sand. The idea, Don says, is that having just got off the plane, the person is able to begin a wholly new experience, being whoever he wants … [Read more...]

The Moviegoer: Terrence Malick’s “To the Wonder” and Psalmic Yearning

To the Wonder

Each week in The Moviegoer, Nick Olson examines new and upcoming films.I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. [Psalm 143:6] Blessed God, Israel’s God, the one and only wonder-working God! Blessed always his blazing glory! All earth brims with his glory. Yes and Yes and Yes. [Psalm 72. 18-20] --- Near the beginning of Terrence Malick's To the Wonder, there's a scene in which Marina's (Olga Kurylenko) young daughter, Tatiana (Tatiana Ch … [Read more...]

The Moviegoer: This is [Not] a Film

This is Not a Film

Each week in The Moviegoer, Nick Olson examines new and upcoming films.Editor's Note: This is Not a Film is available via Netflix DVD service.One of Iran's acclaimed directors, Jafar Panahi, is arrested on March 1, 2010. Often critical of the Iranian government, Panahi is charged with collusion with the intent of committing crime against national security and of "propaganda against the Islamic Republic." Due to international outcry, he is released from prison after three months but … [Read more...]

The Moviegoer: “Planet of Snail” and When the Darkness and Silence are with God

Planet of Snail

Each week in The Moviegoer, Nick Olson examines new and upcoming films.Editor's Note: Planet of Snail is available via Netflix DVD service.Part of the 2-becoming-1 processional act that is marital life is the presence of daily obstacles or tasks that a husband and wife partake in together. Often it's a matter of divvying up the workload so that more is accomplished in a shorter amount of time; yet, sometimes, a particular task requires the couple to tactically become one cooperating … [Read more...]

The Moviegoer: The Side Effects of Hopelessness

Side Effects

Each week in The Moviegoer, Nick Olson examines new and upcoming films.***Spoiler Alert***Set with great effect to a memorably haunting Thomas Newman score, Steven Soderbergh's Side Effects begins as a puzzle to be pieced together by giving the viewer a flash-forward glimpse of an apartment floor spoiled with fresh blood. The film is framed so as to leave the viewer with a foreboding sense of impending violence. After sufficiently provoking us with the question of what is going to … [Read more...]

The Moviegoer: Memorable 2012 Moviegoing

The Kid with a Bike

Each week in The Moviegoer, Nick Olson examines new and upcoming films.Confession: I love lists. I love making to-do lists, favorites lists, even grocery lists. All kinds of lists. I'm that person with a computer home screen filled with those little electronic notepad stickies--and my computer sits on a desk with various material notepad stickies populating the work space. List-making has two primary, interrelated functions that work relative to a given list topic: it's a written order that … [Read more...]

The Moviegoer: Marriage Made Strange

Voyage to Italy

Each week in The Moviegoer, Nick Olson examines new and upcoming films.This week, Image released a Top 25 Films About Marriage list as voted on by the Arts and Faith community. You can read an excellent introduction to the list written by my Filmwell colleague, Michael Leary. I am privileged to have had the opportunity to contribute a blurb to the list for the #19 selection, Tuesday, After Christmas--a film that captures the consequences of adultery in a way that I've not seen before. I … [Read more...]

The Moviegoer: ‘Margaret’ and the Difficulty of Responding to Life’s Traumas

Margaret

Each week in The Moviegoer, Nick Olson examines new and upcoming films.There's a recurring scene in Kenneth Lonergan's Margaret that may recall for you memories of high school Civics (or Literature or History)--any class that fostered student interaction constituted by almost unmediated opinion-giving. If your experience is like mine, then you'll probably remember moments of heated, barely educated back-and-forths in which each *side* of a complicated argument launched rhetorical attacks … [Read more...]

The Moviegoer: Zero Dark Thirty and the Question of “Real Tradecraft”

Zero Dark Thirty

Each week in The Moviegoer, Nick Olson examines new and upcoming films.During a typical urgency-inducing CIA staff meeting, a leading operative named George (Mark Strong) is delivering one of his characteristically blow-hard speeches meant to incite his team of intelligence gatherers to a more precise persistence. In a memorable, if seemingly insignificant, moment, he makes a remark to the other operatives that characterizes the nature of much of the war on terror, even if, in the … [Read more...]

The Moviegoer: Hobbitses, Les Misérables, and Grace Notes Not Quite in Harmony

Les Miserables

Each week in The Moviegoer, Nick Olson examines new and upcoming films.The Hobbit (Peter Jackson) & Les Misérables (Tom Hooper)     At the moment when Bilbo Baggins answers the door to his Hobbit-hole home to unexpectedly find a Dwarf inviting himself in as if summoned, followed by all that ensues in that sequence of scenes which comprises the first chapter of the book, I was feeling more than optimistic about Peter Jackson's adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. His depi … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X