Did Your Teachers Show Movies in Class?

Today, Seattle Pacific University instructor Christine Chaney is sitting down to discuss Krzysztof Kieslowski's The Decalogue with her English class. Bravo.I love it when literature professors expand the territory of their classroom exploration, encouraging students to apply interpretive skills to film. All too often, movies are treated as something we just do "for fun," on the weekends, with popcorn and soda... as amusement rather than art. (And let's face it, because we treat cinema that … [Read more...]

Looking Closer’s Film Forum: “Away from Her”

I'm eager to see Sarah Polley's directorial debut, Away from Her, because it is reported to include a brilliant performance by Julie Christie. But most of all, I want to see it for its subject. How often do filmmakers give moviegoers the privilege of deeply and carefully considering the lives and challenges of characters older than 40? Pshaw!! say the moviegoers, rushing out to keep Disturbia and Delta Farce in the top five at the box office.Oh well... Sarah Polley has never been one to … [Read more...]

Looking Closer’s Film Forum: “28 Weeks Later”

Is 28 Weeks Later just another sequel designed to cash in on the success of its predecessor, 28 Days Later? Is is just a bunch of bloody action, or is there something meaningful going on here?As a big fan of the first film -- an extremely violent film by Danny Boyle (director of Millions) that was thought-provoking and haunting -- I'm eager to see if this sets the bar even higher for zombie movies, or if it's just recklessly indulgent.I'm encouraged by the review at Crosswalk. Christian … [Read more...]

Darren Hughes at The San Francisco International Film Festival

Your chances of finding a great film at the multiplex are probably much slimmer than your chances of finding one at the San Francisco International Film Festival.Darren Hughes was there, and here are his summations of a few films he saw there. I'll be adding several of these to my must-see, or must-rent, list. … [Read more...]

Comparing Robert Bresson and Flannery O’Connor

The new issue of Senses of Cinema sounds is a feast of thought-provoking essays.Not only does it have a feature on the long, slow emergence of Blade Runner as a classic, but it features four essays on Robert Bresson... including one that asks us to consider the correlation of Bresson's filmmaking and Flannery O'Connor's writing. They express their faith through images and characters and styles that only seem faithless and without reverence. Initially, in O’Connor especially, this comes off a … [Read more...]

Hal Hartley Hearts Terrence Malick

As a huge fan of Hal Hartley's The Unbelievable Truth, Trust, Simple Men, and Henry Fool, I can't wait to see his Henry Fool sequel, Fay Grim. Here he is talking about it with to Choire Sicha in a special for The LA Times: Sicha: It's a crucial component to "Fay Grim" that Fay goes off and becomes involved with the drama of Europe.Hartley: I wanted Fay to be the representative American of a certain type: well-intentioned but ill-informed. This is a story of her getting tossed into the wider … [Read more...]


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