Looking Elsewhere: 14 Discoveries & Distractions for the First Week of November

Looking Elsewhere 11 3 2014

On Halloween, Anne and I went out to celebrate Halloween dressed as Seattle Pacific University MFA in Creative Writing students who are running out of time to complete their homework assignments by the deadline. We were very, very convincing — we tricked everybody.The treats? They were provided by the pub where we put on an Oscar-worthy performance of actually studying and writing essays. All of the zombies and witches and clowns and Star Wars characters and superheroes in the pub just kept s … [Read more...]

Fellini’s 8 1/2, Revisited

8 and a half - traffic

Today at Filmwell, a film blog (?) that lives at The Other Journal, Michael Leary and I begin an epic journey, playing Siskel and Ebert all the way through what the Sight and Sound 2012 critics poll has voted the top ten films of all time.We begin with #10... Federico Fellini's 8 1/2.In it, Leary writes... … [Read more...]

A Three-Star Rant About Thumbs (or, Why I Won’t “Rate” Movies)

Raters Gonna Rate

Have you seen the new film-review site called Letterboxd? I like it. A lot. I need a convenient online moviegoing journal, and it provides that.But most of my colleagues who are chronicling their reviews there are rating movies with stars or "likes." I just can't bring myself to start any such thing. So it's time to say again what I said at Filmwell a few years ago... I think "rating" movies does us all more harm than good.Here's how I explained that at Filmwell in April of 2009...  … [Read more...]

Zoe Kazan “Sparks” an Epiphany

zoe kazan

Lately , in writing about Brave and movies that focus on big-screen female characters, I've been thinking about how movies can reinforce harmful stereotypes of women, or set bold, truthful, and liberating precedents.Looks like Lauren Wilford, over at Filmwell, has been thinking about some of the same things. Here she is, passionately describing her gratitude for a new film that many of us might otherwise have overlooked. … [Read more...]

Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye … and Me.

On Monday night, April 31, Anne and I sat in the middle of a crowd of comic book superhero fans and film critics. And we had a fantastic time, as the crowd cheered and laughed and celebrated throughout The Avengers' 142-minute running time.But then, what you feel while you're watching a movie can be very different from what you think about after the movie.I've written a review that includes all of the exclamation points that were exploding in my head while I watched the movie... and yet … [Read more...]

Taylor-Made: Why You’re Missing Out If You Don’t Go See Blue Like Jazz

Of all the movies playing in theaters this weekend, I encourage you to choose Blue Like Jazz.Why? … [Read more...]

Epistemartha, Epistemarcy, Epistemay, Epistemology

What did you think of that discomforting final moment in Martha Marcy May Marlene?Michael Leary is talking about it at Filmwell...  … [Read more...]

“Enough with the shaky-cam already!”

What's a handheld-camera movie where the shaky-cam technique was a good idea?What's a movie where you found yourself shouting, "Enough with the handheld camera already!" … [Read more...]

Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians (2011)

My review of Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians is up at Filmwell. … [Read more...]

Filmwell Returns!

Over the last week, I've been thrilled to see Filmwell - the collaborative and strange film blog for adventurous cinephiles that I started with Michael Leary a couple of years ago - transplanted to a new home base at The Other Journal, an online magazine I've admired and enjoyed for a long time.I kicked things off with a "We're Back!" post, and a few notes on the new Kelly Reichardt film Meek's Cutoff.But I'm very excited about what happened at Filmwell today... … [Read more...]


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