Tag: film

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Film: A strategic retreat�s smirk of defiance in DUNKIRK

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson /In his paradoxically granular war epic Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan assumes viewers know that the British Army�s 1940 strategic retreat from the eponymous French coastal town was crucial to Allied victory in World War II, minimizing narrative exposition and personal back-story and thrusting the audience straight into […]

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Art and Film: Ghost as witness

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / George Eliot said, wisely, that �our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.� For the great and infamous, it�s a prescription for immortality. As to more ordinary people, the sentiment can be cloyingly anodyne around the moment of a loved one�s […]

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Art and Film: Not so simple folk (art)

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / According to Aisling Walsh�s irrepressibly winning Maudie (2016), Maud Dowley, plagued by juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, was through no fault of her own a high-maintenance sibling whom an impatient older brother deposited with a mean aunt. Maud found existential solutions in an untutored talent for painting […]

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Art and Film: The life and death of a cinephilic boomtown

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / A somewhat film-nerdy set of historical facts gave rise to found-footage maven Bill Morrison�s extraordinarily artful and expansive documentary Dawson City: Frozen Time. Dawson City, Yukon Territory, was the Klondike Gold Rush�s quintessential boomtown, over the course of two years swelling in population from 500 […]

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Art and Film: Wajda�s final word on art and politics

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson /�Wladyslaw Strzeminski, the reluctant hero of Afterimage, the great Polish director Andrzej Wajda�s last film before his death at age 90 last year, was a legendary avant-garde artist in Poland before World War II. He believed the painter�s job was to transform�everyday experience into a singular�aesthetic […]

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Art and Film: Pablo Neruda and the triumph of art

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / With Donald Trump�s victory in the presidential election, the principled advancement of civilization as the goal of politics seemed to give way to the venal aggrandizement of the clique. It�s a grim setback, but the story of the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet and politician Pablo […]

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Art and Film: Damien Chazelle comes of age in La La Land

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson /�Whiplash, Damien Chazelle�s remarkably assured and incendiary second feature from 2014, made the case that artistic accomplishment was predominantly a cloistered process of Darwinian nastiness, redeemed only in an evanescent performance that the artist must keep repeating to make good on his dark investment. The final […]