I used to be big into movies. I spent my 20s overseas and forgot, but now I'm making up for lost time.
♪ Lay down
Your sweet and weary head
Night is falling
You have come to journey's end
And dream of the ones who came before
They are calling
From across the distant shore
Why do you weep?
What are these tears upon your face?
Soon you will see
All of your fears will pass away
Safe in my arms
You're only sleeping ♪
– "Into the West"
One night in late 2002, I arrived at the last page…
Whether or not you enjoy Amarcord might depend on whether you prefer films to be about places or about events. Most films are about events – who did what and why – with the place and period being largely interchangeable. This is why Vancouver has long been such a popular place to shoot movies: besides the cost-saving advantages re tax incentives, its diverse architecture can effectively stand in for many a different place around the world. If all your script…
Several years back, when I was still teaching high school, one of my colleagues suffered a back injury that forced her to take extended time off. Her absence opened the door for me to take over her extracurricular class. Each class had an 8-week run, and since I was extremely busy with my regular work my proposal to the school was to watch short documentaries and then discuss the themes with my students. It went over well, and the school…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
A couple months back, I wrote a review for the 2019 film Mr. Jones, a solid biopic of journalist Gareth Jones centered on his experience sneaking into and around Ukraine during the Holodomor. It hit hard for me in many respects, not least because it covers a part of the suffering of Eastern Europe that is rarely seen in English-language films: the terror famine inflicted there by the Soviet Union in the 1930s.
Unfortunately, that region of the world saw…