The Shining Meets New Yankee Workshop

From the ridiculous to the sublime.  This 24-minute video is infinitely more satisfying and insightful than Room 237.  I had the opportunity to view LACMA’s Kubrick exhibit, and it was utterly fascinating.  Now I hope to see the traveling exhibit again, this time with Adam Savage’s hi-fi maze model.  He stated that the exhibit would be in San Francisco in 2016… so there you go.

Credit to Daring Fireball.

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Indie Log: Electrick Children

Julia Garner as Rachel — expect to see more of her

Electrick Children begins with 15-year-old Rachel taking her oath to the Mormon faith and family she is happily part of.  Though all in the large family headed by a single, dominant patriarch seem content, peering into this cloistered community evokes the feeling that we are looking at a cult at the breaking point.  I loved this part of the film, set among the red bluffs of southern Utah, a place I adore.

From there, the film becomes a sort of contra-point to Ida — though it is not as successful as the Polish film.  While being swept away on the journey, it made me feel heartbreak for the loss of my youth.  The Sunscreen song:

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh, never mind
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth
Until they’ve faded but trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back
At photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now
How much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked

In any case, I was captivated by the early part of Electrick Children, but its spell wore off a bit as it progressed.  Also, there is a point where the Theory of the Rope was overstepped.  But Julia Garner’s Rachel is an immensely likable character who swallows you into this compelling little indie; a high 7/10.

Comparison Notes: Martha Marcy May Marlene, Ida, River’s Edge, My Own Private Idaho, Where the Day Takes You, Paranoid Park, Sound of My Voice

Thoughts on the 87th Academy Awards

Lady Gaga and Julie AndrewsFirst of all, I think we all saw a new side of Lady Gaga.  What a singer, what a talent, what a star.

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The “In Memoriam” segment featured the timeless theme music from Sophie’s Choice by Marvin Hamlisch.  A score that connects us with a time gone by, of The Waltons, of pure Americana and at the same time the deepest sentiment for those lost. There will never be an “In Memoriam” played to any of the music nominated for an Oscar last night.  I don’t intend that as a slam against last year’s movie-music, but as a point about the greatness of Sophie’s Choice, arguably the greatest film ever made.  One day I’ll expand on that idea.

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As for the winners, they mostly went exactly as predicted.  Ida, in a mild upset, won best foreign film, and Birdman, not even in the top 20 of the year, won the big prize.  It took either balls or further incompetence for the Academy to endorse to the public at large such a niche, inside-entertainment film.  It makes you wonder how they got it right with Eddie Redmayne, who displayed exceptional humility given his astounding performance.