Before the Europeans arrived, for over 10,000 years the Badlands were the home and hunting grounds to Native Americans: Lakota, Arikara, paleo. The native ways are gone. In Nomadland, Fem (the great Frances McDormand) and other descendants of those Europeans live fringe lives, pushed from industrial jobs, working seasonally in jobs that support the consumer … Continue reading Nomadland
Craig Foster free dives into the cold waters of a kelp forest in False Bay. His retreat to a place a person may visit, but never live. Down there is a world primordial. An octopus seems one of the least earth-like beings here. Eight sucker-cupped arms that can grow back. A brain networked through those … Continue reading My Octopus Teacher
Episode 8, "Redemption," is when I began to love the the Mandalorian. Two Storm Troopers stop on the edge of town, having captured baby Yoda (as it is called, not as it is), and begin to shoot at their era's version of a tin can. The can is close. They cannot hit it. One looks … Continue reading The Mandalorian
Jim Jarmusch once said he wanted to make films made of all the stuff other filmmakers cut out or skipped in telling stories. I don't know if he was kidding, but his films seemed true to his statement. "The Dead Don't Die" leaves that approach behind. Instead, in this film, Jarmusch has made his masterwork. … Continue reading The Dead Don’t Die
If you feel like your father was distant, and his distance made you distant in your intimate relationships, then you will understand that when Brad Pitt's character in Ad Astra is crossing the solar system to reach Neptune where his father has been living secretly for sixteen years, he's not really on a mission to … Continue reading Ad Astra. Lonely as a Cloud.
The Greeks had The Iliad. I guess our epic (judging by ticket sales) is Endgame. Sing Goddess, Thor’s rage. Instead of heroes, we have superheroes, and they are certainly better behaved than the Greeks. Our superheroes also have a better value system - family and friends do matter more than kleos (glory). But, something is … Continue reading The Avengers, Endgame
The film, “Hotel Mumbai,” (which has only grossed $14.4 million - compare that to “Infinity War” at $2 billion) has been criticized for using a real tragedy for popcorn entertainment. That’s not fair. Everyone seems to have missed the parallels with the celebrated “Titanic.” Instead of the unsinkable ship, the 1%, the devoted staff, and … Continue reading Hotel Mumbai
The whole of this film is delivered in one short scene: An inmate is turning over the horse he trained to a police officer who is loading the horse into a trailer. The officer doesn’t understand how to handle the horse, and it begins to buck. The inmate calms the horse, guides it in, and … Continue reading The Mustang, 2019