I’ll Miss Nerd Lunch: An Appreciation

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Jan 082019
 
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It doesn’t escape my notice that my last post before going on my extended Thanksgiving-Holiday Season break was a eulogy of a well-known fixture of pop culture. And now I return to raise a glass to another of my favorites that is walking off into the sunset sometime soon.
It was announced on Tuesday’s episode of the podcast, Nerd Lunch “Prime”, that the long-running podcast will be ending at a point in the future. The exact date isn’t known, and the discussion on the episode left open the possibility that they may continue podcasting even for another year. Still, the announcement somewhat shocked, and definitely made an impact on, me.
I wasn’t completely blindsided by it, to be honest. Last month saw the final episode of Nerd Lunch’s “Rabbit Hole” podcast, where members literally and deliberately fall down Wikipedia holes, starting from one entry and trying to reach another by judicious clicking of links. The end of this show, one of my favorites (and what initially attracted me to Nerd Lunch in the first place), made me wonder if any other big changes were in store.
And, apparently, they were.
Now, I don’t know any of the Nerd Lunch folks personally, and I won’t speculate on why the show is ending, simply because I haven’t a clue. I do know that podcasting and even blogging isn’t easy (I've done both), and can be very time consuming, especially in an increasingly crowded and, often, angry marketplace. The effort that you put in is almost universally unequal to the feedback and community engagement you get back. Bloggers I've had discussions with on Twitter are often at loggerheads about what to do about it. I don’t blame anybody who wants to take a break and/or try something new. 
While I was a relatively recent convert to Nerd Lunch (I’ve been listening for about the last year or so), I nevertheless felt that I knew the guys on the episodes. They were knowledgeable, they presented interesting topics, and they were funny and engaging. Furthermore, they were civil, convivial, and produced fun shows. 
Here’s hoping that whatever the next chapter will be for CT and all the rest of the Nerd Lunch crew, it will be fun, fulfilling, and just as nerdy.
Please put your trash in the receptacle.

 Posted by at 11:53 am

Welcome to Your Life Now

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Jan 032019
 
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Sarah and Brian ring in the new year by talking about aspirations big and small, from being more assertive in asking for menu accommodations to buying cruelty free products. Sarah declares herself a level 150 vegan, and Brian offers to give up his Old Spice.

Theme music: Flattered by Blue Dot Sessions

Show Notes:

The tofu recipe we talked about can be found here. (We don't usually make the tacos themselves, but the tofu is great in a lot of things.)

2018 Movies To Watch and Other Lists

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Dec 312018
 
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2018 Movies I Missed:

I made a “complete” list of movies that played somewhere I could reach (Nebraska, Atlanta, blu-ray, streaming) in 2018 that I wanna watch on letterboxd. I’m not going to forget the ones on everybody else’s year-end lists, or the latest by major directors, but here are some others I don’t want to miss:

Taming the Horse
Dirty Computer
The Work
Bodied
Jeannette
The Wolf House
3/4
Those Who Are Fine
Happy as Lazzaro
The Tale
Cocote
Insect
Under the Silver Lake
The Woman Who Left
Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts
Djon Africa
The Lion Sleeps Tonight
Le fort des fous
Good Luck
Milla
Lu Over the Wall
The Nothing Factory
An Elephant Sitting Still
Classical Period
Knife+Heart
The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling

SHOCKtober 2018 Post Mortem:

I previously made a couple of must-see horror lists from 2009 and 2010 here and I collected a few more lists in 2015 here. It’s getting so I’ve seen almost all the titles on the latest “100 best horror films ever made” lists, but here are some I’m still missing, from all around the internet…

Slant list 2018:
Blood and Black Lace (1964)
Deathdream (1972)
The Hitcher (1986)
Opera (1987)

Indiewire 2018:
The Ghost Ship (1943)
The Lodger (1944)
Hangover Square (1945)
Village of the Damned (1960)
Viy (1967)
Messiah of Evil (1973)
Tales from the Hood (1995)

Indiewire Underappreciated Horrors 2018:
The Entity (1982)
Wild Zero (2000)
The Unseeable (2006)
P2 (2007)
Jennifer’s Body (2009)
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010)
The Blackcoat’s Daughter (2015)
We Are The Flesh (2016)
Bear With Us (2016)
Don’t Breathe (2016)
The Eyes of My Mother (2016)

Roger Ebert Underrated Horrors:
The House That Screamed (1969)
The Company of Wolves (1984)
Razorback (1984)
Parents (1989)

Time Out’s 2012 and 2016 lists:
Threads (1984)
The Vanishing (1988)
Lake Mungo (2008)

Edgar Wright’s list:
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970)
Theater of Blood (1973)
Death Line (1973)
Frailty (2001)

Older Slant list that went to 200:
Witchfinder General (1968)
Wake in Fright (1971)
Blood Spattered Bride (1972)
Shock Waves (1977)
The Entity (1982)
The Church (1989)

Selections from my own list:
Five Dolls for an August Moon (1970)
Beauty and the Beast (1978)
Boxing Helena (1993)
The Happening (2008)
The Baron (2011)
Over Your Dead Body (2014)
Unfriended (2014)
The Devil’s Candy (2015)
The Shallows (2016)
Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys (2004)
Puppet Master parts 9-11 (Axis trilogy, 2010-2017)

BBC Foreign-Language Film Poll 2018:

Hooray, another one of these. Original list is here.

A selection of movies from the Top 100 I need to (re)watch

Landscape in the Mist (Theo Angelopoulos, 1988)
In the Heat of the Sun (Jiang Wen, 1994)
Raise the Red Lantern (Zhang Yimou, 1991)
Scenes from a Marriage (Ingmar Bergman, 1973)
Ran (Akira Kurosawa, 1985)
Jules and Jim (François Truffaut, 1962)
To Live (Zhang Yimou, 1994)
Wings of Desire (Wim Wenders, 1987)
Cinema Paradiso (Giuseppe Tornatore, 1988)
Farewell My Concubine (Chen Kaige, 1993)
Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954)

And some enticing selections from the individual lists:

Macario (Roberto Gavaldón, 1960)
Sentimental Education (Júlio Bressane, 2013)
Macunaíma (Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, 1969)
A Chinese Odyssey: Part Two: Cinderella (Jeffrey Lau, 1995)
Things of the Aimless Wanderer (Kivu Ruhorahoza, 2015)
Lebanon (Samuel Maoz, 2009)
My Son, the Hero (Ismael Rodríguez, 1961)
Year of the Devil (Petr Zelenka, 2002)
Last Night (Kamal El Sheikh, 1964)
Chronicle of a Boy Alone (Leonardo Favio, 1965)
Pyaasa (Guru Dutt, 1957)
New Dragon Gate Inn (Raymond Lee and Ching Siu-tung, 1992)
The Adventure of Three Reporters aka Miss Mend (Boris Barnet and Fyodor Otsep, 1926)
Incendies (Denis Villeneuve, 2010)
Big Green Valley (Merab Kokochashvili, 1967)
Falling Leaves (Otar Iosseliani, 1966)
Salt for Svanetia (Mikheil Kalatozishvili, 1930)
Mr. Long (Sabu, 2017)
Angel’s Egg (Mamoru Oshii, 1985)
Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable (Shun’ya Itô, 1973)
Green Snake (Tsui Hark, 1993)
Ariel (Aki Kaurismäki, 1998)
The Iron Rose (Jean Rollin, 1973)
Girl with Hyacinths (Hasse Ekman, 1950)
The Bitter Stems (Fernando Ayala, 1956)
The Last Family (Jan P Matuszynski, 2016)
Fehérlófia / Son of the White Mare (Marcell Jankovics, 1981)
Red Wood Pigeon (Nanni Moretti, 1989)
The Disenchantment (Jaime Chávarri, 1976)
Little White Dove (Raúl Ruiz, 1973)
Udzinarta mze (Temur Babluani, 1992)
Cargo 200 (Alexei Balabanov, 2007)
Salto (Tadeusz Konwicki, 1965)
Reconstruction (Lucian Pintilié, 1970)
East Palace West Palace (Zhang Yuan, 1996)
The Heroic Trio (Johnnie To, 1993)
The Illumination (Krzysztof Zanussi, 1973)
Fruit of Paradise (Věra Chytilová, 1969)
Teza (Haile Gerima, 2008)
A Hole of My Own Making (Tomu Uchida, 1955)
The Graceful Brute (Yûzô Kawashima, 1962)
Still Life (Sohrab Shahid Saless, Houshang Baharlou and Morteza Momayyez, 1974)
Entranced Earth (Glauber Rocha, 1967)
The Outlaw and His Wife (Victor Sjöström, 1918)
Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (Elio Petri, 1970)
Sinbad (Zoltán Huszárik, 1971)
The Things of Life (Claude Sautet, 1970)
A Hometown in Heart (Yoon Yong-kyu, 1949)
The Eternal Breasts (Kinuyo Tanaka, 1955)
Long Arm of the Law (Johnny Mak, 1984)


50 Under 50 Redux

Six years ago I got excited about Cinema Scope’s 50 Under 50 list and made vague plans to watch a film or two by each of the listed directors. I lost steam on this a while back, but still ended up watching about 40 movies because of one magazine issue, so it seems worth revisiting.

Twelve of the most obvious directors, and the films of theirs I had seen, were listed on the original page (and I forget why I was angry with Film Comment back then, but I resubscribed to it and Filmmaker last year) – here are the others, with links to movies I watched, unlinked are the ones I’ve meant to watch.

Pretty well-covered:

Paul Thomas Anderson
Johan Grimonprez
Yorgos Lanthimos
Matteo Garrone
Ben Wheatley
Ben Rivers
Lucien Castaing-Taylor
Maren Ade
Bertrand Bonello
Albert Serra
Lucretia Martel
Paul WS Anderson
Lisandro Alonso

In progress:

Azazel Jacobs: The GoodTimesKid / Momma’s Man / Terri / The Lovers
Miguel Gomes: Tabu / Our Beloved Month of August / Arabian Nights
Carlos Reygadas: Battle In Heaven / Silent Light / Post Tenebras Lux
Andrew Bujalski: Computer Chess / Results / Support the Girls
Ben Russell: A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness / Let Each One Go Where He May
Denis Cote: Bestiaire / Vic + Flo Saw a Bear / Joy of Man’s Desiring / Boris Without Beatrice
Joao Pedro Rodrigues: Last Time I Saw Macao / The Ornithologist / To Die Like a Man
David Gatten: Hardwood Process / Secret History of the Dividing Line
Wang Bing: Coal Money / Dead Souls / West of the Tracks / Three Sisters / Ta’ang
Xavier Beauvois: Of Gods and Men / Le petit lieutenant
Zhao Liang: a couple of shorts / Crime & Punishment / Petition / Behemoth
Corneliu Porumboiu: 12:08 East of Bucharest / When Evening Falls on Bucharest / The Treasure / Infinite Football
Raya Martin: Independencia / Buenas noches, España / The Great Cinema Party
Nicolas Pereda: Greatest Hits / Summer of Goliath / Perpetuum Mobile
Cristi Puiu: The Death of Mr. Lazarescu / Sieranevada
Hirokazu Kore-eda: Still Walking / After The Storm / Shoplifters

Still unseen:

Jennifer Reeves: The Time We Killed / a lot more shorts
Liu Jiayin: Oxhide / Oxhide 2
Matt Porterfield: Putty Hill / Hamilton
Pema Tseden: The Search
Romuald Karmakar: Deathmaker / Nightsongs
Serge Bozon: La France / Madame Hyde
Sergei Dvortsevoy: Tulpan
Sharon Lockhart: Pine Flat
Ulrich Kohler: Sleeping Sickness / In My Room

Favourite 2018 Movies

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Dec 312018
 

Top 15 of the year:
1. First Reformed (Paul Schrader)
2. Isle of Dogs (Wes Anderson)
3. Bisbee ’17 (Robert Greene)
4. Madeline’s Madeline (Josephine Decker)
5. Roma (Alfonso Cuarón)
6. Burning (Lee Chang-dong)
7. Zama (Lucrecia Martel)
8. M…

Brandon's movie memory 2018-12-31 22:00:17

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Dec 312018
 

Favourite Recent (last ~5 years) Movies watched in 2018:
1. American Made (2017, Doug Liman)
2. Kate Plays Christine (2016, Robert Greene)
3. Three by Hong Sang-soo:
Our Sunhi (2013)
On the Beach at Night Alone (2017)
Yourself and Yours (2016)
4. Butte…

Brandon's movie memory 2018-12-31 21:00:53

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Dec 312018
 

Favourite Shorts of 2018:
1. Me the Terrible (2012, Josephine Decker)
Decker also made my top-5 new movies and top-10 recent movies lists, so is probably the discovery of the year.
2. Bao (2018, Domee Shi)
3. The Burden (2017, Niki Lindroth Von Bahr) (…

The Movie Year in Review, 2018

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Dec 312018
 

Happy New Movie Year!
Pretty much the same comments as last year (fell behind on the blog, made lists of movies to watch and didn’t watch the movies) but this time I have better excuses. Anyway, still watched a few movies, and some of them were …

Dec 272018
 

Only a couple minutes after Buster Scruggs ended, the opening titles of this movie announced that it’s a story told in six chapters – what are the odds? Unexpected suicides in both movies too. It’s not that I wanted a faithful remak…