09.06.2014 The 50 Year Argument

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This feels like a companion piece to Public Speaking – a well done if reserved tribute to not only a New York institution, but to a nostalgic idea of a bygone era of American intellectualism. Even the jazz used is a deliberate evocation of a time when, allegedly, more complicated forms were part of the larger consciousness. I wasn’t alive then and I’m not sure how true it is. I love many of the people featured – James Baldwin, Gore Vidal, Joan Didion are some of my favorite people, but it brings up uneasy feelings in me. I love these things too and I’m ready to jump on with Marty, to long for the days of seriousness, but I also think that can be stifling to progress, that it is a sign of them (me) being out of touch. And yet when I try to think of current equivalents for a lot of these people I can’t. There are people just as talented and smart, but I’m not sure they get the platform that was allowed to some of the people featured. I don’t know. A pleasant film that certainly has me thinking.

07.06.14 The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness

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Another inept documentary held together by an interesting subject, barely. This is way too long and misses (probably couldn’t get) the most interesting aspect, being the relationship between Miyazaki and Takahata’s relationship. Miyazaki is way more of a misanthrope and grump than I would have expected, coming across as a dour old man, but a damn talented one.

10.19.2013 How To Make a Book with Steidl

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Loved this.  It is exactly my kind of “light” entertainment – a portrait of an obsessive man who cares about a lot of the same things I do like art, design, and the tactile qualities of objects going around to some great artists around the world and planning out projects.  It’s like the same rush other people get out of watching their dream life as Batman, we just have different fantasies I guess.