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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Imperfect Lives, Perfect Moments

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1. How Happy is the Blameless Vestal’s Lot?
Eternal Sunshine was one of the first movies that showed me what film could do, and what power it had to inspire feeling and passion.
Even more specifically than that, however, are three things I can point to that drew me to film, and one thing that inspired me to delve into Eternal Sunshine when I did.
The first of these influences, specifically with respect to forcing myself to take the plunge and start this blog, was Film Critic Hulk (@FilmCritHULK). If you’re unfamiliar, Film Critic Hulk is, as the name suggests, a twitter account that offers incredibly insightful and emotion criticism and analysis of film, TV, and the like, in the style of the Hulk (writing in all caps, referring to themselves in the third person, etc.). This style of criticism – insight mixed with an intense vulnerability – informed my approach to film writing.
The second was my best friend growing up. He always seemed drawn to film and screenwriting. I remember hearing a…

Sunshine: Facing the Unknowable, Accepting the Inevitable

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    1.Background Radiation
It is no wonder that ancient civilizations often deified the Sun.
It is the source of all life on Earth. Without it, we would be a frozen husk of a rocky planet, no different from any of the countless celestial objects in the night sky.
At the same time, it contains some of the most dramatic forces in the universe. It’s gravitational force is so large that it undergoes nuclear fusion, turning it from a bundle of gases into a fiery plasma, with incredibly high temperatures and dramatic magnetic fields – noticed here on earth in solar flare blackouts and auroras (the Northern Lights).
It is so bright, even millions of miles away, that we cannot stand looking into it for more than a fraction of a second, lest we cause permanent damage to our eyes.
Sunshine (2007) is, on its surface, another space movie. It predates other fantastic movies like The Martian and Interstellar, yet it fits right alongside them, and, in many cases, surpasses them.
To take Sunshine at face v…

The Fountain: Obsession and Mortality, and the Human Condition

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I had forgotten how taxing watching The Fountain was. I came away from seeing it today with the feeling that I had been punched in the gut, like I needed to sit with it and let it settle for a while. Aronofsky movies tend to have that effect – most memorably, Requiem for a Dream, after which I sat, stunned, for a good ten minutes after it finished.
With Aronofsky’s new movie, mother! (which I am super excited for!) around the corner, The Fountain came to mind. It is, in all likelihood, Aronofsky’s most polarizing film. I remember hating it when I first saw it. I think I was around thirteen at the time, and thought that it, while visually beautiful, was incredibly contrived and convoluted. I caught some of the meaning then, but I don’t think that it fully came across to me then.
As this blog evolves, I think you’ll find that this is a pretty common thing for me – I also hated Melancholia the first time I watched it, but with years of experiences and maturity it became, in my eyes, a mast…

Dunkirk: Time, Dread, and Human Perseverance

The image that has stuck in my mind most clearly after two viewings of Dunkirk is at the very outset of the movie – just as one of the major characters, Tommy (Fionn Whitehead) makes it to the beach (the group of nameless soldiers he has been with gunned down just moments earlier), he dives to the ground as German dive-bombers drop their explosive cargo with a ruthless consistency down the beach. This scene captures the themes we are to expect from the rest of the film – randomness, anxiety, and most of all, the undercurrent in each of Nolan’s films: dread.
Nolan has always been, in my mind, an amazing yet flawed director. His movies carry with them ambition and bombast. They are feats of directing, cinematography, musical direction, etc. This is an enormous strength of Nolan’s, and yet it is also exactly what drags his movies down consistently. Whether it is voyages spanning light-years in Interstellar, traversing the human consciousness in Inception, or the machinations of a few mast…

Welcome!

Just starting this blog up! I plan to use it for reviews of films, from the newly released to a number of movies from any time period. I tend to lean more towards modern film, and have a particular interest in cinematography. Can't say quite where this blog will evolve - whether I'll begin discussing film more broadly or even extending beyond - but for right now, expect a forthcoming post with my thoughts and review of Dunkirk.
So, if you're looking for the blog equivalent of your friend excitedly gesticulating about that movie they just saw and why it's the best/worst thing they've ever seen, stay tuned!