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Entries by Chris Feil (629)

Wednesday
Jul 17 2019

Soundtracking: (500) Days of Summer

byChris Feil

Ten years removed,looking back at(500) Days of Summeris not unlike looking back at an old relationship.It's a movie about earned perspective that in turn some of us look at much differently than when the film first wooed audiences.It's like a strange artifact from a bygone time.Remember when we thought Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel would be huge?Remember when its love story was more widely considered a coming of age story instead of a "dude,grow up!"movie.

The film itself captures a nostalgia for something than never existed,embodying the kind of young male mindset that wants to will a great love into existence without having to see the real person.But the element that works best to reveal a film that has that perspective in mind,one of the things that also made(500) Days of Summera movie Of The Moment,is its catchy soundtrack.Remember Feist?

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Monday
Jul 15 2019

Big Little Lies MVPS: Episode 2.6 "The Bad Mother"

Previously:Episode 1(Nathaniel)Episode 2(Spencer)Episode 3(Lynn)Episode 4(Nathaniel)Episode 5(Eric)

by Chris Feil

...So.

By now I'm sure you all have seen the reports aboutwhat has gone on behind the scenesofBig Little Lies: director Andrea Arnold was removed from the show in post-production,a planned usurping by original season one director Jean-Marc Vallée once he completedSharp Objects.Despite the free reign she had been given,a major lack of communication resulted in the show being snatched from her creative hands.

What a fiasco that's only resulted in a somewhat disjointed season - looks like the blame for what hasn't been working goes to producers for putting the show through a meat grinder.But what has been working can be easily ascribed to Arnold's approach: the attention to character detail,a complex thematic landscape marinating hard-to-reconcile truths,the weight of suppressed feelings brimming over.Aren't those thingsBig Little Lie's fans would use to define the show and their love for it,not just its structural or aesthetic attributes?

Despite the timing and our allegiance to Arnold,Big Little Liesturned in what had to be its most thrilling episode yet this season,one that builds a huge sense of momentum leading into next week's finale.Let's look at this episode...

Top Ten MVPs of Big Little Lies,Episode 2.6 "The Bad Mother"

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Wednesday
Jul 10 2019

Soundtracking: Wild Rose

byChris Feil

If it's time to start assessing this year's Best Original Song Oscar potential at 2019's midpoint,we have just been given a hell of a frontrunner inWild Rose.The film's buried lede is the participation of one beloved Oscar-winning actress.Guys,Mary Steenburgen is also a songwriter these days,and asWild Rose's finale proves,she's a pretty good one.

Earlier this summerRocketmanarrived already prepackaged for a Broadway iteration by design,andWild Rosefeels similarly ready for the stage translation.The narrative follows all of the hallmarks of the traditional narrative structure for film's about everyday people with big musical dreams.The film follows young Rose-Lynn,freshly released from prison back to her humble Glasgow home where her wary mother and two children await.She's a long way from the Nashville she claims as her true home,with even further distance between her dreams of being a famous singer and her reality cleaning houses.

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Wednesday
Jul 03 2019

Soundtracking: Nashville

byChris Feil

We don't really think of Robert Altman'sNashvilleas a musical.To be fair,it both is and it isn't.As is trademark for the director,the film is focused on character first to reveal its themes,exposing a distinctly American disposition both in its specific social strata and in the grander national sense.But Nashville isn't always interested in doing so through song.Even taking place in the country music world,music feels like an equal contributor to Altman's portraiture as any of the ensemble members.

Viewers wanting Altman to languor in the thematic sway of a musical's tunes will always haveA Prairie Home Companion.Instead here he upends genre traditions much as he does general narrative ones.Musicals are a genre that even at its best can still feel the least spontaneous,and spontaneity is a definitive Altman trait...

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Tuesday
Jul 02 2019

Review: MidSommar

byChris Feil

Ari Aster's sunbleached hellscapeMidSommaropens with a horrific tragedy,a shocking act that has nevertheless long been grimly foretold for Dani,a depressed collegiate played by Florence Pugh.What unfolds for her in the rest of the film feels as projected by the warning signs around her and as cataclysmic.No,not the ominous surroundings of her European countryside getaway.She's in a relationship doomed to collapse.

Though Dani's imminent breakup with Christian (Jack Reynor) gets stalled by this horrible event,she suddenly finds herself slipping into his vacation plans with his begrudging friends.Promised a once-in-a-lifetime folk traditions in the isolated home village of one of his bros,the group descends upon the Hårga of Hälsingland looking to get a little stoned and enjoy some cultural tourism.Once there,Dani's already established isolation in the group (and her relationship) intensifies from her grief and the increasingly strange rituals in which they participate.Lines are crossed early,but for reasons that feel insignificant in the end,they still stick around.

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Wednesday
Jun 26 2019

Soundtracking: Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice

by Chris Feil

Perfect movie endings are hard to come by.And I don't mean a great sticking of the landing or simply ending on a high note - I mean aperfectending.But of the ones that quickly come to mind,music feels like an essential component to the magic.Gloria(and herBellcounterpart) dancing her way into a resilient future,45 Yearsslowly crescendoing to sudden romantic collapse,morbid opulence and ego to bringAll That Jazzto meet its maker.

Paul Mazursky'sBob & Carol & Ted & Alicebelongs in that very special class,closing its satire by ascending the audience into a higher plane of communal experience.The film is already sublime,but its coda stands apart.

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