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Year: 2021

This Week in Movies with Meaning

This Week in Movies with Meaning

Reviews of “Lamb,” “Lightships” and “Down in Paris,” as well as a film festival wrap-up and a magazine article preview, are all in the latest Movies with Meaning post on the web site of The Good Media Network, available by clicking here ...
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‘Lamb’ serves up a morality play down on the farm

‘Lamb’ serves up a morality play down on the farm

“Lamb” (“Dýrið”) (2021). Cast: Noomi Rapace, Hilmir Snær Guðnason, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson. Director: Valdimar Jóhannsson. Screenplay: Valdimar Jóhannsson and Sjón. Web site. Trailer. It’s not always easy when it comes to doing the right thing. Then again, there are plenty of instances when it should be patently obvious what we’re supposed to do. But, if that’s really the case, then why do so many of us make questionable choices when confronted with such circumstances? These are among the issues explored in the unusual new, genre-crossing Icelandic offering, “Lamb” (“Dýrið”). For Maria (Noomi Rapace) and Ingvar (Hilmir Snær Guðnason), an Icelandic farming couple living in the shadow of the North Atlantic island’s remote and imposing mountains, life is rather bleak. They spend their days methodically raising a flock of sheep and planting crops in the rough terrain, going about their work matter-of-factly in a practiced, no-nonsense manner. Beyond that, however, there seems to be little joy in their day-to-day existence, especially when it becomes apparent that the childless couple has experienced a devastating loss, one that they never speak of openly, despite the all-consuming role this tragedy has played in their lives. With the onset of spring and the start of ...
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‘Down in Paris’ recounts the recovery of lost personal power

‘Down in Paris’ recounts the recovery of lost personal power

“Down in Paris” (2021). Cast: Antony Hickling, Jean-Christophe Bouvet, Dominique Frot, Manuel Blanc, Geoffrey Couët, François Brunet, Nina Bakhshayesh, Claudius Pan, Raphaël Bouvet, Mike Fédée, Thomas Laroppe. Director: Antony Hickling. Screenplay: Antony Hickling, Pierre Guiho and Raphaël Bouvet. Web site. Trailer. Recovering what we’ve lost can be a challenging pursuit. What’s more demanding, however, is searching for something we’ve lost that we don’t realize is missing. This can be especially problematic when it involves our sense of personal power, for its absence can leave us vulnerable to all manner of issues that we don’t know how to fix because we’re unaware of what’s lacking to make restitution. Such is the dilemma faced by a searching middle-aged artist in the compelling new French character study, “Down in Paris.” No matter how hard he tries to make things work, filmmaker Richard Barlow (Antony Hickling) just isn’t feeling it when it comes to his latest picture. After a difficult and frustrating day of filming, the English director, who lives and works in Paris, struggles to wrap up the day’s shooting schedule, but nothing seems to go right. He can’t quite pinpoint the trouble, either, but every alteration he attempts to make leaves him ...
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The 'Eyes' Have It on The Cinema Scribe

The ‘Eyes’ Have It on The Cinema Scribe

Tune in for the latest Cinema Scribe segment on Bring Me 2 Life Radio, Tuesday October 12 at 2 pm ET, available by clicking here. And, if you don’t hear the show live, catch it later on demand on Spreaker, Spotify, Apple, iHeartRadio, Google Podcasts, Castbox, Deezer, Podchaser and Jiosaavn ...
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Wrapping Up Reeling 39

Wrapping Up Reeling 39

Reeling 39, Chicago’s International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, recently completed its 2021 edition in its first-ever hybrid format with both theatrical and virtual screening options. This flexible approach made it possible for viewers to screen a variety of films in the traditional manner or from the comfort of their own homes. While some of the presentations were available in Illinois only, both theatrically and virtually, many others could be streamed nationwide, making it possible for movie fans to see some excellent films without being in the Windy City, an increasingly popular viewing option for many film festivals (and one that I heartily applaud). Thanks to this new format, I was able to screen a great number of films – 17 in all. And I can honestly say that the quality of the offerings was definitely upped this year (kudos to the programmers at Chicago Filmmakers). Below are my reviews of the releases I watched, some of which, like last year, truly had me … reeling. “At the End of Evin” (a.k.a. “Amen”) (Iran) (8/10) Web site, Trailer When Amen (Mehri Kazemi), a transitioning young Iranian male seeking to surgically complete the gender reassignment process, is introduced to a wealthy, powerful, well-connected ...
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‘Lightships’ provides a quantum leap in understanding

‘Lightships’ provides a quantum leap in understanding

“Lightships” (2021). Cast: Lois Temel, John Harrigan, Ethan-James Harrigan, Usifu Jalloh, David Monard, Lucy Harrigan, Tereza Lamenicka, Carrie Crookall, Josephine Arden. Director: John Harrigan. Screenplay: John Harrigan. Book: Maryann Rada, Remembrance. Web site. Trailer. Are we who we think we are? Most of us would probably say “Of course,” but is that statement truly accurate? Indeed, are we the limited, localized selves we’re most familiar with, or is there more to us than meets the eye (or, more precisely, the mind)? There could well be unknown portions of ourselves that are beyond our current comprehension. But what would it be like to find and explore those hidden aspects that could potentially open new worlds of opportunity for us? That’s what the unconventional new metaphysical fantasy “Lightships” is all about. When Eve (Lois Temel) awakens in an unfamiliar location, she’s perplexed about where she is. She tentatively begins exploring what appears to be some kind of hospital with no staff or other patients. The only distinguishing feature is the walls, which are covered with beautiful and colorful but deflating posters expressing sentiments designed to intentionally sap one’s motivation. After further exploration, she soon discovers she’s in an unattended mental health facility with ...
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