We all have dreams, and we’d like to see them realized. However, many of us believe they’re unreachable objectives, pie-in-the-sky goals that can be envisioned but never experienced. But must that be the case? Is there no chance of them ever being materialized?
To thine own self be true. It’s solid, sage advice we’d all be wise to heed, especially if we lose sight of it and fall prey to the perils of self-deception, something that can get us into trouble with both ourselves and others. Yet it’s astounding how often we ignore this wisdom and stray off into dangerous territory, full of pitfalls with serious consequences.
Various fields of artistic expression often go through radical conversions as a result of the visionary works of a handful – or sometimes even just one – maverick figure. Through the singular works of these individuals, entire genres are frequently transformed. In filmmaking, for example, the name Stanley Kubrick comes to mind. In music, it’s the Beatles. And, in science fiction literature, many often cite the writings of author Ursula K. Le Guin,
Imagine having something to say, but no one is able to understand you. With no active dialogue or meaningful feedback involved, the “conversation” soon turns one-sided. And, if no responses are forthcoming any time soon, loneliness and sadness are bound to set in. The feeling of isolation this creates could easily become overwhelming. It’s a truly disheartening situation. But, in this case, this scenario isn’t describing something that one of us is experiencing; it’s an account of what might very well be happening to one of our fellows in the animal kingdom,
The Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival recently completed its 2020 edition in its first-ever all-virtual format. With the future of theatrical screenings in limbo due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this alternative approach made it possible for the Festival to go forward, and it worked remarkably well, enabling viewers to screen a variety of films while remaining safe at home. As has been the case with other such events this year, this is a viable approach well worth considering for future programs, even without the threat of a pandemic. It makes it possible to offer the Festival’s films to a wider audience and provides flexible viewing conditions, benefits not necessarily available when presented exclusively in theatrical venues. Because of this [...]
“Where’d You Go, Bernadette” (2019). Cast: Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup, Emma Nelson, Kristin Wiig, Laurence Fishburne, Judy Greer, Troian Bellisario, Zoe Chao, Megan Mullally, Steve Zahn, David Paymer, James Urbaniak, Kate Burton. Director: Richard Linklater. Screenplay: Richard Linklater, Holly Gent and Vince Palmo. Book: Maria Semple, Where’d You Go, Bernadette. Web site. Trailer. Some of us just have to create. The compulsion is so strong that we can’t ignore it, as if it’s an itch that must be scratched. And, if that need goes unfulfilled, it can drive us crazy – literally. So it is for an exceptionally talented woman on the brink in the offbeat new comedy-drama, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette.” Bernadette Fox (Cate Blanchett) leads a rather unusual life. [...]
With the 54th annual Chicago International Film Festival now complete, here’s my take on what I screened and what I thought about the releases in question. “An Acceptable Loss” (USA) This edge-of-your-seat political thriller unfolds gradually and with steadily increasing intensity, leading up to a climax that will leave viewers breathless, an approach not unlike that used by director Roman Polanski in such films as “Chinatown” (1974) and “The Ghost Writer” (2010). The picture follows former National Security Advisor Libby Lamm (Tika Sumpter) after she leaves government to become a university lecturer, a position for which she receives a less-than-hospitable welcome. It’s a circumstance that naturally begs the question, “Why?” Viewers come to discover the reasons as her story plays [...]
“Fahrenheit 11/9” (2018). Cast: Michael Moore, John Podesta, Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Michael Hepburn, David Hogg. Archive footage: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Steve Bannon, Jared Kushner, George W. Bush, Jeb Bush, Nancy Pelosi, Steve Bannon, Gwen Stefani, Roseanne Barr, George Clooney. Director: Michael Moore. Screenplay: Michael Moore. Web site. Trailer. How did this happen? For many Americans, this is the question that’s on their minds when it comes to the current political landscape. With the polarizing election of Donald Trump in 2016, many have been left scratching their heads, wondering how we’ve ended up with such a divided nation with a President whose actions and policies often baffle the members of his own political party, let [...]