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‘The Art of Self-Defense’ warns about the perils of fanaticism

“The Art of Self-Defense” (2019). Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola, Imogen Poots, Steve Terada, Phillip Andre Botello, David Zellner, Hauke Bahr, Davey Johnson, Nicholas Hulstine, Scott Goodman, Justin Eaton. Director: Riley Stearns. Screenplay: Riley Stearns. Web site. Trailer. Crossing the line from passion to obsession is a dangerous step. One need only look at the many high-profile examples found in our world these days. But this phenomenon is by no means limited to the events we see on the nightly news; it can crop up anywhere, even in seemingly innocuous places, a troubling subject explored in the edgy new dark comedy, “The Art of Self-Defense.” Thirty-something office worker Casey Davies (Jesse Eisenberg) could seriously stand to grow a pair. The [...]

2019-08-28T06:52:22+00:00August 7th, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Movie Reviews|

‘On the Basis of Sex’ levels the playing field

‟On the Basis of Sexˮ (2018). Cast: Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux, Sam Waterston, Kathy Bates, Cailee Spaeny, Jack Reynor, Stephen Root, Chris Mulkey, Gary Werntz, Francis Xavier McCarthy, Ben Carlson, Angela Galuppo, Callum Shoniker, Holly Gauthier-Frankel, Moira Wylie, Lily Mitchell, Violet Mitchell. Director: Mimi Leder. Screenplay: Daniel Stiepelman. Web site. Trailer. Patently unfair circumstances ultimately hurt everyone. Allowing the perpetuation of double standards harms those who are innately disadvantaged, but the damage seldom stops there; at some point, those who seemingly benefit from those arrangements can ironically be undone by them, their advantages wiped out by a fate that they likely view with incredulity as some kind of weird, unfathomable joke. Which is why everyone is better off [...]

2019-02-04T09:26:43+00:00January 20th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘The Land of Steady Habits’ experiments with limits, change

“The Land of Steady Habits” (2018). Cast: Ben Mendelsohn, Edie Falco, Thomas Mann, Bill Camp, Connie Britton, Elizabeth Marvel, Michael Gaston, Charlie Tahan, Victor Slezak, Josh Pais. Director: Nicole Holofcener. Screenplay: Nicole Holofcener. Book: Ted Thompson, The Land of Steady Habits. Web site. Trailer. For many of us, certainty and stability have a definite comforting appeal. We enjoy the predictability and reliability, a soothing reassurance that life will go on as we’ve known it. However, such an existence can also become a stifling trap, one that suffocates us, often without us becoming aware of it until it’s almost too late. This is where the value of change and pushing past established limits becomes desirable, if not essential, to our happiness, [...]

2018-10-31T12:02:49+00:00September 18th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘A Quiet Passion’ surveys the evolution of an artist’s worldview

“A Quiet Passion” (2017). Cast: Cynthia Nixon, Keith Carradine, Jennifer Ehle, Catherine Bailey, Duncan Duff, Emma Bell, Rose Williams, Benjamin Wainwright, Joanna Bacon, Annette Badland, Jodhi May, Eric Loren, Simone Milsdochter, Trevor Cooper, Stefan Menaul, Sara Louise Vertongen, Noémie Schellens. Director: Terence Davies. Screenplay: Terence Davies. Web site. Trailer. Geniuses are often misunderstood during their lifetimes. Their eccentricities and alternative viewpoints frequently draw criticisms – sometimes even ostracism – from contemporaries who fail (or refuse) to understand and appreciate them for what they are. In later times, their contributions to humanity often seem patently (and obviously) brilliant. But, in getting to that point, we must first examine how they arrived at their insights, assessing the influences that helped to make [...]

2018-05-02T08:59:58+00:00March 12th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|
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