21 May 2017

My Box of 64: Ep. 3 – Getting Into Character

On the third episode of the new Looking Closer audio journal, My Box of 64… I write to my muse, Thomas, with comments on the new Netflix series — Abstract: The Art of Design, the new Terence Davies film about Emily Dickinson called A Quiet Passion, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.  Then I

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13 May 2017

Davies brings Dickinson to life (and vice versa)

The brilliant Terence Davies cast — Cynthia Nixon in — A Quiet Passion as the great — Emily Dickinson. The poet’s played by Emma Bell — In the opening scenes — Where Emily embraces doubt — And authenticity. But then — the wonder of the sight — family portraits change!

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30 Apr 2017

The haunting of a half-hearted woman

Just as Olivier Assayas’s new film Personal Shopper keeps shapeshifting from horror movie to socio-economic commentary to erotic thriller to paranormal murder mystery… so this review keeps shifting as I write it. I haven’t published my comments until now because I couldn’t figure out where to begin in describing all that

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25 Apr 2017

My Box of 64: Episode 2 – Mischa Willett & the power of practice

On the second episode of the new Looking Closer audio journal, My Box of 64… I welcome poet and Seattle Pacific University writing instructor Mischa Willett to talk about why he gave up on entering poetry contests, to share why he memorizes his favorite poems, and to read poems from his

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17 Apr 2017

Don’t Think Twice: Yes, and . . .

Improv comedy is a demanding art. Making a movie about an improv team — one that is both dramatic and funny — that’s even more challenging. Mike Birbiglia succeeds!

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16 Apr 2017

My Box of 64: the new Looking Closer audio journal!

In which I launch the new LookingCloser.org audio journal. Take your first step into a larger world… of creativity, conversation, and community!

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14 Apr 2017

Get out to see Get Out in the theater

Earlier this month, my students wrote film reviews of Ava DuVernay’s film Selma.  I pulled sentences from each of them and projected them onto a screen, asking the class to help each other repair grammatical errors in some of the weaker sentences. (This is a great exercise. The class wakes up

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06 Apr 2017

I thought I’d love Song to Song. I was wrong.

The latest Terrence Malick pageant of glamorous lovers and their interior-monologues meanders into monotony.

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01 Apr 2017

Silence… like you’ve never heard it before.

Trample! TRAMPLE!

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19 Mar 2017

Embracing dangerous neighbors in Of Gods and Men

I recently posted a review of Martin Scorsese’s Silence that was written by a high school student who took my online film course called “Viewer Discussion Advised.” Today, I’m sharing another review by a first-time film critic who took that class with me over seventeen weeks. Her name is Martha-Grace

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