I felt drawn to Stand by Me in a way I had never been drawn to a movie before, longing each day to reimmerse myself in this soft-focused sun-dappled boy’s idyll. But still I wonder: what parts of me did this movie speak to?
“It’s such a beautiful day,” my wife and I say each morning as we look out the sliding glass door onto the backyard, imbuing it with a weight and meaning we never have before, because it’s not the weather that matters so much as the freshness of the air. And, of course, we say it because there isn’t much else we can say now that isn’t tinged by either sorrow or fear.
There’s a type of story I’ve come to recognize as my favorite: the ones that seem in the moment to be about small, even insubstantial, personal concerns yet reveal themselves immediately upon finishing to have conveyed something like the full enormity of what it means to be alive.
Never have I encountered a more fascinating case of self-indulgence than the diptych of Abre los ojos and Vanilla Sky, two films identical in plot but divergent in story, one chilly and distant and the other seeming to have been shot from inside the most passionate depths of the director’s soul.
I frequently took my mental temperature after this year’s Sundance screenings, searching for symptoms of that dreaded ailment, festival fever. I’ve fought mightily to maintain critical detachment, but it bears acknowledgement that the following assessments were made during one of the most emotionally tumultuous weeks I can remember.
There’s a question that has long been my personal riddle of the sphinx: what is “a Sundance movie”?
The way we experience movies shapes the way we experience life, and to experience a movie like The Beach Bum, to ingest and absorb this much giddy existential gratitude, strikes at least this viewer as quite a blessing.
Only one movie has ever managed to recreate that uniquely Dickens magic, achieving it not so much through adaptation as through transmutation.
How a Comedy Central docuseries hosted by an unassuming weirdo rode a tidal wave of scams straight into the pantheon of the decade’s strangest and most significant art.