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Comment Archives: Stories: Arts and Culture: Country Life

Re: “Deadly Deeds Underway at Killer Nashville Downtown

Thanks for the shout-out for the 25th anniversary of Murder, She Wrote novels. I wrote three with my dad, Donald Bain. The second in the series, Manhattans and Murder, Rum and Razors and Three Strikes, You're Dead. They're all still in print! Thanks again!
Laurie Bain Wilson

Posted by Laurie Bain Wilson on 08/23/2014 at 7:10 PM

Re: “Belcourt's Blockbuster Boyhood Weekend

Charlie Chaplin is another figure who has suffered a backlash. All through his career, Chaplin received the most lavish praise imaginable. The French treated him as a god, and he continued to be deified in Europe after American turned on him after WWII.

Then critics got tired of praising Chaplin and began to say that Buster Keaton -- and sometimes Harold Lloyd or Harry Langdon -- was better. Having recently watched all of Chaplin's films (including the awful COUNTESS FROM HONG KONG) and every Keaton film I could see, I have to conclude that while Keaton at his best is very great, Chaplin is his superior.

But to be honest, I regard Stan Laurel as a greater comic than either Chaplin or Keaton.

Posted by Mark on 08/22/2014 at 4:04 PM

Re: “Belcourt's Blockbuster Boyhood Weekend

CITIZEN KANE still has a terrific story, and an ironic, downbeat ending that no major studio would allow today.

Did you see BOYHOOD at the Belcourt? If so, I would expect Vandy students there, because the theater is a short walk from the campus. I saw BOYHOOD in Murfreesboro, where everyone in the audience was middle-aged. In other words, the usual audience for art/indie films.

In a very depressing conversation between Matt Zoller Seitz and Godfrey Cheshire, Cheshire says: "Ask art-house owners outside of a few big cities, they'll tell you that the majority of their patrons for foreign-language films are over 60. I’m sure that’s why, supposedly, an important specialty distributor said not too long ago that he didn’t think art houses would last more than another decade."

Posted by Mark on 08/22/2014 at 3:55 PM

Re: “Belcourt's Blockbuster Boyhood Weekend

So, I went to see Boyhood last night in a theater full of Vanderbilt students (I apparently happened upon a FLiCX screening by accident, so they were there in droves) and the whole place burst into applause when it was over. I didn't exactly conduct a survey to see who had read reviews and who hadn't, but it does make me question of a prestige backlash is in full-effect.

I get what you're saying about Citizen Kane and, to a certain extent, I agree. The thing about Citizen Kane, though, is that a lot of its praise comes from how innovative it was with the form, but many of those innovations we pretty much take for granted in modern filmmaking. You have to put yourself in the headspace of someone seeing it for the first time in the 40s to get the full impact. That's a lot of context to consider.

I'd argue that Boyhood's successes aren't in its innovations, but rather in the resonant emotional connection you develop with this kid and his family over three hours. If anything, as the speaker before the screening noted, it may be easier for 20-somethings and college kids to appreciate the little details because they literally just lived through those details.

Posted by Lance Conzett on 08/21/2014 at 9:33 AM

Re: “Belcourt's Blockbuster Boyhood Weekend

I haven't seen it either, Lance, but I've set aside 3 hours for it tomorrow.

BOYHOOD cracked the box-office top 10 last weekend, and it has expanded to smaller venues like Murfreesboro (where it's playing at the Wynnsong 16). Maybe people want an alternative to stuff blowing up.

I understand Sam Adams' point about the "near-unanimous praise." The reviews, many calling it a landmark and a masterpiece, might create expectations that no movie can meet. I think CITIZEN KANE has suffered because of this. Young people tend to be wary of movies that are so lavishly praised, and assume they must be more like medicine than entertainment.

Posted by Mark on 08/19/2014 at 4:00 PM

Re: “Belcourt's Blockbuster Boyhood Weekend

For what it's worth, this twenty-something cinephile is really excited to catch Boyhood this week. The only reason why I haven't yet is because I haven't had time for a three-hour movie.

Posted by Lance Conzett on 08/19/2014 at 10:06 AM

Re: “Belcourt's Blockbuster Boyhood Weekend

From the blog of Mark Harris (author of "Pictures at a Revolution" and "Five Came Back"):

"I hate 'Wait until you're older' as an argument. But Millennial cinephiles saying 'What's the big deal about BOYHOOD?' ... You're testing me."

I know what he's talking about. The twenty-somethings I know have no interest in seeing BOYHOOD. They're going back to see GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY for the second or third time. I liked GUARDIANS, too, but man does not live by CGI spectacle alone.

Posted by Mark on 08/18/2014 at 7:17 PM

Re: “Belcourt's Blockbuster Boyhood Weekend

Jim Ridley wrote: "The Best Picture talk sounds like wishful thinking: the Oscars are all about honoring the genius of the system, and they'd never reward something this open-ended, modest in means and returns, and impossible to duplicate."

Yeah. I can see BOYHOOD getting a Special Achievement Award (like Chaplin got for THE CIRCUS), but not Best Picture.

Isn't there a new movie with Helen Mirren as a pastry chef? That's the kind of flick the Academy's elderly voters like to honor.

Posted by Mark on 08/16/2014 at 8:01 PM

Re: “Cult Fiction and Logue's To Part Ways: Songwriters, Ancient Gods and Big Changes Ahead

Also the Night of Free Speech twice monthly open mic night is moving to the new location when it opens.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by pleasedontcallmeliz on 08/15/2014 at 1:04 PM

Re: “Cult Fiction and Logue's To Part Ways: Songwriters, Ancient Gods and Big Changes Ahead

It should also be noted that the really excellent stand-up comedy open mic held in Cult Fiction Underground is moving to the new building as well.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Lance Conzett on 08/15/2014 at 11:00 AM

Re: “International Lens' Thought-Provoking Fall 2014 Lineup Is Here

Great films, but why present them in an inferior format? It's 2014, not 1999. Dump the DVDs.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by TobintheGnome on 08/14/2014 at 1:49 PM

Re: “Nashville Drinking Game

There is now a list of Nashville themed drinks for each character.

Posted by NashvilleDrinkList on 08/13/2014 at 10:08 PM

Re: “Scott Turow to Receive 2014 Nashville Public Library Literary Award

As I recall, he also had a connection to longtime MTSU journalism professor David Badger...

Posted by mr. pink on 08/13/2014 at 11:03 AM

Re: “International Lens' Thought-Provoking Fall 2014 Lineup Is Here

It sure is. A fascinating story, and neither cute nor adorably quirky, as you might fear from the premise.

This is one of their best recent lineups. PLATFORM's been a wish-list item for me since its release. Glad to see Edward Yang's YI YI and the Bollywood blockbuster DILWALE DULHANIA LE JAYENGE, which made Shahrukh Khan one of the biggest stars on the planet.

Posted by mr. pink on 08/13/2014 at 11:02 AM

Re: “International Lens' Thought-Provoking Fall 2014 Lineup Is Here

Marwencol is definitely worth seeing.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Nicki P Wood on 08/13/2014 at 9:47 AM

Re: “Music City Word Beat: Most Popular and Bestselling Books in Nashville, July 2014

Also, a great piece of recent nonfiction, which happens to reads almost like fiction, is Gary Shteyngart's memoir Little Failure. Shteyngart grew up as an outsider trying to navigate cultural boundaries, so he has a finely-tuned eye for what makes things like families and communities work.

Shameless plug: I got to read it and do a brief Q&A with him in advance of his appearance at the upcoming Southern Festival of Books:

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by goose on 08/12/2014 at 10:26 AM

Re: “Mater Mayhem! This Weekend at Logue’s

But surely they can't match the hilarity of SHARNADO 2. Or a Uwe Bolle festival.

Bad movies tend to lose their charm when you're out of your 20s and no longer watching them with a bunch of your fellow beer-guzzling dudebros. I think the Dissolve had a discussion about this a few months back.

Posted by Mark on 08/11/2014 at 3:02 PM

Re: “Mater Mayhem! This Weekend at Logue’s

ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES is a pretty good example of why calculated attempts at making cult movies almost never work: it has its moments, but arch plus inept does not equal amusing. Still, I can't bring myself to dislike a movie whose marquee name is the San Diego Chicken.

I hope there's never a day we no longer find THE MANITOU or REEFER MADNESS funny.

Posted by mr. pink on 08/11/2014 at 9:46 AM

Re: “Mater Mayhem! This Weekend at Logue’s

I keep waiting for the Logue's crowd to reach the stage described in this classic Onion article: "Aging Gen-Xer Doesn't Find Bad Movies Funny Anymore.",1451/

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mark on 08/08/2014 at 6:10 PM

Re: “Mater Mayhem! This Weekend at Logue’s

It's like IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE at Christmastime. Lionel Barrymore even resembles a killer tomato from certain angles.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by mr. pink on 08/08/2014 at 4:48 PM

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