6 thoughts on “Things To Do Now

    1. Madeline’s Madeline (2018)
      Dir. Josephine Decker
      Starring: Molly Paker, Miranda July, Helena Howard, etc.
      68/100

      Mentioned in the article above. It’s an OK film, but wouldn’t have made my list. The author says this is one of the best endings he’s seen. I don’t feel the same.

      **
      16 year-old Madeline is part of a small, experimental theater group. The film is a character study, focusing on Madeline’s relationship with Evangeline (Paker), the director, as they work to create a new play. There are certain independent films that deal with awkward social moments, I would put that in the same category. Also, if I tweeted a description of this film I’d say, “a passive-aggressive cat fight.”

      ***
      I wanted to comment on Sims’s short synposis:

      So many films try to delve into the tortured process of creating art, but it’s difficult to keep them from coming off as myopic or self-involved. This makes Josephine Decker’s film all the more impressive in the way it wrestles with how making something can feel invigorating and addictive but draining. The relationship between the drama teacher Evangeline (Molly Parker) and her bright young student Madeline (Helena Howard) is initially empowering and eventually vampiric. Decker thrusts the viewer as deep as she can into the dizzying highs and lows of Madeline’s lived experience, and the characters’ power struggle leads to an explosive climax that remains one of the best movie endings I’ve ever seen.

      Somehow this description seems a bit off–off from my reading of the film anyway. Perhaps, the art making process is an important point of interest, but the film seems like a battle between two people. Maybe it’s about the frequent tension and conflict between directors and actors. On the other hand, the conflict isn’t merely artistic, but ethical. Specifically, Evangeline starts appropriating Madeline’s dysfunctional relationship with her mother, violating Madeline’s trust in the process. I should note that Madeline is mentally-ill and her mother may be as well. Evangeline seems oblivious to this, perhaps blinded by her ambition.

      The ways Madeline retaliates against Evangeline, and wins in the end, are probably the most entertaining moments in the film for me.

  1. I’m still disappointed that Scott Pilgrim vs. the World wasn’t a huge hit with my students. If I’d seen it in a theater in high school, I’d have gone back to see it again and again until it was gone. This should have been their movie.

    The fact that Scott Pilgrim, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, and Juno didn’t resonate with them but Napoleon Dynamite (which I haven’t yet seen) did tells me I’m off about something, probably something about the way they receive content and interact with it. It shouldn’t surprise me, since the way I received content and the way they received it are galaxies apart, but I’m still mystified.

    1. I shouldn’t say Juno didn’t resonate. They liked it a lot. But it never achieved the major cult status I thought it would.

    2. Scott Pilgrim was a pleasant surprise, particularly the creative filmmaking. I also liked the opening:

      Initially, I would think the film would be more popular with high school kids, but if you think the about the characters and music–it seems like something hipster, college students would like more (or hipster high school students).

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