Tag Archives: lenterim

Epiphany 2017

Today is the Epiphany, the end of the Christmas season, if you’re Catholic or a Victorian. It’s time to take down your Christmas tree, if you haven’t already, and look forward to a season of springtime and sacrifice. It’s time to start thinking about Lent.

While you enjoy not eating chocolate for a few weeks, however, I will be watching movies, as has been my tradition these past eleven years. Something about this year in particular makes me want to shut myself up in a dark room and watch fanciful bouts of escapism. Who knows what that could be about.

Today, I officially start my planning. As of this writing, none of the movies have been decided. Suggestions are always welcome, with my only requirement being that I can’t have seen the movie before to include it for Lent.

Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, will be on March 1. For my first movie, I like to do something very old and/or especially significant.

Holy Saturday, the final day of my celebration, will be April 15. For the final film, there will be a small party, with wine and bread and fish and pizza or something. The film itself will be something appropriately holy, like The Passion of the Christ, Godspell, or Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter.

Let’s do this thing.

Oh, and one more thing. It is, as always, my father’s birthday. Today is also, for the first time, my father-in-law’s birthday. So happy birthday to you both.

Epiphany 2015

This year, Ash Wednesday will fall on February 18. Easter will be April 5.

I now begin the arduous task of planning for Lent.

Movie suggestions are, as always, welcome. This will be my tenth Lent, so make them good. Or terrible. Just don’t half-ass this; I’m counting on you.

Oscar-Nominated Short Films: Live-Action

  • That Wasn’t Me (Aquel no era yo, 2012) – New title: The Third World Sucks, but Sometimes White People Make it a Little Better. This title will be used a lot in Oscar-Nominated shorts. Most years, there is one.
  • Just Before Losing Everything (Avant que de tout perdre, 2013) – My definite favorite. This was the only one of the five shorts that made me feel afraid for someone. A scene of a woman walking calmly through a department store has never been so intense.
  • Helium (2014) – New Title: Cancer Ward. We’ve all seen Cancer Ward before. Filmmakers: you can stop making Cancer Ward.
  • Do I have to Take Care of Everything (Pitääkö mun kaikki hoitaa?, 2012) – Next to two hack jobs trying to make me feel sad or angry and another piece that actually succeeds in making me feel fear, it’s nice to have a light bit of fluff.
  • The Voorman Problem (2012) – Amusing, contains Martin Freeman.

Oscar-Nominated Short Films: Animated

  • Feral (2012) – There are definitely points given for being pretty. After all, this is the entertainment industry. Beyond the pretty, however, there’s not a lot to get from this one. At least it’s a story we don’t see every day.
  • Get a Horse! (2013) – Being a short from Disney about Disney and the magic of movies, I can definitely see the Academy patting themselves on the back with this one. Not my pick, though. While there’s plenty of clever meta-humor to it, there are other, more deserving pieces.
  • Mr. Hublot (2013) – Please tell my boss I won’t be in today. I have died of boredom.
  • Possessions (Tsukumo, 2012) – As with so many Japanese films, I’m still trying to see if I fully get it, or if there’s even anything to get. I’m fairly certain this is just a very pretty short film about taking care of your things, but who can say for certain?
  • Room on the Broom (2012) – Easily the most broadly appealing of the shorts, this is the one you should take your kids to see. Unless you don’t like your children, then I guess you should go with Mr. Hublot or Feral.

Other shorts shown, not nominated:

  • À la française (2012) – Good for a light chuckle. Chickens being fancy.
  • The Missing Scarf (2013) – That this was not nominated is one of the greatest shames of Academy history. Maybe it didn’t do whatever shorts need to do to qualify. If that’s the case, I expect to see this nominated next year. The Missing Scarf provides the only sincere, full-on laughter I had during the entire program of animated shorts.
  • The Blue Umbrella (2013) – Pixar phoned it in this year.

Epiphany, 2014

Today is the Epiphany. Time to put away your Christmas decorations (if you haven’t already) and take your Lenten vestments out of storage to air out a bit. Nobody likes Lenten vestments that smell of mothballs.

Ash Wednesday this year will be on March 5.

Easter will be April 20.

For the next two months, I will have these dates in the back of my mind (which is, physically, toward the front of the brain. Is that irony? I can never tell), planning movies to watch for my ninth year of undermining the letter and spirit of a sacred time of year. Suggestions are, as always, welcome.

Finally, this year (and all years), the Epiphany coincides with my father’s birthday. Happy birthday, Dad.

In the Lenterim: SIFF 2

Populaire (2012) – There may be something wrong with me. I’m starting to enjoy some romantic comedies. Though in loving Populaire, I feel I can make some excuses. It knows how ridiculous the genre is, and it runs with it. The movie starts with a ridiculous premise (a girl from a small village in Normandy competes in the worldwide speed-typing championships), and it goes all-out (the whole world watches the speed-typing championships with glee, and the winners become international celebrities). From time to time, I even get the sense it’s making fun of the tropes of romcoms while still committing fully to them. There may also be something about sport movies here, but I don’t know anything about sports.

As a side note to the people who design subtitles: why in God’s name would you position the subtitles so they run below the bottom edge of the screen? Don’t do that, stupid.

In the Lenterim: SIFF

Lent is over for now. Has been for a month now, now that I think about it. During this time, the time I call the Lenterim, I will still be watching movies. This time of year happens to be the start of the 39th Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), so here we go.

Putzel (2012) – I believe it was Gertrude Stein who said “A romcom is a romcom is a romcom is a romcom” or something like that. While I’ve accustomed myself to movies that feature plot or characters or, in some cases, just pretty pictures, a romcom presents an experience without interest in any of these fields. For a romcom, rather than the stock characters of commedia dell’arte, romcoms give stock stories on which to build a setting. In this case, it’s a piece about a bagel shop on the Upper West Side. There are no surprises (if there were, it wouldn’t be a romcom), but at least it’s cute.