Men on Grass, a Souvenir

Four movies, three one-liners, and one discursive paragraph:

The Souvenir
Double-feature it with Stories We Tell.

Sang-soo Hong is one of the most interesting, challenging directors working today, releasing a movie every few months, each a masterclass in creating and communicating complexity through deceptive simplicity — call it esoteric pop.

The Tomorrow Man
A banner year for John Lithgow’s bare legs.

A random thought inspired by this Elton John un-spectacular spectacular: I support any and all movie musical dominance — which can help convert the masses to the Gospel of Theatre (…when done well) — but the genre’s hegemony over the Sound Mixing category at the Academy Awards must cease and desist. There’s obvious skill in seamlessly matching studio-recorded vocals with onscreen lip-syncing, but that’s exactly what it is: obvious. What if voters rewarded creative designs by valuing how a mix operates within the context of the whole movie; what does it add, how does it deepen the experience in a way that both complements the other artistic elements, while also being a crucial ingredient in that alchemic, cinematic stew. Sound mixing can be a meaningful part of what and how movies communicate, instead of being merely a means of communicating the words and sound effects.

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