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Film Talks: Most Recent

October 27, 2012 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing

With The Master, P.T. Anderson continues his series of insightful and biting explorations of our struggle to find life and meaning. Its storytelling and filmcraft are outstanding, but even more to the Anderson’s credit, the film’s nuanced questions are woven …more »»

September 25, 2012 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing

In 2016: Obama’s America, Dinesh D’Souza does an interesting thing: He paints a picture of what the USA will look like in the future based on a presidential candidate’s past associations. Hmmm. It’s an important question to ask, yet …more »»

September 10, 2012 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing

In 2011, The Tree of Life was the notable “alternate type” of film experience. For 2012, it’s Beasts of the Southern Wild — and it’s a good thing in both cases. …more »»

September 9, 2012 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing // After viewing

With Moonrise Kingdom’s quirky, crazy story and demeanor, director Wes Anderson delivers an emotionally rich and wry exploration of relationships. Even better, …more »»

March 29, 2012 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing

Monumental is a well-produced call-to-action documentary about recovering the foundational strengths of the United States republic. I applaud its major points, but I wish it had been more inclusive. Don’t get me wrong: …more »»

March 26, 2012 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing

Who wants you? Who cares if you exist? What are they willing to endure for your existence? October Baby puts such questions into sharp, life-and-death focus. Even more, the film turns the questions …more »»

March 22, 2012 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing

Without a doubt, Coriolanus is Shakespeare done well. Intense and engaging, the film uses the play’s original language and cities but sets it in modern times, reducing the historical …more »»

February 9, 2012 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing

All nine Oscar 2012 Best Picture nominations are strong thematically, exploring important questions of the heart. Most are also very well made, and I had to struggle to keep my top tier list small. To the concerns of some conservative viewers, who complain …more »»

February 7, 2012 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing

Curiously, The Help works as a film — it can reach inside and grab us, sending us away as better people with deeper hearts to resist thinking ourselves superior. I say “curiously” because it has a major filmcraft weakness that doesn’t seem to …more »»

February 3, 2012 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing

As an underdog tale of courage and risk-taking, Moneyball succeeds very well. Even more, it succeeds as an exploration of loyalty and self-interest. Being set in the “national pastime” world of baseball lends the film some popular intrigue, and being loosely based on …more »»

February 2, 2012 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing

Have you thought of the world as a machine? For me, the question carries connotations of a cold, heartless world of isolation and exploitation. Embedded within Hugo’s exploration of other matters of the heart, the film uniquely explores “machine nature” from …more »»

January 31, 2012 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing

As is Woody Allen’s tendency with his films, the delightful Midnight in Paris is definitely about something. This time it’s nostalgia. Also like many of his films, which lean heavily toward having characters tell you what the film is about, so does this one — but somehow, it doesn’t come off as overbearing as usual. And that is …more »»

January 29, 2012 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing

A father’s unique and creative care for his son, which is at the center of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, carries profound power of hope and healing — even when the father can’t be there. The film embodies this power strongly in its …more »»

January 28, 2012 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing

About the story in War Horse, a strict realist would say, “Yeah, right. How likely is that?” I hold to the old adage “truth is stranger than fiction” — or even Jack Johnson’s “fact and fiction work as a team.” But, I do have reservations about the …more »»

January 6, 2012 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing // After viewing // Backstory

Playfully serious, musically excellent, and rich in spirit, Godspell romps through New York City exploring and embodying wisdom for life and relationships from the Bible’s Gospel According to Matthew. Set in 1973, Jesus …more »»

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