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About Beltmann

  • Rank
    More Like the Moon
  • Birthday 06/19/1974

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    Southeast Wisconsin
  • Interests
    Movies, literature, history, sports

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  1. u2roolz, I was fortunate to catch Black Bear as part of a virtual film festival. It was the first movie that I screened, and it speaks to the film's originality that it somehow remained near the top of my mind as I navigated another 74 feature films! I, too, really liked The Vast of Night. Sound is elevated to a fascinating motif, whether it means speaking (the rat-a-tat dialogue is a compendium of ‘50s slang), listening (there are several long monologues, including one over a black screen), or recording (remember reel-to-reel machines?). But the visuals are often captivating, too, especially a 10-minute shot that showcases a young woman simply processing her next steps and also one show-offy shot that travels through several roads, fields, and buildings, including the local gymnasium where most of the town’s residents are gathered for a basketball game. I found the payoff unsatisfying, but based on this fleet, suspenseful, Spielbergian effort, I’m eager to see what Patterson does next. Jim Cummings really is a fascinating figure. I presume you have seen Thunder Road (there's a short and a feature)? Like The Wolf of Snow Hollow, it's an off-kilter genre hybrid with an edgy Cummings performance at the center. I was less enamored with Tesla. I was on board for only about thirty minutes; I think I agree with you that The Current War is a better experience, but it's tough to compare since they are radically different types of works. I also didn't care for The Relic, but I suspect I really need to give it another chance.
  2. Usmar Ismail's After the Curfew (1954) is a politically tense Indonesian drama that charts the PTSD of a returned soldier who had been ordered to commit war crimes during the tumultuous period after the nation declared independence from the Netherlands in 1945. While watching, I couldn’t help but think of The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), William Wyler’s celebrated portrait of WWII vets facing domestic challenges (and a quick search confirmed that Wyler’s film was indeed an influence on Ismail). But I also thought about The Act of Killing and The Look of Silence, Joshua Oppenheimer’s nonfiction diptych about the butchers who purged Indonesia of “undesirables” after General Suharto’s anti-communist coup in 1965. Like those films, After the Curfew is about a postwar Indonesia poisoned by its legacy of blood.
  3. My first screening of 2021 was The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone. This new re-edit of The Godfather Part III confirms my view that part three is a highly personal, long underappreciated piece of the saga. Overall, the changes are relatively few but significant. The opening is dramatically different (the knighting ceremony is gone) but more streamlined. The ending, with an aged Michael alone in a chair, has been shortened but the edits radically change the meaning of both the scene and the movie. It's better, more tragic.
  4. Of course I was there. I'm always hungry!
  5. I had a full head of hair when this thing started! It's been great keeping up with you, too.
  6. Seconded. HUGE thanks! They have become an essential reference for me!
  7. Through happenstance, I noticed that today marks 16 years since I joined this forum as an unbridled enthusiast for all things Wilco. Today I remain deeply devoted to Wilco. They are still my favorite band. I respond deeply to their music, of course, but that's only a starting point and not the main reason why they top my list; after all, I can think of another dozen bands with records that I love equally, maybe more. But a “band” is more than just a collection of songs. The reason Wilco tops my list is because of the total package and all of the ancillary details: The music, yes, but also all of the other important facts that have made a major imprint on my life—the history; the shows, including one living room show; the impact the music made on me when I most needed it; the people that I've met, including Jeff; the relationships cultivated as a direct result of Wilco; the Tweedy Show; the bottomless memories, meanings, and stacks of T-shirts. (Seriously, my collection is embarrassing.) No other band has carved out such an important, long-lasting space in my life. Even when the music fades, or even when new Wilco music might leave me cold, that imprint remains and always will. The affection I feel for this band transcends their music. Perhaps the most significant bonus feature of my Wilco journey has been Via Chicago. I’m an admin now, but I started as just a fan after longtime lurking, a little intimidated at first, and once I chose to dive in as a newbie and engage (and sometimes spar) with the veterans, I grew to love this place. I remember with deep fondness all of the old inside jokes (too many), scandals (remember the VW ads?), and perhaps the Internet’s greatest ongoing gag (list the albums in chronological order). But it’s always been about the people. Many of my closest Facebook relationships started first at VC, and many evolved into real-life friendships. And I'll never forget the outpouring of love, support, and gifts that VC gave me and my family after a few members learned that my 18-year-old brother had been killed in a car crash in 2005. That was the most moving and breathtaking online experience of my life. It's been a great 16 years. Thank you, Wilco. Thank you, Via Chicago. Eric
  8. I've been slowly working my way through Criterion's massive Ingmar Bergman box set. Most of the titles have been repeat viewings, but the early work “Port of Call” (1948) was new to me and rather surprising since Bergman chose to operate in an unusual register. The story, which concerns a young woman hesitant to tell her new beau about her checkered past, might be too melodramatic for, say, Rossellini, but the visual style, quotidian details, and focus on class and culture were clearly inspired by the traits and philosophy of neorealism. I also took another look at “Cries and Whispers” (1972). I've always considered it one of Bergman’s coldest, most mannered films, but I don’t mean that as a criticism. There’s a stark, feminine interiority at work in the story of a dying woman being attended to by her two sisters and housemaid. Drenched in red and white, the complex psychoanalytical interplay between longing, dreams, childhood, mortality, eroticism, repression, jealousy, rejection, body horror, class, and privilege remains carefully controlled and inexhaustible nearly 50 years later.
  9. Beltmann


    You need to start pulling your weight around here, pal.
  10. When I was 17, I set out to do the same. (This was 1991 and the VHS era.) Thankfully, the local video store had a Friday special that let you rent five catalog movies for five bucks for five days! I launched similar quests for Best Foreign Language Oscar winners, Most Controversial Movies Ever, etc. It was a great way to be introduced to some of the great artists of cinema history.
  11. Agreed. At the start, the comments were fun, but they have become increasingly less so. While it's still nice to see familiar names, I've pretty much tuned out the comments (and limited my own).
  12. I was thrilled to finally hear "Quarters" Thursday. It's one of my favorite Jeff tunes, and I had requested it every night for weeks (but not last night!).
  13. I've asked for "Quarters" every night for several weeks now. Long shot, I know, but it seems like the Tweedy couch might be the perfect setting for that song. And it's among my favorite Jeff songs--it reminds me of my grandfather, who died about a week before my wedding in 1994.
  14. Susie just asked u2roolz for permission to use the recaps as part of her YouTube channel!
  15. Love those shirts. I wore them on back-to-back days. I ended the second video by saying, "And yes, I do actually have TWO of these shirts, one orange and one yellow."
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