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About Beltmann

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

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  • Location
    Southeast Wisconsin
  • Interests
    Movies, literature, history, sports

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  1. Finally caught up with An Elephant Standing Still, which I’ve been meaning to watch for several years. Why did it take so long for me to press play? Well, it’s a bleak, introspective portrait of hopeless lives that stretches to nearly four hours, and not long after its making the young director, Hu Bo, died by suicide. Indeed, death cascades throughout the story’s four intricate, intersecting arcs about people trying to carry on in a ramshackle Chinese town. Much has been made of the movie’s long, unbroken shots, but the technical prowess is secondary, I think, to Hu Bo’s assured reliance on c
  2. I don't know how many times I've seen Do the Right Thing since 1989--I teach it most semesters--but my admiration only continues to deepen. I think it's an enduring American classic that, unfortunately, has lost none of its cultural urgency.
  3. BAD REPUTATION / dir. Kevin Kerslake, USA, 2018 HOW TO BUILD A GIRL / dir. Coky Giedroyc, UK, 2018 I’m rather allergic to overly celebratory nonfiction biographies that seem like Wikipedia entries with video clips, but what the hell: I enjoyed “Bad Reputation” because I like Joan Jett and I, um, love rock ‘n’ roll. Speaking of music, I also had mixed feelings about the coming-of-age comedy “How to Build a Girl,” but Beanie Feldstein’s performance as teen rock journalist Johanna Morrigan contains multitudes. By turns she is a mouse, a chameleon, and a circus ringleader,
  4. Wow! This is amazing. I'm already drawing up a mental list of all the top tunes I need to hear again... THANK YOU.
  5. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot remains my favorite Wilco record and perhaps my favorite record of all-time. I'm counting on a forthcoming box set! My first Wilco live show was during the YHF tour (July 3, 2003, at Summerfest in Milwaukee). My wife, who was largely uninitiated into Wilco at the time, leaned over during the distortion of "Poor Places" and asked, "Is it supposed to sound like that?" Fast forward through 12 years (and many more shows). In 2015, it is my wife who suggests we make anniversary plans that involve flying to Colorado, because Wilco at Red Rocks is essential. My CD has t
  6. I managed to see six of the eight Best Picture nominees in the theater and I wish Sound of Metal had been one of 'em. The sound design is remarkable and I would have loved being lost in that soundscape, captive and concentrated. Just today I was reading about how the sound designer created a device that could capture the sounds of Riz Ahmed's body (such as his swallowing and his heart beating and his lips smacking). Those sounds were then carefully layered into the auditory texture to enhance the sense of being totally inside Ruben's head, even hearing his own body vibrationally, the way a per
  7. Two quick thoughts: Of all the new songs played on the Tweedy Show, "I'm Kind of Love With You" is the one that keeps rattling in my brain. For months now, I find myself humming it All. The. Time. Can't wait to hear an official recording (here's to hoping for a full band version). Also, the discussion of grandma farts was hilarious because my grandmother did the precise same act of pseudo-surprise that Jeff described. So did my great-grandmother... who also seemed to cherish those moments when the great-grandchildren would sneak a whoopee cushion under her seat. Her response was always a
  8. Oh, that would be fantastic. Many years ago our very own kidsmoke turned me on the them... remember sending CDs through the mail?
  9. We have tickets for two Wilco shows: A few weeks ago we scored greats seats for the Wilco/Sleater-Kinney show in St. Louis (August), and we have tickets for Wilco in Green Bay for September, which is a show rescheduled from last fall. Our last show before the pandemic was Wilco (Madison), so it feels fitting for Wilco to be our first show back, too. Especially since the Tweedy Show provided near-daily sustenance in between!
  10. Had my second shot yesterday (while wearing my Summerteeth t-shirt) and spent quite a bit of time thinking about (and mimicking) Jeff's arm exercises!
  11. Over spring break I shared quite a few movies with my 13-year-old boy, including Airplane!, The Pride of the Yankees, 42, Ford v Ferrari, The Call of the Wild, and The Journey of Natty Gann (which, I remain persuaded, is one of the most underrated Disney live-action features). Best of all? We enjoyed a big-screen experience with The Wizard of Oz, which he had never seen before. (He always resisted my overtures, and you can't force these things.) Damn straight I lied and warned him the whole thing was black and white. And damn straight that key moment when Dorothy opens the door to Oz still has
  12. A few days ago I watched Slacker for the umpteenth time because I’m reading Melissa Maerz’s book Alright, Alright, Alright: The Oral History of Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused and the opening section contains roughly 50 wonderfully detailed pages about Slacker, Linklater's 1991 indie breakthrough. The film, which was made for $23,000 and has no plot, captures in amber the specific misfit subculture of Austin, Texas in the Nineties. The movie always peters out for me, but I nevertheless remain fascinated by its shaggy ambience and its baton-passing structure, which lets more than 80 char
  13. I've been a huge Demme fan since the late '80s. He surely made many great docs (Stop Making Sense is a landmark), but he is perhaps better known for his narrative features. Both Philadelphia and Silence of the Lambs made massive cultural waves (Silence swept all five major Oscars!). Even better, to my eyes, is 1986's Something Wild, which was my introduction to Demme and ranks among the greatest of American movies. I don't want to write an essay here, so I'll just say that there must have been a divine alchemy at work in Something Wild--how did one film get so lucky with its perfect script, pe
  14. 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, especi
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