by Sam Juliano
First off I want to thank the many readers who have responded en masse to the highly controversial and still running comment thread on the Caldecott Contender picture book A Fine Dessert. As a result of the passionate response to the book from two unwavering positions, Wonders in the Dark has experienced its busiest week since all the way back in 2009. Some of the discussion was extremely contentious to be sure from both sides of the divide, and I have never been as intensely involved as I was since the review published late Thursday night. I have learned a lot about the strong feelings and sensitivity regarding the book’s visualization of slavery in the second part of its four stories. I remain a big supporter of the book, and have enjoyed much success with it with my classes. For me there is nothing at all in the publishing industry worse than censorship. Hence any attempt to suppress this beautiful book is alien to my sense of fair play. After an initial rush of people who criticized my review and loyalty to the book, the thread then came to life with the appearance of many teachers and book industry people who came to the book’s defense. In the three and a half days the review has been up it has attracted nearly 3,000 page views, hundreds of link ups from Twitter and Facebook and a barrage of exposure on many blogs, with a few re-blogs to boot. At present the thread has attracted 154 comments.
It has been another torrid week for the Caldecott series in general, and again I thank the many who have placed comments on all the reviews. Jim Clark’s review of the superlative Three Times (admittedly a film seen by few) was yet yet another magisterial piece by this great writer and friend.
Everything in my life has been compromised the past several days, so aside from a mid-week film viewing of the Oscar qualifier The Lady in the Van with Maggie Smith, I have been lamentably tied down. A nagging sore throat complicated matters further. It is hard to believe we are only eleven days away from Christmas, which really did creep up. Weather in the New York City area has been unseasonably balmy, and in direct contrast from last year’s frigid December.
I will try to update the links during the day, as I wasn’t even able to do that with all the attention to the site. Geez, WitD has been my life this past week.
Again I am very thankful and proud of those who meaningfully registered their views on A Fine Dessert.
The Lady in the Van **** 1/2 (Wednesday evening) Lincoln Plaza Cinemas
Some links have been updated:
At Noirish, the renowned writer John Grant has penned an excellent review on the made-for-TV movie “Heist”: https://noirencyclopedia.wordpress.com/2015/12/05/heit-the-1989-tvm/
At FilmsNoir.net Tony d’Ambra has posted a full list of films noir in US Library of Congress National Film Registry: http://filmsnoir.net/film_noir/list-of-films-noir-in-us-library-of-congress-national-film-registry.html/
Stephen Mullen has penned a powerful condemnation on the anti-Syrian refugee talk at his site The Listening Ear which is simply essential reading: http://listeningear.blogspot.com/2015/11/friday-calls-for-music.html
Marilyn Ferdinand has offered up a loving and beautifully written essay on Jacques Tati’s “Jour de Fete” for the Criterion blogathon at Ferdy-on-Films: http://www.ferdyonfilms.com/2015/jour-de-fete-1949/26487/
Joel Bocko has published a superlative review on Ozu’s “Late Spring” at I Lost It At the Movies: http://thedancingimage.blogspot.com/2015/12/the-favorites-late-spring-78.html
Jamie Uhler offers up a marvelous scholarly piece in his “Songs I Love” series at Attractive Variance with a dissection of the novelty song “War Canoe”: https://attractivevariance.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/songs-i-love-war-canoe/
At Mondo 70 Samuel Wilson has written an excellent review of “A Time For Killing”: http://mondo70.blogspot.com/2015/12/dvr-diary-time-for-killing-1967.html
At It Rains…….You Get Wet Robert Tower offers up a fabulous “Books to Movies” poll, this is essential for film lovers: http://le0pard13.com/2015/12/02/on-the-lookout-for-books-and-movies-poll-2016/
At Filmacability Dean Treadway has offered up a brilliantly authoritative examination of the year 1966 in the cinema: http://filmicability.blogspot.com/2015/11/1966-year-in-review.html
At Tuesdays with Laurie our great friend Laurie Buchanan has offered up another soulful query in her fabulous post “The World Goes Round”: http://tuesdayswithlaurie.com/2015/11/24/and-the-world-goes-round/
At Overlook’s Corridor Jaimie Grijalba has concluded another magnificent Horror Madness countdown, concluding in grand fashion with the 1952 Finnish film “Valkoinen Peura”: https://overlookhotelfilm.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/october-overlook-madness-31-valkoinen-peura-1952/
At Movie Classics, Judy Geater is leading up with a terrifically comprehensive review of Mark Robson’s 1954 “The Bridges of Toko-Ri”:https://movieclassics.wordpress.com/2015/11/11/the-bridges-at-toko-ri-mark-robson-1954/
David Schleicher has penned an excellent review on “Spotlight” at The Schleicher Spin: http://theschleicherspin.com/2015/11/22/it-takes-a-village-in-spotlight/
Our longtime friend the film maker and movie lover extraordinaire Jeffrey Goodman has posted the thirty-first four film roundup at The Last Lullaby, one that includes a Maurice Pialat film: http://cahierspositif.blogspot.com/2015/11/favorite-four-part-thirty-one.html
Over at Patricia’s Wisdom, the terrific book reviewer and friend Patricia Hamilton has penned an excellent review on “Dig Two Graves”: http://patriciaswisdom.com/2015/12/dig-two-graves-suspenseful-mystery-kim-powers/
J. D. Lafrance has penned an outstanding essay on “Tomorrowland” at Radiator Heaven: http://rheaven.blogspot.com/2015/11/tomorrowland.html
Shubhajit Lahiri has penned an excellent review of Wim Wenders’ 1975 “Wrong Move” at Cinemascope: http://cliched-monologues.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-wrong-move-1975.htm
Terrill Welch’s incomparably beautiful Creative Potager blogsite leads up with “Mystery of the Ordinary in the Japanese Garden on Mayne Island”:http://creativepotager.com/2015/11/26/mystery-of-the-ordinary-in-the-japanese-garden-on-mayne-island/
Sachin Gandhi has penned a terrific review on the Brazilian “She Comes Back on Thursday” at Scribbles and Ramblings: http://likhna.blogspot.com/2015/10/she-comes-back-on-thursday.html
At Enic-Cine, our good friend Murderous Ink in Tokyo has written yet another fabulous piece of scholarship – the third part of “Ozu, Pickles and Rice Bran”: http://www.enic-cine.net/ozu-pickles-and-rice-bran-part-3/
At The Seventh Art the exceedingly gifted writer Srikanth offers up reviews on two Hindi films under the banner grouping titled “Love in the Time of Gonorrhea”: http://theseventhart.info/2015/08/02/love-in-the-time-of-gonorrhea/