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Archive for August 12th, 2018

by Sam Juliano

My family will be departing New Jersey for the NC/SC border (Sunset Beach, just minutes from Myrtle Beach) very early Monday morning, so I won’t be seeing this MMD until I check it on a laptop on Monday evening.  The sad but inevitable passing of the 50 year old son of good Fairview friends from returning cancer resulted in our delaying our planned Sunday morning exit so we could attend today’s wake.  Jim Clark and J.D. Lafrance, two gifted Canadians will continue to pen fabulous film reviews moving forward.  Clark’s staggering essay on Wong Kar Wai’s “Happy Together” posted this past week.

The summer has been alternately scorching and rainy in this Metropolitan area in northeastern NJ across the river from Manhattan, but the fact that only three weeks remain before September and the start of the new school year is startling.  The Halloween Horror series, usually engineered by Jamie Uhler as an e mail endeavor will be posted on future MMDs as we approach that always entertaining time of the year.

Two exceptional films (both would rate 4.5 of 5.0 for me) were watched this weekend in Secaucus and Edgewater. An African-American played by John David Washington infiltrates the local KKK in Colorado Springs in 1972 based on a memoir by Ron Stallworth. There are admittedly tonal inconsistencies in “Blackkklansman”, but acting (especially by Washington and Adam Driver) and writing are excellent, and this is Spike Lee’s most entertaining and provocative film in years. The director includes a telling video of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville and footage of Trump’s patronizing commentary. Newcomer Bo Burnham’s maiden coming-of-age feature “Eighth Grade” is a gem, and remarkable in the way it perceptively and intimately probes the psych and social media hankering of a girl during the final year of her middle school tenure living with a doting father who is confronted with the inevitable communication problems. Young Elsie Fisher delivers a brilliant performance as Kayla. Both films deserve year-end scrutiny when Best of lists are sorted out. (more…)

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