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Posts Tagged ‘Nick Olson’

Nostalgia for Stranger Things

By Nick OlsonNovember 7, 2017

In July 2016, I watched season one of Stranger Things with my younger brother. I didn’t encounter a Demogorgon in the small town where we grew up, but I did use walkie-talkies, grow infatuated with girls from school, and roam the neighborhood on my bike. Last week, I watched season two with my wife, the…

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Cinematic Longings for Sophia in mother! and Blade Runner 2049

By Nick OlsonOctober 12, 2017

Two of our most compelling film directors working in the Hollywood studio system—Darren Aronofsky and Denis Villeneuve—recently released startling movies, and the movies have obvious differences. Aronofsky’s mother! is an original psychological horror film allegorizing in unorthodox ways the Biblical mythology. Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 is a science fiction sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 classic,…

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I Am Not Your Negro

By Nick OlsonSeptember 28, 2017

Near the beginning of Raoul Peck’s documentary, I Am Not Your Negro, James Baldwin says that in 1957 he couldn’t stop thinking about a photograph he saw at every newspaper kiosk in Paris. It was of the fifteen-year-old black girl Dorothy Counts, who was surrounded by a white crowd filled with revulsion at the sight…

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An All Too Ghostly Ghost Story: Part 2

By Nick OlsonAugust 29, 2017

Continued from yesterday. Four years ago, my wife and I moved into our red brick cottage. The living room and bedroom walls were a bright pink; the kitchen floor was green linoleum; a small yellow ball with a star rolled around, but we had no pet to play with it. It was as if we…

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An All Too Ghostly Ghost Story: Part 1

By Nick OlsonAugust 28, 2017

If you want to be reminded of all that overwhelms you, go see David Lowery’s latest film A Ghost Story. I know that sounds like a good reason not to see a movie, but consider it a recommendation. To be human is to be any number of things; one such attribute is that near-cliché, haunted.…

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An American Body Politic

By Nick OlsonAugust 14, 2017

In recent months several of us have quipped that the drama surrounding the Trump campaign and presidency would make for a great plotline on the FX drama, The Americans. A show about Russian spies living in D.C. during the Cold War easily brings to mind our present-day episode of America-Russia relations. If you watched the…

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Rectifying 2017

By Nick OlsonJuly 10, 2017

During its four seasons from 2013 to 2016, Rectify was no stranger to critical praise. Nearly a year after the series finale, I think it’s time to mention Ray McKinnon’s series alongside the usual exemplars of television’s “golden age”—shows like The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and The Wire. As I watched the series in…

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A Prayer for Kendrick Lamar

By Nick OlsonJune 15, 2017

It occurs to me each time I listen to Kendrick Lamar’s new album, Damn: The award winning and much celebrated rapper laments over and over that he feels like nobody’s praying for him. It’s his greatest fear. I’m not sure you can listen casually to a Lamar album. Each song demands attention to every word.…

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The Sound of Scorsese’s Silence

By Nick OlsonMay 17, 2017

It’s been nearly a month since I finally saw Scorsese’s Silence, and what I remember most is the cry of cicadas and how crucial sound is to the film’s translation of Shūsaku Endō’s novel. The cicadas’ song is loud, and in Silence, they sound a sorrowful note. We hear the cicadas and the crickets before…

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The Eye Behind the Camera: Kirsten Johnson’s Cameraperson

By Nick OlsonApril 20, 2017

When we first see the close-up of the dead bird on the ground, we wonder why. It’s only a few scenes later that we return to the site of the bird to see two young children, twin brother and sister, asking their mother and grandfather if they can go outside to bury the dead bird.…

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