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Posts Tagged ‘Nick Olson’

Stepping into the Virtual Realities of Ready Player One and God’s Not Dead

By Nick OlsonApril 9, 2018

The best way to write about the third installment of God’s Not Dead is to write first about Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One. Their unexpected but undeniable tie is the desire to see yourself onscreen and what that representation reveals. In Ready Player One, people spend their time in the virtual reality called the OASIS…

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Love Hurts in Phantom Thread

By Nick OlsonMarch 12, 2018

My favorite film from last year is a farce. Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread functions like a twisted screwball comedy: Its momentum is the back-and-forth seeking of the upper hand in the relationship between Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) and Alma (Vicky Krieps). But narrative momentum does not always move the viewer. Anderson’s films can be…

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Pearl of Hope: Personal Shopper and the New Year

By Nick OlsonJanuary 25, 2018

Near the end of 2017, I rewatched Oliver Assayas’s ghost story film Personal Shopper not long after my wife asked if I had any New Year’s resolutions. It occurred to me that Personal Shopper may be an interesting film to frame the answer to that question. For all its apparent ambiguity, Personal Shopper seems clear…

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Lady Bird Ascending: Part 2

By Nick OlsonDecember 6, 2017

Lady Bird finds its rhythm by the quick wit of its characters’ banter and succeeds especially because of its excellent performances. Director Greta Gerwig adds to characterization as she frames and arranges their relationships. Lady Bird and her mother have a memorable argument at the thrift store, and it’s as if they are nearly submerged…

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Lady Bird Ascending: Part 1

By Nick OlsonDecember 5, 2017

I graduated from Bellefonte Area High School in 2004. During my senior year, I indulged my role as a star basketball player, taking in all of the attention that came with it. I was careful, though, to reject the label of jock because I didn’t want to be perceived that way. I noticed the eyes…

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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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