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Philip Crossman
Vermont
Recent Activity
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Sleep Dealer Review “Here is the true meaning and value of compassion and nonviolence, when it helps us to see the enemy’s point of view, to hear his questions, to know his assessment of ourselves. For from his view we may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own condition,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
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Educated by Tara Westover REVIEW This is a story of a mind, like a fugitive slave making its way to Canada through an underground railroad called “education.” Tara Westover’s domineering father and his religion-fueled empire of certainty provides the “Iron Curtain” from behind which Tara must escape as a child,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
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Communal Organization and Social Transition REVIEW Yesterday, Vermonters voted on a number of statewide positions. They basically had to choose between a Republican and a Democratic candidate for Governor. Phil Scott, the Republican incumbent won by a substantial margin. The Democratic candidate was the country’s first major party trans-gendered woman.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
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Black Sea REVIEW The seaweed is always greener In somebody else's lake You dream about going up there But that is a big mistake Just look at the world around you Right here on the ocean floor Such wonderful things surround you What more is you lookin' for? “Under the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
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Going Up the Country REVIEW Going Up the Country: When the Hippies, Dreamers, Freaks, & Radicals Moved to Vermont is written by a fellow faculty member at my college, Yvonne Daley. “My Vermont story began in 1967,” she says in her introduction, “when my first husband and I left graduate... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
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Ready Player One REVIEW What is the appropriate balance between engaging life and escaping it? Between facing reality and imagining a fantasy? Between actual experience and vicarious adventure? Ready Player One places us in a dystopian future (2045) where people live trailer trash lives in high rise trailer parks with... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
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The Queue REVIEW Basma Abdel Aziz’ novel is dystopian fiction, political satire, and a statement of vigorous religious and social dissent. It can at times remind the reader of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (there are multiple characters telling their stories). At times it reminds one of Jonathan Swift’s Modest Proposal (in... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
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Clouds of Sils Maria REVIEW I have not much to say about this film. I found it ingenious but without a point to the genius in the end. A middle aged actress who became a star at the age of 18 in a play where she played a young seductress... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
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Scene from the Romanian movie, Graduation. [Background] A middle aged Romanian doctor (Romeo) and his wife (Magda) have an eighteen year old daughter (Eliza) who has earned a place at Cambridge University in England. She just needs to do well on her final three graduation tests. The day before her... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
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The Kid with a Bike REVIEW First of all, this movie needs a better title. Having said that, more people should watch it than probably will. It is not often that a child actor inhabits his (or her) character this convincingly. Cyril is about ten. He lives in a home... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
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Little Pink House REVIEW This movie illustrates to me the power of a movie to get a story into people’s consciousness and the limitations of a movie to get the *whole* story in there. The story focuses on the experience of a woman who owns a home along the river... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
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Humanity Bureau REVIEW “In the near future, after economic catastrophe and climate change came famine, the great migration and the civil war.” This is a movie starring (is that the right word for this actor these days?) Nicolas Cage that is marinated in anti-Trumpism. It is clear that the movie... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
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Back to Burgundy Review Back to Burgundy is a film about three siblings coming to terms with some unresolved childhood matters as adults. Their father has died and the three of them must make decisions about the family vineyard. But the story is more complex than that. It seems clear... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
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Disobedience REVIEW This is a film marinated in the questions of honesty as they apply in highly conservative religious communities. Ronnit is the daughter of a great Rabbi. Alas, she is also gay. Esti is her first love and now the wife of Ronnit’s cousin Dovid - the heir apparent... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
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Summer Interlude REVIEW Today’s movie was from the archives; Ingmar Bergman’s 1951 Summer Interlude a movie about the tragedy of losing a first great love in life. The film’s plot is not complicated and its characters, Marie and Henrik, are not complex. A young ballet dancer falls in love with... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
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American Folk REVIEW I am glad I did not listen to Roger Ebert on this one. This is such a lovely movie about how life can bring you into connection with strangers if you will be open to it. A young man and a young woman sit on a plane... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
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The Art of Getting By and Some Kind of Wonderful REVIEW Sometimes a movie has to be considered in the context of another to be interesting enough for me to write about. The Art of Getting By may be one of them. The central character is a young man in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
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Winter’s Bone REVIEW Winter’s Bone is set in a sparse impoverished landscape of despair. People throughout the film seem to be losing their humanity one ethical principle at a time. One gathers that the community has come to the place where all morality is on the table besides kin loyalty.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
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Fill the Void REVIEW Fill the Void is one of many movies that you can find about how people go about selecting a partner in life. I suppose the ways that it is done and the reasons it is done for are endless in human history or maybe it all... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
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In Between (Bar Bahar) Reveiw “Don’t raise your voice. Men don’t like women who raise their voices.” These are the first lines of the movie, spoken by an older woman who is pulling the hair off some other woman’s legs. The film establishes the assertion of the first sentence as... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
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The Lunchbox REVIEW I did not realize it while I was watching it but this film is a subtle retelling of the well loved Tom Hanks – Meg Ryan classic You Got Mail – only set in India and sans internet. Through a providential mix-up, home-made lunches are delivered to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
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Life Without Lack REVIEW Thirty-Five years ago this month, I believe I met my life’s first and maybe only true “mystic.” I noted the day and the event in the journal I kept at the time. Ralph Waldo Emerson said once that “a good day was a day when we... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
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Phantom Thread Review The film Phantom Thread presents us with the story of a marriage between two people who live out their relationship with tactics that most people use to fight wars. Reynolds Woodcock is rude, insufferably controlling, and narcissistic while she is soft, gentle, and yet ruthlessly intractable. It... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
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Queen of the Desert REVIEW Every once in a while, someone comes along who decides not to be cautious with the throttle when they live their life. Gertrude Bell deserves a place on this list. The movie portrays her as unwilling to settle for anything less than a life of... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader
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Sons REVIEW Pearl Buck’s novel, Sons continues the story of Wang Lung’s legacy into a second generation. Each of Wang Lung’s three sons follows a different path from the one that their father hoped they would. The oldest becomes a landlord, collecting money off the rents from his father’s vast... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2018 at Eucatastrophe Reader