Jan 102015
  January 10, 2015

As it was pointed out to me that all of the many “Best of Film Posters” lists for 2014 were rubbish, I am diving in to save the day. Besides, I did so little film-type work this year, I need to start somewhere. This is most definitely not a top 10 film list. My year’s best (in a year that I admit to having missed many) does not have a poster in the top 10, and some of these are for movies best skipped. Enough with stalling, here they are, counting to the best:

 #10 Birdman

A classic pop culture look, with a metaphor. I got a sense of what I’d be in for, but more, I wanted to be in for it.

#9 Inherent Vice

A poster that’s part nostalgia for a near-by-gone-age, part quirk, part thriller, part comedy. Add a dash of sex, and we’ve got a poster and a movie.


#8 Horns

Horns could be a classic just on its poster collection. I chose this version, but there are several others just a curl behind. Here we see a fairy tale, but not one that’s filled with glee. There’s darkness in them thar points.


#7 The Maze Runner

Posters for The Maze Runner show up on every list, but different posters. It has a score of them, some drab, some looking like every other YA movie of recent years, and some fantastic. This is in the last category.

#6 As Above, So Below

Is it a cheat to include a poster from a film that not only have I not seen, I hadn’t even heard about until I studied all the film posters for the year? Apparently it is for another dumb found footage movie (“dumb” always goes with “found footage”), but don’t you wish it was for something good?

#5 Grand Budapest Hotel

It’s all about the quirk. You see that mountain goat, and you know exactly what you are in for. OK, you aren’t in for anything that special (it wasn’t exactly a great film), but nothing all that bad either. Humor to smile at, not to laugh with. Like the poster.


#4 Godzilla

Another film with a stack of posters, some better than others. This is the best, showing scale, destruction, and a bit of loneliness. Too bad the film itself couldn’t show quality–Gojira ’54 it was not.

#3 Maleficent

Simple and elegant, not unlike the film. A poster that makes it clear everything is about Angelina Jolie, and in this case, that’s all you need. Maleficent was Eugie’s favorite movie of the year, and I can’t fault her for that.

#2 The Interview

A great poster does not mean a great movie (See Godzilla). The film was kinda satire. The poster is satire, and gets it right. Makes you want to march, wave a flag, launch a missile.

#1 Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Combining the look of film noir and the cover of a trashy thriller novel, the Sin City 2 poster is sexy, evocative, and tells you everything you need to know about the movie.

The film couldn’t live up to its predecessor (though better than most reviews would have you believe), but the poster did.

Is there any doubt that she’s been especially bad?



And a few honorable mentions for films that pulled out the stops making some old-school posters. Guardians of the Galaxy‘s looks like a hundred other action/SF posters from 20 years ago, but better. It goes right next to a Star Wars poster. Captain America: The Winter Soldier has a lot of posters, but this one says Alfred Hitchcock’s Captain America. Then there is Nurse 3D, doing pin-up right.

 guardians_of_the_galaxy_ver2  captain_america_the_winter_soldier_ver20  nurse_3d_ver3
Jan 082015
  January 8, 2015

I attended a second grief group this evening and the gender differences I observed at the all male group were easy to find again. This group was all female except for me, and they were as unanimous in their views as the men had been, just a different set of views. They all spoke about recovery (the men denied it). They all agreed it got easier over time (the men denied it). They all thought it was important not to second guess yourself, and give yourself permission to do this or that (it hadn’t occurred to me that second guessing yourself would be an issue, or you’d have to give yourself permission for anything—still haven’t grokked that, and no men said anything like this). They all took solace in some form of vague (or less vague) spirituality and meaning behind their spouses’ deaths (no males did). They all either cried, or thought you should cry, at the kindness of people (not mentioned by the men). They all spoke about the group being their safety place (not the males’ view). And it kept going.

Now I know I don’t have enough data points myself, but then I’m not creating the hypothesis here, just backing one that already has significant statistical support. Eugie would have loved this; well, she’d have rather there be an experimental component instead of just an observational one, but still, she loved studying people.

I’ll probably keep going to both groups for a little bit (the co-ed one that is all women meets a lot more often), but the women’s way of dealing with grief is so foreign to me, I doubt I’ll stick there long.

Jan 072015
  January 7, 2015

I’d had my doubts, but an all male grief support group was better than expected. It seems a masculine point of view is helpful, to the extent that anything is helpful. It’s trendy in my circles to think men and women fundamentally react the same, and so, grieve the same. I’m not an adherent to this point of view.

In the past three months I’ve heard a lot of “Time will make things better” and “You will, eventually, begin to recover.” I have never believed that, nor have I wanted to.

And today, I didn’t hear that.

The group was made up of men who’d been widowed between three months (me) and nine years. And everyone agreed: You never recover. Time does not help. You do not regain purpose. Years make no difference. Either you go on without purpose till you die at some point, or you find someone who can save you (though the second was specifically rejected by several men). It was really refreshing to hear.

So, I’ll be going back. We’ll share feelings of doom, and I can respect that. It’s better than lies.