Directed by Paul Schrader
Amazon Prime, Apple
One of the best films of the year. Director Paul Schrader, who wrote the film theory book The Transcendental Style in Film when he was 24, now employs that style (still camera shots, few cuts, and almost no nondiegetic music allowing the spectator room for the spiritual, contrasted by unexplained mystical imagery at the end) to full, sublime effect at 71.
In this film, Ernst Toller (a revelatory, internalized Ethan Hawke) is a priest who begins asking big questions about our relationship to God in a world where churches, businesses, and politics are complicit in the destruction of God’s creation—the earth. First Reformed is not a film for everyone. The questions it raises (especially by its startling, gloriously ambiguous ending) may enlighten or offend. Nevertheless, informed by Bergman’s Winter Light, Bresson’s Diary of a Country Priest, and Dreyer’s Ordet, Schrader’s First Reformed renews our faith in the possibility of filmmaking in our day to transcend the mundane.
– Dr. David C. Simmons
Directed by Peter Farrelly
A marvelously uplifting film based on the lives of the famous black concert pianist, Dr. Don Shirley (a charming Mahershala Ali), and his Italian driver, Tony Lip (a rough-around-the-edges Viggo Mortensen). As they tour southern states in 1962, they are forced to navigate foreign intersections of race, class, gender and sexuality while considering the invisible traffic lights of privilege.
– Dr. David C. Simmons
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Directed by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Because it has Brendan Gleeson (Paddington 2, Mr. Mercedes) in it. Because each of the six episodes is better than the one before it. Because it plays like The Coen Brothers’ Greatest Hits. Because Tom Waits and Saul Rubinek are in it. Because it’s a work of art.
– Chris Manson
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- Live Music
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Memories of Holidays Past
By Samantha Lambert It doesn’t matter what you celebrate, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Lights and decorations are up, singing is heard everywhere, and merriment ensues. Traditions flourish....
THROUGH DEC. 14. ARTS AND DESIGN SOCIETY’S (ADSO) “LANDMARKS OF THE EMERALD COAST” SHOW AT THE ART CENTER GALLERY, FORT WALTON BEACH ADSO features art depicting landmarks featured along the Emerald Coast....
Thursday, Dec. 6 AJ’S ON THE BAYOU, Fort Walton Beach CHRIS HAYES, 5-9 PM BAXTER’S BAR & GRILLE, Fort Walton Beach BRANDON DAY, 8 PM-Midnight CAMILLE’S, Destin, CamillesAtCrystalBeach.com DEAN SADOWSKI, 3-5 PM...
Live Music Review – Kris Kristofferson and The Strangers
Saenger Theatre, Mobile, Alabama – November 20, 2018 Still crushing it at the age of 82, the legendary singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson delivered two sets of crowd-pleasing compositions from his vast catalog....
Dispatches from Our War (on Christmas) Correspondent
Nov. 24, 2018. Santa Claus just pulled up in his sleigh near the Destin Harbor. No, wait. It’s a big red Toyota truck. I wonder if they’ll waive the parking fees for...
THROUGH SATURDAY, FEB. 2, 2019 BAYTOWNE ON ICE The Village of Baytowne Wharf, Sandestin BaytowneWharf.com Hours vary daily. THROUGH SATURDAY, JAN. 5, 2019 FOOD-FOR-FINES Destin Library 850-837-8572 Library patrons can bring nonperishable food...