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Cinematic Considerations: All Of Us Strangers

Plot:“A screenwriter drawn back to his childhood home enters into a fledgling relationship with a mysterious neighbor as he then discovers his parents appear to be living just as they were on the day they died, 30 years before.” -IMDB

Review: “All of Us Strangers” is a challenging film to discuss without spoiling vital moments in the story. Instead of analyzing the plot, I want to spend some time in this review examining what this film did to me. At the end of that reckoning, I hope to impress upon you the necessity of seeing this film as fast as humanly possible.  

Imagine for a moment that you could have a conversation with someone from your past. That person could still be living or their time on Earth could have already ended. If you had the chance, what would you say in such a conversation? What would you confess? How would you seek clarity? How would you uncover truth? How would you express all the moments in your life they have missed? It is this thought exercise that serves as the foundation for this film.  

As I watched this story unfold, and in the days that followed, three people consumed my attention. Thinking of my grandmother, my father, and my youngest brother, I cannot help but apply this thought experiment to my life. If given the chance, I would love to show my grandmother what has become of my life. Talking with my dad, I would hope to squeeze out any remaining wisdom he deemed important. Speaking with Lucas, I find myself consumed by the dizzying number of questions encircling someone stolen so violently from my family.  

In this film, Adam (Andrew Scott), plays the role of a struggling screenwriter whose parents died in a car crash thirty years ago. Mysteriously, he gets an opportunity to share space with his parents. He is afforded an opportunity to reveal the arc of his life. He gets to come out to his parents and reveal his authentic self. He gets to wrestle with the violent ending of his parents’ life and its devastating impact. And he gets to do this in the confines of a budding and supportive relationship with his confident and flirtatious neighbor, Harry (Paul Mescal).  

As he does, we question whether he is mentally breaking down or if something else is happening here. The answer to that question is not necessarily important, not as important as the revelations uncovered and the mirrors shining on our own lives.  

The people who love us most in this world can never truly and completely know us. Our parents, siblings, romantic partners, and best friends are strangers at the end of the day. We are strangers to them as well, at least some portion of us remain so. No matter how we try, we can never fully know someone, and we can never fully be known. Even if, through some mystical opportunity, we were afforded an opportunity to converse with those absent from our lives, we would discover we are all just strangers to each other.  

For me, this is a powerful epiphany, but so is the revelation that time is a precious and rare commodity. We do not have long to tell those we love how we feel. One day, grief will be all that we have. I have heard it said, “that grief is nothing more than all our unexpressed love.” This movie cements this idea within me. When you decide to spend time with this story, I am confident it will make you feel the same way. That is powerful. There is opportunity in such a realization. For this gift, I cannot recommend this film enough.

 

Be good to each other,

Nathan

Visit Nathan at

Mindful Mondays: Suicide, Have the Conversation

Suicide is real and needs to be talked about. Break the stigma, talk to someone, use the national number 988 to call or text. You are important, help is available

SIX Queens No Waiting! Broadway Powerhouse Comes To Spokane

Tony Award Winning Broadway show SIX about the six wives of Henry the VIII comes to Spokane Tuesday January 23 to Sunday January 27th! Get your tickets now www.broadwayspokane.com Check out Jonny’s interview with actor Aryn Bohannon right here!

Mindful Mondays: Okay Grief

Join us as we talk about the inevitability and inescapable process of grief. What are the myths? How do you navigate it? How can it be good?

Relationships and Expectations

What unrealistic expectations do we place upon our relationships? What we expect of others may say so much more about ourselves than we realize. Join Jonny and Holly as they discuss the way we approach the connections we share with those around us.

Mindful Mondays: The Art of Change

Join Jonny and Holly as they discuss the process of change. Nothing changes if nothing changes. Embrace the fact that change can be positive, that change is a choice. Let Holly teach us how change as a force can be transformative.

 

Cinematic Considerations: Godzilla Minus One

Plot: “Post war Japan is at its lowest point when a new crisis emerges in the form of a giant monster, baptized in the horrific power of the atomic bomb.” -IMBD

Review: I hesitate to call any film perfect. The debate and expectations such a lofty statement creates often keep me from trusting my initial reaction. Instead, I often say, “this film is perfect for me, and my version of perfection will differ from yours.”  

I find perfection in films that can elicit a strong emotional reaction, which is often drawn from a profound sense of empathy, but it can also be joy, happiness, anxiety, frustration, or a thousand other emotions. The more I considered Godzilla Minus One, the more I found myself consumed by its ability to elicit awe. Without a doubt in my mind, this is the greatest Godzilla movie ever made. It reminded me of Fridays spent with my brothers, watching classic monster movies. It reminded me of the magic of cinema.  

Pilot Koichi Shikishima (Ryunosuke Kamiki) serves as the through line in this story. It is his story that becomes so much more than a personal journey. Rather, his redemptive story reflects and mirrors the journey of his country of Japan.  

In the last days of World War II, Shikishima lands on an island off the coast of Japan. We are led to believe his Kamikaze mission failed because of mechanical issues with his plane. It is not long before we discover this is far from the truth. This serves as his brush with cowardice, but it will not be his last. As Godzilla rises from the sea to take the small island, destroying his plane, and killing almost everyone stationed there, Shikishima experiences his second brush with cowardice. Unable to pull the trigger and kill the attacking monster, he escapes the island with little more than his life.  

He returns home with a wounded ego. This version of Japan differs vastly from the one he left. In the shadow of two atomic bombs and war, his fellow citizens attempt to pick up the pieces and start again. For Shikishima, his shame is becoming all-consuming, but he is no longer alone. As he returns to his family’s home, he encounters a young woman, Noriko Oishi (Minami Hamabe), with an orphaned child and nowhere to turn. In her hour of need, he offers them a place to stay. Here, the road to redemption begins. 

As Shikishima and Japan begin again at zero, out at sea, the same atomic weapons that leveled their cities are forcing Godzilla to morph and grow. When Shikishima takes a job on a small patrol boat meant to sweep mines from the sea, we get our first encounter with Godzilla in his new God-like form. Massive beyond description, a captivating chase scene unfolds. It is in this jaw dropping and awe-inspiring scene that I first felt a hint of perfection. As Shikishima and his shipmates escape with their lives, we know this is just the beginning. The monster from the deep will not find satisfaction. He will come ashore, and Japan will take one more step backward.  

When Godzilla finally attacks, he does so with utter devastation and calamity. Far removed from the orgy of CGI that defines most Hollywood movies, the hell Godzilla unleashes here feels believable. The filmmakers draw you into this moment by using sound in some clever and creative ways. For the rest of my film-watching days, I will remember the quiet chaos of these moments.  

Despite the rubble, death, and destruction, the Japanese people do not lose hope. A grassroots effort and a plan to send Godzilla back to the sea leads the path toward redemption. This plan doesn’t come from high above. It is put into action by the common man. For Shikishima, it presents the perfect opportunity to rise above his past failures. It is an opportunity to take part in “a war not yet won.”  

The concluding battle is not something I will spoil. It is both a spectacle, yet beautiful in its simplicity. More than ordinary people warring against a gigantic creature, it is filled with symbolism stretching beyond the bounds of this film. On display is the triumph of man, a new chapter for the Japanese people, and a new day for Japan on the world stage. It is these moments that sealed this film’s fate for me. This is as close to perfection as a science fiction film can get. 

Be good to each other,

Nathan  

Visit Nathan at

Bears of a Certain Age with Jonny and Scott Episode 19

Welcome to “Bears of a Certain Age,” the lifestyle podcast for the bear and chub communities and their admirers, who are approaching 50 years young and up. Your Co-Hosts are Scott Fullerton from the Left of Str8 Radio Network and Jonny Shuffield from The Queer Centric. Scott and Jonny have both been entertaining the lgbtq community thru their own podcasts for a combined 20 years, and Jonny has been an entertainer and host for many lgbtq events beyond that.

We have a special guest in studio with us today, as James Butler from The Bears Network (www.thebearsnetwork.com) on Twitter at @bigboyproject 1 and on Instagram @thebearsnetwork

We very much want this to be a listener driven show, so we are asking our audience to submit questions for our “Ask The Bears” segment; submit “Bear Hugz” for people who deserve a little public praise; Tell us about their favorite things for our “Bear Necessities Segment; and any other goofy puns that Scott can think up. Submit everything to podcastbears@gmail.com

We hope you will enjoy this episode and on YouTube, will click the little bell to get notified for future episodes. We will be up every Wednesday and will also be available on Spotify, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Audible, iHeart Radio, and more. Please “SHARE THE BEARS” with your friends and please give us a Thumbs Up or a 5 Star Rating so more people will be able to find us. You can follow our social media at “@bearsofacertainage” on Instagram, Threads, and Tik Tok, and look for our website soon.

Bears of a Certain Age with Scott and Jonny Episode 18

Welcome to “Bears of a Certain Age,” the lifestyle podcast for the bear and chub communities and their admirers, who are approaching 50 years young and up. Your Co-Hosts are Scott Fullerton from the Left of Str8 Radio Network and Jonny Shuffield from The Queer Centric. Scott and Jonny have both been entertaining the lgbtq community thru their own podcasts for a combined 20 years, and Jonny has been an entertainer and host for many lgbtq events beyond that.

We very much want this to be a listener driven show, so we are asking our audience to submit questions for our “Ask The Bears” segment; submit “Bear Hugz” for people who deserve a little public praise; Tell us about their favorite things for our “Bear Necessities Segment; and any other goofy puns that Scott can think up. Submit everything to podcastbears@gmail.com

We hope you will enjoy this episode and on YouTube, will click the little bell to get notified for future episodes. We will be up every Wednesday and will also be available on Spotify, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Audible, iHeart Radio, and more. Please “SHARE THE BEARS” with your friends and please give us a Thumbs Up or a 5 Star Rating so more people will be able to find us. You can follow our social media at “@bearsofacertainage” on Instagram, Threads, and Tik Tok, and look for our website soon.

In this episode, Scott and Jonny discuss their holiday experiences and reflect on their lack of festive spirit. They talk about their busy schedules and the pressure of overbooking themselves. The conversation then shifts to gift exchanges and the challenges of shopping for loved ones. They also discuss managing expectations and the loneliness that can come with the holiday season. Scott shares his retirement plans and the disappointment of expensive gift cards. They conclude by talking about taking a hiatus from their podcast and their future projects. In this conversation, Scott and Queerly Jonny discuss the importance of reinvention and self-reflection. They also highlight a documentary called ‘Relighting Candles’ and a candle business that supports homeless and recovering individuals. The conversation then shifts to the significance of World AIDS Day and the impact of the movie ‘Longtime Companion’. They conclude with advice for the holiday season and a playful discussion about potential changes in the new year.

(VC)The QueerCentric EP 60: Josh Cozart

Join Jonny as he sits down with Portland’s KOIN weatherman Josh Cozart to chat about visibility and living out loud, being so authentic and open in media! Catch his very entertaining instagram @joshcozartwx

 

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