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Non-Review Review: Toni Morrison – The Pieces I Am

This film was seen as part of the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival 2020. Given the high volumes of films being shown and the number of reviews to be written, these may end up being a bit shorter than usual reviews.

Toni Morrison – The Pieces I Am feels like a really pleasant dinner party with very engaging guests, which is both high praise and faint criticism.

Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ documentary is a decidedly unfussy affair. Although it uses stock footage and inserts to provide a sense of context for its conversations, The Pieces I Am largely focuses on direct interviews with its subjects. People like Toni Morrison, Oprah Winfrey, Fran Lebowitz and Walter Mosley  directly address the camera and the audience. There’s an endearing sense of camaraderie and friendship in all of this. There’s a wonderful warmth to the documentary, most of which radiates from Morrison herself.

The Pieces I Am is never especially incisive or combative, even when discussing thorny issues around systemic injustice and a longstanding history of cultural violence. These elements are never ignored or brushed aside, but they are never allowed to lower the tone of the discussion or shift the mood of the debate. Instead, The Pieces I Am remains focused on providing a space where artists can talk at length – and very much in their own distinctive way – about what Toni Morrison means to them.

The result is an immensely charming and affectionate study of one of the great American writers, which only occasionally feels little over-indulgent.

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Millennium – Jose Chung’s “Doomsday Defense” (Review)

This May and June, we’re taking a trip back in time to review the fifth season of The X-Files and the second season of Millennium.

Well, all’s well that ends well. Though that’s easy for Shakespeare to say – he’ll be around for another millennium. But what of our own millennium? Will it all end well? No one of course can know, but that of course doesn’t stop anyone from guessing. And the nature of these predictions always revolve around the usual suspects: salvation and/or self–satisfaction. With that in mind, I humbly add my own prophecy of what the dawn of the new millennium shall bring forth: one thousand more years of the same, old crap.

– Jose Chung

The write stuff...

The write stuff…

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Announcing m0vie blog: the book!

And it’s official, I am a published author. My book, Pass the Popcorn: A Movie Memoir of 2011, went on-sale from Amazon.com last night, and can be purchased for the low-low price of $1.22 ($0.99 + tax) by clicking here. It’s basically a collection of essays and articles I wrote for the site, collected in one place, from 2011 and earlier. It’s really just an attempt to take some of my essays on film and bundle them up in a way to maybe raise the profile of the blog.

While I’ve drafted a new introduction and revised some of the pieces, all the articles can be found in some way, shape or form on the blog. Still, if you like it, tell a friend, pass it on. Get it as a gift for the film nerd in your life. If it’s successful, I’ll put together another collection next year. If it isn’t, well, at least it was worth a shot. Even after tax, you’re paying less than 1c for every 600 words, so what do you have to lose?

The blog has always been tremendously personal, a place for me to share my hastily-formed poorly-articulated thoughts on the movie issues of the day. Nothing was too big for me to share a random couple of thoughts about it, nor was anything too small. I’m happy with that, and that’s what the blog, hopefully, will continue to be. A place for me talk randomly about incredibly esoteric movie stuff.

Anyway, it’s been a tremendous year for the blog, in terms of readership and popularity. Since I won the Irish Blog Award back in March, things have taken off, and I’ve just been delighted with how everything’s gone. So I’d like to thank everyone for their support and encouragement, and even just for reading. It was a great 2011. I’d feel guilty asking for a better 2012, but hopefully it can be just as good. All I can hope is that I can continue to improve as a writer and eventually justify the run of good luck I’ve been having.