The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

October 5, 2017
by Dan
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Blade Runner 2049

I am very skeptical about the necessity of making a sequel to Blade Runner, but I liked Denis Villeneuve’s previous movie Arrival a lot, and Peter Bradshaw’s review of Blade Runner 2049 for The Guardian has piqued my curiosity… The … Continue reading

January 14, 2016
by Dan
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Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I haven’t seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and I’ve been surprised by my own ambivalence towards it. But as someone who was almost exactly the right age for the original trilogy (give or take a year or two) — and still … Continue reading

October 28, 2015
by Dan
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Criterion at Thirty

In a fascinating piece for the Paris Review, art director and book designer Charlotte Strick talks to the Criterion Collection’s head art director Sarah Habibi, and designer/art director Eric Skillman about their work: “There are cases where everyone thinks of a movie … Continue reading

February 3, 2014
by Dan
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In Memory of Philip Seymour Hoffman

“Supercut Genius” Nelson Carvajal has put together a seven-minute tribute to the late Philip Seymour Hoffman who died on Sunday, aged 46. Surely one of the greatest actors of his generation, Hoffman’s extraordinary range and versatility are on full display … Continue reading

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