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  • 45 Years

    45 Years

    ★★★★½

    “I can hardly be cross for something that happened before we existed, can I? Still....”

    In 1962, the United States announced an embargo against Cuba following its trade pact with the Soviet Union, with tensions reaching their apex during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Jacqueline Kennedy took television audiences on a famous and unprecedented tour of the White House. Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points against the New York Knicks, the most ever by a single player in an NBA game. Long…

  • The Young Girls of Rochefort

    The Young Girls of Rochefort

    ★★★★½

    “You’re quite pretty.” “So I’ve been told.”

    Big things have small beginnings. It is a sentiment purloined by Prometheus’ David (Michael Fassbender) from Lawrence of Arabia’s Mr. Dryden (Claude Rains), who in turned purloined it from time immemorial. It is also an apt description of the film enthusiast’s road to love. Sometimes one’s fondness for a favorite movie is born of the big and bold and obvious—Singin’ in the Rain’s “Good Morning” or Psycho’s shower scene. But sometimes that fondness…

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  • La La Land

    La La Land

    ★★★★½

    “I’m always gonna love you.” “I’m always gonna love you, too.”

    Words have meaning. It was a favorite phrase of a professor at my law school (a professor under whom I thankfully did not matriculate, given his reputation), and it is a maxim to which I try my utmost to adhere (though I fail more often than not). If the purpose of language is to communicate meaning, one must choose one’s words carefully and with purpose, lest one be misunderstood…

  • Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler

    ★★★★

    “On TV it looks so real.”

    The chonmage was a traditional Japanese male hairstyle, usually associated with the samurai of the Edo period. Consisting of long hair oiled and tied into a topknot (commonly with the top of the head shaved), it is the formal name of what might colloquially be called the “samurai bun.” While it began as a practical device—the knot was used to hold the samurai’s helmet in place—it eventually became a status symbol in Japanese culture,…