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  • Cops

    Cops 1922

    ★★★★ Watched 15 Oct, 2015

    The bravura invention of every set piece here, the staggering seeming-simplicity of the logistics, the articulate madcap motion of it all, had me hooting so hard I thought I might throw up. Buster, of course, gave us one of the most wonderful odes to the phantasmagorical power of cinema in Sherlock Jr, but here he's on phenomenal form showing off its sheer fun (not to suggest there isn't more going on here; there's plenty). There is a peculiar joy one gets in the gaiety of silent cinema I've yet to encounter any place else.

  • Paris of the North

    Paris of the North 2014

    ★★★★ Rewatched 15 Oct, 2015 4

    Distracted by the slight-but-significant differences between this rewatch screener and the festival-screened version I saw some months back (which is going out there to the world!?), but this is still a superbly effective twist on feel-good indie formula whose "upbeat" ending is in recognising your own sadness. Oh, to see that on screen more. Stand by every ecstatic word of my earlier adoration.

  • Il Grido

    Il Grido 1957

    ★★★ Watched 16 Oct, 2015

    Terribly moody, and often effectively so when the post-war ruin creeps into the frame (literally and otherwise), but Antonioni has a good deal more time for this guy than I ever will; for every wounded little glance that suggests some real feeling, there's an action to evidence it all just the moanings of a bit of a dick. Part of the point, part of the problem. That fog, though.

  • Delmer Builds a Machine

    Delmer Builds a Machine 2010

    ★★½ Watched 17 Oct, 2015

    Oh, do grow up.

  • Fantastic Planet

    Fantastic Planet 1973

    ★★★★ Watched 17 Oct, 2015

    "And the fnurp-shaped hiddloes help the twenyu tagos to make the yuddly-yilp..."

    Giggled so much at the world-building wackiness here I nearly messed myself. A visual delight whose hardly-hidden contemporary relevance benefits from a superb score and a very '70s outlook: one of those wonderfully weird animations that makes superb sense of the world by making absolute nonsense of another.

  • Following Diana (Sendiri Diana Sendiri)

    Following Diana (Sendiri Diana Sendiri) 2015

    ★★½ Watched 17 Oct, 2015

    Too short to make much of the emotional foundations it lays; too long to excuse the mere scratches it makes at the surface of this story. With a stronger hand and feature length, this might have made something. As is, it's nothing more than a calling card for a perfectly good eye yet to find something to focus on.

  • Sazen Tange and the Pot Worth a Million Ryo

    Sazen Tange and the Pot Worth a Million Ryo 1935

    ★★★½ Watched 17 Oct, 2015

    Marvellously mad nonsense with tongue planted so firmly in cheek the skin starts to strain. Good guffaws all round at ronin's expense, to Ronan's delight; get the feeling if this'd been made circa '60 it might have the samurai satire rep it really deserves.

  • Pure

    Pure 2009

    ★★★ Watched 18 Oct, 2015

    Enjoyably twisted coming-of-agency effort whose vivid lead work from Alicia Vikander and cynical edge just about keep down the many many many qualms invariably invoked by an inches-from-hysteria approach and laughable use of classical as a motif. It's only Vikander's eyes that really communicate anything of the music's elation; Langseth's too busy erecting basic binaries to ever make much use aurally (a mid-point montage to the tune of some indie dirge is as stupidly off-tempo as the young naif asking…

  • White God

    White God 2014

    ★★ Watched 01 Oct, 2015

    No sleight on Margin Call, but the fact I finished that film blubbing has always been less indicative of Chandor's ability to bring profound pathos to the table as my absurd inability to handle anything remotely upsetting where dogs are concerned. Well, almost anything. Dogs are battered and bruised in White God, kicked to the curb and in the sides, physically and emotionally abused to a point of deplorable depravity, and I spent the whole thing hooting with laughter. This is Homeward Bound for Adults, the kind who can't spell Cinema without breaking out the upper case.

  • Reality

    Reality 2014

    ★★½ Watched 08 Oct, 2015

    Just about time for us all to admit, however reluctantly, that Wrong was just some freak collision of Dupieux's self-satisfied surrealist shtick and, y'know, anything of substance. Nothing to see here, for all there is to look at.

  • Inside Llewyn Davis

    Inside Llewyn Davis 2013

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 11 Oct, 2015

    There are a good many films for which I feel almost as though I know the script by heart. I think I know Inside Llewyn Davis' foley work by heart. It's a masterpiece, obviously—the Coens' best by a comfortable margin (no mean feat) and one of the three or four best American films of the century so far—and one whose resounding personal impact has, for this philistine, until now overshadowed the way its unerring excellence arrives just as much out…

  • Seashore

    Seashore 2015

    ★★½ Watched 12 Sep, 2015

    First The Way He Looks and Futuro Beach, now along comes Seashore to consolidate Brazilian gay cinema's amusing over-reliance on aquatic imagery. Would that this had the same strengths that allowed its companions to overcome that issue; much as feature debut directors Marcio Reolon and Felipe Matzembacher might make a compelling dynamic of their co-leads' (well-performed) characters, we're so far from anything remotely new here that the plentiful setbacks can't but overwhelm the film. From the early excess of shallow…