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  • Café de Flore

    Café de Flore 2011

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 16 Apr, 2015

    Jean-Marc Vallée's Café de Flore is an elaborately constructed story that doesn't have a lot to it, but it is the craft and emotion driven by the production design and music that makes it quite beautiful. Jumping between two sets of characters and multiple times, it is very musical and builds patterns and connections as it goes. Beautifully shot and edited, it's an impressionistic emotional puzzle of a film.

  • A Story of Children and Film

    A Story of Children and Film 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 14 Apr, 2015

    Almost like a postscript to Cousin's amazing and encyclopedia The Story of Film: An Odyssey, this film is a great look at children in film. Done in the same style of his Odyssey it combines well-known films with important and obscure ones to provide a perspective of children in film from his distinctive and fascinating point of view. While not as engaging as his earlier series, it still held my interest and exposed me to a wide range of films that I had never heard of.

  • Showrunners

    Showrunners 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 13 Apr, 2015

    A neat look at the very specific and interesting role of the showrunner in making tv shows, Showrunners gives a lot of details about what the job is through the perspective of several shows. Particularly interesting are the stories of things that didn't work out and the challenges that are faced and the balances that need to be struck as a show is developed and produced within a wide range of constraints and personalities.

  • Touchy Feely

    Touchy Feely 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 12 Apr, 2015

    An understated indie drama with a bit of a family drama going on, Touchy Feely is another solid character study weaving together a few stories about people who are trying to connect with each other. With strong performances all around and switching between the characters to keep things interesting, it's a drama that held my interest in a nice, casual way.

  • The Mosquito Problem and Other Stories

    The Mosquito Problem and Other Stories 2007

    ★★★½ Watched 06 Apr, 2015

    An interesting and quirky Bulgarian documentary about a town that has a problem with mosquitos and a large nuclear power plant that was never completed. Structured as a series of loose vignettes, it looks at the people who are there and how they face the challenges of change over time as the political systems and goals evolved over time.

  • Climates

    Climates 2006

    ★★★★ Watched 09 Apr, 2015

    Nuri Bilge Ceylan crafts films with spectacular landscapes and intimate emotional dramas. In Climates we have glimpses of a couple who are searching for happiness, but can't seem to find it. They have a complicated relationship, but we only see parts of it over time and need to fill in the blanks in whatever ways we can. Moving from extremely close moments to distant moments creates a slow and compelling rhythm that makes the film almost hypnotic and poetic as it flows along.

  • Incendies

    Incendies 2010

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 09 Apr, 2015

    While Denis Villeneuve has moved into English-language and more mainstream films, his 2006 film Incendies (adapted from a play of the same name) is a powerful and carefully designed film that reveals details of a mystery as it deliberately moves along. A complex story that moves from Lebanon to Montreal and back and forth through time, it's a film that cooly looks at the horrors of war and the human cost of the cycles of violence that such conflicts create.

  • World of Tomorrow

    World of Tomorrow 2015

    ★★★★★ Watched 08 Apr, 2015

    The simple and lo-fi animation combines with the voices to create a film with surprising depth and emotion. The World of Tomorrow is short, but powerful and is a quirky story in a science fiction context that has profound implications for what it means to be human, to love, and form connections with each other. I love it.

  • Relative Happiness

    Relative Happiness 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 07 Apr, 2015

    A romantic comedy with a solid helping of drama folded into it, Relative Happiness is funny and moving at the same time. With a great lead performance by Melissa Bergland and a solid supporting cast, it's firmly set in Nova Scotia and takes advantage of the scenery and talent from the region. It was deeper than most romantic comedies and is firmly grounded in reality and the complexity of families, small towns, and the challenge of finding love.

  • On My Way

    On My Way 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 05 Apr, 2015

    A road movie with Catherine Deneuve that takes its time and moves along with casual, improvisational scenes. Deneuve is a restaurant owner who wants a change and leaves work one day and just keeps driving and then reconnects with her grandson as they take a trip. It's a character-driven story with solid, naturalistic performances and a great focus on people who are older and interesting in a film that has a gentle sensibility.

  • Railroad of Hope

    Railroad of Hope 2002

    ★★★½ Watched 05 Apr, 2015

    An interesting look at peasants from rural China talking about why they travel to the city to work. Set on the train as they journey to the large industrial city where they will be working, they share their stories and we hear about the sacrifices they are making for their families and a better future.

  • Michael Clayton

    Michael Clayton 2007

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 04 Apr, 2015

    Michael Clayton is a superb thriller. With a solid cast all the way through, a perfect script, and controlled cinematography, editing, and sound, it's a deliberate, mature film that is a character study with George Clooney at the heart of it. An assured film that doesn't feel the need to over-explain or reveal unnecessary detail, it shows us a complex world filled with three-dimensional characters who are trying to figure out what they are doing and why they are doing it. Filled with great moments between the actors, it's one of my favourite films and I try to watch it at least once a year.