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  • Quiet City

    Quiet City 2007

    ★★★★ Watched 30 Mar, 2015

    Quiet City is a small indie that is a good slice of life story simply told in a rambling way. The low-budget mublecore indie genre is one that I'm slowly going through and I like what people have done with it. It's refreshing to see things that are improvised and casual as opposed to things highly produced and honed. Katz brought the same sort of approach to his later co-directed effort, Land Ho! which I also enjoyed.

  • Meek's Cutoff

    Meek's Cutoff 2010

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 29 Mar, 2015

    Very quiet and mysterious, Meek's Cutoff brilliantly uses a confined frame to tell the story of a doomed expedition west that firmly places the point of view with the women who are part of the journey. For the most part they are left out of the decisions and as an audience we are with them, not able to hear everything that the men are saying. Through the hot day and dark nights we accompany them on the journey which doesn't…

  • The Rover

    The Rover 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 28 Mar, 2015

    For his followup to the tense and brilliant family crime drama Animal Kingdom, David Michôd strips it down and moves into a post apocalyptic future with The Rover. Sparse and elliptical, The Rover is a simple story with hidden motivations and great performances. Shot in a controlled way with dread and menace always lurking beneath the surface it's a dark character study and a chance to see some great performances in a confident film that doesn't feel the need to explain everything.

  • A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

    A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 26 Mar, 2015

    I didn't exactly know what to expect, but I was able to settle in to it as it languorously moved along. It feels like it's from a different time, more particularly the 1980s. The art house films of the Cinema du Look with Leos Carax felt close to A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, especially Boy Meets Girl and Bad Blood. Boldly making a vampire film set in Iran in the supersaturated vampire genre is a bold choice, but…

  • The Cut

    The Cut 2014

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 25 Mar, 2015

    The first time I watched The Cut I was nearly to the end and realized that there hadn't been an edit in the film and that's a really good thing. Simple, subtle, and powerful, The Cut is about the relationship between a father and daughter on a winter afternoon. Gestures and small actions convey a lot and the camera moves around them revealing significant information. It's a beautiful short film that is one of my favourite recent short films.

  • Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

    Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb 1964

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 23 Mar, 2015

    Revisiting Kubrick is always a good idea and Dr. Strangelove always holds up remarkably well. Kubrick's funniest film as well as his most timely, it's a brilliant satire of the Cold War in the middle of that war. With a virtuoso triple collection of characters all played by Peter Sellers, it's a brisk dark comedy that makes a political statement without feeling overly preachy or dated.

  • The Color Wheel

    The Color Wheel 2011

    ★★★½ Watched 22 Mar, 2015

    A recent indie that feels like a much older indie (in a good way), The Color Wheel is a nice little feature that explores some of the same territory that Listen Up Philip did last year. Being shot on black and white film makes a difference in how it looks and feels and adds a layer that makes it all seem a bit more significant.

  • Approaching the Elephant

    Approaching the Elephant 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 22 Mar, 2015

    I didn't think that people made many documentaries like this any more. Approaching the Elephant feels similar to the Verité films by Wiseman and the Maysles, but with a slightly updated approach. Shot in a traditional Academy ratio and in black and white, it creates a timeless feeling as we follow along through the harrowing first year of a Free School. Seeing the children and the teachers embrace a radical democratic approach to learning and witnessing how the process begins…

  • Side Effects

    Side Effects 2013

    ★★★★ Rewatched 21 Mar, 2015

    It's a fascinating film that is very cleverly constructed. Playing on expectations for one genre and then switching to another, there aren't too many films that rework what we've seen in quite the same way. There are echoes of Polanski's Repulsion in how the film is set up and shot, but then things shift and it becomes something else. We're never deceived by the film and my appreciation of it has grown each time that I've seen it. It's great…

  • Casablanca

    Casablanca 1942

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 16 Mar, 2015

    I've been lucky to see Casablanca twice on a big screen and it was a great experience both times. Bold and taking unexpected directions, it's a film that honestly earns its reputation as a classic. With a great sense of humour and solid chemistry between the whole cast, it's a film that is aways worth revisiting to see a statement about love and war and sacrifice.

  • The Babadook

    The Babadook 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 13 Mar, 2015

    While many people were praising The Babadook, I didn't catch up with it until now and I really liked it. A clever reworking of many horror films tropes in a fresh way, it's a horror film that doesn't need to be explicit or exploitative to be effective. With a simple story and focussed location and characters, it creates a sense of dread throughout and is frightening without resorting to things popping in to the frame or sudden loud noises. It's…

  • Gabrielle

    Gabrielle 2013

    ★★★★ Rewatched 12 Mar, 2015

    Gabrielle is a gentle and beautiful film that take a different look at a young woman with a disability who wants to be more independent. With a cast of first time and professional actors and a fantastic central performance by Gabrielle Marion-Rivard it's filled with music and shot in an impressionistic style with improvisational performances that add to the power of the film as we see Gabrielle fall in love and assert her independence and deal with the changing relationship…