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  • Level Five

    Level Five 1997

    ★★★★ Watched 29 Jul, 2015

    Level Five is an experimental documentary from Chris Marker that blends together late 90s video games and the internet together with the history of the Battle of Okinawa. At times it is playful, at times profound. A unique approach to storytelling and worth seeing for a very different approach to telling a story in a cinematic form.

  • 35 Shots of Rum

    35 Shots of Rum 2008

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 29 Jul, 2015

    One of my favourite films and a beautiful example of subtle cinematic storytelling, 35 Shots of Rum is Claire Denis at the height of her powers. With a story that unfolds slowly as the characters are introduced and moving between them to establish the connections and their history it focusses mainly on the relationship between a father and daughter and has the confidence to tell the story with a minimal amount of dialogue and exposition.

  • The Narrow Margin

    The Narrow Margin 1952

    ★★★★ Rewatched 28 Jul, 2015

    A tightly-constructed film that builds tension mainly in the confined space of a train as we follow a cop transporting the widow of a gangster who the mob wants to kill. We seem to know everyone involved, but as the film progresses it gets more and more complicated as you try to figure out who is who and what their motivations are.

  • Meshes of the Afternoon

    Meshes of the Afternoon 1943

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 27 Jul, 2015

    Bold, surreal, and a bit disturbing, Meshes of the Afternoon is an experimental film that has some stunning imagery and packs a lot into 14 minutes.

  • Children of Paradise

    Children of Paradise 1945

    ★★★★ Watched 27 Jul, 2015

    A historical drama built around a theatre and the loves of actors and those surrounding them made even more remarkable by being shot in occupied France during World War II. With some long and beautifully shot stage performances and a complicated storyline with the loves of the characters always being out of sync, it's complex and interesting tragic drama.

  • Beware, My Lovely

    Beware, My Lovely 1952

    ★★★½ Watched 27 Jul, 2015

    An interesting film about a woman trapped in her house with an unstable man that manages to bring a big more empathy to the characters than I expected. With great performances all around and some really well-designed shots, it's a bit more than a b-movie and kept me interested as it moved along.

  • Roadblock

    Roadblock 1951

    ★★½ Watched 26 Jul, 2015

    It's strange when the title of the film gives away the climax, but in Roadblock it sets up how things will end. The film, while short, seems to take a bit too much time to set things up where an insurance detective goes bad for a woman, but the femme fatale isn't really that scheming and it's fascinating to see how he goes down the wrong road for her even though she didn't really push him to do it. It's lesser film noir films like this that highlight the brilliance of Double Indemnity that carefully balances character and plot to tell the story.

  • His Kind of Woman

    His Kind of Woman 1951

    ★★★½ Watched 26 Jul, 2015

    A strange mix of tone and actors with Robert Mitchum as a tough gambler, Raymond Burr as the mob kingpin who wants his face, Jane Russell as the love interest, and Vincent Price as comic relief as an actor who also happens to be an excellent hunter. They're all brought together into an isolated Mexican resort with a bit of intrigue, but overall it feels like there may have been a bit too many ideas and the films seems to lose focus from time to time as the tone shifts from gritty crime thriller to some very funny visual gags.

  • Split Second

    Split Second 1953

    ★★★ Watched 25 Jul, 2015

    A lesser crime film with a nuclear bomb test scenario that provides the ticking clock in the background to the events. A group of people are held hostage in an abandoned desert town (which looks like a backlot set for a Western) as the clock ticks on the bomb. Some good moments between the characters, but not the best thriller.

  • Winter Sleep

    Winter Sleep 2014

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 25 Jul, 2015

    A slow, powerful, and fascinating film that I enjoyed even more the second time I watched it. While set in a stunningly beautiful part of Turkey, the focus of the film is on the characters and the film is constructed out a series of very long scenes between characters that gradually reveal long-simmering disappointment and resentment that they harbour. The sometimes intense dialogue-heavy scenes are balanced by shots of the stunning scenery that makes all of the characters and their concerns seem small. An amazing example of the possibilities of cinema in the hands of a confident filmmaker.

  • Suspense

    Suspense 1913

    ★★★★ Watched 25 Jul, 2015

    A very early film with some sophisticated shooting and editing to create suspense. A prototypical thriller that cuts between locations to build tension, but also uses split screen to increase the tension. There is fighting, a car chase, and all of the elements that modern thrillers use in this very interesting short.

  • A Portrait of Ga

    A Portrait of Ga 1952

    ★★★★ Watched 25 Jul, 2015

    A simple and beautiful small documentary shot on film about a woman created by a woman.