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  • Iris

    Iris 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 24 Nov, 2015

    A lovely and gentle documentary from Albert Maysles that provides a portrait of Iris Apfel where I learned a whole bunch more about her fascinating life.

  • Spotlight

    Spotlight 2015

    ★★★★½ Watched 24 Nov, 2015

    A film that reminded me a lot of the great films from the 70s with solid ensemble casts and engaging stories about issues. A drama about process and investigative journalism that maintains the focus on the story and how the journalists got it as well as providing a glimpse into how the personal intersects with the work. Really great to see actors working with a solid script that doesn't condescend to the audience.

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel

    The Grand Budapest Hotel 2014

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 23 Nov, 2015

    Rewatched again after watching Tony Zhou's Every Frame a Painting essay on Buster Keaton and the Art of the Gag and see the influence of Keaton on Anderson. A beautiful film that combines all of the elements of Anderson in just the right amounts and always a joy to watch.

  • The Gleaners & I

    The Gleaners & I 2000

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 23 Nov, 2015

    Each time I watch The Gleaners & I (and just about any film by Varda) I'm amazed at the way it feels so improvised and light as if she just picked up a camera and started walking around. But there is always a deep structure and powerful intellect behind the images and with a sense of humour and style she makes a film that is personal, political, fun, and important. All filmmakers should strive for this lovely combination of the head and the heart.

  • Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y

    Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y 1997

    ★★★½ Watched 23 Nov, 2015

    An experimental and provocative documentary about hijackings and terrorism that gives a more impressionistic overview of the history of taking planes by force for political purposes.

  • The Imitation Game

    The Imitation Game 2014

    ★★★★ Rewatched 22 Nov, 2015

    The second time watching it the little audience-friendly bits bugged me a bit more as they blur and obscure the remarkable story that they are trying to fit into the Oscar winner template a bit more.

  • Happiness

    Happiness 1935

    ★★★½ Watched 22 Nov, 2015

    A silent comedy filled with some elaborate visual jokes and great physical comedy. It's about a man who searches for happiness and just can't find it no matter what. A wild, surreal sense of humour runs throughout the film as we follow our hero on a series of misadventures.

  • John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid

    John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 22 Nov, 2015

    A solid standup special with some well-crafted jokes.

  • Underworld U.S.A.

    Underworld U.S.A. 1961

    ★★★★½ Watched 22 Nov, 2015

    A Sam Fuller film that I hadn't seen and was pleasantly surprised by. A story of a complicated revenge plot told with a visual flair and a great performance from Cliff Robertson as the career criminal who is seeking out the men who killed his father. Filled with Fuller's cynical (and reality-based) view of how crime and police work, it's a fascinating noir that goes in unexpected directions as the plot unfolds.

  • Loitering with Intent

    Loitering with Intent 2014

    ★★½ Watched 21 Nov, 2015

    There is a great short film between Marissa Tomei and Sam Rockwell within the film, but the rest of the film sprawls out in different directions making for something that doesn't really work.

  • Ida

    Ida 2014

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 20 Nov, 2015

    Brilliant, compact, and powerful, Ida takes a simple story and through the style of shooting and performances creates a moving story without melodrama that is moving and deeply human.

  • Cléo from 5 to 7

    Cléo from 5 to 7 1962

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 20 Nov, 2015

    There is so much going on in this film and Varda pulls out all the stops in her film that encapsulates and extends everything that is great about the French New Wave. Filled with brilliant cinematography and a rambling story, Varda manages to take a simple core story and incorporate documentary, melodrama, silent films, musicals, and serious drama all together while keeping it entertaining. I enjoy it and am surprised by it every time I watch it from the performances to the framing to the score. Brilliant and essential filmmaking.