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  • Sing Street

    Sing Street 2016

    ★★★½ Watched 04 May, 2016

    A crowd pleasing coming of age musical film about a young man who wants to start a band in Dublin in the 80s to impress a young woman. Filled with some neat 80s songs and a dark sense of humour that is often just below the surface, it keeps it mostly light and moves through all of the expected beats. The young cast has a great chemistry and musically it all seems a bit easy for them, but it's not meant to be too realistic. I just wish that the female lead had more to do than look pretty and be sad to inspire songwriting.

  • The Connection

    The Connection 1962

    ★★★★ Watched 02 May, 2016

    Innovative and bold film that has a lot of the feeling of live tv drama from the late 50s and early 60s with some edgier subject matter. A drama that constantly breaks the fourth wall with the premise being that it is a documentary film about jazz musician junkies waiting for their fix, it's filled with long takes and a camera that rotates around often as we meet each of the characters who all have their own moments. Filled with virtuoso shots, blocking, and camera movement adding a lot of cinematic flourishes to the source material, which was a play.

  • Ballet Mécanique

    Ballet Mécanique 1924

    ★★★★ Watched 02 May, 2016

    A hypnotic and hyper short that has all sorts of motion and patterns and even colour! Lots of repetition and jump cuts and loops all combined together in an entertaining way. So many abstract ideas crammed into a short time.

  • Pride

    Pride 2014

    ★★★★ Rewatched 01 May, 2016

    It's a great look at some history that I was not aware of. Very well done and strikes just the right tone establishing the context of the 80s in England when activists combined their forces and recognized that they were all part of the same struggle.

  • Androids Dream

    Androids Dream 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 01 May, 2016

    A radically simplified adaptation of the Philip K. Dick novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" that strips out most of the elements to make it barely recognizable. A bold approach that is an interesting counterpoint to Ridley Scott's adaptation, but a bit more of a cinematic exercise than a fully-realized drama.

  • Women's Voices: The Gender Gap

    Women's Voices: The Gender Gap 1984

    ★★★★ Watched 01 May, 2016

    A very interesting and relevant look at women talking about Ronald Regan as his campaign for reelection was beginning. Great look at how some things change and some things don't told in an entertaining way through animation.

  • Hannah Takes the Stairs

    Hannah Takes the Stairs 2007

    ★★★½ Watched 30 Apr, 2016

    Improvisational mublecore with some nice moments between the actors. Not a lot to it, but I admire the commitment to the ideas that are explored. Interesting to see elements in the work of the participants in an early form and which things they kept and which they honed and changed.

  • Green Room

    Green Room 2015

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 29 Apr, 2016

    Tense and superbly crafted with the careful balancing of the elements even more present the second time that I saw it. Raw and visceral cinema that treats violence responsibly and making you feel the personal consequences of it. With complex characterization that resists stereotypes, it's a film that often keeps you off balance and puts you firmly into the action and situations that the characters are in as they face challenges with real consequences. Transcends the horror and thriller genres by virtue of the subtle characterization and efficient editing and writing.

  • Rocks in my Pockets

    Rocks in my Pockets 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 28 Apr, 2016

    An animated and personal documentary about dealing with depression that is told in an idiosyncratic style. At first I wasn't sure where it was going but as it progressed it drew me in more as the links between the members of the family and the challenges that they faced were explored in an interesting and blunt way. Bold and personal filmmaking.

  • Assault on Precinct 13

    Assault on Precinct 13 1976

    ★★★★½ Watched 28 Apr, 2016

    Low budget action from John Carpenter with some great action sequences and cinematography all in a film that often defies expectations in unexpected ways. Often leaving things ambiguous, it focusses on the characters and what they do all with some clever dialogue to lighten things up a bit. A filmmaker getting the most out of a premise and the resources that they have.

  • Keanu

    Keanu 2016

    ★★★★½ Watched 27 Apr, 2016

    A smooth transition for Key and Peele to the big screen. Their tv series always had high production values and they expand their love of action films with a nice blend with comedy. Filled with the elements of action films while often questioning the more problematic elements of them, it's very funny and filled with little elements and nods to their favourite films which are scattered throughout the film. It moves along smoothly establishing characters and staying focussed on the…

  • Zivan Makes a Punk Festival

    Zivan Makes a Punk Festival 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 26 Apr, 2016

    Minimalist and Cinéma Vérité style documentary about the organizer of a punk festival in a Serbian village. We closely follow him around in the days before the festival as he takes care of last minute details and we see that there aren't a lot of people who attend. Fascinating viewing without judgment and small bits of context.