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  • Network 1976

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 18 Oct, 2014

    I hadn't watched Sidney Lumet's Network for a long time, and seeing it again I was struck by the freshness and prescience of it. Paddy Chayefsky's writing is superb and the film is filled with great moments between the characters. Deeply cynical and almost quaint in the outrage against corporate control of the media, it's a brilliant film that echoes down through other films. Peter Finch's central performance is magnetic and wounded and reminded me of Tom Wilkinson in Michael…

  • Upstream Color 2013

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 17 Oct, 2014

    Upstream Color is a film that sticks with me. The genius of the film is in how most of it isn't explained which makes it work much better for me as I am the one who provides the connective tissue. Beautifully shot and with remarkable sound design, it's a strange love story that works like a half-remembered dream. It's soft science fiction filled with emotion and ideas that are always worth revisiting.

  • The Dog 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 14 Oct, 2014

    I've seen Dog Day Afternoon and knew that it was based on true events, but I hadn't really wondered much about the people involved in it. So not having followed up on the story, it was interesting to watch The Dog. It tells the story of John Wojtowicz, who was at the centre of the story. It's a fascinating look at an interesting character who is unapologetically himself and unique. Brash and blunt, he is surrounded by other unique people and it provides a glimpse into his life and the people that he knew.

  • Jimmy P. 2013

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 09 Oct, 2014

    Arnaud Desplechin is an intellectual and skilled filmmaker and I don't think I've seen one of his films that I didn't appreciate more the second time and the same thing happened with Jimmy P. Working with a newer cast and in English (as he did with Esther Kahn), it changes things a bit, but it is recognizably Desplechin. With a smaller palette than usual the focus is mainly on the relationship between regular Mathieu Almaric and Benicio del Toro. Alamaric…

  • The Pervert's Guide to Ideology 2012

    ★★★★½ Watched 13 Oct, 2014

    I didn't know what to expect and I was very pleasantly surprised by Sophie Fiennes' documentary The Pervert's Guide to Ideology. The film is an exploration of how ideology works in society and how it is embedded into films. Shot with a great sense of humour and with philosopher Slavoj Žižek explaining the concepts while in sets and costumes from the films, it's entertaining and thought-provoking and makes you look at films a different way.

  • Pride 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 13 Oct, 2014

    Pride is a solid British drama that takes a story and interesting characters and illuminates a moment in history that I didn't know about. A fascinating and fun look at how London gay and lesbian activists in the 80s and how they supported the National Union of Mineworkers during their strike in 1984. Beautifully photographed, well-acted, and with a great soundtrack, it's an enjoyable look at how people can work together to make the world a better place.

  • Heavenly Creatures 1994

    Rewatched 10 Dec, 2005

    Heavenly Creatures is a harrowing story that was the first film I saw by Peter Jackson and also was Kate Winslet’s cinematic debut. Visually it’s inventive and the editing is great as well. It becomes increasingly tense as it moves to the end and the circular structure lets you know that something terrible is about to happen. Great filmmaking with a fascinating combination of music and special effects that somehow fit into the story.

  • 5x2 2004

    Watched 10 Dec, 2005

    A fascinating story of a couple told through five scenes, beginning with their divorce and progressing backwards to their first meeting. It starts off in a fairly disturbing way, but as the film progresses backwards in time you realize that you know less and less about the characters are more is revealed. The film is very carefully structured with a script that cleverly reveals (or hides) information that shapes your perception of the characters and the story. Not as enjoyable as Ozon’s 8 Women, which I loved, but still worth seeing.

  • Donnie Darko 2001

    Watched 14 Dec, 2005

    Donnie Darko is an interesting film in how it subverts expectations and how it is constructed. I think that it’s a bit overrated and other films have done similar things, but I enjoyed the structure quite a bit. Since the film is built around a secret, I won’t reveal it, but it’s definitely worth seeing.

  • Sin City 2005

    Watched 23 Dec, 2005

    Visually stunning, but the style is so much more than the substance. It looks like a moving comic in the world of film noir, but somehow the translation from film noir to graphic novel and back leaves something out. It’s definitely worth seeing, but it ultimately becomes more of an exercise than a film that grabs you.

  • Blade Runner 1982

    Rewatched 28 Dec, 2005

    Blade Runner is a classic adaptation of a sf novel and a brilliant reworking of the material of the Philip K. Dick novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The brilliant touch that Ridley Scott brings to the material is to rework a novel that is heavily based on personal reality into the cinematic framework of film noir. The elements of “what is reality” are downplayed as the detective elements are emphasized. It takes a very internalized novel and externalizes…

  • Yes 2004

    Watched 04 Jan, 2006

    Sally Potter’s Yes is a stunningly beautiful film that left me breathless. The dialogue is all written and spoken in iambic pentameter which works remarkably well in the story of She who falls in love with He. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen such a wonderful combination of cinematic and linguistic poetry. So much is combined together, so many opposites and complementary elements it’s dizzying. Sexual politics and geopolitics, men and women, east and west, science and religion. A singular and bold film that I’m running out of superlatives to describe.