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  • Schindler's List 1993

    ★★★★ Watched 25 Jan, 2015

    Interesting as a film about the possibility of compassionate capitalism. Or maybe it should be the impossibility, in that it takes the industrial-scale persecution, humiliation and slaughter of 6,000,000 for Schindler to acquire a dangerous sense of compassion. But it remains ambiguous as to whether Schindler actually comprehends the reality of what's happening. And I think the most moving aspect of the film and its interpretation of history is this notion of a human inability to understand the political now.…

  • The 400 Blows 1959

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 20 Jan, 2015

    This movie, I thought, was about adults recreating their hamster-maze experiences of World War 2 in Paris – the punishment, the humiliation, the deception, the crooked values, the loneliness, the unfairness, the grinding inevitability of suffering – for the younger generation. I also think the film is spoiled by the fact that there were further Antoine Doinel films. The final shot seems logistically silly to me – why would he run towards the sea and not up the beach?

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  • My Neighbor Totoro 1988

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 21 Oct, 2014 33

    No plot.
    No central character.
    No antagonist.
    No defined purpose for side characters.
    No threat.
    No three acts.
    No jokes.
    No punchlines.
    No explanations.
    No internal references.
    No catchphrases.
    No political polemical voice.
    No melodrama.
    No lessons.
    No beginning.
    No end.
    One of the best films ever made.

  • The Young Girls of Rochefort 1967

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 18 Jan, 2014 1

    When, in the early part of 2012, I submitted my ballot for the Sight & Sound gigato-poll, I declined to add comments/justifications for my selections. At the time I thought that no-one would need to read the same daisy-chain of earnest banalities and highfalutin' proclamations about why I (me?!) have imposed masterpiece status on this rag-tag bunch of movies. Almost a year-and-a-half later, and I think I've changed my mind. It wasn't flip dismissal, it's probably that I didn't have it…