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  • Pickpocket 1959

    ★★★★½ Watched 31 Aug, 2014

    "...what a strange path I had to take."

    Had to? Perhaps.

    Just as Derek Zoolander cannot turn left, Michel cannot reach for what he really wants, or step toward what he really needs. He must take contrary routes until he lands himself in the one place where he cannot get away from grace.

    And so we track his evasions. He doesn't see his need for intimacy, but we see it in his fear of rejection, which leads him to push…

  • Dead Poets Society 1989

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 30 Aug, 2014

    I was wrong. This movie works.

    I had very mixed feelings about it when it opened. And while I now find the script to be a bold and beautiful thing, I do think it's a step down for Peter Weir as a visual artist. (It has none of the riveting imagery of Picnic at Hanging Rock. And it overreaches a bit in its finale. ("MUST. MAKE. EVERYBODY. CRY.") But my original objections to the film were about a sense that…

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  • The World's End 2013

    ★★★★ Rewatched 29 Aug, 2013 1

    I'm not the first person to say it, but it's true — this film, like the two before it, is designed to be seen a second time, when viewers will realize just how every fleeting moment either foretells upcoming events, sets up elaborate jokes, or reveals a punchline for a joke yet to be told. It's the fastest-moving, most confidently scripted and edited film I've seen this year. And the action scenes are dizzyingly joyous. When was the last time…

  • Kind Hearts and Coronets 1949

    ★★★★ Watched 22 Aug, 2014

    You've gotta love a film that, while full of murder and deception and infidelity, goes on to declare the act of memoir-writing — the very compulsion to narrate one's own self-glorifying story — to be the most damning indictment of one's character.

    I've always heard Kind Hearts and Coronets celebrated as an exhibition of the greatness of Alec Guinness, and he is certainly at the peak of his master-of-disguises powers here, the grandfather to Peter Sellers and great-grandfather to Mike…