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  • The Captive

    The Captive 1915

    ★★★★ Watched 07 Sep, 2016

    This early feature from Cecil B. DeMille – “A Modern Romantic Drama,” per its opening titles – was long thought lost to time and deterioration, only to be rediscovered in 1970 and lovingly restored for this Blu-ray debut. Based on a play the filmmaker wrote with Jeanie MacPherson, it tells the fascinating story, set in the Balkan Wars, of how prisoners of war were sent to till the fields of farms vacated by fighting men. Blanche Sweeet’s Sonia is one…

  • The Horrible Dr. Hichcock

    The Horrible Dr. Hichcock 1962

    ★★★½ Watched 07 Sep, 2016

    “You must admit, the doctor is a little strange himself, isn’t he?” asks an off-screen voice, early in this greasy slice of Italian Gothic horror, and that’s a bit of an understatement – the good doctor has incorporated his operating room anesthetic into a kink that gets out of control, and comes back to haunt him years later. That such a decidedly adult picture actually got an American release in 1962, import or no, is still surprising, though censors may…

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  • Mistress America

    Mistress America 2015

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 24 Jul, 2015

    “In one instant, her behaviors turned from charming to borderline psychotic.” So notes Tracy (Kirke) of Brooke (Gerwig), the title character of Noah Baumbach’s latest chronicle of the bohemian facades and generational navigation in New York City. Free of much of the cynicism but none of the bite of last spring’s 'While We’re Young,' Baumbach and co-writer Gerwig’s screwball treat beautifully captures the way a slightly older, seemingly together mentor-type figure can first seem to be everything you hope to…

  • Under the Skin

    Under the Skin 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 21 Mar, 2014

    A beautiful, bizarre, and occasionally troubling bit of abstract art-house sci-fi in the Beyond the Black Rainbow vein from director Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast, Birth). Scarlett Johansson (who appears in just about every frame) plays a well-disguised alien creature who picks up men and devours them; some have dismissed the picture as an indie riff on Species, but if the narrative is derivative and a tad monotonous, there’s something intoxicating about the fluidity of Glazer’s striking images and the mood he manages to sustain throughout the peculiar tale.

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