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  • Niagara 1953

    ★★★ Watched 22 Jul, 2014

    "Henry Hathaway's hypnotic contemplation of two American monuments, Niagara Falls and Marilyn Monroe," writes Dave Kehr in his capsule, and shot mostly on location in a very Hathaway-esque way where the landscape functions as an obvious but unintrusive metaphor for the drama unfolding (the falling ice of Spawn of the North; the raging river of Bottom of the Bottle). Here you've got two overwhelming spectacles: the giant waterfalls and Monroe's swinging hips that Don Wilson can't help but stare at…

  • Panelstory - Or Birth of A Community 1979

    ★★★★ Watched 24 Jul, 2014

    You'd think that given the absolute love that Daisies inspires among cinephiles that more would search out the other films of Věra Chytilová, but that is likely an issue of access. A general search on Amazon reveals not a single other feature of her work has been put out on a Region 1 DVD. Rather than "blame the cultural gatekeepers," this is just one of the lasting effects of the digital transition and the paradox of film history, which seems…

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  • American Hustle 2013

    ★★ Watched 21 Dec, 2013 21

    A tale of phonies
    Made by phonies
    In second hand clothing
    Who enjoy playing as phonies.
    Flowers and garbage.

    "Russell's most exciting moments are three-layered: a familiar narrative or comic convention is exaggerated into a transgressive act, then grounded with a flurry of humanizing psychological detail."
    -Dan Sallitt, 2002.

    American Hustle would easily fit into the same realm as Pain & Gain, The Bling Ring, and Spring Breakers in the excess/over-belief in the American Dream run of films that amounted to…

  • Moonrise Kingdom 2012

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 04 Aug, 2013 3

    First romance
    Not charted on maps
    But preserved in paintings.
    "Car le temps de l'amour
    Ça dure tojours."

    I could talk about how this film's structure finally achieves the blissful melancholy that has been at the heart of all of Wes Anderson's films. I could talk about the precision of his framing and tracking shots, and how often he finds visual comedy through a perfect edit, or the slight entrance of new material into the frame. I could talk about…