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  • Whirlpool 1949

    ★★★★½ Watched 13 Sep, 2014

    The opening shot looks mundanely common but the space and flow into the department store include two moments where what our eyes are trained to see suddenly shift and we follow something else. Perspective becomes misdirection, which moves from the mise-en-scene to the narrative level, a story about the literal control of sight and thus the mind. Routinely dismissed compared to the other Premingers of this era, perhaps because of absurdity of the plot (which is not that different from…

  • Foreign Correspondent 1940

    ★★★½ Watched 02 Sep, 2014 2

    Peaks in the middle with the visual joke of Joel McCrea on top of the hotel, busting the lights and creating "HOT EUROPE." It's that kind of winking amusement one requires from Hitchcock, the sense that even though the situation may be serious, there's still time for jokes and romance (what else are we fighting for?). The film is essentially a negotiation of producer Walter Wagner's attempt to enlighten the American people to the war across the Atlantic and Breen's…

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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…