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  • The Gleaners & I

    The Gleaners & I 2000

    ★★★★ Watched 23 Jun, 2015

    Of the many possibilities that digital cinema provided in changing film, one was simply the new bounty of footage that could be shot without worry. Instead of limiting oneself to what was necessary by the amount of film stock available, Agnes Varda uses digital to search out every crevasse and follow every tangential lead in The Gleaners And I. Varda’s documentary thus follows tangent after tangent. Her interest in historical gleaners brings her to a farm, which takes her to…

  • Only Angels Have Wings

    Only Angels Have Wings 1939

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 04 Jul, 2015 1

    Discussed with Lea Jacobs, one of the best film historians working today, on the latest episode of the podcast. Along with Rio Bravo, the quintessential Hawks movie for not only its rhythmic patterns, attention to a very subtle structure in its mise-en-scene, but always carrying a certain existential weight to why the hell are we doing this? that always remains unanswered, unchecked, and unwritten. But as in all the great Hawks, there is the group, a certain social democracy that remains a base ideology that could never be challenged. It's both the tragedy and the greatness of the American ethos.

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  • Magic Mike XXL

    Magic Mike XXL 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 29 Jun, 2015 7

    "In the history of photography and film, getting the right image meant getting ones that conformed to the prevalent ideas of humanity. This included whiteness, of what colour—what range of hue—white people wanted white people to be....Movie lighting assume, privilege, and construct whiteness" —Richard Dyer, "Lighting For Whiteness"

    The history of Hollywood in many ways is the history of the construction of whiteness. This goes beyond simply films that have depicted African Americans in stereotypes or margnizaled their roles in…

  • American Hustle

    American Hustle 2013

    ★★ Watched 21 Dec, 2013 21

    "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 a lot of pointless trend pieces this year. Like these films, it is also fueled through the specific vision…