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  • Possession

    Possession 1981

    ★★★½ Watched 05 Dec, 2015

    "So crazy ya gotta see it!!!" is not usually my genre forte, so I was surprised how rigorous this study of a marital breakdown can feel. Yes, the actual physical embodiment of plot is insane, but it's the grace moments—the score chills, the camera cuts into a close-up—that create an intense emotional structure that makes the rest of what happen here feel part of a rigorous logic. I discuss this with MD Film Fest programmer Eric Allen Hatch on the latest podcast.

  • The Meetings of Anna

    The Meetings of Anna 1978

    ★★★½ Watched 10 Apr, 2016

    Chantal Akerman almost exclusively works on horizontal planes of space. Her compositions are known for their flat, minimalist staging, and she usually cuts with perpendicular angles to emphasize each shot's flatness. So one of the many surprising shots in Les Rendez-Vous d'Anna comes early. Anna leaves her hotel in Germany, and the camera tracks alongside her in a horizontal dolly. Suddenly, a flash of vertical motion interrupts the frame. It's a female maid, almost nonchalantly in the background, waving a…

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  • Moonrise Kingdom

    Moonrise Kingdom 2012

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 04 Aug, 2013 4

    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 how depressing the film is, the hints of both a traumatizing past, and that in a way, Sam…

  • Magic Mike XXL

    Magic Mike XXL 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 29 Jun, 2015 11

    "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…