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  • Once Upon a Honeymoon

    Once Upon a Honeymoon 1942

    ★★★½ Watched 25 Mar, 2015

    Discussed at quite some length with Fernando F. Croce on the latest podcast. I'll admit the rhythmic imbalance between the high and low threw me while I was watching this, but the more I discussed the way the comedy works in this film with Fern, the more I see it as so key to its design. I don't discuss this necessarily, but I do think the final epilogue of the film seems so out of place, and I'm not sure…

  • The Puppetmaster

    The Puppetmaster 1993

    ★★★★½ Watched 18 Apr, 2015

    There are five puppet performances in the film. Each begins with a large establishing shot that frames both the audience and the greater landscape.

    The first is a single take, entirely staged from the audience perspective. There is just enough space on the edges of the frame to view wind flowing in the trees.

    The second begins the same way, but there is a cut halfway through to the back of the stage, where Hou shows how the puppeteers operate.…

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  • 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…

  • Moonrise Kingdom

    Moonrise Kingdom 2012

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 04 Aug, 2013 3

    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…