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  • Hill of Freedom

    Hill of Freedom 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 12 Aug, 2015

    "Hill of Freedom doesn’t just jumble its narrative for the purpose of self-conscious storytelling, it shows how each event, peppered in a different way, can bring a new perspective. But unlike other films where Hong returns to the events, he pushes us forward on, and like the broken English used by the characters, we might not realize the implications of a phrase or moment until after it has been ingested. "

    My favorite along with Hahaha. Reviewed on the latest podcast.

  • Frames

    Frames 2013

    ★★★ Watched 05 Jul, 2015

    Brandon isn't entirely satisfied with his feature debut as we talk on the podcast, but Frames has a lot of strong understanding of tone, mood, and especially as the title suggests, framing. He knows where to put actors to make things that should be static feel dynamic, and really feels out the rhythms of each scene. It's not as successful as, say, Afterschool, but individual ideas are really thought out and executed strongly. And any film that ends like L'Eclisse is a win in my book. Besides, first features should be first features, and Frames does the most important thing: show potential in a budding talent.

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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…