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  • Your Name.

    Your Name.

    ★★★

    Half-brilliant, half-lame, and in the end, a touch too sentimental. It helps, though, that this is the first anime I've seen since high school - back when I used to watch a lot more - and that I'm at precisely the same point as Taki is at the end of the film: five years removed from high school, graduating from university, looking for a job, etc. It helps even more that I once wrote a (partially finished) story about a…

  • Avanti!

    Avanti!

    ★★★★½

    Was going to write that the morgue sequence was when this film went from good to great for me, but D'Angelo got there first, as usual. Still, what an astonishing film, one that walks such a tightrope of tonal shifts, vacillating emotions and comedic registers, while furthering its thematic resonance at every moment. (Did not expect that given the poster.) The title is the big indication, the great theme being, in essence, the differences in how people approach the world,…

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  • La La Land

    La La Land

    ★★★½

    A more slippery film than it might seem, confused in ways that are purposeful, if not necessarily or always effective. Some hasty notes:

    1. Open sequence sets the template, employing a one-take that sets it apart - the camera doesn't showcase the performers so much as perform alongside them. Is it a problem that Chazelle essentially casts himself as a third lead (e.g. whip pans between Gosling-Stone/dance-piano duet, literally soaring camera at key performance moments, etc.)? (Sorry, Los Angeles.) Not…

  • Primer

    Primer

    ★★★★½

    90/100

    Man, do you wanna watch Primer? I haven't seen it since later this afternoon.