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  • For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism

    For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism 2009

    ★★ Watched 23 Nov, 2015

    You can't tell the story of American Film Criticism in 80 minutes, not without saying very little about too many things.

    Writer/director Gerald Peary must have seen this in editing. It might explain why he grounded it a little by focussing so much on Andrew Sarris. Sarris was a New York critic famous for bringing France's 'auteur theory' to the US in the 60s. The documentary spends quite a bit of time looking at Sarris, his rivalry with Pauline Kael…

  • The Paper Chase

    The Paper Chase 1973

    ★★ Rewatched 10 Nov, 2015 7

    That thing at work again.
    That thing that comes between you and a film you used to like.
    That thing that makes you see that film you used to like in a completely new way, in a completely not good new way.

    This time around The Paper Chase had that thing all over it.
    The thing turned Timothy Bottoms into a yelling, whining self-centered self-serving little prick.

    The thing turned the script into a hollow mess, repeating scenes over and…

  • The Man from Earth

    The Man from Earth 2007

    ★★★★ Watched 27 Oct, 2015 22

    All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

    A biologist, an anthropologist, an archeologist, a historian, a psychiatrist and an art history professor walk into a room....

    ... and they stay there talking, trying to figure out the truth of a particular matter. In so doing they reveal their respective academic approaches, their standards of proof, their own prejudices and the lengths at which they will go to reject or accept a story that doesn't play nice with their current beliefs. The result is utterly engaging.

    Thanks to Daniel Webb for the recommendation

  • Two in the Wave

    Two in the Wave 2010

    ★½ Watched 29 Sep, 2015 7

    I am barely familiar with French New Wave, and have never read Cahiers du Cinema, but I am familiar with the story of how some of the film critics writing for the publication created the movement when they tried their hand at making films. I hoped that this documentary would enlighten me. It did, in a sense. It made me wonder just how much of a 'movement' the French New Wave really was. I wondered if perhaps too much was…

  • Locke

    Locke 2014

    ★★★★★ Watched 06 Oct, 2015 11

    Locke is a fascinating character study about the consequences of making moral choices. The fact that the entire film takes places in a car, in real time, with just one character and a phone is no doubt to highlight the ultimate isolation we face when making moral choices. No matter what co-workers, friends or family members say, the choices are ours and ours alone. And no matter what we decide, life goes on. Time passes. The wheels keep turning. (last…

  • 45 Years

    45 Years 2015

    ★★★★★ Watched 15 Sep, 2015 3

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    A wonderful sedate character study of a couple who, even after 45 years together, manage to surprise each other.

    There is no Hollywood here. No melodrama. No strings. Just a raw look at one woman's surprising reaction to a past event, and how she tries to incorporate it into her history with her husband. Re-writing the narrative of 45 years together isn't easy and it is especially untimely with an anniversary party looming around the corner,…

  • Our Brand Is Crisis

    Our Brand Is Crisis 2015

    ★★★ Watched 19 Sep, 2015

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    A friend couldn't see this one so he sold me his ticket the night before (thanks Chris!). I was still recovering from a cold, so a Hollywood film was just what the Doctor ordered.

    This one hit all the standard beats so it was nice and predictable.
    The performances were just alright and the story probably a little bit better than most but we all know it by now. The fact that they set it in…

  • The Witch

    The Witch 2015

    ★★★ Watched 18 Sep, 2015

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    Here are the sorts of things I should say about the Witch:

    It is mesmerizing. It isn't as scary as it is creepy. Very creepy.
    It is incredibly atmospheric and beautiful.

    But for the life of me I couldn't find it all that interesting. I couldn't make out 1/4 of the dialog, so that didn't help, but I don't think that mattered too much because most of it was Doth Ye type of stuff mixed in…

  • The Whispering Star

    The Whispering Star 2015

    ★★★★★ Watched 19 Sep, 2015 13

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    A cyborg Jeanne Dielman delivery person travels for 10 years in a dysfunctional Hal-controlled spaceship that looks like a Japanese trailer to planets that all look like tsunami ravaged and nuclear disaster site Fukushima to deliver parcels.

    It is the most original and quite possibly the most beautiful film I've seen in a very long time.

    Extremely slow paced, every minute of the film is detailed and important.
    Every encounter with the desolate planets is rich…

  • The Lobster

    The Lobster 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 11 Sep, 2015 2

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    The good news - Lanthimos didn't downplay his weirdness for his first English language film.
    The bad news - There is a fantastic film in here somewhere.

    The Lobster is a relationship film. An odd one, but a relationship film nonetheless (this will seem funny to you after you see the film). Lanthimos explores the notions of being single vs being coupled, being sexual vs being chaste, and all the societal rules that make one or…

  • Equals

    Equals 2015

    Watched 13 Sep, 2015 27

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    This isn't about the film.
    I wish it were about the film but I didn't get to see the film.
    I didn't get to see the film because the star-making machinery interrupted the line just ahead of me and the nice TIFF volunteer told me that I would have to wait at least an additional 30 minutes in the rain so that kirsten stewart and whoever else was in the film could stand on a colourful…

  • High Rise

    High Rise 2015

    ★★½ Watched 14 Sep, 2015 9

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    Note: Don't get all wound up over my rating. Wheatley fans will no doubt give this at least 4 stars. I rate from my own perspective, not from an objective one, whatever that means.

    Ben Wheatley and I don't get along too well.
    I respect his originality and am always curious to see how it cashes out, but his films can't quite keep me engaged for more than half of their entire runtime.
    High-Rise is no…