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  • We Are the Night 2010

    ★★½ Watched 17 Nov, 2014

    This is mostly just a bog standard "vampirism as unbridled hedonism" movie. It's marginally interesting in that it links social class with the ability and desire to be a pleasure seeking junkie but it never really explores that idea, or any idea, productively because it's too busy laying track for its bog standard "corrupted innocence" plot line.

    It's never subtle either. When Lena (Karoline Herfurth, Passion and Errors of the Human Body) undergoes her transformation it physically strips away her…

  • The Day the Earth Stood Still 1951

    ★★½ Watched 12 Sep, 2014

    It occurs to me that if I'm going to give a classic a comparatively poor score I ought to leave a short explanation. Essentially this film is too restrained and tasteful for my liking. There's a long stretch in the middle that is more or less tension free and striking shots like the one in elevator or those taken from behind Rennie's head are few and far between.

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  • A Most Wanted Man 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 01 Aug, 2014

    When TV partisans declare that their medium has overtaken film in terms of quality this is exactly the kind of film they're imagining as a synecdoche: the subtle, adult genre film with a strong thematic through-line. If they were to pick out a TV series to favourably compare to A Most Wanted Man they could hardly do better than The Wire. After all, both concern themselves with institutions so thoroughly perverted that they end up perpetuating the very pathologies they're…

  • Ida 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 05 Jun, 2014

    I saw two trailers before watching Ida. One presented it as a film about uncovering dark secrets of the holocaust and the other suggested it was about a nun being tempted by carnal pleasures (you've got to feel for whoever fell for the latter). It follows then, that as far as I'm concerned, it's about neither.

    Many critics have seen this film as a radical change of pace for Pawlikowski and while the formal elements may be new - black…