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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…

  • Linda Linda Linda 2005

    ★★★½ Watched 24 Jun, 2014 2

    (I'm writing this at 3am so it's probably even less insightful and readable than usual. But I'm taking extra care to use the right th(e/a)n, so that's cool.)

    Linda, Linda, Linda starts with a scene that's intended to encapsulate the movie by way of three filmmakers who ineptly stumble their way towards "making an impact" as they shoot a piece about their school's festival. However it also serves to call attention to the process of film-making by laying bare their…

  • Millennium Mambo 2001

    ★★★½ Watched 23 Jun, 2014

    I was going to write something but this: www.reverseshot.com/article/millennium_mambo says everything I wanted to say and then a little bit more. It's also a great deal more eloquent than I would have been.

  • Policeman 2011

    ★★★★ Added

    (This review was originally written during the 2011 Brisbane International Film Festival and posted to my blog. I'm re-posting it here on account of its recent US release.)

    Hot on the heels of my current festival low point comes a new contender for my BIFF favourite. Policeman, structured like a diptych­, contains my two favourite things in film: bold, nuanced politics and strong direction tailored to the subject matter at hand.

    The film has won much praise for taking the…

  • 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…

  • Attenberg 2010

    ★★★½ Watched 16 Mar, 2014

    I really like the way this uses Marina's perspective to make the human body and the things we do with it profoundly wierd. Marina, Bella and Sypros' exaggerated "animal" imitations are repeated so frequently that they become normal and seemingly regular human interactions become strange.

  • Manila in the Claws of Neon 1975

    Watched 15 Feb, 2014

    I have no idea how to rate this one because it falls into that category of noteworthy and accomplished films that are also really, really racist.

  • Dark Water 2002

    ★★★½ Watched 10 Dec, 2013

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

  • Stoker 2013

    ★★½ Watched 06 Sep, 2013

    Park is still an electrifying stylist but everything he does here only emphasises just how on-the-nose and lurid (not in a good way) the script he's working from is. Terrific costumes though.

  • Penance 2012

    ★★★ Watched 14 Jun, 2013

    Be aware that if I was only rating the first segment (French Dolls) I would give it four, maybe four and a half, stars.

  • Vic+Flo Saw a Bear 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 08 Jun, 2013

    “I know. Horrible people like me don’t really exist.”

    Vic + Flo Saw a Bear is a deliciously strange film. At its centre is a lived in relationship portrayed by two actors turning in nuanced, understated performances. At its edges is an off-kilter world both charming (golf carts as a major means of transportation) and chilling (psychopaths with bear traps). The two shouldn’t work together but somehow they do.

    Perhaps it’s the women in the aforementioned relationship that make the…

  • The Rocket 2013

    ★★½ Watched 08 Jun, 2013

    Its subject is worthy, its director is more than capable and its child actors are as cute as any cherubs who’ve graced the screen. It’s no wonder then that I feel like a right curmudgeon for not being able to enjoy this fable of a cursed son trying to save his family and his sense of self.

    The biggest stumbling block for me is its tone. Ostensibly this is a pretty grim story of people coping with enormous loss; no…