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  • Coal Money

    Coal Money 2009

    Watched 02 Aug, 2015

    "what a fucking shit job"

    the documentaries I respond to the most are the ones in which the role of the filmmaker is diminished to the point of virtual anonymity - People's Park being the ultimate example of this, comprised entirely of one 77 minute shot. This, my first Wang Bing, is similar to the individual work of one of PP's co-directors, J.P. Sniadecki, in that there are cuts, but not many, and the "narrative" is a construct of these…

  • Magnificent Obsession

    Magnificent Obsession 1954

    Watched 26 Jul, 2015

    "let me be your eyes again"

    there's something insidious about the way Rock Hudson tries to lie and trick his way back into Jane Wyman's life after being an integral if passive part of both the death of her husband and her own blindness. Lying about who he is to get close to her with the goal of absolution and using that as a foundation for a romance is asking for trouble, but somehow it works, if only because these…

  • Merci pour le Chocolat

    Merci pour le Chocolat 2000

    ★★★★ Watched 22 Jul, 2015

    "instead of loving, I say 'I love you' and people believe me"

  • Autumn Tale

    Autumn Tale 1998

    ★★★★½ Watched 19 Jul, 2015 1

    The way Rohmer shoots conversations between two people in this is fascinating. Characters talk objectively about their love lives together in a two-shot, before, usually as one of them says something the other doesn't agree with/want to talk about, one of them leaves the frame. The camera stays as it is, leaving one character alone in a shot made for two, while Rohmer cuts to the other in a shot of their own. The conversations continue as if nothing has…

  • Homework

    Homework 1989

    ★★★★½ Watched 15 Jul, 2015

    "do you know what praise is?"
    "no."

    a series of very simple 1-on-1 interviews in which Kiarostami (wearing sunglasses indoors and sat behind a desk) asks numerous schoolchildren about their homework that, collectively, becomes a deeply pessimistic study of a generation of children failed by education - both in school and at home. As the interviews pile up, patterns begin to emerge: stories of violent schoolteachers, illiterate and impatient family members, the importance of cartoons; and the accumulation of these…

  • The Unfaithful Wife

    The Unfaithful Wife 1969

    ★★★★½ Watched 09 Jul, 2015

    "a little perverse, aren't you"

    such an internalised movie - WILDLY emotional, but only ever expressed through the tiniest moments: a quick cut between close-ups of the husband smoking cigarettes, first in a car, then in an office; or a wide shot of the wife strewn seductively on the grass in a short dress, occasionally glancing at her indifferent husband sat reading under a tree in the background.

    the film is almost entirely from the POV of the husband, and…

  • In a Lonely Place

    In a Lonely Place 1950

    Watched 08 Jul, 2015

    "Yesterday, this would've meant so much to us. Now it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter at all."

    My God. I'd rather be thrown from a moving car into a canyon than have to feel what Gloria Grahame feels in this movie.

  • Tokyo Tribe

    Tokyo Tribe 2014

    ★★★★ Rewatched 07 Jul, 2015

    "Lord Buppa, it's feeding time."

    Seriously, this is one of the most impressive surfaces in recent cinema, and Sono revels in it, as he always does, observing every detail of the horrifying city he's created with 360 degree tracking shots moving through long, loud streets filled with shady market stalls, multi-coloured neon lights, and hundreds of people, all of whom are doing *something* in the background - some even turn out to be major characters who reappear later but somehow…

  • Romancing in Thin Air

    Romancing in Thin Air 2012

    ★★★★ Watched 04 Jul, 2015

    "Dedicated to 033"

    biggest takeaway from this: everybody needs help - whether you're hopelessly lost in a forest, escaping an intensely scrutinised life, or trying in vain to reverse a truck out of a ditch.

  • Party

    Party 1996

    ★★★★ Watched 04 Jul, 2015

    Oliveira uses long, philosophical conversations about love + sex as a means for his characters to distract themselves from the sudden, potentially life-changing romance developing between two of them over two separate parties in a pretentiously overstuffed palace in France - until these numbing (by design) exchanges can't hold back their emotions and the whole thing collapses into the futile escapist fantasy that it is. Inventive, exciting, romantic, tragic, frustrating - and so much fun.

  • La Cérémonie

    La Cérémonie 1995

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 01 Jul, 2015

    "I feel sorry for you"

    one of the great films about manipulation and belittlement: nonchalantly throwing a dirtied tissue back at the person who provided it without saying thank you; offering to drive someone into town as if it's the noblest thing in the world; finding out someone can't read and instinctively offering to teach them. The rich family treat Sandrine Bonnaire's maid with such casual disdain and dehumanising pity that it's no wonder she's drawn to the chaos of…

  • PTU

    PTU 2003

    ★★★★ Watched 27 Jun, 2015

    "You know this isn't right. We'll get into trouble for this."

    To equates respecting the police to respecting a violent gangster who could kill you for not bringing him a beer quickly enough in a restaurant - and why not, when the cops spend so much of their time covering up their own mistakes/incompetence by planting drugs on the innocent, stealing evidence from crime scenes, and torturing people for information when they should be, y'know, solving crimes/catching bad guys -…