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  • Whiplash

    Whiplash 2014

    ★★★ Watched 10 Mar, 2015

    Thoroughly entertaining for most of the film thanks to Teller and Simmons, but the third act hasn't sat well with me. A triumphant tone overwhelms some nods to horror in such a way that leaves me very sympathetic to Glenn Heath, Jr.'s take down of the film.

  • Only Lovers Left Alive

    Only Lovers Left Alive 2013

    ★★★★½ Watched 10 Mar, 2015

    Love made spooky in the best way.

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  • The Tree of Life

    The Tree of Life 2011

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 21 Nov, 2014

    Showed the film to students this week.

    I've written quite a bit about The Tree of Life, but I have still often felt that I've not yet articulated why the film's so important to me on a more personal level.

    In the middle of the film when Malick is drawing the obvious contrast between the mother and the father--between the way of grace and the way of nature--he concludes the mother's sequence of scenes with young Jack praying by his…

  • The New World

    The New World 2005

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 25 Jan, 2014 2

    Maps. Paths. Trees. Faithfulness.

    Post-Rolfe there are two shots in the film of Pocahontas sitting--almost fixtured--in a tree. The first takes place in the midst of a series of edits: wedding ring on finger, sky, Pocahontas in the tree's branches. She's had a branch break (Smith) but she's still reaching toward the light until: "Mother, now I know where you live."

    It seems on the surface obvious to say so, but Bordwell emphasizes that the quickest way to get a…