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  • Henry Gamble's Birthday Party

    Henry Gamble's Birthday Party 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 05 May, 2016

    There are two instances of different characters dipping their toes into a swimming pool to get a feel for the water in order to achieve comfort, a gesture that essentially signifies what director Stephen Cone is up to here: modest independent cinema where a wide array of characters are looked after by the camera, both empathetically and observantly, and without judgment. There's a shift in the wind, lives aren't necessarily changing, but they're being nudged forth, a feeling that is…

  • Heart of a Dog

    Heart of a Dog 2015

    Watched 04 May, 2016 1

    I wish my tolerance for this didn’t diminish so quickly since Anderson is clearly going all-in with every stylistic device at her disposal, but it feels like an alien canvas, one where the inquiries and remembrances into loss and the everyday wind up feeling like a choppy ride at sea. The voiceover (Anderson herself) shut me off to the point where I couldn’t just rely on the catalogue of images being presented, but there’s still a bruised layer to Anderson’s…

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  • Queen of Earth

    Queen of Earth 2015

    Watched 30 Aug, 2015

    Katherine Waterston's failed attempt to get the lights off in her bedroom by throwing a pillow at the light switch is one of the realest things I've ever seen.

  • Blackhat

    Blackhat 2015

    Watched 16 Jan, 2015

    "It's all about if I can get close enough, fast enough."

    There's no trace of the mythic in Mann's contemporary universe, only strict instances of action and reaction swirling around to dizzying effect. The visceral and physical escalation bubbles up to the surface and leaves a lasting, personal mark. Moments of romance are present but brief: Hemsworth's Hathaway surveying his lover's neckline and skin (Claire Denis has mastered this by now), or the same couple holding each other late in…