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  • Mauvais Sang

    Mauvais Sang

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    My favourite entries on Letterboxd tend to be the ones that engage with the content of the movie, that talk about the specifics of event and character and, explicitly, how they support the message or theme, perhaps combining this with expert knowledge about the canon or the filmmakers concerned. Respect to the many insightful people I follow who do this and more. But that's not me.

    I'll always give the time of day to movies that have a good heart…

  • Bait

    Bait

    Extraordinary. The feeling with which Mark Jenkins gets across what he has to say combined with his radical use of black and white photography and sound design had an impact on me that I can only compare with that of La Haine or La Pointe-Courte.
    Not that it's easy to get into at first. The ultra low-fi hand-processed film sits a little uneasily with digital projection, and the in-your-face use of close-up and abrupt editing doesn't make it a comfortable…

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  • In the Wall

    In the Wall

    An unsavoury little psychological nasty which doesn't make much sense but is way more effective than you expect, thanks in no small part to Clint Mansell's soundtrack.

  • A. K.

    A. K.

    Documentary about the filming of Ran (1985). More contemplative than factually informative, and all the better for it.
    If Ran is an epic portrait of a brutal feudal society where the major players are each willing to betray their brethren in a bloodthirsty quest for power resulting in catastrophe for everyone, A.K. is a portrait of an epic film production where everyone pulls together giving everything they've got in the service of a shared goal and a wise and respected…

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  • High-Rise

    High-Rise

    ★★★★★

    Another near-masterpiece from Wheatley, perhaps my favourite UK filmmaker working today, and another entry in the subgenre of dystopic tower block fantasies along with Shivers, Dredd, The Raid, and (I guess) The Towering Inferno. It's an inherently dramatic setting: the tower's monstrous size, the claustrophobic spaces within, the vertical structure providing an obvious metaphor for society or the Freudian psyche. In this one, our hero and the architect also explicitly discuss the block as a metaphor for the body -…

  • The Favourite

    The Favourite

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Lanthimos abandons the weird wave which may be played out by now anyway and gives us something where people talk like people normally talk in movies, and it is wonderful. Visually intricate and jewel-like, musically rich and sweeping, it almost overpowers using nothing more or less than three women playing power games and some ravishingly-designed interiors, shot through a super-wide-angle lens, which come across more Kubrick than Kubrick.

    The Favourite is a period comedy, a good one, with anachronisms, killer…