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  • Repast

    Repast

    ★★★★

    This is, as one might expect from Naruse, a beautifully modulated film about a woman unhappy in her marriage. Setsuko Hara is the woman, Michiyo, so very brilliant at conveying her dissatisfaction, even as she's smiling and reassuring people -- for such is the weight of societal expectation, there's no meaningful way for her to confront the misery of her household chores and the disinterest of her husband (who becomes more animated when his young female cousin comes to visit…

  • Code 46

    Code 46

    ★★★

    I suppose I should understand some of the negative responses to this film. There's a mannered way about how the narrative unfolds, almost too artfully screenwritten, the accretion of these details of an alternative world, with its cosmetically diverse lexicon, and a range of viruses that conveniently allow for heightened intuition skills. Here, as a result of some unclear deployment of genetic cloning, people's genetics are strictly policed, and this is what the title is referring to -- suggesting Gattaca,…

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  • Arrival

    Arrival

    ★★★

    There's a sort of sweet hopeful belief in the unifying power of language at work here, and Amy Adams is exactly the face for that, but there's also a mind-bending take on temporal awareness that reminds me of the WTF-ness of Interstellar and which I don't really find quite as fulfilling as the film evidently does. It's all very nice, though muted in its colours and uncluttered in mise en scene, and I sort of want to like it more than I did.

  • Documenteur

    Documenteur

    ★★★½

    A strange poetic hour-or-so of documented fiction, as Varda follows a French woman and her son (played by her son, Varda's) in Los Angeles, looking for a place, and then moving in there. As Delphine Seyrig's voice narrates an inner life, the camera casts its gaze across bodies and faces, across the Los Angeleno beachfront architecture, taking in almost by accident this woman, and begins to follow her. There's a glorious sense of possibility, an openness to the people and…