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  • An Autumn Afternoon

    An Autumn Afternoon

    ★★★★★

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

    Ozu’s final film looks again at the problem of the upper middle class marrying off daughters, with another variant in perspective. But like “Good Morning” and “ Kohayagawa Family” there is some shift back towards the comedy and nansensu stylings of the 1930s films that were once Ozu's bread and butter. And the opening credits seems to confirm this call back to 30s comedies, instead of the familiar cross hatched brown (tatami mats? Burlap?), of Ozu’s post-war films, this films…

  • Late Spring

    Late Spring

    ★★★★★

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

    When doing what’s right (by social expectations) is wrong (for the individuals) every person involved winds up unhappy and less well off and separated from the family they truly and deeply love. 

    The fascinating balance of the film is that it manages to critique the universality of behavior society requires without discarding the institutions that society is trying to enforce.

    That is to say the film does an admirable defense of marriage but also is extremely insistent upon this point,…

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  • Ethnic Notions

    Ethnic Notions

    ★★★★★

    Outstanding documentary that covers a centuries long sweep of racist stereotypes in an hour and hits every punch and lands every blow. Effective, clear, concise: brilliant. The writing and editing and direction are so good it’s awe inspiring.

  • Chop Shop

    Chop Shop

    ★★★½

    Impeccable performances and script about a couple of kids hustling their way through NYC auto body shops. Kind of meandering, cheery, frank and relentless the film has a nice vibe to it.

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  • Jojo Rabbit

    Jojo Rabbit

    ★★★★★

    A film with a miraculous balance of tone and sentiment that manages to find sweetness and humanity and forgiveness in the darkest of times and offer a narrative path of humor and absurdity to counterpoint a story of the terrifying indoctrination of children and the creeping insidious terror of fascism and authoritarianism. 

    Let us not forget that children becoming fanatics selling out their parents and loved ones is no laughing matter and rooted deeply in history particularly the history of the 30s-50s. The real stories of children like Jojo are far darker and more disturbing than this fable—but we have to have hope.

  • Creed

    Creed

    ★★★★★

    A superb film from start to finish that is just about perfect in every way. From fantastic performances, a great script, stunning cinematography and steadicam choreogepahy, flawless, brilliantly paced editing from the moments of intimacy where the film takes its time to the energetic and throwback style of the final twelve round fight.

    But what is most impressive of all is that this film has a beautifully realized theme about identity and place in the world—which perfectly dovetails with the…