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  • True Love

    True Love

    ★★★★

    I'm still thinking about the passing of Jonathan Demme, so I was even more attuned to the particular mix of clear-eyed empathy and comic degression in Nancy Savoca's feature debut. A multitude of perspectives colors the preparation and follow-through of the wedding of an uneasy young Bronx couple (Annabella Sciorra and Ron Eldard), culminating in a very ambiguous ending. Nobody's off the hook, but nobody's less than fully rounded and human either.

  • The Life of Chikuzan

    The Life of Chikuzan

    ★★★

    Picaresque biopic of blind shamisen player Chikuzan Takahashi and his travails through pre-WWII Japan. He makes for a fairly static protagonist, and his brief bursts of agency cause him nothing but grief. The film gains real poignancy by having Chikuzan himself introduce and conclude it.

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  • Jodorowsky's Dune

    Jodorowsky's Dune

    ★★½

    Could this have been a game-changing psychedelic, philosophical sci-fi epic of gargantuan proportions, somehow bankrolled by a Hollywood studio? I guess, but I sure as hell wouldn't have ponied up the money for a project like this, with only a weighty scrapbook and a surrealistic supergroup helmed by an excitable madman to recommend it.

    The movie itself is badly-shot auteur-stroking of the highest order, as indulgent of its subject as Jodorowsky is of himself, but the art and imagery do…

  • In the Cut

    In the Cut

    ★★★★

    A drifting intellectual late-bloomer's sexual awakening in the guise of an erotic thriller, unfairly if understandably maligned by viewers hoodwinked by advertising and unaccustomed to whodunits slathered in atmosphere and psychology at the expense of rollercoaster theatrics, put off by a reckless and glistening camera too busy charting the headspace of isolated and sexually paranoid Meg Ryan (fearless and vulnerable and as willing to shed her on-screen past as her character is to shed her depressed, idealistic innocence) faced with…