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  • Wings of Desire

    Wings of Desire

    ★★★★★

    It’s been a year since I started out on Letterboxd, so I thought I’d mark my anniversary by posting a review of my favourite film. It’s a long review, and personal at times, and contains some spoilers, so there you go - a few excuses for you not to read it! But thanks if any of you other Wings of Desire diehards do wade through it to the end. 

    I recently had the pleasure of chatting about Wings with Dubthrone on…

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey

    2001: A Space Odyssey

    ★★★★★

    Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is an open-ended film that allows people to interpret it in different ways that are personal to them. What I saw when I watched it this time was music. Not in a synaesthesia sense of seeing when hearing, but in a structural and thematic sense, as if it were a symphony composed for film. Kubrick was one of the best directors when it came to using music, he seemed to understand it better than…

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  • Letter from Paris

    Letter from Paris

    ★★½

    I watched Walerian Borowczyk’s documentary about Paris in the 1970s while going for a run on the treadmill. It was kind of nice, like jogging through the retro streets of Paris to a constant cacophony of cars. The film itself is a curiosity - a non-narrative, fast-cutting, vérité view of Paris from street level. There’s very little of the tourist brochure about this. Borowczyk seems more interested in ParisIan life than its art and architecture. His survey of people has…

  • System Crasher

    System Crasher

    ★★★½

    Benni is a nine year old victim of past traumas that have left her quick to anger. And what eruptive anger she wields, like a toddler’s rage only far more potent. She is covered in grazes and bruises from her frequent skirmishes, but in between incidents she’s a fairly typical girl of her age, with adorable high spirits and a childish vulnerability, and with unquestioning love for her mother. Yet her mother is barely able to manage her own life…

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  • Tenet

    Tenet

    ★★½

    When I was a teenager I used to delight in playing my LPs backwards and listening out for all those Satanic messages. I bet that if you played Tenet backwards you’d hear the devil mutter something palindromic like “what the fuck the what”

    Now I’m not one to say this film made no sense at all, in fact when the music shut up for long enough that I was able to hear what the characters were actually saying, well, there…

  • The Fountain

    The Fountain

    ★★

    I couldn’t connect with this at all. To my mind The Fountain deals superficially with grief and amplifies it to the point of narcissism. Its over-acted anguish is propelled by an ambitious fantasy of time-separated stories linked by heavy-handed metaphors made literal like The Tree of Life’s sap being a source of immortality. The dialogue is comprehensively naff, and treads a line that manages to be tub-thumpingly banal and infuriatingly cryptic at the same time. Science and belief fight it out…