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  • Columbus

    Columbus

    ★★★★★

    "I don't want to talk. We never talked. He was never interested. Why should I bother now?"

    A few weeks before he died, my Korean father lay resting in his UCLA hospital bed. I was sitting in a small chair between him and the window. I could see the 405 freeway, still under construction back then. He turned to me and asked if there was anything I wanted to ask him. We knew at this point he likely had less…

  • Everybody Knows

    Everybody Knows

    ★★★★★

    Asghar Farhadi makes family, crime dramas. Not dramas about crime families, not that genre. No, he shapes tragedies about crimes committed by family - bloodline justice sometimes more concerned with embarrassment and cultural ideology than the actual occurrence of a violation of lawful boundaries. This conceit is elevated to an entirely different level in his newest, first Spanish-language film, Everybody Knows (a brilliant, deceptively simple title). About Elly's (2009) titular character, betrothed to another man, unbeknownst to the family she's…

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  • The Day After

    The Day After

    ★★★

    Pleasant surprise that this was on Prime; it wasn't a few months ago. Sometimes some of Hong's films pop up on certain streaming services (Fandor, Kanopy, etc), sometimes the DVDs are super cheap on Amazon, and others are never on sale or impossible to find. This is the first of his features (that I've seen) that I do not believe requires a revisit. Feels like a banal play that didn't need to be filmed, but the artist happened to be…

  • On the Beach at Night Alone

    On the Beach at Night Alone

    ★★★★½

    Okay... yeah... wow.

    I need to sit on this. Perplexed by part 1's relation to the whole and am specifically intrigued by window washing dude in section 2; sure there's some connnection I missed. Another Hong film full of small moments and loud conversations that both command your attention all throughout watching and demand to be revisited the instant emotion leaves you.

    That... that... ending...

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  • Phantom Thread

    Phantom Thread

    ★★★★★

    I honestly don’t know where PTA goes from here. DDL ordering breakfast food is going to be nigh impossible to top.

  • Shirkers

    Shirkers

    ★★★★½

    The moderator of the Q&A, at the recently renovated New Beverly Cinema in Hollywood, started to tear up at the start of the conversation. I haven’t been back to Singapore since I was eleven, he told Sandi Tan, the film’s director. You captured the loss of innocence experienced during childhood, he reflected; a surreal world that no longer exists the same way it did once you reach adulthood, Kevin Kwan, the author of Crazy Rich Asians (the moderator) told his…