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  • Late Marriage

    Late Marriage

    ★★★★

    Part of March Around the World 2017

    “You like to see me suffer, don’t you?”

    Religion—one of the great undiscussable topics of Thanksgiving dinners and family reunions everywhere—is, at the risk of stating the obvious, a vexing topic. On a macro level, much good and much ill can be and has been done in its name. One need not look far, whether to the Crusades or to ISIS, to find examples of atrocity overlain with a veneer of divine superiority;…

  • The Housemaid

    The Housemaid

    ★★★★

    Part of March Around the World 2017

    “Why did you lie?” “Your parents taught me how to.”

    For a certain stripe of cinephile, the “lost film” is something of an obsession, as demonstrated by Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation and its tireless restoration efforts. Figures vary as to how many movies have vanished—in 2013, the Library of Congress estimated that 75% of silent-era pictures have been permanently lost—but what is certain is that, between fires and wars and simple neglect, many…

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  • Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler

    ★★★★

    “On TV it looks so real.”

    The chonmage was a traditional Japanese male hairstyle, usually associated with the samurai of the Edo period. Consisting of long hair oiled and tied into a topknot (commonly with the top of the head shaved), it is the formal name of what might colloquially be called the “samurai bun.” While it began as a practical device—the knot was used to hold the samurai’s helmet in place—it eventually became a status symbol in Japanese culture,…

  • Se7en

    Se7en

    ★★★★½

    Part of Hoop-Tober

    “Anyone who spends a significant amount of time with me finds me disagreeable.”

    Gluttony

    He has taken on too much. Det. David Mills (Brad Pitt), deliberately uprooting his wife, Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow), from upstate and dragging her to this lurid hellhole, all out of a naïve desire to save the world. So much ambition, he nearly chokes on it. So much chatter, he sucks all the air from the room.

    Det. William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) long ago…