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  • Flowing

    Flowing

    ★★★★★

    Even more so than Hitchcock, although not quite in the same psychoanalytical terms, Naruse Mikio had a penchant for doubling his characters, especially women. As Chris Fujiwara has rightly pointed out, it is fairly common for a Naruse heroine to have a "rival or mirror image, whom she finds waiting when she turns a new corner, who legitimately possesses the man to whom the heroine has at best a moral or sentimental claim, or who stands as a living reproach…

  • Shuddh Desi Romance

    Shuddh Desi Romance

    ★★★★

    Unlike most major mainstream film industries, Bollywood has never quite experienced a phase where neorealism became the primary aesthetic and ideological model. On the other hand, it has normally served as the foundation for the various waves of alternative/parallel cinema that have come and gone.

    Maneesh Sharma’s Shudh Desi Romance is part of an ever-expanding group of recent popular Indian movies that espouse many of the key tenets of neorealism, especially focusing on working-class individuals and location work. Sharma’s own…

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  • Jackie Brown

    Jackie Brown

    ★★★★★

    "What the fuck happened to you, man? Your ass used to be beautiful."

    Whenever great Robert De Niro performances are discussed, his work in Jackie Brown rarely comes up. It’s understandable: his role is a supporting turn; this relatively low-key, leisurely paced character study about aging and ambition didn’t generate the kind of buzz and box office expected from a Quentin Tarantino film after Pulp Fiction (1994); and there are, arguably, four other equally great performances in the film (by…

  • The Immigrant

    The Immigrant

    ★★★★★

    [Favorites—2010s]

    While Gordon Willis's work on Coppola’s The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather: Part II (1974) is being evoked ad nauseum in relation to Darius Khondji’s exquisite, sepia-tinted cinematography in James Gray's The Immigrant—and not without merit, although autochrome photography and the pictures by painters related to the so-called Ashcan School of the early twentieth century played a significant role in determining the look—what also needs to be acknowledged is the debt the film owes to Fellini’s La strada (1954).…