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  • The Blue Angel

    The Blue Angel

    ★★★★

    On the nature of image and its reproduction and distribution; on copies without an original. The Blue Angel becomes a reflection of its own unique position in the international cinema world of the early 30s (to paraphrase Patrice Petro).

    Features a veteran Jannings, building on previous German roles (by the end, he's once again an emasculated, humiliated clown-man) and a magical early effort from Dietrich. The contrast between their performances is striking. Her Lola Lola builds on Brooks' Lulu in…

  • Bridges-Go-Round

    Bridges-Go-Round

    ★★★★★

    A fascinating study of urban form that enables a fresh perspective of the city.

    Bridges-Go-Round recontextualizes everyday structures, leaving us with their full, otherworldly beauty---and chaos. Macero's score and the electronic score each interact with the images in their own way, producing entirely different effects. Clarke builds on Penny's Daybreak Express to create what is surely one of the most pioneering American works of the 50s.

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  • Miami Vice

    Miami Vice

    ★★★★

    I want to remember the cinema of the 2000s for stuff like this.

    Not for Eternal Sunshine, No Country, Donnie Darko, The Prestige, Amelie, Synecdoche, New York or any of that nonsense. Frankly, my reaction to each of these 6 movies is "eh, not terrible", if I'm feeling generous, or "that annoyed the shit out of me" if I'm being honest. My problem with these movies is that they either lack visual imagination, take themselves too seriously, tell stupid stories,…

  • The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie

    The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie

    ★★★★

    An early 70s update to The Rules of the Game. We could call it La Règle du Rêve.

    The funniest part of the film is how dead everything feels. Eating dinner is the only thing these people have, yet Buñuel consistently takes it away from them right when they're almost there. I took great delight in seeing these idiots fail over and over again.

    I love the priest-as-gardener, the road, and the "I've talked to him, that escaped Nazi is a perfect gentleman" line. Each incisive in their own way.

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  • Toni Erdmann

    Toni Erdmann

    ★★★★★

    Toni Erdmann or: Why Am I Crying in the Club RN

    Closing a film with Plainsong is a move right out of the Augie playbook. A while back, I learned of Nick Cave's concept of the Hiding Song. Plainsong was my first thought when I considered my own Hiding Songs. This is just a small part of the whole experience of the movie, but how this song is used reflects that I am entirely on the same wavelength as Maren Ade.

    This is probably the best film of the last decade.

    SP: If I Didn't Have Your Love - Leonard Cohen, 2016

  • The Piano

    The Piano

    ★★★★½

    New Zealand + lovely cinematography + women-oriented period drama + music as emotional communication + Sam Neill's beautiful ass + foggy gothic atmosphere + intense horniness + incredibly well-developed sense of place + Harvey Keitel's sweet ass = certified Augie classic.

    As a major proponent of NZ cinema, I had been waiting a long time for this to be added online somewhere. So glad The Channel finally put it up. It was everything I hoped it to be and more;…