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  • Stranger by the Lake

    Stranger by the Lake

    ★★★★½

    Review from my VOD column "This Week on Demand"

    What curious creatures we humans are, with the intelligence to understand our animalistic urges yet not the inhibitions to overcome them. Fatty food, we understand, tastes good to trick us into eating it aplenty. So it is with sex, procreation and pleasure inherently intertwined, evolutionary urges linking lust and love under the auspices of attraction. Stranger by the Lake is a microcosmic masterpiece, its streamlined screenplay and sole setting condensing these…

  • God's Own Country

    God's Own Country

    ★★★★

    Featuring two of the best sex scenes I've seen onscreen in some time, for very different reasons that—taken together—anchor the movie's take on sexuality and sensuality. One is a rough-and-tumble roll through muddy fields that's vividly *hot*, speaking to the voracious desire that comes of wants unfulfilled and the animalistic thrill of the discovery of another's coveted body. It's immensely physical, trading on Lee's impressive ability to render his characters and their internal lives in tactility, tied to the rugged…

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  • Documenteur

    Documenteur

    ★★★★

    Not Varda's best, but among the best exemplars of her boundless empathetic imagination, and its ability to yield internal lives that make us feel less alone. The clear personal parallels bring a weight, and fleeting shots to others eyes—their glances and gazes—remind that our every subjectivity is shared, in some respect. I found it deeply, deeply moving, and direct in a way i eagerly await further viewings to accentuate.

  • Pauline

    Pauline

    ★★★★

    Every bit as raw and wrenching an ending as Portrait of a Lady on Fire, almost ten years in advance. Sciamma may only now be reaching the level of regard she deserves, but it's been clear for some time she's among the very best filmmakers working. I wish all queer cinema had this level of complexity, and the ability to do so much with so little. Available on YouTube.

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  • Enter the Void

    Enter the Void

    ★★★★½

    Certain films you love because they touch you personally. Others you love because they tell a story so gripping you feel part of it yourself. Some you love for their part in shaping you as a cinephile, even as a person. Then there are the handful of films you love simply because you must love: because they represent so bold an authorial vision, so striking a view of the world, so wholly unique a perspective on life through cinema, that…

  • Werckmeister Harmonies

    Werckmeister Harmonies

    ★★★★★

    Why do I hold Werckmeister Harmonies aloft as the greatest film I have ever seen? A huge part of it, admittedly, and the thing that makes me think it will remain my favourite film to the day I die, is its profound personal relevance. I first saw the film about 5 years ago now, at a time when my interest in cinema was in the very very earliest stages of blossoming. It blew me away. Takes that long, images that…