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  • Film Title Poem

    Film Title Poem

    ★★★

    I wrote this review, and watched the film, before reading Jennifer West's introduction to the film. I am happy that I was able to mostly correctly deconstruct what I was watching, but the additional context is really nice to have.

    Of the many shorts I've seen that appropriate and then collage movie stills or sequences, I interpret Film Title Poem as one of the more appreciative ones. In it, Jennifer West shines a flashlight on many of the films in…

  • American Animals

    American Animals

    ★★½

    Much effort went into ensuring that I would recognize that I am being presented with unreliable details. The film goes Rashomon-lite (viewer must be like: which of you narrators can I trust?), which was ultimately an underused narrative element. Unfortunately, pitting narrator against narrator is not effective when the truth being picked apart is the most minor details (like what Person A was wearing during Incident A). 

    I had a bad attitude about all that because the cleverness/multiple perspectives/documentary-frame truly only…

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  • Personal Shopper

    Personal Shopper

    ★★★

    This ended up being more compelling than I expected. It was simple and genuine, and just scary enough. Considering how Kristen Stewart spends much of her time in transit, tired of living in Paris, and consuming media on her phone, this had momentum and felt natural.

    The film centers around "outsider" characters who believe in spiritualism, and it doesn't give their fringe beliefs a second thought. Many movies don't approach these kinds of people with respect. And then they, without…

  • A Ghost Story

    A Ghost Story

    ★★

    There are some things to like about A Ghost Story. It is decidedly minimal and refuses to let viewers understand the mechanics of life after death; and it is decidedly prototypical in when dealing with its (living) main characters (no full names, no back stories). It jumps between sad, long shots and jokey, cartoon aesthetics kinda effortlessly. All the while, the movie remains borderline fun—probably even for kids—without seeming tired or overproduced. 

    Still, I ended up feeling put off by…