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  • Close-Up

    Close-Up

    ★★★★★

    There are many movies about the love of movies – Quentin Tarantino has made an entire career for himself off the backs of the films he grew up loving – but perhaps no single film captures the eccentric spirituality of cinephilia quite as uniquely or beautifully as Abbas Kiarostami’s Close-Up. A singular work of art that blends the genres of fiction and documentary so ingeniously that they all but disintegrate, the 1990 film is many things: a self-reflexive love letter…

  • The Spirit of the Beehive

    The Spirit of the Beehive

    ★★★

    Thinking back on your childhood, it might be hard to recollect the first movie you remember seeing, but it’s probably very easy to remember the first movie that truly frightened you. As a child, one of the first movies I remember genuinely scaring me was Steven Spielberg‘s Jaws. I don’t remember any of the specifics of watching it – where I was, who I was with, or how I reacted to certain scenes – but what I do recall is…

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  • Kill List

    Kill List

    ★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    As a disorienting crime thriller channeling middle class, post-Iraq/recession rage (in the vein of something like Andrew Dominik's Killing Them Softly), I thought this was quite engaging. But then it wastes all that unique texture on stale tropes and frankly amateurish ambiguity that everything that came before it suddenly became painfully trite. There are times, in horror, when an abrupt pivot from tense realism to full-blown genre iconography works quite well (The Descent and Audition come first to mind). But…

  • Marie Antoinette

    Marie Antoinette

    ★★★★

    Kirsten Dunst >>>>>>>>>>>

    2020 Watchlist 28/100

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  • Taxi Driver

    Taxi Driver

    ★★★★★

    There's a moment in Taxi Driver when Travis Bickle is balancing his TV set with his foot. There's a light tension in the air as it oscillates back and forth between the force of his foot and gravity. Ultimately it falls over, and its assured destruction is perhaps the film's most obvious parallel to Travis's own downward spiral. Teetering on the edge in his own mental illness and isolation, Travis is very much that TV set.

  • The Last Black Man in San Francisco

    The Last Black Man in San Francisco

    ★★★

    look, don't get me wrong. I love messy, incoherent art that throws everything it's got against the wall hoping something will stick. but I needed something more here - something, anything - to latch onto.

    there's so much in this that I like - the gorgeously saturated cinematography, the lush score, the crisp editing, the hesitant performances - but I can't help but feel something in the narrative is missing. 2 hours was a lot to sit through when most of the middle felt superfluous.

    in any case, I don't get to hate this because I didn't love it.