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  • The Last Thing He Wanted

    The Last Thing He Wanted

    I'm sorry .... what?? Pynchon-ian in its incoherence. Knew something was up from the jump with Hathaway's awful voiceover dialogue: "Who let distance and basic difference decide whose man was left behind bleeding out ... Somewhere in the nod, we were dropping cargo, we were losing infrastructure, losing redundant systems, losing specific gravity. Weightlessness seemed, at the time, the safer mode, the mode in which we could beat both the clock and the affect itself." The narrative makes as much…

  • Downhill

    Downhill

    ★★

    A real dud, and not even just when directly compared to "Force Majeure". Of course it has none of Ostlund's subtleties, the quiet and painful humor, the little observations like the all-judging janitor in the cavernous hallways of the hotel. Purely on its own and separated from its brilliant source material, it's still just a boring dud, with no real contribution or reason to exist, even if it was a flawed reason like to Americanize the humor or mainstream the…

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  • American Factory

    American Factory

    ★★★★★

    The high of watching this movie honestly take on the crushing of unions, the dehumanization of labor towards greater speed and efficiency, the way that capitalism and the profit motive is the one thing that does not make for a significant culture clash (just maybe the severity of its brutality), was immediately sobered by the short "conversation with the Obamas and the filmmakers" segment that queued right after. Rather than focus on the inherent conflict between labor and management, of…

  • Parasite

    Parasite

    ★★★★½

    "Money is an iron. It smoothes out all the wrinkles."

    Capitalism makes fakers out of everyone. We embellish work experience or accomplishments on resumes, put down shoddy references, feign confidence in things we've never done. When five hundred college graduates are applying to be a security guard, people may be forced to scheme and cheat to attain a semblance of a chance. Last year we got "Shoplifters" and "Burning", more grounded takes on class and desperation, the way poverty grinds…