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  • Milla

    Milla

    ★★★★★

    I was too low to write about much last year, let alone last fall, so I missed the opportunity to write about Milla when I first saw it, which is a real shame because Milla was the best film of last year by a pretty enormous margin. Ethically, Massadian is supreme. I find it incredibly telling that Sean Baker panned it, since that about explains how he was capable of producing a film as cruel as The Florida Project. With…

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  • The Defect

    The Defect

    ★★★

    A middling effort, yes, but composition is still key. Part of the advantage of keeping a common stock of actors is that Feuillade was able to get it to where he could keep them acting for long stretches of time without cutting, which is basically what occurs here; the first shot alone is nearly four minutes long with only intertitles as superficially imposed breaks for the audience. Even still, Feuillade has the blocking on lock - even in the most chaotic of frames, all of its elements are organized to point us at the person or object of interest.

  • Shepherdess of Ivry

    Shepherdess of Ivry

    ★★★

    Mostly of little note but I am excited by two things: (1) how busy many of his frames are, staged in such a way that doesn't naturally draw our attention to any particular focus, which creates the possibility for some minor narrative sleight of hand; and (2) to the extent that this film may be lazily described as stage-y, it is worth stressing that MT is working very consciously in depth, sometimes getting uncomfortably close to his actors (reminds me…

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  • Roma

    Roma

    ½

    "Foucault wanted to write a history of madness itself, that is madness speaking on the basis of of its own experience and under its own authority, and not a history of madness described from within the language of reason, the language of psychiatry on madness [...]

    "It is a question, therefore, of escaping the trap or objectivist naiveté that would consist in writing a history of untamed madness, of madness as it carries itself and breathes before being caught and…

  • Silence

    Silence

    ★½

    If there's any one thing I truly hate about the West, it's how it always positions itself as the advocate of "free choice" in the face of a totalitarian Other. Countless times, this excuse has been used as a justification for overwhelmingly imperialist action, a sort of ideological bait-and-switch where "freedom" necessarily makes non-Western culture inferior and non-Westerners subordinate to the hegemony of the West.

    I might compare Silence to White Material, in the sense that both are essentially colonist…