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  • Medea

    Medea

    ★★½

    A bleak retelling of the ancient tragedy from Euripides makes sense for von Trier. His interpretation draws heavily from Dreyer, whom the script is based but also whom von Trier claims was in "constant telepathic communication" with during shooting. It checks out. Dreyer had a thing for cinematic female suffering and degradation, but where Dreyer focused on spiritual feminist theodicies von Trier seems more interested in raw, intellectual revenge tales. 

    Medea is a sympathetic, fascinating character, part feminist, part demon,…

  • Hereditary

    Hereditary

    ★★★★

    Hereditary is a vessel for eerie, unrelenting fear. 

    It does what the best kind of horror films do. It moves you beyond the outward horror imagined onscreen and takes you inward to the horror that exists in the soul. I've seen it twice now and there's something about it I can't quite shake. I don't even care that it's particularly jumbled, not well-trimmed, in parts not well-acted, well-scripted, or even how some moments feel humorously on-the-nose. All that pales in…

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  • First Reformed

    First Reformed

    ★★★★★

    FIRST REFORMED is an old, beat up, ultimately wise Paul Schrader in dialogue with a young, vigilante, TAXI DRIVER Paul Schrader. Imagine watching a pastor pray in the fiercest, darkest, soul-searching of ways with Travis Bickle. Imagine the insights of that film. That’s FIRST REFORMED. Both films are masterpieces. But they’re masterpieces x 1000 when seen in bloody, hellbent conversation. Oh, and throw in Bergman’s WINTER LIGHT and Bresson’s DIARY OF A COUNTRY PRIEST for good measure. They’re in there too but updated with a modern, existential context.

  • Silence

    Silence

    ★★★★½

    Hot take: If your version of Christianity does not link divinity with humanity, you suffer from an extremely bad religious metaphysics. If your brand of worship causes you to preserve faith at the expense of human lives murdered, you’ve committed yourself to a very dangerous form of idolatry. When religious images take primacy over pumping hearts, consider your faith dead, good for nothing. There are very humane reasons for this. The concept of God may very well belong to religion,…