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  • Drowning Love

    Drowning Love

    ★★★½

    From 20-something filmmaker Yuki Yamato comes this aching but aesthetically appealing portrait of amour fou among two young and restless people à la old-school Leos Carax. It’s sweet, sad, and curiously provocative; needless to say, I like it a lot. In her best performance yet, Nana Komatsu basically plays another version of herself, a budding model in the throes of adulthood, and it’s so meta in an interesting way. She plays opposite her Destruction Babies co-star Masaki Suda, another really…

  • As One

    As One

    ★★★

    As One centers on the 1991 ping-pong world championship, a remarkable sporting event which saw South Korea and North Korea joining forces for the first and last time. The unified Korean team went on to beat the Chinese world champs in a symbolic and very emotional final match-up. This compelling true story is K-dramafied here into an exciting albeit super soapy movie. Its portrayal of the shaky North-South relationship is something we’ve seen many times before. Further, for a sports…

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  • Upstream Color

    Upstream Color

    ★★★★★

    Shane Carruth’s alluring Upstream Color is Invasion of the Body Snatchers for the art house crowd, with hogs replacing pods and identity crisis substituting for McCarthyism. That may be an awfully crude comparison but it’s the overall gist I got as I watched this beguiling, beautiful film. One thing’s for sure, the plot’s mind-control science fiction aspect plays only second fiddle to the transcendent yet universal overarching theme of emotional resonance in people in the vein of Henry David Thoreau’s…

  • Post Tenebras Lux

    Post Tenebras Lux

    ★★★★½

    Contemplative cinema can be a bitch. This most elusive of art house varieties has repeatedly rendered me awestruck, but at the same time hopelessly nonplussed all at once. With that said, the sensory experience waiting in store for viewers in Post Tenebras Lux, perhaps the most idiosyncratic and abstract work to date from Mexican, transcendental filmmaker Carlos Reygadas, can be quite overwhelming and intimidating. If one is unfamiliar with the director’s influences—namely Robert Bresson, Carl Theodore Dreyer, Roberto Rossellini, and…