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  • Raw

    Raw

    ★★★★

    Raw is a French Ginger Snaps for a whole new generation. Dead in the scene but together forever! Mesmerizing in its grotesquerie, the film is not just another dark metaphor for adolescence. This also comes with a very generous helping of extreme body horror. Not since In My Skin had I watched something so squirm-inducing. In particular THAT moment—you’ll know when you see it—will make an indelible impression on anybody. The way the music shifts from gentle strings to absolutely gnarly, Suspiria-esque synths is nothing short of chilling. And strong performances, especially from lead actress Garance Marillier, make this top-of-the-line horror for me.

  • Bakuman

    Bakuman

    ★★★

    I don’t particularly have a fondness for shounen mangas/animes these days (think One Piece or Attack on Titan, ditto on the overrated Death Note) since they have an unfortunate tendency for pandering to the lowest common denominator, so I really have no business watching this—but, turns out it’s actually fun, especially for a work of metafiction. The film focuses on the creative process behind these publications, which is then depicted like a grand shounen adventure of solidarity and overcoming the…

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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…