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  • Le Samouraï

    Le Samouraï

    ★★★½

    Prowling around is serious business.  Tension builds smartly, deliberate rhythm.

  • The Assistant

    The Assistant

    ★★★

    I’d trust Julia to carry a film solely on her shoulders but Im not sure her talents were utilized well (expect for one scene).  She watches, listens, performs dozens of menial tasks with her bored/poised expression.  

    I’m of course disturbed by how complicit each of her coworkers are in the “situation.”  They act as if it’s a morally gray area or necessary evil.  This will stick with me.

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  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    ★★★★★

    Look 

    The pacing is elegant, tension and release is handled expertly like an Olympian pressing into then flying from the diving board.  Both leads’ demure exteriors melt into transparency, supporting characters grounding them to the reality of their divergent destinies.  Music is used so sparingly and necessarily that each time it‘s present it shook me and at times I couldn’t believe what I was watching.  The camera’s eye is unflinching as it patiently gazes on frames, sometimes subtle often tear-inducing, that could’ve only been made by a woman as generous and daring as Sciamma.

  • Persona

    Persona

    ★★★★½

    watching this film for the first time is an epiphany, the DNA of the psychological drama/horror genre is laced with Persona.  Ullman and Andersson’s faces are dynamic and complementary, like opposing crescents of the same moon.