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  • Between Two Wars

    Between Two Wars

    ★★★★

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    A film is like a battleground. But not exactly in the manner of Samuel Fuller’s romantic aphorism in Pierrot Le Fou. Film history is in reality the history of film distribution, just like the modern history of war is the history of its distribution. A camera and the film industry, a rifle and the munitions industry are analogous in that order. The abundance of munitions and the lack of it; the privilege of misfires. The dividing line is between…

  • The Childhood of a Leader

    The Childhood of a Leader

    ★★½

    Brady Corbet's sentences are Haneke's ultimate grammar, which in Haneke's films is in part a misunderstanding of the emotions stemming from Bresson's models-actors in period films. Or to state it in two sentences: Haneke's repeated regurgitations of the violence at the end of Lancelot du Lac, taking no lessons from the sentimental education of Bresson's semiotic staging where the visual signs correspond to an exposure of a way and a time; or in Bresson's own words: "confusing pessimism with lucidity."…

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  • Pompeii

    Pompeii

    ★★★½

    I saw Pompeii to have a laugh at vulgar auteurists. But, my God, I didn't laugh. I saw a great deal that was strange, even stupid. But I also saw CGI that was delicate, almost too sensitive. A city washed through by the ocean and ravaged by fireballs. Impossible details. The earth fissured into catacombs. I felt as though I touched and heard the panic of doomed lives struggling with their fate. No sound came from their breasts as they embraced alone when the fire engulfed them. My God, I didn't laugh.

  • New Rose Hotel

    New Rose Hotel

    ★★★★★

    Ferrara’s most remarkable film because of its incompleteness, which due to the nature of the medium (in dissolves, cuts, ellipses), is a totality by omission. That Sandii is Pandora armed not with a box but a computer disc is an afterthought. What is truly disconcerting is the fusion between dream, memory, and video recording that permeates throughout the film. X’s recollections during the latter half of the film in particular constitute a cinematic stream of consciousness that I’ve only encountered…