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  • The Death of Louis XIV

    The Death of Louis XIV

    ★★★★½

    According to Bazin, Louis XIV was content to survive in his portrait by Le Brun. The same portrait that hangs in the background as he dies in this allegory.

    Comparisons with Rossellini's The Taking of Power by Louis XIV are inevitable. That film ended with Louis uttering the words that neither the sun nor death can be gazed upon fixedly. Louis became the sun. But in Ecclesiastes it is written, "I have seen something else under the sun: The race…

  • The Strange Case of Angelica

    The Strange Case of Angelica

    ★★★★★

    Came into this expecting a love story, but I found even more.

    I saw a horror film about a photographer who hallucinates and dreams in motion pictures, and even more frightening, a film about non-time and non-being. It is the fright of a film chronotope that exists within a larger contemporaneous world and whose modernity is established in longs shots of the city at night and day. The house of the photographer's landlady, the labor on the farm fields, and…

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  • Pompeii

    Pompeii

    ★★★★

    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…