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  • Tokyo Story

    Tokyo Story

    ★★½

    Tokyo Story did not have the emotional impact that I expected it to have. Everybody from Roger Ebert to my good friend Sally had promised me that this was going to leave me feeling devastated. Throughout its slow moving 136 minutes, I remained decidedly unmoved. There was something synthetic about the emotions displayed on screen and even though I could always tell how I was supposed to be feeling, the manipulation never quite worked. It did not feature the sort…

  • But I'm a Cheerleader

    But I'm a Cheerleader

    ★★★

    The romantic comedy genre tends to cop a lot of flack for spreading negative messages about socially constructed gender roles and topical social issues. People like to point out the fact that it tends to reflect the most traditional, safe ideas and target middle class, conservative audiences who are not comfortable with challenging the status quo. These criticisms do hold some weight, as The Ugly Truth (2009) implied that career women are essentially inept and need a sexist man’s to…

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  • Pickpocket

    Pickpocket

    ★★★½

    As I have found myself trying to watch more classic European arthouse films, I have found myself struggling with the fact that so many of them are not meant to be satisfying on a narrative level. The stories and characters featured in them are meant to serve as vehicles for the director to show off fancy camerawork and have the characters spew out paragraphs of ‘dialogue’ that sound more like excerpts from an academic paper on philosophical skepticism. They are…

  • Secretary

    Secretary

    ★★★★½

    BDSM isn’t often featured in romantic comedies and when it is, it is usually depicted as a creepy kink that disgusting deviants are into. There will be a sight gag involving a woman who has been tied up or a cowed man who is being ordered around by his girlfriend. We’re meant to believe that these are sick, sick people who deserve to be mocked and ridiculed. There is no consideration of what they get out of their sexual fetishes…