Jesse Lowenthal

Jesse Lowenthal

raindrops keep fallin' on my head

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  • Patty Hearst

    Patty Hearst

    ★★★½

    The film’s morals fail to sit comfortably in one place, seamlessly jumping from demonizing the protagonist’s kidnappers to revealing their motives as an act of desperation from a systematically oppressed militia then back to critiquing the sheer absurdity of their beliefs. Even at that, the holes (one of the film’s tasteful visual motifs) in both side’s efforts are made painfully clear: nobody’s right, but they’re not wrong either.

    Paul Schrader forces audience engagement with Patty Hearst’s essentially paradoxical morality system,…

  • Light of Day

    Light of Day

    Film is a visual medium, this goes without saying. Visual stimuli is to the medium what instruments are to music. You can write lyrics all day, but if you haven’t got a melody to carry that voice, people won’t stick around. When a film like Light of Day comes around, with it’s surprisingly nuanced family driven narrative, all-star cast and memorable score, it’s even more tragic seeing all of it go to waste at the hands of some painfully bland visuals.

    Narratively, Paul Schrader’s heart was in it.
    Visually, he couldn’t spare a beat.

    It takes a visual genius to make a film this ugly.

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  • The Irishman

    The Irishman

    ★★½

    It's easy to deduce a nearly four hour film as an epic of unprecedented proportions. I mean, this is a Scorsese film and he usually makes exceptional films and the Irishman's story is a fairly cerebral one so it must be a masterpiece, right?

    Scorsese's revisionist gangster film covers an assortment of themes concerning the repercussions intrinsic to leading a life of transgression and how those that suffer the most from this self-destructive lifestyle are those closest to the perpetrators.…

  • California Split

    California Split

    ★★★

    As I watched Elliot Gould's character nonchalantly beat a man over a gambling dispute, take his money, then proceed to tell a passerby to call an ambulance as the man had just attempted suicide all while sporting a bloodied broken nose, it became clear that California Split's relentless critique on gambling culture would be one of Robert Altman's most potent.

    After having found Altman's prior directorial effort: 1974's Thieves like Us, to be inconsequential at best, I was expecting yet…