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  • Miracle in Milan

    Miracle in Milan

    ★★★★

    While it may seem uncharacteristic to have the director of Shoeshine and Bicycle Thieves direct a fairy tale, this is De Sica's desperate attempt to give the poor a happy outcome. A more grounded film would be less realistic, as it takes a wish-granting miracle to free the destitute.

  • Send Me to the Clouds

    Send Me to the Clouds

    ★★½

    The pressure to conform to societys expectations in an increasinly disconnected society leads to alienation. This has been covered many times. Send Me to the Clouds differentiates itself by abstracting from the indidual struggle, covering the various forms of labor people submit themselves to to earn validation. This is accomplished with some levity, and the soft hued cloud-covered backdrops make this an enjoyable viewing experience. Regarding the gender politics, the criticism is pointed and doesn't impede the script. While its merits are with the lead actress, this was an impressive directorial debut.

  • India: Matri Bhumi

    India: Matri Bhumi

    ★★★½

    From my understanding the filming of this movie was a fairly transformative period for Rossellini. It was when he became fully committed to making "scientific" movies, which as a description of his style is absurd. Regardless, there is a clear distinction between his later often biographical movies from the style of his older neorealist movies. This was also around the time when he broke up with his muse, Ingrid Bergman.

    When watching this movie, while it is clear what enchanted…

  • So Is This

    So Is This

    ★★★★

    How is this different from reading a script? It unfolds diachronically. Structuralist cinema, get dabbed on. So is this parole. Jakobson's critique of Saussure is ever prescient.

  • Chinese Checkers

    Chinese Checkers

    ★★

    What elicits the transformation depicted in this short? As the camera pans in and back out, the roles of the two ladies are reversed, illustrated by their changing demeanor and face. The ladies pose for the camera attempting perhaps to control their narrative, but it siphons their essence and transfers it to the other. The agent of change is thus the camera, which exerts its power strongest given a face, due to their innately resonate nature. Although it is one of Dwoskin's earliest films, this concept will be a reoccurring theme over his entire filmography.

  • Color Film

    Color Film

    ★½

    Someone should tell Mr. Lawder that black and white are shades, not colours.

  • Nazarin

    Nazarin

    ★★★★½

    This minor Bunuel is notable for being his clearest explication of his religious beliefs, or lack thereof. Or is it? Amongst the reviews and discussions ive found online by commentators there appears to be no consensus on Bunuels disposition towards Christianity, specifically christian ethics. To me the stance taken by the movie is clear; but nuanced. There is no mindless shitting on christianity theists like to accuse atheists of, but his gavel definitively slams down on the side of nonbeliever,…

  • The Young and the Damned

    The Young and the Damned

    ★★★★

    Bunuel takes on poverty, part 2. This time the take is more pessimistic as the bums and vagrants eat their own more rather than the surprisingly benevolent authorities. Maybe this was to evade censors, but the authoritative figures seem to care about the plight of the street kids, the juvie seems rehabilitative and the judges are sympathetic. This isnt to say the lower castes are selfish and brutal, but they are desperate, they dont have the the resources to look…

  • Cold War

    Cold War

    ★★★½

    I dig movies that have romances unfold in unique ways. Especially when its done as elegantly as in Cold War.

    Cold War is an ambitious movie, in 90 minutes it chews through 2 decades of history while developing its romance. Yes it glosses over most historical events, and yes it skips major parts of its two lover's lives but that is what makes it so impressive: it leaves enough for the viewer to piece together the pertinent information left out…

  • L'Atalante

    L'Atalante

    ★★★★★

    Near the climax of L'Atalante, the separated lovers writhe together in a shockingly erotic montage. Accompanied by a tipsy brass band, they engage in sex-at-a-distance, or at least that is what is being insinuated with some seamless dissolves. This one scene contains all the ingredients for a masterpiece: the pulsing emotion, the technical virtuosity, the sublime. Plus its also pretty sexy. It reveals the true extent of what the couple had had and had lost.

    This is but one scene…

  • Noroi: The Curse

    Noroi: The Curse

    ★★★★★

    If I could I would rate this more than 5 stars