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  • Rear Window

    Rear Window

    ★★★★★

    I was reading a review, which caused me to watch the movie again (as if excuses were needed!), which cast this film as an examination of the male gaze, written from the point of view of modern feminist thinking. To defuse the inferences that could be wrought; wrung out of a soaking cloth of implication to collect the muddy water, so wrung, I'll speak in terms of a cause, any cause; given that the feminist movement has the right to…

  • In Secret

    In Secret

    ★★★★★

    I went looking for this but came across a three part version of the BBC's "Therese Raquin" from 1979, with Brian Cox, Alan Rickman and Kenneth Cranham; all looking stunningly fresh faced. I craved some Zola nastiness and this showed the rancid, dark alleys of Paris; a moss ridden, slimy walled birthplace of noir. Cox is marvellous as the simpering blowhard Laurent who Zola wanted to respond with his senses instead of his head, heart or soul. The incarnation of…

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  • Whiplash

    Whiplash

    ★★★★★

    Looking for Charlie Parker.

    Astonishing. Pitch perfect.

    The extraordinary ability to communicate musical obsession but also the power and perfection of a musical form like jazz. To do this in a second art form is remarkable. Using the language of cinema to transmit the beauty of music is what stuns me about this film. It would be enough to embrace the technicalities of jazz but to compose an expression in film form is the directors gift and achievement.

    Don't you…

  • Raw Deal

    Raw Deal

    ★★★★½

    So here's how you incorporate some of that ineffable visual poetry into a b-movie à la Moonrise, and still keep the engines of hell chugging along. The deadweight of a small moon (that's no moon) settles onto your shoulders and pins you. "Ominous" is the word of the day. Raymond Burr does something with the villain akin to a Shakespearean cad, just a lot more vicious. Always with two or three intentions to every action. He isn't the only shining…