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  • Dragonwyck

    Dragonwyck

    ★★★★

    More than just a genre film — which was all I was led to believe this was — Dragonwyck presents a meaningful mythology about the social origins of the United States, one that resonates with the feminist populism of today. Cinematography by Arthur C. Miller, score by Alfred Newman, peak Tierney, peak Price. This is a classic.

  • Oh, Woe Is Me

    Oh, Woe Is Me

    ★★★★

    This is the best cinematography I have seen in a Godard film, and I have seen most of them by this point. It comes courtesy of the great Caroline Champetier (Toute une Nuit, Le Pont du Nord, Holy Motors), and it might be my favorite work of hers, too.

    As for the film, Godard is obviously heartbroken at political events of the time, namely the collapse of the Soviet Union and the horrific implosion of Yugoslavia. In great distress, using…

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  • Harvest: 3,000 Years

    Harvest: 3,000 Years

    ★★★★★

    This is the 3,000th film in my First Tier (at least four stars). And what an exemplary piece of filmmaking it is. Why did it take me so long to see it? The more films you watch, the stronger the imperative you feel to watch the rest. “What, you’ve seen all those movies, but you haven’t seen this one?” the conscience asks. “Do you have something against Ethiopia [or whatever country, race, or lifestyle is represented in whatever hypothetical movie…

  • Taste of Cherry

    Taste of Cherry

    ★★★★★

    I am deeply saddened today by the loss of one of the world’s greatest filmmakers, Abbas Kiarostami. Taste of Cherry was the first film of his I saw, back in the late nineties when its Palme d’Or was still fresh. It impressed me as one of the greatest films of the time, and I eagerly dove into his past films, which then consisted of Close-Up and the Koker trilogy. This was my introduction to Iranian cinema and to Iranian culture,…