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  • Nashville

    Nashville

    ★★★★★

    Robert Altman masterfully distills the nation’s political and cultural landscape into a potent hooch from Music City, USA.

    As a product of the American South, I can’t watch Nashville without an acute sensation of nostalgia and homesickness. Though I grew up in rural, coastal North Carolina in the 1990s, my colloquial experiences didn’t differ much from the regional witticisms, veneered civility, and territorial pride on display in this Southern epicenter in the mid-70s. Nashville was ahead if its time as…

  • Two-Lane Blacktop

    Two-Lane Blacktop

    ★★★★★

    There is no end to Two-Lane Blacktop. There is no end to the restlessness of the hauntingly desolate, open road. The landscape whips by in streaks of greens, browns, and grays—a blurry rendering of pastoral America. The introspective silence, the apathy, the loneliness is echoed by the magnitude of the journey, of the winding highways—an infinite present, where “future” is a destination too abstract to anticipate and “past” a place too obscured by distance and time to seem relevant.

    The…

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  • Bob Dylan: The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration

    Bob Dylan: The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration

    ★★★★

    On October 16, 1992, a slew of recording artists came together in Madison Square Garden to perform a sold-out tribute concert to the great Bob Dylan on the occasion of his 30th anniversary with Columbia Records. Dylan himself surprised the audience and performed the night’s last handful of songs. The concert was recorded in-full, but several performances don’t make the final edit of the film—some of which are also omitted from the special features. 

    Richard is a Bob Dylan obsessive,…

  • Daughters of Darkness

    Daughters of Darkness

    ★★★★

    CRITERION CHALLENGE 2021: 43. From the ‘Queersighted: Queer Fear’ series

    Progress: 12/52

    Belgian director Harry Kümel’s sinister erotic horror, Daughters of Darkness, is a moody take on the bloody Erzsébet Báthory legend reimagined as a queer vampire film—whose identity nebulously hovers somewhere between knowing genre homage, grindhouse sexploitation and European arthouse cinema.

    Budgetary constraints, unresolved storylines, tonal disparities, and uneven performances from the cast’s less-skilled actors hinder this from being a true triumph, but that cannot detract from the film’s…

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  • Husbands

    Husbands

    ★★★★½

    Husbands is a survey of the male midlife crisis as depicted by three friends who abandon home, country,
    responsibility, civility, and sanity when confronted with their own mortalities in the wake of a beloved friend’s death.

    It cannot be overstated how alienating this experience was for me, a woman. Seeing John Cassavetes, Ben Gazzara, and Peter Falk traipse about New York City and London in madcap fashion on the hunt for booze and cooze wasn’t exactly an unfamiliar antic in…

  • The Sacrifice

    The Sacrifice

    ★★★★

    My entry into the films of Andrei Tarkovsky is his final effort, The Sacrifice, completed just months before his death in 1986. I know very little of the director, but if I were to try to sketch him given only The Sacrifice as a guide, I would have to imagine he was a man with deep spiritual conviction. The film centers around a senescent philosopher, Alexander (Erland Josephson), who learns that a nuclear war is imminent at his birthday celebration…