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  • Canyon Passage

    Canyon Passage

    ★★★★★

    Easily one of the best Westerns I've ever seen, CANYON PASSAGE is elegant, intricate, nuanced and just phenomenally crafted. The writing is as vibrant as the Pacific Northwest colors that embolden the environs. At once masterfully low key and simmering with wanderlust and unrealized romance, CANYON PASSAGE derives much of its drama from questions of an existential nature. What does "home" mean in the era of burgeoning metropolises? Competing theories play out side by side as homesteaders find their "home"…

  • Four Sons

    Four Sons

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    What a surprise this was. FOUR SONS is simply immaculately crafted. With some of the best photography I've ever seen in a silent film, Ford envisions a familial tragedy as only he could. A saintly woman and her four sons reside in a storybook small village in rural Bavaria; the type of place where everyone knows everyone and birthdays are celebrated as a community. The saintly mother even doles out cake to the village children on her own birthday. She…

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  • California Split

    California Split

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    This film crackles with an infectious energy. Altman's soundscapes serve as an isolating contextual menace underlining a fascinating tale of homoeroticism. Altman is both pointedly clever about this -- bartender asking if William would like some nuts after he was called a "faggot" by an obnoxious female patron -- and discreet by suggesting a deeper and more sexual intimacy between the two male leads by way of glances and deflection. Charlie lives with two female prostitutes he never makes moves…

  • Be Kind Rewind

    Be Kind Rewind

    ★★★★

    What a ridiculously charming, woefully underrated film. Collectivized filmmaking. As good a love letter to film as I've seen in a long time. I loved the "editing by committee" scene, and everything about the film that suggested a communal thrill with cinema and the process by which that cinema comes to be. Michael and Jack's movies defy auteur theory, being so clearly the product of the effort of many passionate individuals. This is a heartening thread that runs throughout. Just a joyful, pleasant and wonderful film. The finale was a fantastic ode to shared culture, historical fluidity and the communities that develop in and around movies.