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  • Napoleon

    Napoleon

    ★★★★★

    Long overdue, but Ryan Swen and I gushed over this film on the fifth episode of Catalyst & Witness, where we watch the films in the New York Film Festival. This is one of the greatest films, and naturally led to our longest discussion.

  • Moonrise

    Moonrise

    ★★★★

    Hollywood romanticism unmoored from studio convention; a man's descent into his own fate becomes the director's canvass. Each plot element occasions a burst of Borzage's expressionism: the backstory an abstracted hornet's nest of memories, the romance a ghostly Southern shadowplay, the manhunt an anxiously prolonged entrapment. Clearly a Republic Pictures production in the same way as Johnny Guitar, much looser and stranger than A-grade contemporaries. Also the closest Borzage came to a Faulkner adaptation, which makes me wonder what he could've done with Intruder in the Dust.

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  • Yi Yi

    Yi Yi

    ★★★★★

    “My uncle says we live three times as long since man invented movies.”
    “How can that be?”
    “It means movies give us twice what we get from daily life.”

  • La La Land

    La La Land

    ½

    “I think I’m gonna hate LA LA LAND,” I tweeted as the trailer sang right in my face about dreams or some such nonsense before watching Arrival, another vacuous vehicle for empty auteurism. I would’ve enjoyed being proven wrong, but all the actual footage I saw of the film made my blood boil. This basically constitutes my experience with all the footage of La La Land, from the opening number (which more or less has the same choreography as an…