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  • A Brighter Summer Day

    A Brighter Summer Day

    ★★★★★

    This review contains various thematic spoilers but only vague allusions to plot spoilers. Read at your discretion.

    A Brighter Summer Day is a truth epic, a four hour journey into the abyss of teenage disillusionment. It's about the reality of growing up and the consequences of an aimless life. It's a quiet movie, of people kissing in the dark, with conversations happening between people offscreen, of themes muted in favour of shapeless ideas. It's paced like life itself, with threads…

  • Werckmeister Harmonies

    Werckmeister Harmonies

    ★★★★★

    Werckmeister Harmonies is a film of constant symbolism and allegory. It is the greatest philosophical and political allegory since Sátántangó, another film by master auteur Béla Tarr. Werckmeister Harmonies is Tarr's most exciting film (although Sátántangó remains his best) because it's the most brimming with ideas. Adapting the novel The Melancholy of Resistance by László Krasznahorkai, Werckmeister Harmonies more than matches the quality of the masterful original text. The film is more implicit in some ways, taking the dense metaphorical nature of the novel but…

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  • The World of Apu

    The World of Apu

    ★★★★½

    The World of Apu, or Apur Sansar, is a stunning finale to an amazing trilogy. Across these three films we go on such an incredible journey, one infused with deep humanity and universality.

    The World of Apu is a film of adult life, no longer centred on the child Apu. Here he faces rent, work, and money troubles. He must survive in modern India, an India of cities and industry, far removed from the rural simplicity shown in Pather Panchali.…

  • Aparajito

    Aparajito

    ★★★★½

    Aparajito is superficially different to Pather Panchali. It is less rural and much more urban. Less time is spent exploring trivial moments of life, because Aparajito actually has a plot. Pather Panchali captures childhood as loose fragments, but Aparajito moves from Apu's youth to his teenage years and finally his independence. To tell this story requires the inclusion of plot, or at least crucial scenes of plot. This is not to critique Aparajito, I am just making an observation. Though…

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  • Weathering with You

    Weathering with You

    SPOILERS ahead, but I would recommend reading this review regardless.

    This was my own personal hell. I was actually very excited to see Weathering with You. Makoto Shinkai is a mixed director at best but his work was certainly improving over the years. Two of the friends I most trust for anime recommendations told me this was great. I even almost went to the English premiere. Boy am I glad I didn't. I hated this film. I was fine for…

  • Mirror

    Mirror

    ★★★★★

    Dear Mum,

    I never said "I love you" enough. I always meant to, but I never knew how to express my emotions. As a child I didn't understand, as an adult I don't have the humility to admit my many emotional failings. With dad being how he is, and me being me, I wonder if you ever heard it enough. But know this now, I love you. You are the reason for my every success.

    As a child I didn't…