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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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  • Fingers

    Fingers

    ★★★

    Fingers is a rather nasty piece of work, with callous depictions of sex and needlessly gory violence. The characters are despicable, and everything is laced with misogyny. But that's the point. Fingers is mean-spirited in every way, but the filmmaking is also obviously personal. It's a simple character study, and the lead character is creepy and rather rapey. However it might also be too simple, just depicting a man without really having anything to say. Compared to similar films from…

  • Mauvais Sang

    Mauvais Sang

    ★★★★

    I saw this projected in 35mm, but then the audio cut out and they couldn't get it to work, so I watched the second half on my friend's blu-ray.

    Mauvais Sang oozes personality. It's a high art genre piece that starts one way then suddenly gets crazy. It is physical and spacious, but actually confined in structure. Many scenes stand out, but one sticks with me, as a David Bowie song plays over contortions and love in a young night. Mauvais Sang is a beautiful oddity, a tale of love and crime amongst the strangest of worlds. Magnificent.

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  • The Lighthouse

    The Lighthouse

    ★★★★½

    You cannot follow or understand The Lighthouse, you watch for the experience. It starts silent, with an old style Universal logo, and then enters a free-fall into madness.

    The horror in The Lighthouse comes from how little we know. There's a series of small hauntings that grow, but never once are we afforded an explanation. The real and unreal are shot indistinguishably, forming a truly perplexing nightmare. 

    With skies of foggy grey, The Lighthouse is squalid, shit-stained, and rain-soaked. It's…

  • 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…