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  • RR

    RR

    ★★★★½

    I'm more conceptually familiar than tangibly familiar with James Benning, having only seen most of his LA trilogy before this, screened one night in Portland back-to-back-to-back some fifteen years ago. (Benning was there, and during his introduction it was clear even he found the notion of watching all three consecutively challenging.) If I'm even remembering the order right, I was dumbstruck by EL VALLEY CENTRO, intermittently intrigued by LOS, and left halfway through SOGOBI rather than fall asleep. Eschewing such…

  • All That Jazz

    All That Jazz

    ★★★★★

    Glad to know I haven't seen all of the masterpieces yet. (Or hadn't, as of a couple hours ago.) The family birthday duet was probably the biggest smile that I hadn't noticed glued to my face in years; and, yes, of course tears. Scheider is a dexedrine/nicotine fueled revelation, aided and abetted by super-sharp editing, staging, production design: the works. What a movie looks like when all departments are going for broke on a film from the heart.

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  • La La Land

    La La Land

    ★★★★

    Saw this weeks ago but been under NZ embargo, and suspect my reaction would be even more positive if I had written a review at the time and/or hadn't been worn down by the haters, who are legion and seem to take enormous pride in their position. I sincerely get that there are flaws in this film, and I have zero issue with someone filing their "not for me" review and moving on, but I also fully believe that there…

  • Eraserhead

    Eraserhead

    ★★★★★

    But having rated it five stars, I'm not sure if I ever want to do this to myself again. It was my first time in the theater, and I forgot that on my previous viewing at home I paused a couple times (toilet break, water). In the theater, there is no escape, and I seriously contemplated fleeing a couple times, just because I found the film so effectively anxiety-inducing.

    ERASERHEAD is a miracle of sound design, of no-budget imagination, of…