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  • 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…

  • The Long Day Closes

    The Long Day Closes

    ★★★★½

    Perhaps you're like me, and haven't seen much Davies, but you've seen enough Loach and Leigh to feel like you've got the measure of things when it comes to British kitchen-sink miserablism, and autobiographical coming of age stories have no special appeal for you, and you saw THE HOUSE OF MIRTH sixteen years ago and it quickly faded into a miasma of costume dramas, bubbling between THE END OF THE AFFAIR and AN IDEAL HUSBAND and a passel of Austen…

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  • Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

    Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

    ★★★½

    The first time I've watched two Godzilla films from different eras less than a week apart, which is one HELL of a slap in the face in terms of realising how different they really are (though, to be fair, GODZILLA VS THE SMOG MONSTER is a UFO in the oeuvre full stop). Possibly the least developed time travel theory in the history of time travel movies, a politics that prioritizes critiquing Japanese capitalism over environmental concerns, and one seriously strangely…

  • Grand Prix

    Grand Prix

    ★★★

    Started watching this on Sunday, as my wife went to a stage show that left me a slot to watch a long film she wasn't interested in. GRAND PRIX has been on my shelf for a decade, its lengthy runtime taunting me (although, let's be fair, it's substantially shorter than the IRISHMAN), and post FORD V FERRARI, I thought perhaps it would earn its chance for me to praise it to the skies as to what a racing film should…

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  • A Hidden Life

    A Hidden Life

    ★★★★★

    Speculation has abounded about Terrence Malick's latest, that it might be something "more conventional". It is, and it isn't. Here's how it is: it has its clearest dramatic structure since BADLANDS, possibly even more clear. An Austrian couple during the outbreak of WWII gradually discover that the man will be required to make an oath of loyalty to Adolf Hitler. He believes, because of his Christian morality, he cannot do so. This dilemma drives the entire film, and the relationship…

  • At Eternity's Gate

    At Eternity's Gate

    ★½

    Five runner-ups for my least favourite aesthetic decisions in this film (no order):

    1) Shooting a shot like a POV handheld, but then having the person in frame look off camera to talk, and then doing the opposite
    2) Bottom of frame blur-o-vision applied arbitrarily
    3) Going black and white for literally two shots
    4) Going piss-filter for any number of shots
    5) Repeating audio we've heard like twenty seconds ago

    ... all of which pale in offensiveness to the…