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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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  • The Final Year

    The Final Year

    ★★★½

    A great document of the last year of the American project, both as measured in its worthy ideals and its complacent arrogance. "Facts matter," Johb Kerry repeatedly insists. I admire him and wonder how he deals with things today.

  • The Third Murder

    The Third Murder

    ★★★★

    I get why people say this is a departure for Kore-Eda, but also I don't, as its assault on Japanese pieties and hypocrisies esp. in regard to the sanctity of "family values" is 100% of a piece with SHOPLIFTERS. And unlike SHOPLIFTERS this has Koji Yakusho who if he's never not awesome please don't shatter my illusions but what a powerfully restrained performance. Still a legal procedural and ultimately hemmed in by that structure but within those confines it's ace.

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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…

  • Happy Death Day

    Happy Death Day

    ★★½

    Sure, "GROUNDHOG DAY but slasher" is a good idea, but it's an ...
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    ... execution dependent concept.