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  • The Wild Pear Tree

    The Wild Pear Tree

    ★★★

    NYFF #15

    Contrasting the naturalistic dialogue, and situations with incredibly rich cinematography (several establishing shots, slow-motion shots, color graded images?) that consistently give the film a magical realist atmosphere, "The Wild Pear Tree" weaves a spell that seems will have the ability to hold your attention for the entirety of its enormous running time. Nuri Bilge Ceylan, however, punctures this magical synthesis of the physical and the metaphysical a tiny bit in the first (of the three) central conversation that…

  • Three Faces

    Three Faces

    ★★★★

    NYFF #14

    The observational eye of Jafar Panahi's camera (consisting primarily of static shots, and slow pans) allows the Iranian director to use his and his actresses' search for the truth about the certainty of a young aspiring actresses' death as a MacGuffin to show their conversations with various characters through the rural terrain of Iran. Using a sense of humor that matches the dryness of the landscape in the film, Panahi picks apart the several hypocrisies the men hold…

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  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    ★★★★★

    NYFF #11

    A rip-roaring comedy of horrors in which the madly inventive Coen Bros. use the Wild Wild West, and the anthology format as a playground to perform their own ballad of mixing as many styles of comedy (broad, slapstick, absurdist, zany, screwball, and black) with the tragic erosion of a genre, and especially, of the people who occupy it. With the help of Carter Burwell's rich, and majestic score, and Bruno Delbonnel's exquisite cinematography, the Coens evoke these different…

  • If Beale Street Could Talk

    If Beale Street Could Talk

    ★★½

    NYFF #12

    Barry Jenkins’ follow-up to the gorgeous “Moonlight” reiterates the director’s distinct audio-visual style. The use of extreme close-ups, wide shots softened by the use of shallow focus, and a vibrant color palette consisting of rich reds and greens help the director establish Beale Street, and particularly the romance between Tish and Fonny, as sincere, simple, and dream-like. Nicholas Britell’s achingly melancholic score, dominated by violin compositions, enhances this warmth that the lovers share, consistently reminding the audience of…