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  • The Story of Temple Drake

    The Story of Temple Drake

    ★★★½

    "The first glimpse we get of the protagonist of Stephen Roberts’s The Story of Temple Drake is of her left arm grasping the inside of her home’s front door. She’s standing outside, mostly out of sight to the camera, exhibiting equal measures of coquettishness and caution as she playfully fends off a companion who’s getting too frisky with her. It’s a striking image that positions Temple Drake (Miriam Hopkins) as a woman divided, perpetually torn between desire and shame. Temple…

  • The Wolf Hour

    The Wolf Hour

    ★★

    "An air of decay and discomfort pervades the dingy Manhattan apartment where nearly all of The Wolf Hour unfolds. An agoraphobic recluse, June Leigh (Naomi Watts) languishes in the unit, overwhelmed with guilt from a past misdeed. The cramped, underlit apartment, full of dusty old books and overstuffed trash bags, takes on an increasingly oppressive quality as the door buzzer continues to go off with unnerving frequency. Despite June’s pleas to whomever is on the other end, all she gets…

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  • Pickup on South Street

    Pickup on South Street

    ★★★★★

    Pickup on South Street, Sam Fuller’s brutal yet sensual masterpiece, begins on a speeding subway train, full of colliding bodies stuffed inside like canned sardines. No one speaks, but everyone glances; some at the floor or out the window, others at unsuspecting passengers, yet all attempting in one way or another to not betray what’s truly on their mind. Every initial glance is revealed to be misdirected until our anti-hero, Skip McCoy, bursts onto the scene to meet the sultry…

  • Burning

    Burning

    ★★★★

    Was not at all prepared for the shift into Antonioni-esque thriller territory in the second half of this. The scene where Hae-mi and Ben visit Jongsu's farm is likely the scene of the year so far, not only for how it tightens the psychological tensions between the two men and complicates our understanding of all three character's troubled psychological states but for how it recalibrates the film's focus (after Hae-mi's African dance) to something far grander and more elusive than…