disneydreamdiary has written 15 reviews for films rated ★★★★★ during 2018.

  • Rashomon

    Rashomon

    ★★★★★

    Besides on a technical and conceptual level, Rashomon has very little right to be as good as it is. All Kurosawa's vices are on full display here, from westernized sensibilities to overacting players. While flirting with left-right orientation at the beginning may have been a show for left-right oriented cultures, it wouldn't be entirely lost on native audiences should they carry some knowledge of theory; but the subconscious, liminal effect might have been partially untranslatable back to the East. It's…

  • The Meaning of Life

    The Meaning of Life

    Something happens about four minutes and thirty seconds into The Meaning of Life. It's so brief you might blink and miss it. What Hertzfeldt does is zoom out from his principal subject, the absurd affairs of people, and in its place renders the absurd ballet of stars. It's worth noting because this twelve minute short by the only great talent in filmmaking today does exactly what every great film of the past did, and where the self-important likes of The…

  • Rushmore

    Rushmore

    ★★★★★

    As in most of Wes Anderson's filmography, of which this is among two or three characteristically "good" entries on any metric besides auteur theory, every central character is an insufferable, unrepentant, narcissistic twat, but somehow you love them anyway. It's perhaps Anderson's hesitance towards diagnosis, satire and paternalism, far more than his gimmickry, that lends his films their uniqueness. If you care about psychology you might recognize that we live in the most narcissistic age, but rather than condemn it,…

  • It's Such a Beautiful Day

    It's Such a Beautiful Day

    ★★★★★

    People who think other existentialist movies exist in some meaningful capacity are tragically mistaken. You may have dreams for your future, but really you are already living the most improbable one, all your aspirations are merely DLC. It's only a question of what kind of dream life really is that has anyone puzzled. Is it a pretty one, a funny one, a tragic one, a horrific one, etc. It's Such a Beautiful Day is the only existentialist movie because it…

  • Ghost in the Shell

    Ghost in the Shell

    ★★★★★

    If 2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Wars are sci-fi films that adhere to a monomythological structure, Ghost in the Shell adheres to a decidedly monoromantic one, ancient wedding theme and all. Fundamentally, it is the story of an infertile woman who is cured of her fleeting existential anxiety and ennui through artificial insemination. Project 2501, a masculine force, spends the entire film courting her, and then upon impregnating her, dies in battle, leaving her with the responsibility of their…

  • 5 Centimeters per Second

    5 Centimeters per Second

    ★★★★★

    A lot of people who dislike both this and Catcher in the Rye have probably either been bitter adults for too long or not long enough. 5 Centimeters per Second is not a self-congratulatory celebration of its own faux-poetic monologues, but rather it is a celebration of the people who really do think in faux-poetic monologues: naïve teenagers. Those who see it as a sequence of desktop wallpapers likely fall prey to the idea that just because a character says…

  • Battle Royale

    Battle Royale

    ★★★★★

    Honesty might be the only universal quality of good art. Some people prefer fairness but honesty is the only real anathema to the bullshit we are drowning in. Battle Royale is so honest because, unlike Hunger Games, it never lets us, nor wants us to forget that we are watching children kill each other. Anyone who has ever been a spermatozoon or in a schooling system is aware, on some level, of the brutally sublimated bloodsport we all have to…

  • Band of Outsiders

    Band of Outsiders

    ★★★★★

    Fifty odd years later, it's no longer the subversiveness that stands out in Godard's films, but the sweetness. So many movies that wanted you to sympathize with the villains would play up their victimization or somehow dramatize their predicament, like Bonnie and Clyde would do three years later. Band of Outsiders ingratiates its characters to the viewer through their spontaneity and fleeting desires far more than their storylines, which stay virtually anonymous. "I want a Coca-Cola! I want to dance!…

  • The Lion in Winter

    The Lion in Winter

    ★★★★★

    The Lion in Winter studies an entire family for whom implicit and explicit gestures towards mortality is the only means of communication. Henry, his three sons, and his jilted wife Eleanor all speak and move in the grand sweep of history, which they are deeply and grimly aware of, and upon which they all desire executive influence. Like The Godfather of a few years later, which Lion effortlessly surpasses in bleakness and quality, this is the story of an aging…

  • The Wizard of Oz

    The Wizard of Oz

    ★★★★★

    It's important to remember that Oz isn't just a naïve vision of the world beyond Midwestern horizons, but the reflection of an innocent soul. Dorothy may be able to imagine the outside world, but she cannot imagine it without the people she loves, specifically the men, as she is a budding pubescent. What makes The Wizard of Oz uniquely insane is that though her male counterparts may lack brains, hearts, courage and libidos, they still come to aid her rescue,…

  • 8½

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    This film talks about you...

    Where the equally brilliant though perhaps simpler and prettier La Dolce Vita was about an entire class of outwardly trivial people who are inwardly plagued by profound spiritual problems, 8 1/2 is about an outwardly profound individual suffering from the smallest problem in the world: he cannot discern his own role, neither in his new film nor at the apex of his midlife crisis. Throughout 8 1/2, Guido Anselmi is accosted by critics, actresses, holy…

  • The Princess Bride

    The Princess Bride

    ★★★★★

    The best art would, in some sense, reduce you to the emotional stature of a child. Its unheralded newness would remind you of a time when life itself was new, so you could better process your own psychological imprints, which are really only tales you tell yourself. Things that are only new and nothing else cannot accomplish this, because they don't bring with them any truly new feelings. This isn't nostalgia, but rather its radical opposite. It is saying goodbye…