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  • Romancing in Thin Air

    Romancing in Thin Air

    ★★★★

    So I spent much of the runtime wondering what To was trying to do with the film's conceit — the whole "replace dead lover with idealized famous actor" thing seemed like weird wish-fulfillment, but Mr. To here isn't one to make simplistic drivel, quite the opposite actually. This seems really more about cinema's social and cathartic functions than its escapist qualities. Whereas in something like Breathless or Eugene Onegin the obsession over narratives/popular culture tended to imply negative consequences, this…

  • The Wild Pear Tree

    The Wild Pear Tree

    ★★★★½

    This may be an unpopular opinion, but I'm absolutely loving Ceylan's evolution with his two recent features. Yes, his films have become longer, talkier, more prosaic. That languid, poetic style he was known for in films like Uzak? Few and far between. But what I find interesting here is this: Ceylan, who I had previously regarded as somewhat of an arthouse charlatan, has for his past two features been criticizing lofty self-important artists. There's just a delicious irony in this;…

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  • Speed Racer

    Speed Racer

    ★★★★

    ANIME IS REAL

  • K-ON! The Movie

    K-ON! The Movie

    ★★★★★

    Is this anything but a pure cinematic masterpiece? Yamada takes Ozu's already masterful sense of mono no aware and elevates it in the medium of animation, where the already shaky reality of the inherently artificial drawings reaches an apogee of transient melancholy, a state where all will soon end and pass on, and the Japanese state of being in high school becomes more beautiful and tragic as graduation pends. Such detail in craft here—in the little gestures and movements, especially…