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  • Yi Yi

    Yi Yi

    ★★★★★

    Edward Yang's final film is tender, patient, and vigilant. Each scene is deliberate. Each shot prudently inspects microcosms of a rapidly Westernizing Taiwan without overbearing assertion. It is a brutally honest portrayal of society, and we are merely swimming through the independent yet fateful lives of a seemingly ordinary middle-class family.
    Regret, naivety, innocence, reflection. This film is the paragon of humanist depiction.

  • 12 Years a Slave

    12 Years a Slave

    ★★★★★

    Brutal yet tasteful cinematography and nothing short of stellar from the main cast. McQueen does the subject matter justice; instead of the common dialectic or character emboldenment, this film forces us to deeply empathize with those who suffered through some of the darkest days of American history. The raw imagery, deliberate pacing, and beautiful score all compound the poignant, emotional undertones of this acutely humanist drama.

    "Solomon Northrup is my name."

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  • Paprika

    Paprika

    ★★★★½

    Paprika is a brilliant showcase of surrealism, doting on the differences and merging of reality and aspirational dreams. Kon delivers a medley of refreshing and avant-garde animations that open discussions about topics ranging from the analysis of ones subconscious and to the perversions of modern technology. Though staged as an adventure movie, Paprika strikes chords more commonly found in psychological thrillers. It lyrically uses the motif of dreams, the chaotic subconscious, and even international, pop-culture references to uncover suppressed emotions of these complex, interwoven characters. Colorful and entertaining, the movie left me asking myself, "Who am I? And, what do I want?"