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  • Morgan's Cake

    Morgan's Cake

    ★★★½

    An anxious mediation between 60s activism and 90s slackerism conducted by a confused motormouth who's a little too pervy with the camera he's always carrying around. Or, how can baking a cake be an effective form of civil disobedience? This loose gabfest is the right kind of shambolic, a fuzzy, crazy monster of a goof, but with a melancholy political edge that retains its ability to provoke.

  • Break of Dawn

    Break of Dawn

    ★½

    Drama about the persecution of Mexican-American pro-immigrant activist Pedro J. Gonzalez is very worthy and very listless, with some of the most awkward, amateurish blocking I've ever seen in a semi-professional movie. The moral stakes here are so resolutely clear and certain that there's no real tension - it's just flat presentations of the righteous being righteous countered with the venal being venal, and played so earnestly that it can't ever bubble over into galvanizing melodrama. Repeat for 90 minutes.

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  • Double Indemnity

    Double Indemnity

    ★★★★★

    All you need to make a movie is a girl, a gun, and a life insurance policy.

  • In the Mood for Love

    In the Mood for Love

    ★★★★★

    A movie about memory, and about clothes and food and cigarettes and Nat King Cole records, all of which play their part in a story not only of lost love, but of an ancient empire in which love collapsed in on itself in a quiet apocalypse. In his attention to minutiae, Wong realizes the aesthetic ambitions of the 1920s film theorist and filmmaker Jean Epstein, the prophet of photogénie, the fetishistic obsession with photographic detail and arrested gesture. In its…