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  • Queerama

    Queerama

    ★★★

    It's a bit of a mini-genre this, combining archival clips with mournful orchestral pop music (I'm thinking of the other one I've seen, Love Is All, but I gather there have been others). Anyway, the theme here is gay sexuality in all its forms, and there are some lovely clips, and also some which make it clear how much the world has changed in 50+ years. It gives a fleeting sense of the changes and the big issues over that period, and also makes a case for all the many ways to not be straight.

  • Rosebud

    Rosebud

    ★★★½

    This short film about lesbian love does share something with Richard Kwietniowski's The Ballad of Reading Gaol (both extras on the Queerama documentary DVD), which is an unabashed and almost joyous embrace of bold, brightly-photographed queer imagery. Here, though, it's of women in love -- focusing on bodies and erotic passion (far more soft focus than, say, Barbara Hammer's Dyketactics of almost 20 years earlier) -- as one woman spies two others embracing as a cue to her own awakening. It's a film that may have aged somewhat, but still feels just a little bit celebratory of its protagonists' love.

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  • Arrival

    Arrival

    ★★★

    There's a sort of sweet hopeful belief in the unifying power of language at work here, and Amy Adams is exactly the face for that, but there's also a mind-bending take on temporal awareness that reminds me of the WTF-ness of Interstellar and which I don't really find quite as fulfilling as the film evidently does. It's all very nice, though muted in its colours and uncluttered in mise en scene, and I sort of want to like it more than I did.

  • Tokyo Story

    Tokyo Story

    ★★★★½

    Oh sure, yes, it is deliberately paced, as so many Ozu films are, but for all its acclaim (it used to regularly show up on best-ever lists, and I think it still does), it is one of those films that really does deliver. I'm not even personally very good at communicating with my family sometimes, but I still get all up in my feelings whenever I see the way all these grown children act atrociously towards their elderly parents, who…