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  • Vitalina Varela

    Vitalina Varela

    ★★★★★

    Let me see what I can say of Vitalina. I have seen it twice, and continue to struggle with it in the days since; I wrote some 4000 words on it after my first viewing, only to toss out a good portion after sitting with it longer, fearing that against my better intentions the writing still remained vague and imprecise. It is only fair to Costa to wait until whatever I have to say – as if my writing was…

  • Milla

    Milla

    ★★★★★

    I was too low to write about much last year, let alone last fall, so I missed the opportunity to write about Milla when I first saw it, which is a real shame because Milla was the best film of last year by a pretty enormous margin. Ethically, Massadian is supreme. I find it incredibly telling that Sean Baker panned it, since that about explains how he was capable of producing a film as cruel as The Florida Project. With…

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  • A Withered Tree Meets Spring

    A Withered Tree Meets Spring

    ★★★★

    A Maoist riff on Stars in My Crown

  • The Self-Seeker

    The Self-Seeker

    ★★

    While this film was introduced under the pretext of it being about the “everyman,” like Chaplin, I cannot think of a figure less everyman, let alone non-partisan, than a former tsarist official.

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  • Roma

    Roma

    ½

    "Foucault wanted to write a history of madness itself, that is madness speaking on the basis of of its own experience and under its own authority, and not a history of madness described from within the language of reason, the language of psychiatry on madness [...]

    "It is a question, therefore, of escaping the trap or objectivist naiveté that would consist in writing a history of untamed madness, of madness as it carries itself and breathes before being caught and…

  • Silence

    Silence

    ★½

    If there's any one thing I truly hate about the West, it's how it always positions itself as the advocate of "free choice" in the face of a totalitarian Other. Countless times, this excuse has been used as a justification for overwhelmingly imperialist action, a sort of ideological bait-and-switch where "freedom" necessarily makes non-Western culture inferior and non-Westerners subordinate to the hegemony of the West.

    I might compare Silence to White Material, in the sense that both are essentially colonist…