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  • Alphaville

    Alphaville

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Jean-Luc Godard was at the height of his powers when he made Alphaville, a strangely beautiful meshing of noir tropes with science fiction. The film, while ostensibly taking place in a different galaxy or another dimension, utilizes the modern Paris architecture to unique disorienting affect. Because this is Godard, we get a lot of philosophy and existential angst, as well as poetry and surrealism. The Sci-Fi elements are original and anticipate everything from Blade Runner to 2001 to The Matrix.…

  • Soldier Blue

    Soldier Blue

    ★★½

    Soldier Blue is a fascinating Anti-Western from 1970. Made in the context of a significant re-appraisal of the myths of the American West, it was released two years after John Wayne won the Oscar for True Grit. That year saw two other films specifically dealing with Native Americans, Little Big Man and A Man Called Horse.
    While the film does deserve some credit for its repositioning of the Native American tribes it depicts (the Cheyenne and Kiowa), and some rather…

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  • Nowhere Boy

    Nowhere Boy

    ★★★½

    I am the perfect audience member for this film. A lifelong Beatles fan, I have spent years absorbing trivia and minutiae, reading biographies and critical analysis, and love anything about the Fab Four with a purely subjective bias. So I was sucked into the story of Nowhere Boy, the slightly dramatized biopic of John Lennon's adolescent and teen years, from 1955 to about 60, although the bulk of the plot takes place in the short window of time during which…

  • Chinatown

    Chinatown

    ★★★★★

    In the 40 years since it was released, Chinatown has become a part of the cinematic pantheon, and deservedly so. The film earns my respect and admiration because it is so layered and fraught with meaning and interpretation, so expertly executed without drawing attention to its artistry, and works as both an artistic statement and entertainment.
    Rare is a film so rich with interpretation that watching it multiple times allows its brilliance to be fully understood, for every scene, almost…