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  • American Dharma

    American Dharma

    ★★★

    The importance of this film, to me, has less to do with its insights on contemporary electoral politics, but rather its revelations about how right wingers persistently misread Ford. Morris has always been a brilliant interviewer for the way that he gives his subjects enough rope to hang themselves; here, he lets Bannon do this through film criticism. In the discussions on My Darling Clementine, The Searchers, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Bannon focuses solely on his identification…

  • Ganja & Hess

    Ganja & Hess

    ★★★★½

    Gorgeously grainy 16mm horror masterpiece that is equally engaging during its many dinner conversations as the poetic and shocking images of vampirism. The hypnotic, unsettling soundtrack helps keep the viewer off-kilter, allowing the images to soak into the subconscious. It is moody, abstract, and uninterested in adhering to the conventions of the vampire film, putting it in the esteemed company of Vampyr or films by Rollin and Franco. What makes this film so important it is that is equally engaged…

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  • So Big!

    So Big!

    ★★★★½

    Movies like this are why I love the pre-code era so much—not just because of the permissiveness or lack of moralizing, but also the ramshackle approach to plot construction in early 1930s films. This film skips around time—we get snapshots of Stanwyck’s life as a little girl, a young schoolteacher, a married farmer’s wife, and then a widowed farmer with a grown son. The film resembles nothing less than an Ozu film in its approach to plot events: significant events…

  • Woman of the Ganges

    Woman of the Ganges

    ★★★★

    A crucial hinge point in the Lol V. Stein cycle/ India Cycle, Woman of the Ganges is not only the first film of the cycle, but also begins to expand outward from the zero-point of her novel L’Amour, in which the narrator’s voice is stripped to the absolute minimum, a bare description of setting and actions.

    Duras states in a voice-over at the beginning (over a black screen) that Ganges consists of two films: the “image film” and the “film…