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  • 35 Shots of Rum

    35 Shots of Rum

    When is a rice cooker more than just a rice cooker? When it’s in the masterful hands of Claire Denis, who somehow transforms it into a moving metaphor for the evolving relationship between a Parisian train conductor (Alex Descas) and his devoted twenty-something daughter (Mati Diop) as he gently nudges her out of the nest and each tests the waters of new relationships. Warmed by the ember-glow of Agnès Godard’s beautifully burnished cinematography, Denis’s delicately bittersweet take on the Ozu-style…

  • Beau Travail

    Beau Travail

    Claire Denis’s loose retelling of Billy Budd, set among a troop of Foreign Legionnaires stationed in the Gulf of Djibouti, is one of her finest films, an elemental story of misplaced longing and frustrated desire. Beneath a scorching sun, shirtless young men exercise to the strains of Benjamin Britten, under the watchful eye of Denis Lavant’s stone-faced officer Galoup, their obsessively ritualized movements simmering with barely suppressed violence. When a handsome recruit wins the favor of the regiment’s commander, cracks…

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  • Ghostbusters

    Ghostbusters

    Who ya gonna call? Three parapsychologists (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis) are fired from their cushy Columbia University gigs and forced into the private sector. After a paranormal encounter at the New York Public Library, they set up shop as spectral exterminators in an old fire house and begin chasing spooks, specters, and ghosts all over the city with unlicensed nuclear accelerators strapped to their backs. Joined by a blue-collar skeptic (Ernie Hudson), they soon find themselves also…

  • In the Mood for Love

    In the Mood for Love

    Wong Kar Wai’s swoon-inducing instant classic made Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung the star-crossed dream team of the early 2000s art house. They play next-door neighbors driven by loneliness into a platonic romance amid the alleyways and noodle shops of 1960s Hong Kong, only to discover that their own spouses are carrying on an affair. The breathless, will-they-won’t-they tension is pushed to intoxicating heights by the luscious mise-en-scène: Christopher Doyle’s caressing cinematography; the sensuous use of slo-mo; the red- and…