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  • Hypocrites

    Hypocrites

    ★★★★

    This is what I love about the early silents. There are no rules - or at least, there aren't the rules we assume movies will follow today. There is nothing in HYPOCRITES that works as a realistic portrayal of anything at all - unless you want to see it as a story about a priest who is so sad that people don't believe anymore, he sits down and just literary dies.

    There's the priest. Then there's his spiritual self, or…

  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2

    The Amazing Spider-Man 2

    ★★★½

    I keep coming back to this movie. For one thing, it thoroughly entertains me, but I also feel it provides an opening for a discussion on the importance of spectacle in cinema.

    Cinema is the artform of daze. Unlike a great painting or a masterpiece novel, there is always something nonsensical about even the best movies ever made. The train is still arriving at the station. The images in a movie are always on some level symbolic, and their logic…

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  • Le Million

    Le Million

    ★★★★

    This must have been a crushing experience for the Depression era audience. A laugh-a-minute plot-twister with a happy ending involving the dreamlike acquery of a million. I mean, just the idea of a million anythings must have been totally absurd in 1931.

    Except for World War I, in which 37 million people died.

    And then came World War II.

  • Testament of Orpheus

    Testament of Orpheus

    ★★★★

    The ability to express yourself is a grand one, even if it ultimately may only make sense to yourself. I know of no filmmaker like Cocteau (how could I, or anyone?) who so clearly has nothing/everything to say.

    There's almost always a sense of shallowness or vanity, no matter how small, when artists draw their strokes and reasons that whatever ends up on the canvas ends up there - that goes even for fascinating artists like Lynch (clearly a fan).…

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  • The Touch

    The Touch

    ★★

    Catching up with Bergman 16/20

    Elliot: Hi. I'm Elliot Gould. Is this a Bergman movie? It seems I'm in Sweden.

    Bibi: Oh, yes hello, we're two Swedish actors who have worked with Ingmar for more than twenty years, let's speak English for a while

    E: Okay, um. Here's a line for you, Bibi: I love you

    B: You do?

    E: Yes

    B: I probably love you too

    E: That's fine.

    B: I mean I'm not sure. I'm pregnant?

    E: Sorry,…

  • Pan's Labyrinth

    Pan's Labyrinth

    ★★★

    After eight years, it's a bit of a letdown to find that PAN'S LABYRINTH really isn't a film about any labyrinth of Pan's but rather a film about a Spanish fascist general killing or torturing a bunch of people. In the confused moral landscape of the film, fascism seems to constitute "reality"; so I guess we're all fascists at heart, unless we live in fantasy worlds of course.

    The film is imaginative but I found it to be a bit…