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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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  • Diva

    Diva

    French critics laughed themselves silly over this movie, which then proved a huge hit both there and internationally, marking the way for "cinema du look" and much of 80s and 90s genre blendings. Really, Diva predates wildly different movies like Akira and Notting Hill in equal measures, not to mention Luc Besson's Nikita and Leon and all that came out of that in the US. Maybe I'm crazy but it seems to me this little movie, less known today it…

  • Jezebel

    Jezebel

    Sometimes an actor is allowed to hijack a movie, dictate not only its tone and pacing but entire meaning. Bette Davis here is like an argument that can't be beat. Does the character makes sense? Is there any greater depth or meaning to her pursuit? Any other actor would be a cog in the machinery, something to help us ponder such questions. But Davis gives Julie such autonomy and power that all other components of the film quake; Henry Fonda…

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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…