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  • Chinatown

    Chinatown

    ★★★★★

    I've seen Chinatown more times than I can remember, however after each viewing I find myself compelled to think I've just witnessed one version of cinematic perfection.

  • The Big City

    The Big City

    ★★★★★

    The Big City is a wonderful family drama that finds its tensions in the breaking of traditional gender expectations during India's emerging modernity. The old and the new, husband and wife, and familial generations are pitted against one another once a former housewife takes a job as a salesgirl. However, the film's resolution doesn't veer into the ugliness of confrontation, but rather compromise and mutual understanding. After viewing only my second Satyajit Ray film, he is without a doubt one of the absolute greats. Hopefully 2014 brings more Ray to home video here in North America.

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  • This Is Martin Bonner

    This Is Martin Bonner

    ★★★★½

    This Is Martin Bonner is a superbly acted and well crafted indie drama. The film's central relationship between a recently released convict and a Christian transition mentor does not veer into well-worn tropes, but rather finds poignancy in the unexpected bond of starting life anew. If I can offer any criticism, and only selfishly, it would be that Chad Hartigan's film is entirely too brief- I wanted desperately to continue following the principal characters well past the film's run-time. Perhaps the "nicest" of surprises in 2013.

  • The Canyons

    The Canyons

    The number of times James Dean utters "BAM" without affect or proper human cadence directly corresponds to the frequency in which I hoped to bash my skull in while watching The Canyons.