• Walking and Talking

    Walking and Talking

    ★★★★

    some may come up with fancy names for that period in our 20s where it's hard to make friends (see: Seattle freeze), but it's everywhere and it isn't exclusive to your 20s. walking and talking takes this phenomenon and presents it as what it is: normal.

    i don't think i can do justice what makes this one so special, but if i were to try, it's friends you've known for a long time hitting life milestones before you. it's knowing…

  • Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

    Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

    ★★★★

    can you think of a time in which you asked something vague of a kid? chances are, they probably didn't interpret the question you asked in the way you intended, but because of their age, it's easy to give them the benefit of the doubt. no ulterior motives because the alternative of genuine misunderstanding is more likely; no lying (or maybe bad lying is the better phrasing here) because their poker faces need a little more practice. marcel the shell…

  • Toute une nuit

    Toute une nuit

    ★★★

    silence is noisy and there's science to back that up, but chantal akerman doesn't seem interested in the explanation here at all. instead, the backdrop of one summer night acts as a cacophony in which loneliness can fester. without the noise pollution of living in a city to distract, what's left seems like a very silly thing to say out loud, but it plagues us all nonetheless: the running conversation in our heads. spontaneity then becomes the quick fix for…

  • Beau Travail

    Beau Travail

    ★★★★½

    the first thing that jumped out at me was the horror-esque instrumental that sometimes played in the background. you know how a good horror score can take a horror film from scary to terrifying? well, here it was kind of anti-climatic. it tricked me into thinking that something important was about to happen, but nothing did, back to synchronized drills and repressed emotions.

    i couldn't help but wonder what the point of all that was. it's extremely frustrating as a…

  • Ninjababy

    Ninjababy

    ★★★½

    didn't expect to get emotional at the end, but i guess this really snuck up on me in the way a "ninjababy" might. unfunny joke aside, ninjababy takes a lot of care to disentangle the many perspectives around bringing a child in the world. at one point in the movie, a character points out how our protagonist rakel has an openness to her that's refreshing. it's this mentality that allows rakel to come to a mutual understanding with those who…

  • We're All Going to the World's Fair

    We're All Going to the World's Fair

    ★★★½

    depersonalization is when you feel detached from your body. casey describes this sensation by saying she feels herself leave her body sometimes, in the process making her someone else. now, because she says this with the context of the "world's fair" challenge, i feel bad in even saying this, but it's hard to pinpoint when she begins to lose track of reality. it's human nature to want to give her the benefit of the doubt.

    the more i let this…

  • Drinking Buddies

    Drinking Buddies

    ★★★

    it's late, but i honestly can't remember the last time i watched a movie that embodied the spirit of "acting is reacting" as well as this one. perhaps it was just the nature of the improvised dialogue, but the blurring of emotional boundaries feels more real as a result. i found my eyes switching back and forth between the four actors trying to piece together what each one of them were thinking at all times. the flatness of the cinematography made it easy to do so. attempting to get back into movies again and this was fun! it felt like i was coexisting.

  • Over/Under

    Over/Under

    ★★★½

    if you’ve ever taken an ap course, you probably know that everything culminates in a single exam. the thing about this exam though is that it takes place in may. if you’re lucky enough to end the school year in may, then you have nothing to worry about, but if you end in june, then there’s usually this awkward need to fill the time.

    i’m reminded of an essay i wrote after taking the ap lang exam. we were tasked…

  • Fire of Love

    Fire of Love

    ★★★★

    in one of the vocanologist couple's many media appearances, maurice krafft remarks that he would never dare to categorize volcanoes. each one of them are unique in their own way and it's really only the old generation who are pushing for this. cut to maurice and katia adopting the "red volcano" "grey volcano" distinction. i don't think this choice was supposed to be shocking in any way, but it's still on my mind as a near-perfect start to the compromises…

  • Everything Everywhere All at Once

    Everything Everywhere All at Once

    ★★★★½

    treated my mom to everything everywhere this time and the first thing she mentioned was how juvenile the humor felt. i mean, fair, when i watched swiss army man that was pretty much my reaction the entire time, but i did catch her smiling occasionally. for someone who watches an American movie once every two years, i can't imagine what the sensory overload of the sheer randomness of the jokes felt like.

    the real kicker though? she didn't understand why…

  • Everything Everywhere All at Once

    Everything Everywhere All at Once

    ★★★★½

    everything everywhere all at once doesn't feel like a fresh take on the generational trauma heavy Chinese immigrant story; i mean, at times, the tropes used come off a bit reductive, but the kindness that envelops the film managed to overwhelm even the most cynic of my sensibilities. judging by some quick glances at my kid brother and my sister who's deciding between colleges right now (both of whom only came because i was paying), they felt the same (not…

  • Dog Day Afternoon

    Dog Day Afternoon

    ★★★★

    these days the way news is consumed feels oh so impersonal. of course there will always be those people who watch the same channel everyday, treating everything that comes out of their television as gospel, but with the rise of personal devices like computers, smartphones, and tablets, people who consume news can just move on when a story doesn't hold their attention anymore.

    i was captivated by how much of a spectacle sonny and sal's attempted robbery was. i mean…