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  • A Visitor to a Museum

    A Visitor to a Museum

    ★★★

    This is a bit like those paintings hung in galleries that are attributed to “Follower of Rembrandt,” “Follower of Bosch," etc. Oftentimes these followers show themselves to possess technical skill rivaling that of their masters. They tend also to dwell, with their art, in the same thematic and aesthetic territories that their teachers were known to frequent, though they may go about reaching these places rather differently. Such is the case for A Visitor to a Museum, which could be…

  • On the Silver Globe

    On the Silver Globe

    ★★

    One of those grand experiments that has its legs cut out from under it by its own ambition. Due in large part to about two dozen minutes of missing footage, it borders on incomprehensible for much of its second half. The crazed, pseudo-philosophical monologues delivered by various characters go on incessantly and become irritating early on. There is not so much a story to be told here as a civilization to be observed and explored in an almost ethnographical fashion. By…

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  • Hereditary

    Hereditary

    ★★½

    Dreadful in the right ways, and creative in its generation of dread, Hereditary offers a tense and technically proficient first half before its descent into silly occult tropedom. Far from the sublime finale of A24’s earlier project, The Witch, Hereditary’s closing hour fails to scare—and worse, fails to fill its secular, modern world with any believable diabolism (which ought to be the goal of any scary movie set in the contemporary West). The most frightening thing in a horror film shouldn’t be family drama, but that’s what we get here. Extra half-star taken off for that awful expository voiceover at the end. 


    Great final shot though.

  • Fitzcarraldo

    Fitzcarraldo

    ★★★★½

    Man and his ambition. Hubris and its nemesis. Risk and its reward. In Fitzcarraldo both filmmaker and his fiction undergo the same trials, succeed and fail as one, and in the end realize greatness of their own endogenous designs. 

    The film’s ethos, and indeed the ethos of Herzog’s career, may be summed up in this brief dialogue:

    Missionary: “We can’t seem to cure them of the idea that our everyday life is only an illusion, behind which lies the reality of…