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  • Children of the Beehive

    Children of the Beehive

    ★★★★½

    As an alternative title they might have called it The Return to Introspection Tower, maybe even dropping Tower from that to be even more appropriate as that is essentially the plot and the animating concern here. In that way, I guess, one could almost consider it a sequel, but it more uses the earlier film as a way to comment on the dramatic change in situation for Japan as a whole.

    The children in the movie are basically blank slates…

  • Starting a Skyscraper

    Starting a Skyscraper

    ★★★½

    Bonine's composition of the frame in this short is exceptional. The entire frame is alive with action that keeps the viewer's eye moving throughout the entirety of the frame. The short length of the film keeps the purpose of the activities from being clear, but there is no lack of visual interest despite that.

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  • Manhattan

    Manhattan

    ★★

    It's been much noted that the ending of the movie is an homage to City Lights, but it doesn't seem to be as much mentioned that the analogy then is one where the Tramp's assistance in helping the Blind Girl to see is used by Allen as an equivalent for Isaac "helping" Tracy to "see" culture as Isaac does. Which is to say Allen is suggesting passing on his allegedly discerning sense of taste in cultural products is roughly equal…

  • Aerograd

    Aerograd

    ★★★

    No one wants to do the homework eh? Okay, I'll give it a go with a greatly abbreviated version of some of the relevant history.

    After winning the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, Japan took control of the southern part of the Liaodong Peninsula, most importantly Port Arthur/Ryojun as well as rights to the South Manchurian Railway as part of the Kwantung Leased Territory which had previously been leased by Russia from the Qing government of China. Port Arthur provided access…