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  • All the President's Men

    All the President's Men

    Judith and Carolyn and Bob and John. Each of us knows a linear connection of people that would fill a detective novel, sometimes it stumbles through someone else's linear connection of people, and sometimes you can only put them together with a children's guessing game.

  • Irma la Douce

    Irma la Douce

    Shirley MacLaine in absinthe green. Wilder knows how images can steal the heart and run away from their context; beyond the shocks of pastel that make his point, he gives us a prostitute named "Lolita," with nothing familiar to that name beyond the heart-shaped glasses. Only a year after Kubrick's adaptation--defined by the film, or by the poster? The gap between those possibilities, and the fact that we build identities without seeing the baggage that comes along. Lemmon's Nestor adopts…

Popular reviews

  • Avengers: Infinity War

    Avengers: Infinity War


    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I can call Infinity War garbage because it is garbage--but I can only get so worked up about its purpose and ambition, its "grand scheme," when I tell you that I'm giving this another Doctor Strange half-star. Intertextuality and all that. Still, this Avengers leads me to the same conclusion as the last one: that the MCU, or Marvel or Disney or Kevin Feige, cannot squelch the auteur's creative voice. But now that they've financed enough creative voices to form…

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens


    Canon is an unbreakable contract, and yet Jakku is Tattooine, and there's nothing cyclical about it. The title crawl formally introduces the FIRST ORDER and the RESISTANCE, which are, very self-consciously, synonyms for EMPIRE and REBELLION--the sort of words that you use when you're trying to make a knock-off or, at the very least, a parody. Abrams uses them as a reassurance that you'll never see those big bad prequels again, and all of your favorite characters have been locked…