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  • Youth on Parade

    Youth on Parade

    ★★★½

    I have an unusual interest in college musicals of the 1930s. There was a cycle lasting from the late 1920s into the early 1940s of college football musicals. The most widely seen today are probably Horse Feathers with the Marx Brothers and Thelma Todd and the remake of Good News “starring” June Allyson and Peter Lawford. Some films are near neighbors, like Harold Lloyd’s The Freshman, which isn’t a musical but otherwise has many of the tropes. I don’t have…

  • The Work

    The Work

    ★★★★½

    A deceptively strong form elevates “good topic for a documentary” to “one of the very best recent documentaries.” Structurally, the film exists in a loop, with the opening and closing of the prison doors each day and the focus on a particular transformation (or two) inside the hallowed room. The filmmakers construct the experience of the viewer so tightly, jumping in and out of the tight circles, layering a surprising number of shots (how many cameras did they have?) from…

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  • Certified Copy

    Certified Copy

    ★★★★★

    Second viewing confirms this is among the handful of films I'd consider my all-time favorites. Everything I want in a film is here. (Well, I could use a chase scene with a car explosion, I guess.)

    What's the movie about? It's about an hour and forty-five minutes.

    An hour and forty-five minutes of dizzying, glorious, beautiful starts and stops, ideas and emotions, reality and fiction, truth and lies, beauty and deceit. AK demands our attention, but doesn't mind if we…

  • The Social Network

    The Social Network

    ★★★★

    Aaron Sorkin demands that at each moment you recognize exactly how intelligent he is. Every turn of phrase, overlapped sentence, and twist in the argument screams to be heard as written by Aaron Sorkin. The obvious problem with wanting people to know just how intelligent you are is that people will find out just how intelligent you are. One surmises that everything Sorkin has contemplated in relation to technology, online/offline, class, social hierarchies, elitism is right there in the script,…