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  • Umberto D.

    Umberto D.

    ★★★★★

    One of my grandmothers turned 90 years old in January. We took her on a trip to the Philippines for Christmas so that she can celebrate her family back on her homeland, and although it almost seemed nice to see her happy to be back home for probably one last time, a thought of sadness hit me as I came to remember something she once told me. I've lived inside of a pessimistic shadow and the thought that she might…

  • Frances Ha

    Frances Ha

    ★★★★★

    I remember the first viewing of Frances Ha well enough and how it treated me then. At the time, I was unfamiliar with Greta Gerwig and my first impression only had me thinking that what I was watching was cute and funny. The more I watch Greta Gerwig, I slowly realize what it is about the way she writes her characters that keeps me watching them as their stories are being told for us on the screen, and what I…

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  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    ★★★★

    The Coen brothers’s anthology The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a portrait of the many sides of the west, but like any other anthology film there’s always that challenge coming by as to how can all stories ever remain so compelling. You can only get so much charm out of the sort of wit that’s typical of the Coen brothers, but where the film already finds some of its very best footing it also comes right in between some of…

  • Magnolia

    Magnolia

    ★★★★★

    The consistency of a filmmaker like Paul Thomas Anderson is enough to place him among the very best American auteurs working today, for his sophomore feature Boogie Nights he has only ever managed to turn out hit after hit at a rate that’s near indescribable. But determining a favourite film of such an impressive body of work can already be enough of a challenge for many, although for me I feel like it would be easy enough to admit that…

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  • Ikiru

    Ikiru

    ★★★★★

    Before I begin, I would like to say that this is not going to be a proper review and I want you to keep the one person behind it in mind.

    My name is Jaime Rebanal, and I am a hopeless individual who has suffered through depression and extreme anxiety. I think saying that can already get a load off my chest for the time being.

    But why say this in front of an entry about Ikiru, you say? I…

  • La La Land

    La La Land

    ★★★½

    Damien Chazelle's ode to the classical era of Hollywood's musicals in La La Land takes his viewers on a nostalgic trip for a good two hours - and while it runs, the pleasantness can be felt all the way through as if there were anything much more to ask. Where it needs to succeed, La La Land certainly manages to achieve its goal for Damien Chazelle's aspiration to bring his own viewers back to such an era for Hollywood comes…