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  • Patty Hearst

    Patty Hearst

    ★★★★

    The beginning, in which Patty is kidnapped and Schrader films her captors from her perspective as harsh backlight washes out figures and overwhelms eyes accustomed to darkness, is so stunningly unnerving and even reminded me of Pedro Costa in its static but charged framing. (Schrader, it now occurs to me, is perhaps the definitive American filmmaker of enclosed, claustrophobic spaces.) Once Patty becomes welcomed into the fold of her kidnappers' army, the film literally and figuratively opens up, becoming a…

  • Shutter Island

    Shutter Island

    ★★★★½

    Like so many of Scorsese's ostensibly minor works, Shutter Island is not only excellent but a fascinating variation on the director's recurring themes. Teddy Daniels, like most Scorsese protagonists, is a man compelled to harm himself, to stay on a path of self-destruction that any outside observer can immediately peg as insane. Yet the film differs from Scorsese's portraits of defiant immolation (Goodfellas), self-martyring sacrifice (The Last Temptation of Christ, Bringing Out the Dead) and oblivious harm (The Irishman) by…

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  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    ★½

    The great tragedy of Kevin Feige is that, beyond raking in a mountain of cash as the head of Marvel Studios, he truly wants to be seen as an impresario of artists. The recent dust-up caused by Martin Scorsese staring holes through Disney's stunt-casting of noteworthy emerging filmmakers to lend clout to a method of filmmaking dictated by studio notes and franchise bible supervisors punctured this self-delusion and prompted a wave of pathetic self-defensiveness in which the CEO was called…

  • Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters

    Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters

    ★★★★½

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

    Killing yourself to own the libs.