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  • The Vast of Night

    The Vast of Night

    ★★★★

    This is good radio.

    First it's the woman who leads Everett to the basement of the gymnasium. Then it's Billy. Then it's Mabel Blanche. They all recount how no one listens to them, both explicitly and implicitly implying race and gender as the reason. Everett on the other hand - a young, fairly average white boy - is fawned over by the Cayuga locals, granted an air of distinction and power because his voice goes out over the radio. People…

  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    ★★★★½

    Regardez.

    Chalk pencil on white canvas. Brush hairs coated in paint filling-in a subject's skin tone. Eyes glancing across the curvature of a neck, a collarbone, a cheek. Through imagery - and especially sound design - Céline Sciamma connects all of these acts, phenomenologically conveying the sensuality of touch that links the gaze and the brush stroke. Because, when it comes down to it, drawing a person's portrait requires an intimate translation of what the eye sees to what the…

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  • Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

    Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

    ★★★★½

    Bob is real! He's been having me since I was twelve.

    Throughout the Twin Peaks television series, Laura Palmer remains a two-dimensional image - her prom photo, a VHS recording, a flashback memory - of the angelic, small town popular girl. As ScreeningNotes has explained, however, in a David Lynch film there is always something underneath or behind the surface. Fire Walk with Me reveals the Laura Palmer behind the image, a young woman who, in contrast to the permanent…

  • Twin Peaks

    Twin Peaks

    Sheriff Harry S. Truman: Coop, tell me, the idea for all of this really came from a dream?
    Special Agent Dale Cooper: Yes, it did.

    You drift off to sleep laying on the television remote, the perpetually rotating channels swirling together in your unconscious. When Twin Peaks works, it attains something of the latter sensation. While the strobing lights that appear throughout the series offer a variety of interpretations, one thing they resemble is the way a television screen throws…

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  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

    ★★★★★

    As much as the third Indiana Jones film is about obsessive tendencies (concisely indicated by the hard cut between young and old Indy, both fighting for the Cross of Coronado), it is also about transference of knowledge. That is to say, where the Nazis burn books, Henry Jones shares them with his son. Indy is a testament to the teachings of his father, following in his academic footsteps and displaying a number of the same personality traits; he's been shaped…

  • Mad Max: Fury Road

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    ★★★★★

    A personal aside before the review: The Alamo Drafthouse in Kansas City continues its run as the most impressive theater in the area by providing a free, early screening of Fury Road, entirely making my week!

    Technology and budgetary financing has finally caught up with George Miller's horrifying vision of the post-apocalyptic future! The opening sequence of Mad Max: Fury Road deposits the viewer into a world akin to hell. Immortan Joe's cliffside community is nearly a broadly comedic division…