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  • The Two Faces of a Bamileke Woman

    The Two Faces of a Bamileke Woman

    ★★★★½

    FIRST THOUGHTS:
    Really lovely personal essay and exploration of familial history. I love the ways in which the film explores the culture without judgement, but while fully recognizing the damage that these patriarchal systems do to the women who are trapped within them. There are some amazing moments of recognition for the filmmaker, the shock of discovery, that feels essential in documentaries if this nature. A really incredible work.

  • Milla

    Milla

    ★★★★

    FIRST THOUGHTS:
    Quiet, lovely, devastating portrait of motherhood in the midst of poverty and loss. While there are touches of social realism, there are there lovely moments of surrealism that suffuse everything. It’s a powerful mod piece, and even though plot is the last thing on its mind, the film is a beautiful and poignant character study.

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  • Destiny

    Destiny

    ★★★½

    FIRST THOUGHTS:
    Solid silent film Fritz Lang. I like the fact that Death isn’t as cold and unfeeling as he’s often depicted in these films. The special effects are pretty magical. I like some of the ideas in the film - that no life is worth throwing away for the sake of the healthy young lover, though there is the problematic fairy-tale quality to its ending. The three stories that we see play out are fun - they feel more…

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    Bohemian Rhapsody

    ½

    This may be the worst Best Picture nominee since I started really following the Oscars in 1990. It’s not just an insipid and formulaic rock biopic, it’s an incompetent, insipid, and formulaic rock biopic - lifeless, inert, and sanitized. The treatment of the long-suffering and supportive ex-wife borders on the misogynistic and the film simultaneously pathologizes Mercury’s sexuality - until he settles down with a nice boy. The emotional beats are unearned, they consistently find the least interesting way to shoot scenes, and the film never gets beyond a surface level exploration of any character.