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  • Donbass

    Donbass

    Sergei Loznitsa's previous film was a near-miss, before it turned, in its final part, into a fiasco, a fellinesque stab at both satire and surrealism (for lack of a better word). all that came before was merely an attempt at high-art, predictably stilted in its depiction of Russia drab reality and the hardships of a young woman unable to bring some parcel to her husband in prison, let alone see him.

    Donbass is a lot more palatable but not without…

  • Man of the West

    Man of the West

    ★★★★★

    i never knew Gary Cooper was such a fine actor - haven’t really looked for that matter. here he plays a reformed gunslinger whom a train robbery strands, together with a lady singer and a cardsharp, in the middle of nowhere. forced to make their way by foot, they come across a cabin populated by the living ghosts of Cooper’s past. Cooper gets roped into the gang for a big score, with violent results.

    great acting all around: Lee J.…

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  • A Grin Without a Cat

    A Grin Without a Cat

    ★★★★★

    in a massive sweep it presents the rise and fall of the new left, taking in most of the defining historical events over the course of the decade beginning in 1967. this particular spirit of revolutionary euphoria to which the film is dedicated is slowly revealed to have depended for its particular character on the "leading" role of the soviet union and on the fluctuating ideologies of the european communist parties (drifting away from soviet orientation towards a revival of…

  • The Man Who Fell to Earth

    The Man Who Fell to Earth

    ★★★★★

    when i recently rewatched Don't Look Now i found it frightfully overdetermined and didn't enjoy it at all. this here i found much better fare, it seems to have kept some of the strangeness that i loved in Roeg when i was younger and which is so hard to discover again watching through more jaded eyes. Bowie seems genuinely out of touch with everything.