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  • The Shape of Water

    The Shape of Water

    ★★★★

    What I loved about The Shape of Water:
    -Its love for the period setting it takes place in.
    -The Cold War paranoia.
    -Sally Hawkins deeply sympathetic performance (and her character's refreshing sexual agency).
    -The blue color palette.
    -Guillermo del Toro's love of cinema bleeds off the screen.
    -Alexandre Desplat's score.
    -The nostalgic fairy-tale aspect of it all.
    -The can-do spirit of the film's heroes.

    What I didn't love about The Shape of Water:
    -The romance between Hawkins and the creature…

  • Irma Vep

    Irma Vep

    ★★★★

    I believe it was one Stephen Furda who said that Irma Vep is a "propulsive punk rock/arthouse hybrid." I'll add to that and say that it's like Truffaut's Day for Night had that film been directed by Jean-Luc Godard instead. As we've seen in other "movies about making movies," set life is already chaotic enough with the constant stream of feuding crew members but Olivier Assayas and his free-flowing camera take that experience into a radical new dimension. The last scene of this film is something of Lynchian proportions.

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  • Blow-Up

    Blow-Up

    ★★★★★

    Without a doubt one of the greatest films in the history of the medium. A perfect and very specific snapshot of a city, its residents and the counterculture they created. Oh, there's also a murder plot (not that it matters much overall). Just sit back and enjoy the ride. So fucking groovy, man.

  • The Lost City of Z

    The Lost City of Z

    ★★★★½

    James Gray is without a doubt the best and most vital American filmmaker in cinema today. Going way outside his comfort zone of intimate New York-set dramas, Gray has created an adventurous and epic Amazonian tale of discovery, love and obsession. The Lost City of Z is exceptionally moving, beautifully lensed by Darius Khondji and features an extraordinary cast (Hunnam, Miller, Holland and Pattinson all give career-best performances). I sort of wish that Gray had made films in the 1970's instead; a decade that would have seen him thrive alongside Scorsese and Coppola and where his very specific talents would have been greatly appreciated.