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  • The Room

    The Room

    ★★★★★

    Essentially I feel the same about The Room as I do about Plan 9 From Outer Space---these movies are so bad they go beyond bad and good and open up a realm of valuation rarely worthy of credence. But it remains true to me: movies like these are amazing because they turn us inward to ourselves and how to we watch and "read" movies. Because surely we do "read" them, trying to make sense of them, the narrative, the symbols,…

  • The Shape of Water

    The Shape of Water

    ★★½

    The Shape of Water clings to its premise like a baby to its blanket. It's cute enough to stare it, even if one could yank free the blanket from the baby's weak grasp and spoil the moment. I don't necessarily want to do that with Del Toro's The Shape of Water, a movie so secure in its set up---a love affair between a sweet mute woman and a fish man---that it doesn't feel the need, have the desire, or even…

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  • Moonlight

    Moonlight

    ★★½

    After rethinking, retalking, and revising my thoughts, I'm giving this one another go:

    I didn't love or even super like Moonlight; not because of the subject matter (which I happily champion its existence, especially as an "Oscar movie"), or because it's a "victim-movie" (a crude term I've encountered after seeing a few critics pussyfoot around the idea of not liking a movie because it victimizes its characters, which, you know, is dumb, because it is the prerogative of the filmmaker…

  • The Problem with Apu

    The Problem with Apu

    ★★

    This doc isn't all that slick or interesting to watch. Its ideas about representation, though surface level in many regards, are yet still revealing and important. Frankly, every discussion about representation is important---if the floodgates are to remain open for a possible sea change, the flood must continue---though not every argument is going to hit the mark.
    Part of the the problem with "The Problem with Apu" is that it doesn't grapple with its subject so much as shame it.…