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  • Fires on the Plain

    Fires on the Plain

    ★★★★★

    There are so many shocking and striking scenes that it's a whole separate kind of wonder that these brutal set pieces also make up a narrative. The strafing, the bit with the boots, the revelation that it's not monkey... Holy shit, this film.

  • Europa

    Europa

    ★★★★

    This visually striking, often beautiful, film opened my eyes to a situation I'd never really given much thought to -- what life was like in Germany immediately following WWII. The sense of shock and of guilt, the material deprivation and devastation... It's all thrown into sharp relief here as our hero, a German-American pacifist, returns to Germany to work as, of all things, a train conductor. His travels being him into the orbit of a prominent industrial family as well…

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  • House

    House

    ★★★★½

    Not since Ishii's Funky Forest has a Japanese movie made me laugh and get squicked out the way Hausu did. It's so batshit it's its own genre, with the only other film that might accompany it in said genre being Evil Dead. But Evil Dead is sedate and logical next to this. AWESOME.

  • Ali: Fear Eats the Soul

    Ali: Fear Eats the Soul

    ★★★★★

    "Happiness is not always fun." This is both one of the sweetest and most devastating films I've seen. Could become a favorite if I ever develop the emotional resilience regular viewings would require.

    It's the silences that get you. The silences and the tightly crowded spaces that shouldn't allow the kind of distances those silences achieve.