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  • Hands Over the City

    Hands Over the City

    ★★★★½

    A publicly owned apartment building collapses. It was very old, and is next to a demolition site where a private company -- owned by a member of the city council -- plans to erect fancy new buildings that will make that councilman and all his cronies richer than they already are. Whose fault is the collapse?

    Made in the early 60s in Naples, Italy, this film is basically The Wire before The Wire was, though it focuses mostly on the…

  • Equinox

    Equinox

    ★★½

    Creepy park rangers! Horrible relationships! The Necronomicon! The most disgusting kiss ever! Terrible stop motion monsters! Including a giant gorillizard! Basically, an early take on Evil Dead, but it takes itself seriously, and had even less of an effects budget. I believe it started life as a student film, so absolutely forgive the visible wires, the fluctuating hair and wardrobe, etc. A marvelous waste of time.

  • Satan's Brew

    Satan's Brew

    ★★★½

    Insufferable protagonist, check. Annoyingly helpless/clueless/willingly degraded women, check. Grotesque behavior on all sides, check. Tantrums and animal noises for no discernable reason, check. A thoroughly unpleasant viewing experience, but it sticks to its guns. It's consistent in its view of human horribleness. It's appallingly funny. Somebody tell me why I watch these damn films.

  • The Testament of Dr. Mabuse

    The Testament of Dr. Mabuse

    ★★★★½

    Simply one of the best crime stories ever. Also has one of the most exciting car chases -- and I'm not usually one who finds car chases all that exciting.

  • Schizopolis

    Schizopolis

    ★★★½

    I went into this looking for something Richard Lester-esque, since he was supposed to be a "major influence" on the project, but that's not quite what I got. This film never quite came together for me, though it had moments of hilarity, chiefly when several banal little scenes from early on are revisited with different dialogue, some of it in Japanese or Spanish. I know just enough of these languages to have been highly entertained by how the scenes were…

  • I Origins

    I Origins

    ★★★★

    Mike Cahill + Brit Marling = pretty good sign of an interesting film. I loved Another Earth and I quite liked this one, too, though I'd maybe have liked it a bit better if it didn't back off from giving an answer to the big question it was so very proud of posing. The ambiguous ending is a commonplace in art films, but it didn't intrigue or encourage further thought here; it just felt like they chickened out.

    Of course,…

  • Divergent

    Divergent

    ★★★

    See also: Clans of the Alphane Moon. This is my theory: the Factions only *think* they built the wall to keep the rest of the world out, but it's really the rest of the world keeping the crazies in.

    No but seriously.

    Anyway, perfectly competent blah blah blah.

  • Vanishing Waves

    Vanishing Waves

    ★★★★½

    Might even be five stars, but its need of a trigger warning for two kinda rapey scenes forced me to knock off half a star. Wonderfully shot, though, wonderfully scored, wonderfully acted (Marius Jampolskis was especially compelling and intense, even as he played a character it was pretty hard to actually like), and yes, very sexy. The organic development of the psychic relationship from Blue Lagoon-ish wordless reptile brain play through a desperately narrated dual psychodrama at film's end was especially well handled. This is worth seeing!

  • End of Animal

    End of Animal

    ★★★

    This film manages to be tense, mysterious and ominous, even though the viewer spends most of it wanting to slap the passive heroine, a pregnant teenager trapped in a sort-of-post-apocalypse (at least one insofar as there's hardly anyone about and technology doesn't work anymore) full of hostile strangers, a little dog with a big bearlike growl, and a guy who knows everybody's secrets and isn't afraid to tell them all. Hrm.

  • Babo 73

    Babo 73

    ★★★½

    A little bit Richard "Bed Sitting Room" Lester, a little bit Andy Warhol does Idiocracy. Very much a product of its time and culture, this satire/farce is kind of dated but still fun. It's also very, very ballsy, politically incorrect before that was a thing.

  • Senn

    Senn

    ★★★

    Pretty much 84 minutes of hippy dippy wish fulfillment, Senn might feel like a waste of time for a lot of filmgoers. Either you're already on board with its message, in which case you'll impatiently roll your eyes because you're in the choir it's preaching to, or you're not, in which case you'll probably not make it through the first half hour and the rest will make you wish you'd stopped. There is zero dramatic tension as the characters are…

  • Enemy

    Enemy

    ★★★★

    I'm a fan of Jose Saramago, so I was excited to see this adaptation of his novel, The Double. It did not disappoint, though I'm still trying to figure out all the weird spider imagery. It must be Jungian, in which the spider is sort of a negative mother figure. For all that mom is Isabella Rosselini, there are some mom issues here. And lots of others.