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  • Rebecca

    Rebecca

    ★★

    I've always found the acclamation by even some ardent auteurists for this rather inexplicable. Of course it retains some strong Hitchcock moments (which of his films doesn't? even Topaz isn't entirely unforgivable), and granted they are probably the most striking fragments of cinema to that point in his career, but as a whole it's so obviously compromised by Selznick and weighed down by the monstrous heft of Hollywood studio forces... Of Hitchcock's two 1940 films, Foreign Correspondent still seems to me a vastly more cohesive and enduring work, truer to his blossoming strengths.

  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

    ★★★★★

    A parodic desecration of American self-reliance, humans eating other humans out of their own selfishness, yet ironically—and tragically!—pursuing this nightmare vision because of forces operating them like meat puppets: capitalism as a pervasive metaphysical system, the grand cannibalism, a suffocating macrocosm correspondingly exaggerating hunger and magnifying microcosmic darkness. Emerson: “An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man.”

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  • Jersey Boys

    Jersey Boys

    ★★★★★

    A director clearly at play; you can tell Eastwood just had a blast making this. Structurally reckless and tonally spontaneous, with some of the most lively mise en scène of his entire career. There were more than a few jaw-dropping shots which made me think, "This is Eastwood?!" He's beyond taking risks at this point, making films on no one's terms but his own. I can't help but think of what Rossellini said about Chaplin's A King in New York: "This is the film of a free man."

  • The Nutty Professor

    The Nutty Professor

    ★★★★★

    "You might as well like yourself. Just think about all the time you're gonna have to spend with you."