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  • Killer of Sheep

    Killer of Sheep

    ★★★★½

    Discussed with NYTimes critic Manohla Dargis on the latest episode of the podcast. Not much to say: it's a masterpiece that I would be shocked if it doesn't cross into the Sight & Sound Top 50 during the next poll.

    Fun Fact: The film first played abroad at a Rome film festival in 1980 which had a focus on black cinema. This included: Micheaux's Body & Soul, Richard Maurice's Eleven P.M., two William Greales docs, Dixon's The Spook Who Sat By The Door, Gordon Parks's The Learning Tree, and this little gem.

  • The Republic

    The Republic

    ★★★

    Discussed with director James N. Kienitz Wilkins and writer Robin Schavoir on the podcast. I think the conceptual bit works quite well; the absence of an image makes for compelling cinema. The real question is whether the allegorical drama works, which given the daunting running time (I did it in a few parts over a few different screens / audio devices), has some interesting threads though the characters feel sedate. But maybe give it a try as a podcast.

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  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    ★★

    For years, Hollywood and the surrounding Culture Wars have asked a question: Do Critics Matter? It's a frankly boring question, but the main anxiety has developed out of a growing disconnect between Rotten Tomatoes Favorites and the American Box Office. But Disney and their expanding intellectual properties have put a new spin on this story: critics don't matter, but studios deliberately position / design films to harness their words in order to enter The Cultural Conversation. Their movies are no…

  • Baby Driver

    Baby Driver

    ★★★½

    Edgar Wright would have never fit the 70s New Wave: he belongs at Warners in the 30s. Baby Driver colors inside the lines, but this is a stark contrast from other recent Hollywood films praised being "different enough." He wants the image on screen to matter more than the cultural conversation that occurs afterwards. He's rather cast a David Byrne than a emotive performance (perhaps to a slight detriment when the gears change). He wants to create tone and rhythm…