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  • Daïnah la métisse

    Daïnah la métisse

    ★★★½

    this is a film about liminality. the sea, the ship: the locale between nations and identity. the magic show: the merging of reality and fantasy. the masked dance: the bringing forth of the "other side," that which should be hidden. the visual difference between the human-inhabited quarters, and the geometric basement. the class division: the rich on the upper decks, the workers on the lower. and then the woman who is mixed-race.

    daïnah is certainly trying to be sympathetic, but…

  • The Institute

    The Institute

    ★★

    there are two things that almost always bother me about mental hospital films:

    1. the question of "but who's really crazy here?!?" which will often centre around a figure who is not mentally ill, or with few obtrusive symptoms, pitted against heightened villainous doctor-sadists. mental illness becomes a sort of moral spectrum, where the good are sane and the bad are insane.

    2. we ignore the actual horror of psychiatric hospitals, or more extreme mental illness. the mental hospital is…

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  • The Lost City of Z

    The Lost City of Z

    lost city of z is a shallow, passionless, ignorant, boring, self-indulgent film which only barely reaches a height of mediocrity.

    charlie hunam is the star as fawcett, a man obsessed with a lost city in the amazon. but hunam is uninspired, as dull as wet paper. he lacks the madness and spark of someone like kinski in herzog's amazon films. and, so, the obsession remains relatively unchallenged -- there is no element of the unhinged to trouble the obsession. fawcett…

  • Alien: Covenant

    Alien: Covenant

    ★★★

    in some ways this is, to me, exceptional, but also unforgivable. mostly unforgivable. the return to the classic xenomorph is very, very welcomed after the 'sexy squidward' aliens of prometheus and i was surprised that a good chunk of the film was quite beautiful despite the overly dark lighting and wet-concrete-toned colour palette (or sorry, that's mood and gritty seriousness, right?)

    now on a personal level, since i did say that "to me" this is exceptional, michael fassbinder as david…