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  • The Other Half

    The Other Half

    ★★★

    Capitol vs. labor parable, told lightning-fast, with locked-in control over formal elements -- scenes race past like a series of telegrams, each one pared down to give only the essential information before the next shot advances the story another microscopic degree. Check out the economical (pun intended) presentation of an explosion in a factory. Five charmingly-understated shots, starting with a pile of lumber falling to the ground and a cloud of dust, and ending with the arrival of an ambulance.…

  • The Lads of the Village

    The Lads of the Village

    ★★★

    Unpretentious, but likeable enough, better than I expected -- blending homey, just-folks comedy (filtered through a heavy dose of music-hall realness) with war-time adventure thrills meant that neither genre was allowed to control the narrative to the point where the cliches became visible. Deftly handled, doesn't drag, often looks a treat. Lovely restoration, except for the many unavoidable nitrate-burnt sequences.

    We don't get many opportunities to see village England of 1917 imaged like it is here, that alone is worth the price of admission. (Who knew, though, that Mesopotamia was such a green and pleasant land? Looks just like Herefordshire.)


    Watchlust, 11/2017: #36/57

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  • Vicky Cristina Barcelona

    Vicky Cristina Barcelona

    Glib and carelessly-imagined ode to privilege. I tried to ignore my distaste for the superficial artsiness of the characters, but after the scene where the blonde girl decided it would be kicks to go to a slummy-looking neighborhood and photograph sex-workers I just couldn't. Esp. when the SW were all "Hello, American Lady Woman! We love you! Come taste the wines and cheeses of my village!"

    Art is one thing, lifestyle-pimping is another.

  • Out 1

    Out 1

    ★★★★

    It's got a gun and it's got a girl, so it's cinema. I think the only thing I can do right now is transcribe the notes I made to myself while I was watching it. Sustained thought? It's usually beyond me... and I want to read up on secondary materials before I commit to anything.

    Episode 1:

    It's absolutely a sequel to L'Amour Fou -- in that one, the characters were struggling against the collapse of meaning, and in this…