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  • What You Gonna Do When the World's on Fire?

    What You Gonna Do When the World's on Fire?

    ★★★

    Surprised, given the remarkable docu-fiction sleight-of-hand of Stop the Pounding Heart, that this plays more like a straightforward documentary, albeit one captured in Minervini's typically intimate, fluid camera style—not to mention some pretty stunning b&w (motivated by his desire to avoid a "hierarchy" of cinematographic beauty between the four discrete stories here). Main question for me was why he chose to alter his method for this subject; and in the post-screening Q&A, he essentially said that he wanted to avoid…

  • The Favourite

    The Favourite

    ★★★

    Capsuled for InRO's NYFF dispatch:

    Although The Favourite represents a number of firsts for Yorgos Lanthimos — first period piece, first screenplay for which he has no writing credit— the film fits snugly into the Greek director’s career-long absurdist exploration of social structures and dynamics of power. Here, the setting is 18th century England under the reign of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman), and those vying for power are Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz), the entrenched court favorite, and…

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  • Primer

    Primer

    ★★★★½

    90/100

    Man, do you wanna watch Primer? I haven't seen it since later this afternoon.

  • First Reformed

    First Reformed

    ★★½

    A film built on various contradictions and oppositions: an austere, barely-populated church straight out of Bergman yoked to the behemoth prosperity gospel institution of Abundant Life; a son (Joseph, "the dreamer") sacrificed in "a war without moral justification" and a 'son' (Philip Ettinger's Michael) lost in the moral quandary of a decaying earth ("Will God forgive us?"); a Märta figure à la Winter Light (Victoria Hill's Esther) seen as a constant reminder of earthly inadequacy, placed against Amanda Seyfried's Mary,…