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  • Rear Window

    Rear Window

    ★★★★★

    Hitchcock once said to fellow filmmaker Francois Truffaut: "I'll bet you that nine out of ten people, if they see a woman across the courtyard undressing for bed, or even a man puttering around in his room, will stay and look; no one turns away and says, 'It's none of my business.' They could pull down their blinds, but they never do; they stand there and look out." I'm sure Hitchcock counts himself in that number, given the recurring theme…

  • The Elephant Man

    The Elephant Man

    ★★★★★

    Even as a kid, the highlight of fairs and carnivals was never the rides, but the freak-show side attractions. Fork over a few dollars, step into a tent or behind a curtain, gawk at the bearded lady or "the world's smallest woman." Walk past shelves of deformed creatures floating in formaldehyde. Get a glimpse of a two-headed snake or a cow with an appendage protruding from its neck. I used to overhear strangers make remarks like "depressing" and "disturbing;" meanwhile,…

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  • Le Cercle Rouge

    Le Cercle Rouge

    ★★★★

    There are many reasons to fall in love with a movie. Maybe you're able to relate to the characters on a deeply personal level. Maybe the movie stimulates you intellectually or emotionally. Maybe, like a ride at a carnival, you find the movie enormously entertaining and fun. Or maybe, in the case of Le Cercle Rouge, the movie is so effortlessly cool, so assured and stylish and elegant in its approach, that you feel more like a badass just for…

  • Funny Games

    Funny Games

    ★★★

    Rarely have I felt as conflicted about a film as I do with the purposefully provocative Funny Games. The two tormenters, with their pristine country-club attire, are easily detestable, weaselly little shits. One is rail-thin with noodle-like limbs, the other tubby and clumsy, yet their lack of physical intimidation only makes their cruelty all the more enraging, as it seemingly wouldn't take much of a slip-up for the victimized family to gain the upper hand (magical remotes be damned). Throughout…