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  • Alien Beasts

    Alien Beasts

    ★★★½

    I don't think that Alien Beasts is a watershed film that points the way to a new cinema. There are many directors who have used film as a sketchbook and diary to outline and test ideas. The Kuchar brothers, Kenneth Anger and Stan Smith, to name a few famous examples, all made films with little narrative cohesion or polished production values. However, these films are rich in ideas that often rely on eccentric internal dialog, unpredictable actions and surreal juxtapositions…

  • Counting

    Counting

    ★★★★★

    From the very first movies, filmmakers have recognized the power of film to record and preserve the ordinary scenes in our lives. Chris Marker, Jean Vigo, Frederick Wiseman, Agnes Varda and Chantal Akerman are but a few of those directors. There are moments when simultaneity, juxtaposition, coincidence and spontaneity work together, subtly and quietly adding meaning and significance to the small tableaux that present themselves as we make our way through our day. Normally fugitive, these little canvases can be…

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  • Electra, My Love

    Electra, My Love

    ★★★★½

    In 1974, an unrelenting brownness was spreading across the world. Natural was the password and organic was becoming more than a branch of chemistry. The Marxist ideologies of 1968 were still in the air. Hippiedom was on its deathbed but still breathing as it became co-opted and institutionalized. A disillusioned baby boom generation was settling for tweed, corduroy and shag haircuts. Still looking for answers, our eyes settled on the perceived values of pre-industrial cultures to salve the atrocities of…

  • A Short Film About Love

    A Short Film About Love

    ★★½

    This is a short film about what love is not: women as observed sex object; women catering to solipsistic male sex fantasies; tolerance for stalking and sexual harassment; the assumption that women yearn for any attention no matter how harmful. The film is worth watching for Kieslowski's skillful storytelling and masterful use of composition, lighting and color but it is a study of dated values that have been challenged by feminist ideology and gender politics.