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  • Faces Places

    Faces Places

    an affirmation of life and a tender testimony of humanity... i'm still crying and i have nothing really to say that this doesn't say better without words or sound. it's a charming, thoughtful, and determinedly aesthetic series of portraits that celebrate and recognize the beauty in every day lives. the beyond-life-size portraits tower over the villages they are imposed upon; the subjects are captured with such vulnerability, such power, so much love. you can say the same about JR to…

  • Hannah Gadsby: Nanette

    Hannah Gadsby: Nanette

    an argument for and an example of how nobody's life—nobody's humanity—is a justifiable price for a work of art. i found the comedic stretches to be funny in a comforting way. not comfortable, but comforting; it's affirming, in an admittedly selfish way, to see familiarly painful experiences reimagined into a neat joke. but Gadsby turns away from the comedy, she abandons humor all together, she renounces stand up and stands firmly before the trauma that grounds her self-deprecating routine. for…

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  • Call Me by Your Name

    Call Me by Your Name

    ★★★★★

    dear you,

    as of tonight, there are 500 of you.

    back in middle school, i used to write letters to an online friend named ellie. her real name was laura, but she went by ellie. sometimes i called her larry, as a joke, and she called me tyler, as a joke.

    she had so many names that when we started writing letters to each other, like bonafide pen pals, i'd address them "dear you" -- because sometimes, even when i…

  • A Quiet Place

    A Quiet Place

    this is a writer's workshop wet dream. this is a well-studied, well-executed narrative paradigm of what good writing does.

    the exposition is kept to a minimum. the reality of this world is established quickly, but Krasinski does so efficiently and affectively. the physical and life-threatening stakes are marked from the get-go, as are the emotional stakes, which ultimately end up being even more terrifying and tension-inducing than the former.

    there's any number of "plant and pay-offs," which are all satisfying,…