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  • Two Lovers

    Two Lovers

    ★★★★★

    I usually hate rewatching movies because I'm always worried a second look will ruin that perfect memory of the first... but... the lovechild of LE NOTTI BIANCHE and LATE MARRIAGE easily holds up as my favourite film to this day. Why is it not widely considered one of the greatest of all time? How can something be so perfect?

    It always astounds me just how much James Gray is able to mine from, what, five characters, and, like, three settings.…

  • The Yards

    The Yards

    ★★★★½

    Even richer upon re-watch (goddamn, everyone looked so young and so good back then!). The first time around, while I still loved THE YARDS -- especially its moody aesthetic, carried by Harris Savides' godlike photography -- I found the emotional beats to be somewhat contrived. On second viewing, with the heavy plot machinations out of the way, I was deeply moved by the film's now seemingly organic familial core*. I also totally didn't remember Howard Shore's score being possibly one…

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  • Burning

    Burning

    ★★★★★

    I don't believe I've ever seen a film that's equally cruel as it is empathetic to its characters. Watching these identities unfold -- or not -- becomes, stealthily, an almost unbearably draining, unsettling experience. The interplay of gender and class with paranoia and vulnerability here is something of an unprecedented chemical reaction; a serene, realistic waking nightmare.

    Imagine having this much confidence in your storytelling, pacing, form, and ambiguity... BURNING is essentially the cinematic equivalent of negative space; SCHRODINGER'S CAT:…

  • Annihilation

    Annihilation

    ★★★★½

    APOCALYPSE NOW x THE LAST OF US x 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY x UNDER THE SKIN x MISSION TO MARS x STALKER x THE THING x SOLARIS x THE VILLAGE x STARGATE x ALIEN. And yet... entirely its own brilliant concoction. Smart, adult, uncompromising. 

    The closest a film has come to depicting an acid trip, I think. Unnerving and scary as all hell. The score felt like SICARIO’s blended with ARRIVAL’s; foreign, alien, beguiling, almost welcoming, beyond tense. Shouts to Portishead, and RIP Johann Johannsson. Portman reeeeally improving as an actor - incredibly committed.

    2018 in film basically already better than all of 2017.