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  • Girlfriends

    Girlfriends

    ★★★★

    You can definitely feel its DNA in the early mumblecore of Andrew Bujalski, Lena Dunham, and others, and it’s basically the blueprint for Frances Ha. Lovely film.

    Side note: I knew I recognized the protagonist’s best friend Anne from somewhere and, sure enough, by pure coincidence, I watched the only other movie Anita Skinner ever appeared in just last week! She played the lead in the creepy slow-burn horror film Sole Survivor (1984), which was similarly ahead of its time and seemed to serve as the prototype for films made decades later—in this case, Final Destination and It Follows.

  • There's Nothing Out There

    There's Nothing Out There

    Feisty self-referential horror-comedy that’s not nearly as clever as it thinks it is. OK, I admit the hero swinging to safety on the boom mic that just dipped into frame made me smile. But the horror-geek character who knows all the rules wasn’t novel even in 1991 -- see the 1986 slasher Evil Laugh, in which the Fangoria-reading Barney warns his pals that sex equals death 10 years before Randy in Scream. Surprisingly, There’s Nothing Out There’s resident horror nerd…

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  • Inland Empire

    Inland Empire

    ★★★★

    It’s not about the bunnies...

    Is it about the bunnies?

  • Disconnected

    Disconnected

    ★★★½

    An early-’80s art-horror nightmare with a post-punk/new wave soundtrack featuring Hunters & Collectors and XTC. I’m not sure whether the disjointed fever-dream aesthetic was arrived at via intent or ineptitude (or a little of both), but it doesn’t matter. This is weird, fascinating regional horror for which terms like “good” or “bad” just don’t apply. I was mesmerized.

    And those phone calls are fucking unnerving. Jesus Christ.