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  • A Lesson in Love

    A Lesson in Love

    ★★★

    BERGBOX WEEK 6/30 (7/5 to 7/11) :
    A Lesson in Love

    Another Bergman comedy released just before his breakout film in the same genre Smiles of a Summer Night. As a trial run for that much more successful film A Lesson in Love is fascinating, featuring a screwball-esque "scheme to get remarried" plot seemingly engaged in tug of war with Bergman's darker instincts. The cutesy opening that announces the film as a "comedy for adults" and eye-roll inducing Cupid appearence…

  • Lenny Cooke

    Lenny Cooke

    ★★★½

    Got to catch up with the last Safdie Brothers feature I had left thanks to Criterion Channel. It's a documentary tracking would-be basketball star Lenny Cooke from #1 ranked high school player (above scrubs like Lebron and Melo) to undrafted burnout. I was hoping for something more focused on the game itself but there's hardly any footage of Cooke actually playing. Instead it focuses on Cooke as a person- his background, friends, family, and dreams. The final third of the…

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  • The Sacrifice

    The Sacrifice

    ★★★★½

    Wrapped up Tarkovsky's short filmography today with The Sacrifice, his lone Swedish production. Shot by Sven Nykvist and featuring several Bergman players, it is probably not coincidentally the only Tarkovsky you could call Bergmanesque. After a typical extreme longtake opens the film The Sacrifice comes to resemble a chamber drama when all the characters gather for a birthday dinner and find out their nuclear extinction has been set in motion.

    The news is met with stunned silence from all the…

  • That Obscure Object of Desire

    That Obscure Object of Desire

    ★★★★

    The last major Buñuel I had left to explore also happens to be the director's final work: 1977's That Obscure Object of Desire. Ironically it's perhaps the ideal starting point for someone new to his film, a (really) dry satire exploring some of his favorite themes including sexuality and upper-class treatment of the have-nots in a lightly surrealist structure.

    It's also a return to the setup he famously deployed in Exterminating Angel and Discreet Charm: an apparently normal situation where…