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  • Loves of a Blonde

    Loves of a Blonde

    ★★★½

    The fourth episode of Catalyst and Witness, a podcast devoted to personal explorations of the New York Film Festival hosted by Dan Molloy and me and featuring special guest Evan Morgan, can be found on iTunes here.

  • First Reformed

    First Reformed

    ★★★★½

    Rare is the modern film that understands the consequences of what it depicts and how it achieves this to the level of First Reformed. In many ways the perfect distillation of what Paul Schrader has sought throughout his career, its influences range from transcendental cinema to Classical Hollywood, yet its many concerns seem uniquely its own. Ethan Hawke, as an ailing reverend who undergoes an extended long dark night of the soul, is revelatory.

    A few words (75 to be exact) on FIRST REFORMED, almost certainly the best American film at SIFF 2018.

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  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

    Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

    ★★★★

    Batman v Superman is a brutal film, but not in its attitudes towards the narrative, the characters, or the viewer. Instead, it is astounding in the frank, unrestrained, yet almost impressionistic approach towards the subject matter and the weighty themes at hand. Snyder and his collaborators are unblinking in their depiction of the violence and lack of heroics that take place in a changed, darker world that in many, many ways reflects our own, but, incredibly, make them palatable in…

  • Paris, Texas

    Paris, Texas

    ★★★★★

    The opening notes of Ry Cooder's score that accompany the title card are almost alchemical in the way they accomplish so much with so little. With this first salvo, along with the opening shot of Travis engulfed by the open desert that is implied to be from a bird's perspective, Wenders sets the mood and some of the themes of the overall film with astonishing clarity and precision. The dominant emotions are undoubtedly sorrow, regret, and isolation, but it feels…