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  • Scarred Hearts

    Scarred Hearts

    ★★★½

    "Though it couldn’t match the highs of Puiu’s achievement, Scarred Hearts, the final film I watched at the festival, had its own admirable pleasures. I’m not as familiar with Radu Jude, the writer-director (all films, interestingly enough, were written by their directors), and his place in the Romanian New Wave, but his previous film Aferim!, which was released in the US last year, had a certain impressive quality. While that movie was 2.35:1 black and white, his latest is in…

  • Sieranevada

    Sieranevada

    ★★★★

    "The movie manages to be about nothing – the ending is played deliberately as an absurd joke, a rueful chuckle at the frenetic activities in the apartment overshadowing the purpose of the gathering – and everything, as numerous topics, from communism to fidelity to even 9/11 truthers, are brought up and debated at length. There is a progression, insofar as many people leave and reenter the apartment multiple times and much of the film is about waiting for a priest…

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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…