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  • Friendly Persuasion

    Friendly Persuasion

    ★★★

    Earnest pic with a Western-style story of a family of Quakers whose faith in a non-violent way of life is sorely tried by the outbreak of the Civil War.  Heard this was a pacifist anti-war melodramedy, that takes place in Indianapolis where I visited with a friend for a short work-related trip. (More training seminars coming!). The more I see of Wyler, the more I want to see more fo sure. The meshing of tones here is a bit jarring…

  • Wild Palms

    Wild Palms

    ★★★

    Ever wondered what it would be like if Twin Peaks were more like Southland Tales?!  Look no further than this delirious, sporadically entertaining mess that came out as a miniseries.  Some good ideas here and there, terrific performances alongside awful ones, a curious score and nice deconstruction of sci-fi tropes (reality manipulation, holograms, Scientology).  I have no idea what it all means or what’s going on most of the time and it’s often too aloof for its own good, but…

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  • Take This Waltz

    Take This Waltz

    ★★★★★

    If someone were to point out my favorite thing(s) to read, even more than a great novel, it would be essays about something that affected them so deeply that they felt compelled to write about it. It can be short, or it can be 20 pages long. A great author of this approach would be Lester Bangs, who wrote beautifully indulgent music reviews in such an intensely personal way that were so resonant, that for the right reader, you might…

  • Inherent Vice

    Inherent Vice

    ★★★★★

    Big turnaround here! It took me a 2nd viewing to finally declare this is as a masterpiece of subtle spikes of paranoia, exploring the mystery at the heart of a hard crime, be it personal or political or both. My initial review is that this film is a meandering mess, but it's not. Not really. There are detours that add up to the overall idea that I THINK both PTA and Pynchon share: narratives don't matter in this cluttered cultural…