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  • Persona

    Persona

    ★★★★★

    What can I even say about this? Wow. A great start to August.

    Wild cinematography; I won't be able to get these images of duality out of my head. Every element of craft working for the theme and storytelling - a masterpiece in psychoanalysis on the silver screen.

    Also the *boldness* to edit a certain scene the way Bergman did -- I'm shook. It wouldn't work in any other context. That's a true auteur move, representing an inimitable courage to see his themes to the end.

  • I'm No Longer Here

    I'm No Longer Here

    ★★★★

    Wonderful.

    A quality slice of life film. Loved the ethnographic feel of the scenes in Mexico, and as a dancer I appreciated watching a fascinating dance/music subculture so lovingly and genuinely represented on screen.

    In the US scenes, appreciated having a POC supporting character in the form of Lin. She was so earnestly awkward in her wanting to build connection with Ulises.

    Some of the cinematography is so gorgeous; for some reason I get Bong vibes, though I can't quite articulate why -- maybe it's the ensemble staging in the dance sequences.

    Also border internment camps? Boo.

    Watched on Netflix.

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  • Oasis

    Oasis

    ★★★★★

    A brief disclaimer that I’m continually working on finding the most accurate, yet inclusive words to describe folks with varying neurological capabilities. Medicine is rife with shorcuts and labels, and as a future physician, I’m seeking the best words to both: 1) honestly describe and validate what conditions patients have, 2) not invalidate or reduce their humanity and lived experience to a tag or label. I’ve heard of atypical, or neurodivergent. Please let me know your best practices and offer…

  • Ordinary People

    Ordinary People

    ★★½

    Pamilya Ordinaryo feels a grittier, but just as shallow version of the fictionalized Maalaala Mo Kaya-like dramas that it’s criticizing.

    At this point, showing poverty is rampant in the Philippines and that the urban poor are oppressed isn’t enough. I want to see how those oppressions are engendered, perpetuated, and upheld. And if a film insists on being a slice of life narrative, showing ‘this is how it is.’ I want to see characters with actual agency — complete with dreams, happiness, laughter, strengths — and not passive vessels of experiencing misery.

    Watched on Netflix!