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  • Rosa Blanca

    Rosa Blanca

    ★★½

    Starts out as a good-haciendero, bad-gringo-tycoon tragedy but when the deed is done suddenly shifts into Pemex-proud propaganda. Didn't really get the quick transformation of the son into an oil worker then strike leader? Let's hear it for expropriation (and its concomitant corruption).

    Betcha Paul Thomas Anderson saw this one. Gabriel Figueroa does a great job with the distant oil flare burning all night on the horizon. Then capuring the full frontal well explosion.

  • Aventurera

    Aventurera

    ★★★½

    Pineapple-headdress samba crossed with Mommie Dearest (not one, but two bad moms in this picture), and wisps of film noir - night and fog interludes. Without subtitles I got a little confused about the locale switching between Chihuahua, Ciudad Juárez and Guadalajara (?), but who cares when there are so many bad men and women around?

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  • L’argent

    L’argent

    ★★★★½

    The doors and windows of bourgeois Paris open and close. Bresson dissects Tolstoy's moral tale of how the system favors those who have, and destroys the have nots.

    There are just some incredible shots in this film, about how a petty crime has violent repercussions. Time and again Bresson puts his camera just out of the frame of the violence. A woman carrying a mug of morning coffee is slapped in the face, but we see the coffee cup not…

  • Diary of a Shinjuku Thief

    Diary of a Shinjuku Thief

    ★★

    The spirit of Jean-Luc Godard (complete with shocking switch to color--red white and blue; and intertitles on the time and weather in world cities) moves to the flagship Kinokuniya Bookstore in Tokyo and discusses the psychology of kleptomania and sexual liberation, 1968 style.

    The Ali Baba guy and his little theater troupe (turns out these guys Juro Kara and his legendary Situation Theater, who were an "epiphany of the postmodern theater movement", but I like to think of them as…