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  • Joyeux Noël

    Joyeux Noël

    ★★★

    I really liked most of this. My favorite part was the visual parallelism, in which Christian Carion seems to have a Kieslowskian eye for closeups. Unfortunately, the dereliction of duty by two characters ruined the ending.

  • Man on Wire

    Man on Wire

    ★★★½

    Not only is this a good documentary, but seeing it gave me even more appreciation for the Zemeckis movie, which apparently is closer to the facts than I would have guessed, presenting the drama that really occurred with relatively little schmaltz or manufactured tension.

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  • The Passion of the Christ

    The Passion of the Christ

    ★★★★½

    I will always defend this as a tremendous work of devotional art. It has flaws, like an excess of slow motion, a little too much repetition (the three falls in the Stations of the Cross are hard enough to pull off in a film; why in the world are there six of them here?), and a weak score, but it's in the tradition of the world's greatest religious artwork in that it makes full use of its specific medium. This sort of intense and focused visual meditation is cinema at its most powerful.

  • Into Great Silence

    Into Great Silence

    ★★★★★

    Quite possibly my #1 film of all time. Going from this to any other film whatsoever feels like a descent.

    I don't usually link to other people's work here, but anyone who still needs to be persuaded to see this should read Steven Greydanus' excellent writing on this film:
    Review
    Interview with Philip Gröning