RichLV

Reluctant optimist. Hopeful cynic. I dunno what I am. In any case, I balk at the idea of rating art, yet here I am.

Favorite films

  • Anatomy of a Murder
  • First Reformed
  • The Florida Project
  • Passion

Recent activity

All
  • Happiness

  • The Gray Man

    ★★½

  • Barbarians

    ★★★

  • Black Site

    ★½

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  • Waiting

    Waiting

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Waiting is a gentle, but present and somewhat kinetic, meditation on the human and natural experience of waiting, replete with gorgeous visuals, and directive sound. Resolving, like the waiting period itself, towards an endpoint. Tentative beads of sweat, the overhead flash of a bold red suit in a functional 'green' space. We are treated to the synchronous sway of a chrysalis in time with a ticking clock -- the built and the natural, the prisons of dead time and a screw-top jar. A ladybird on a crucial test result. Squash courts and launderettes. Bedrooms and bathrooms. Friends and lovers. New life.

  • Café Paraíso

    Café Paraíso

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Café Paraíso constructs the grimy grind of being under the greasy thumb with sweaty and desperate central performances in a cauldron of indifference. We stand beside and follow kitchen worker, Gallo, at close quarters through narrow backroom hallways and a warren of overflowing bins and ad-hoc kitchen stainless steel. Sound emphasises the assault on the senses, the personhood. Monochrome photography explicates the stultifying oppression of living on the marginal, subsistence employment with stifled, half-formed dreams. Dreaming of self-assertion. Ants trapped in a soapy aspic, awaiting a contact with a life-giving water. Trapped in an unforgiving structure, they will never see it.

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  • Black Site

    Black Site

    ★½

    Black Site is a DTV spook-fest that has much more interest in its moments of grisliness, which it actually often does chillingly well, than anything else. If you like innovative flashes of horrific violence, you'll find some innovative human destruction here. I have a sudden awareness of the daily presence of my oven door.

  • The Gray Man

    The Gray Man

    ★★½

    Am I a Gray/Grey Man Apologist?

    One thing's for sure, almost everyone seemed to know that they were making a ($200m) bit of fluff; a cinema-scale holiday video with explosions and quips and something-for-the-dads espionage. And they appeared to be having a great time—especially an over-it Gosling, a Dastardly-moustachioed Evans, and a world-weary, rake-thin Billy Bob. It's hard to think of anything de Armas can't do. Movie stars railroading the laws of physics.

    The visual effects weren't the best betimes,…

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  • Enemy of the State

    Enemy of the State

    ★★★★½

    There's nothing like an anti-surveillance state, conspiracy thriller to lift my mood.

    Enemy of the State, which is one of the first 'grown up' films I remember seeing, should be credited with sparking my <s>paranoia</s> reasonable, logically-founded fears and concerns. An introduction to mature awareness of potential for abuse of state power. I used to fantasise about having to destroy all traces of my life, disappear, go underground, because of an errant phone call.

    It's tremendous fun. Tony Scott's pacing…

  • Leave No Trace

    Leave No Trace

    ★★★★★

    Brutal and sensitive. Underpinned by Thomasin McKenzie's central performance of glorious tenderness, innocence, and deep emotional strength. Ben Foster moves mountains. Directed such that it unfolds gently and naturally, but never flagging, always giving us something to think about, something to feel, something to wonder, people to sit with, a landscape to marvel at, contradictions to absorb. I haven't been moved in this way since I saw The Florida Project. I have more thoughts, but I'm just going to let this one sit with me for the moment.