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  • Ethnic Notions

    Ethnic Notions

    ★★★★½

    Sometimes, you gotta give it to folks straight up in order to get the point across, which is exactly what Marlon Riggs does here in assembling the materials, the imagery and certainly the messaging that goes into this brief yet dense look at the history of black representation at its most nefarious. Calling out specifically the whys and hows of how such harmful imagery as that of the sambo, the zip coon, the mammy and many others as they sprung…

  • Affirmations

    Affirmations

    ★★★★

    Rather lovely little documentary piece that captures a snapshot of the black gay community as they were at that time, book-ended by an initial interview where the subject opens up about his first intimate experience and then a portion of a black heritage parade where the marchers for the community itself put all of themselves out there, even as the crowd is clearly divided on what their place among them should be. Tremendous empathy all around, and while a sight…

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  • Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler

    ★★★★½

    Nightcrawler is probably the best unexpected horror film I've seen in a long time. It sounds like an odd thing to call the film, but it's some of the most brilliantly unnerving and unsettling content that I can recall seeing, and hardly anything traditionally scary happens in it. Jake Gyllenhaal is so committed to his role as professional sociopath/possible walking Wikipedia narrator Lou Bloom that I fear some of that may seep into his personal affairs and we may see…

  • Modest Heroes

    Modest Heroes

    ★★★★

    Hey, an anthology film! You know what that means!

    Kanini & Kanino: We start off with a neat little short from veteran Ghibli director Hiromasa Yonebayashi that mixes hand-drawn characters with CG elements to an intriguing effect. The underwater theme being put to use in a local stream gives the film an atypical look from those more ocean-bound, allowing for an earthier look that makes the integration of both animation techniques as smooth as it can be. The decision to go…