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  • Sweet Home

    Sweet Home

    ★★★

    This haunted house film by Kiyoshi Kurosawa has all the fingerprints of Juzo Itami's production. It feels a bit more like a Poltergeist-The Haunting riff than the Hausu second coming I might have liked. Still a lot of fun: molten shadows, crazy frescoes, scary babies, ghost moms, and one of the ugliest yellow ensembles ever committed to film.

  • One Way or Another

    One Way or Another

    ★★★½

    Petri's deeply cynical humour takes a deep cut at Italian politics, the Christian Democrats of its time, and the centrist practices of transformatism that seeks to consolidate power without governing to better society. A Catholic bunker and some austere environs set the stage for a claustrophobic slice of caucused paranoia. Volonte is particularly good resembling Italian prime minister Aldo Moro. Todo Modo requires more than casual appreciation of Italian politics to become engaging, but it is an impressive effort nonetheless.

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  • Psycho

    Psycho

    ★★★★

    Gus Van Sant is certainly capable of making some unsuccessful films, but he is too talented and intelligent a director to have simply believed that a (mostly) shot-for-shot remake of Psycho would have been an unproblematic exercise. Criticizing Van Sant for doing so seems like the same type of laziness that the film's detractors assume of Van Sant. The remake deserves a significant reappraisal that considers the relationship between the two films rather than a zero-sum competition that prizes the…

  • Aventurera

    Aventurera

    ★★★★½

    They don't come more exhaustively packed than this musical-revenge-film noir melodrama. It has everything - impossible musical numbers, fallen women, mute henchmen, threatened face-cuttings, bold chiaroscuro, deathbed rejections, foggy alleyways, fruit-inspired stage costumes, ping pong, and a literal back-stabbing. Amazing.