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  • First Reformed

    First Reformed

    ★★★★½

    An alcoholic, grieving, guilt ridden priest in a small Upstate New York town is driven to desperation after the suicide of a man he was counseling. Ethan Hawke completely immerses himself in this difficult role and writer-director Paul Schrader immerses the viewer in the downward spiral of a man tormented by personal demons in an environmentally and spiritually disintegrating, contemporary world. A film which subtly, artfully allows us to penetrate the soul of a man existing on the very edge…

  • BlacKkKlansman

    BlacKkKlansman

    ★★★★

    Spike Lee at usually at this best when he uses cinema as an incendiary personal essay/critique on popular representations of race, class and power in American history and contemporary America. BlacKkKlansman joins DO THE RIGHT THING and MALCOLM X as examples of the director at the top of his game.

    This is about much more than the true story of an African American police officer who is assigned to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s. Lee presents everything…

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  • Silence

    Silence

    ★★★½

    Martin Scorsese's brutal, obsessive, and finally transcendent historical epic is a tragedy transformed into a silent victory. It's as contemplative and rigorous as Ozu or Bresson, and challenges the viewer to become caught up in an internal struggle within a closed system.
    this project for decades and managing to turn the external and internal trek into a personal journey. The first Scorsese films I saw were BOXCAR BERTHA (1972) and MEAN STREETS (1973), both of which conclude with a literal…

  • mother!

    mother!

    ★★★

    It's a question of semantics whether Darren Aronofsky's rather daring leap into the surrealist voids of Luis Bunuel (THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL) and Jean-Luc Godard (WEEKEND) is a horror film, a serious drama, a fantasy or just a very immersive, entertaining jet black comedy. I'll go for the entertaining, jet black comedy since the film had me laughing both soft and hard, at least when my jaw wasn't dropping.

    The presence in a project of Hollywood's hugely popular female star Jennifer…