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  • A Star Is Born

    A Star Is Born

    That Gaga sure can sing.

  • If Beale Street Could Talk

    If Beale Street Could Talk

    Just achingly beautiful image to image, and expert sound design & score. Major step in Barry’s developing a unique voice with all kinds of formal flourish. And the lead performance is so fragile it hurts.

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  • First Reformed

    First Reformed

    The camera moves 27 times! But the choreography of movement through frames keeps it from utter stasis. The first move is maybe my favorite though: a push in on Toller during the initial encounter with Michael that underlines Toller’s excitement at the prospect of a true theological predicament, as if his life has been lived to countenance this particular despair; and of course he fails. He talks of life as holding opposite ideas in one’s head but Toller is almost naive in his singleminded pursuit of meaning, or purpose, when everything around and inside him says attend to me as you would your god.

  • Bastards

    Bastards

    Stunning. As angry and bleak as 35 Rhums is full of love, a perfect b-side siren stomp.

    Furthermore, I don't know another filmmaker who thinks in images in anything close to the same way as Denis does. She has her own grammar, an inflection to admire that invites curious eyes. Every image is used for its affective weight, primarily, but she weds them to story in such a lucid way that it all accrues as steady as the ocean's tide laps up, up high.