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  • Union City

    Union City

    ★★★

    I know it’s a period piece and all - but when Debbie Harry stars, Chris Stein composes, and it’s called Union City; you gotta play Blondie’s Union City Blues! Come on.

    Damn, with Pat Benetar supporting at least give us the guitar solo in Hell is for Children.

  • We Won't Grow Old Together

    We Won't Grow Old Together

    ★★★½

    So many summaries and reviews of this one speak to the “fights” between the central couple – but the descriptor is off, it’s all really unprovoked one way abuse from director Maurice Pialat’s mean and miserable surrogate, a documentary filmmaking asshole named Jean (effectively played by Jean Yanne), towards the far younger, weak-willed and seemingly masochistic Catherine (an excellent Marlène Jobert). In character studies like this I don’t need the “hero” to be likeable or someone to root for but…

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  • The Last Wagon

    The Last Wagon

    If you watch enough Cinemascope films that were released by Fox during the mid-fifties you start to realize that the camera typically seemed imprisoned. While the pretty vistas became more awe inspiring as the result of the wide frame the filmmaking became more staid, with little but static shots and minimal cuts (an occasional pan, but few tracking shots). As the filmmakers technical tools became more cumbersome montage took a back seat, and even exotic location shot scenes could seem…

  • Le Plaisir

    Le Plaisir

    ★★★★

    The epitome of camera fluidity, an often jaw dropping technical marvel in which a voyeuristic camera prowls through often cluttered space with the determination and grace of a jungle cat. Sadly for me, as with the lovely but a little unsatisfying La Ronde, the portmanteau structure (the film is segmented into three separate stories based on tales from 19th century short story pioneer Guy de Maupassant) stops Ophüls from hitting it out of the park. Visual fluidity does not in…