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  • Under the Silver Lake

    Under the Silver Lake

    ★★★★

    In Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying Of Lot 49 (which, by coincidence, I was in the middle of at the time of watching this), the protagonist Oedipa is sent to San Narcisco, a planned community in the LA area, to handle her wealthy, dead ex’s estate. Slowly she discovers—or, at least, she believes herself to have discovered—an intricate plot with a shadowy organization at the helm. Tristero, or Trystero, depending on who you ask. A phrase in a play, a symbol…

  • Shoplifters

    Shoplifters

    ★★★★½

    There’s a reason I organized my entire day around Shoplifters: the buzz had not only been wonderful, it had seemed tailor-made to my tastes. “Searing”, “earnest”, “family drama”—the headlines may as well read “Stephen will eat this up.” And at a festival which tends to emphasize formal bravado over emotional resonance, they promised a welcome respite.

    I’m pleased to report that Hirokazu Kore-eda’s latest more than lived up to the hype. It’s beautiful, heartwarming, resonant, true, and likely my favorite…

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  • Dirty Grandpa

    Dirty Grandpa

    ½

    Letterboxd Missed Connections, 01/24/16, San Francisco, California

    To the young white male with the hoodie and plug earrings who sat behind me during Dirty Grandpa.

    You probably don't remember me, but we both attended today's 4:50 pm showing at the Century Cinemas on Market St. I sat in row 11 or so, slightly to the left. You sat in row 14, dead center. I believe you came alone, though you seem to believe you were surrounded by friends. You had…

  • Short Term 12

    Short Term 12

    ★★★★★

    I hold many films close to my heart, but it rarely matters if others agree. If you don’t like Boyhood, I totally get it: I can see aspects of myself that wouldn’t like it either. If you find Wes Anderson too precious, that’s your prerogative: I have a blast indulging in his whimsy, but I have no desire to defend it. Some things, though, hit me in a deeper place. Eternal Sunshine. The Before series. Lost In Translation. If you…