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  • The First Teacher

    The First Teacher

    ★★

    (4/8 is "Moderately Bad")
    Political soviet plotlines don't come much more blunt than this: a brave young teacher arrives to a rural community run by evil rich land owners to try and teach the next generation about socialism. Conflict ensues, the revolutionaries beliefs are tragically vindicated.

    Much of the film's happenings do little to inspire me, though there are moments where we see the"hero's foolhardy revolutionary determination begin to crack - and those moments are quite human.

    But there is…

  • The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl

    The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl

    ★★★½

    (7/8 is "Very Good")
    The subject is a fascinating woman... daring, empowered, artistic - fascinated with the forms of people and sea creatures - and potentially fascist.

    To start with, the idea that merely idolizing the human form is fascistic seems to me utter nonsense. A fascination with the human form exists in vastly varying cultures and times, and I cannot accept that the Nazis have "cornered the market" (so to speak). Infact I refuse.

    As to what extent she…

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  • The Evil Dead

    The Evil Dead

    ★★★★

    (8/8 is "Great")
    The great thing about this film is that it knows precisely what it is - an ultra cheap B movie horror. It knows that some of the things it does to make the horror work are silly, and then it points and says "Ha! Wasn't that great? Look at the blood!".

    It's somewhat congruous to think of two-camera sitcoms - obviously fake, removed from reality - yet highly engrossing. It's because the formalist staging makes it cinematic.…

  • The Grey

    The Grey

    ★★★

    (6/8 is "Good")
    Despite the tone beginning to waver in the middle, and uncertainties about character motivations only really being quelled at the end, this film surprised me with it's ultimate depth. It didn't quite follow through with the Hollywood formula I suspected at the beginning.

    Could've used a script revision to develop some of it's ideas a bit more consistently though. The internal conflicts of these characters, particularly Neeson's, are fleshed out fairly ham-fistedly for the majority of the film (if at all).