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  • The Duke of Burgundy

    The Duke of Burgundy

    ★★★★★

    Was cautiously uncertain about the direction in which Strickland would take his story of the emotional complexities of a sadomasochistic relationship where both parties are not quite on the same page about what they want, but was relieved to see that he deftly avoids melodrama and unnecessary twists or false dramatic notes to keep his film emotionally honest, even as it routinely eschews realism for haunting, atmospherically thick and surreal sequences, as if seeking a novel way to represent the…

  • Ash Is Purest White

    Ash Is Purest White

    ★★★★★

    NZIFF 2018: Film #10

    While I'm not sure if, from one viewing during a weekend stacked with films, I was in the best frame of mind to appreciate everything Jia had to say with Ash is Purest White, it certainly helps to view it in the context of the work that preceded it, and in doing so I feel fairly comfortable stating that I find this to be his finest film. Continuing his career-long obsession with the changing face of…

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  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    Bohemian Rhapsody

    Staggeringly inept in its storytelling, unabashedly hateful in its attitude toward queer sexuality, and unbelievably moronic not simply in the way it casually and blatantly rewrites history but for the fact that the result is an astronomically dull rendering of events more vividly (and accurately) portrayed on Wikipedia pages. 

    Further, Rami Malek’s performance is at best a competent passing impression, and becomes laughable during any of the musical sequences. The final, much-hyped Live Aid recreation is particularly egregious, with the original concert audio lazily overlaid atop choppily edited cornball bombast. A colossal failure on almost every level, and as impressively incompetent as it is instantly forgettable.

  • The Invitation

    The Invitation

    ★★★

    Yet another in a long line of films that fundamentally misunderstand cult and/or sect indoctrination - either that, or Kusama is not really trying to make a statement about that at all and is simply using it (lazily) as a vehicle to engineer domestic horror. Either way, the result - which is superbly shot and exceptionally well-directed for the most part - feels kind of perfunctory and is invariably not really my "thing". There were certainly sections of it for…

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  • The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)

    The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)

    ½

    Having just sat through what is almost certainly one of the most disgusting films ever made, and arguing with one person defending it, I have mulled over The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) for much longer than it deserves. My conclusion is very simple: it is a gigantic and messy gore wank.

    About as delightful as having a chunk of dry shit stuck to the hairs on the crack of your ass, this film is an inexorable 91-minute slog through…

  • Pink Floyd - The Wall

    Pink Floyd - The Wall

    ★★★★★

    So ya
    Thought ya
    Might like to read a review.
    To feel the warm thrill of confusion,
    That Adam Cook glow.
    Tell me is something eluding you, sunshine?
    Is this not what you expected to read?
    If you want to feel emotions this film will arise,
    You'll just have to claw your way through Geldof's eyes.