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  • The Parrot and the Swan

    The Parrot and the Swan

    Lovely cinema, open to life and experience. A film that is constantly discovering itself, restarting, going on a tangent, reacting to, rewriting itself to let more and more in to its world, ultimately giving shape to a love story which is as slight and cock-eyed as the rest. So many charming decisions here, the sum of which probably don't add up to anything at all, and yet stick through sheer inquisitive forward sensibility.

  • Death Note

    Death Note

    ★★

    Wingard's take on the material has very little to do with the chief pleasures of the original property (its oppressively plotted series of schemes and maneuvers as its super genius characters tried to outwit each other). Instead what Wingard gives us is a lightweight not as funny HEATHERS with DEATH NOTE mythology which is a pretty fun way to interpret this material. Regardless, loading up the soundtrack with 80's songs (and sub-FINAL DESTINATION deaths) doesn't make this any less faceless…

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  • The Wind Rises

    The Wind Rises

    ★★★

    "I like vehicles and want to continue drawing them, but I have resolved not to draw them in a fashion that further feeds an infatuation with power. In the same way, I think that being infatuated with the worl'ds biggest battleship guns merely reveals an infantile mentality, and such an infatuation is truly useless in conflicts with more sophisticated nations, who think of war as merely a means to victory, cannons merely as tools to destroy targets.

    I thus have…

  • Spirited Away

    Spirited Away

    ★★★★

    What struck me on this viewing is the idea of consumption. How you're affected by what you choose to consume, or not consume. Or, more the point, what goes into you or doesn't. It begins with her parents, but the same idea is manifested in the stink spirit vignette (a different manifestation of what happens at the beginning of PRINCESS MONONOKE, man's technological advancement wreaking havoc on nature, here expressed as sludge and vomit) and, most savagely, in the No…