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  • Vitalina Varela

    Vitalina Varela

    ★★★★★

    In my eyes, Pedro Costa is one of the most exciting, interesting, and important directors currently working. This is due to his principles as a storyteller and filmmaker, to which he adheres resolutely, making him a unique voice in cinematic history. Because of this I'm going to start off this review by explaining my fascination with his work in basic and broad terms.

    An organic approach to stories. The stories Costa works with stem from lived experience, while not being…

  • Workers, Peasants

    Workers, Peasants

    ★★★★★

    Had to catch this as part of the ongoing Straub-Huillet retrospective on mubi. I tend to forget the experience of seeing a film by the duo, so each time I return I am overwhelmed by their work and by how efficient it is, it's really quite unlike watching films made by anyone else. There is, of course, the specific film and what it contains within itself. But more than that, it's the continuation of the highly distinctive style, perhaps the…

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  • Out of the Past

    Out of the Past

    ★★★★½

    Something delightfully strange about this. The film itself seems to be boiled down to only what is strictly necessary. When it, towards its resolution, hurdles towards a set of final twists and turns it almost feels like its a confidence trick on the part of Mitchum keeping the whole thing together. Much like that which kept his character afloat in it's prior profession. It makes one wonder, however, whether the condensed feel of this noir is a remnant of Tourneur's…

  • The Human Condition II: Road to Eternity

    The Human Condition II: Road to Eternity

    ★★★

    Continuing on the project to complete this trilogy. Won't spend a whole lot of time on this, even though I'm very surprised at my own impression of this. In No Greater Love, Kaji is really hammered home as the brave contrarian. For three hours he meets hardship after hardship. He simply cannot catch a break as increasingly larger forces oppose his refusal to simply conform. It is clearly a large focus of Kobayashi, being common now to three of the…

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  • L'Avventura

    L'Avventura

    ★★★★★

    Finally feeling somewhat on the same page as Antonioni, and that happens in a film where communication is it's most subversive element, the one that discloses the least about what is actually going on in the film. And there is clearly a disconnect between the director/writer and his characters here. While delving into fascinating psychoanalysis, the distance remains and much like Luigi Pirandello, Antonioni lets his characters roam free without doubting the primal forces that directs the film. As though…

  • Red Desert

    Red Desert

    ★★★★★

    First off thanks to Connor and Marcus for promptly guiding me to this immediately following my review of L'avventura and never has a recommendation felt so appropriate. Of course I loved it, as Antonioni's scenes become more layered in complexity, though the lifeless black-and-white has its charm, so does his narrative. And it is important to remember this complexity going in to this film, as interpretations often tend to err on the simplistic side. Still we explore the realm of…