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  • Center Stage

    Center Stage

    ★★★★½

    Hong Kong director Stanley Kwan’s “Center Stage,” a hybrid film about Chinese actor Ruan Lingyu (Maggie Cheung) which shows an amazing flair for melodrama, finds its way to its first U.S. release 30 years after it was made. While a film this good deserved a worldwide audience back in 1991, it’s oddly fitting that a melancholy reflection on time, memory and moviemaking which looked back to the silent era is now being re-introduced following its own restoration. The HK New…

  • Judas and the Black Messiah

    Judas and the Black Messiah

    ★★½

    I'm afraid this is gonna sound horribly condescending, but I kept thinking "perfectly adequate." (The NY Times writer who called it the most radical movie Hollywood has ever produced sure wasn't thinking of form.) Part of the problem is a lack of focus. JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH plays like a biopic of 2 very different people at the same time, while also trying to serve as a more general history lesson. While it makes no attempt to cater to…

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  • Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

    Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

    ★★

    The popular idea that comedy needs to “punch up” is too simplistic. It’s not always easy to figure out who has real power – the small army of cis male comics who think transphobia is the height of free thought are rather confused about it – or how to use humor to criticize Karens roaming Wal-Mart screaming at anyone with a mask on or empty female Instagram influencers without buying into sexist attitudes. (Look at how badly jokes about Britney…

  • Mank

    Mank

    ★★½

    I think it's safe to say that David Fincher's reputation on Letterboxd is extremely high - last year, I saw a stat that FIGHT CLUB was the highest-rated film on the site. Something has gone awry with the reception of MANK when review after review here calls it his worst film. Having seen it, I can understand why. It pursues a curdled mixture of nostalgia and critique that, honestly, will go over the heads of a Netflix audience that's never…