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  • In Search of Ozu

    In Search of Ozu

    ★★★½

    You might not get anything new out of this if you know your Ozu, but I loved the curators going thru his collection of props and diaries, his screenplays and his storyboards. That is worth the price of admission for me. Knowing that he designed things like the tea cups and the various cafe/bar signs seen in his films make him even closer to Wes Anderson than I thought.

  • Naked Lunch

    Naked Lunch

    ★★★★½

    Just got this on glorious Criterion Blu Ray, and the election had just happened, so for whatever reason exterminating all rational thought felt right. (Don't get me wrong, I voted for Biden). Naked Lunch still works on all sorts of metaphorical levels: it's about addiction, about writing/creating art, about sexuality/coming out, about filmmaking (especially as Cronenberg keeps showing us the same two or three studio sets, re-dressed for different purposes.) Great score by Shore and Coleman, the combo of dour…

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  • La La Land

    La La Land

    ★★½

    Where Whiplash was overheated and silly but I enjoyed on the first viewing, Damien Chazelle's followup overreaches and instead of achieving a romantic puff of a film, is a bit of a mess tonally, wanting to celebrate musicals, Hollywood, and romance, but also wanting to critique it in a shamed faced way. It pulls at itself and instead of a dynamic frisson, it's passionless in the end.

    A few good things:
    1) Cinematographer Linus Sandgren, prod designer David Wasco, and…

  • Interstellar

    Interstellar

    ★★

    Interstellar proves that Nolan is our shallowest "deep" filmmaker of the moment, continuing on from his other plodding original script that was also full of wasted opportunities, Inception. Overly serious, noisy (Zimmer!! Sound effects!!!!), sentimental, yet also filled with confusing plotting and just--I have to say--bad filmmaking (cf. the scenes on the ice planet, where we have no real idea where the main characters are in relation to each other). 200 endings, never ending. Dylan Thomas' poem quoted over and…