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  • Romance of the Western Chamber

    Romance of the Western Chamber

    ★★★½

    An adaptation of a famous Yuan Dynasty play itself based on a Tang Dynasty short story about a young scholar who stops at a picturesque temple to study before taking the imperial examinations. There he meets the daughter of the late prime minister, mourning her father with her mother and a servant girl. The two fall in love, naturally, but when a local bandit hears of the woman's great beauty, he rushes out with his army and lays siege to…

  • Laborer's Love

    Laborer's Love

    ★★★

    Apparently the earliest surviving complete Chinese film, it's a two-reeler, alternately titled Romance of a Fruit Peddler. The first half shows the peddler, a former carpenter adapting his old tools to his new trade, in the marketplace flirting with the daughter of the doctor in the stall across the street and defending her from the local toughs in the bar next door. When he asks the father to marry her, the doctor, who has had trouble finding customers, tells him…

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  • Jupiter Ascending

    Jupiter Ascending

    ★★★★

    I don't know what to make of a world that rejects this and adores every Marvel movie. Things don't make sense to me.

  • The Theory of Everything

    The Theory of Everything

    ★½

    Undecided as to which is more offensive:

    1. The implication that Hawking's work can only be understood, or even be relevant to us, an audience of normal dumb people, in how it validates or invalidates our concept of God.

    2. The depiction of infidelity in which Jane's is fraught and melodramatic, to the point that mere knocking on another man's tent causes her husband to collapse into coma and never speak again (someone should do the math on this causality…