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  • Blanche

    Blanche

    ★★★★★

    Along with Parajanov, Borowczyk did more than most filmmakers to elevate cinematographic composition to the level of fine art. Every shot here is an ornate, stylised tableau, where characters are posed & fragmented, & where objects within the frame carry symbolic significance. The story appears restrained but has a powerful subtext about the subjugation of women & the destructive machinations of patriarchal systems.

  • Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

    Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

    ★★★★★

    Brutal in its tragedy, but more so in how ruthlessly it implicates the Jedi as negative force. Anakin's downfall is a result of emotional repression forced upon him by his masters; unable to grieve or express weakness, he turns to those that use his naivety against him. Political machinations that run throughout the trilogy become clearer, but it's the sadness of the various arcs colliding that makes this worthwhile.

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  • Midsommar

    Midsommar

    ★★

    For all its aesthetic perfection, Midsommar never rises above the level of a dumb slasher film. At its centre, it mines cheap laughs & discomfort from sneering at cultures & customs it perceives as different & using that as a basis for schlock horror. There's an obligatory throughline about grief & transcendence, but this is made silly by the attempts to shock. It's a visually beautiful film that is ugly in all other aspects.

  • The Red Spectacles

    The Red Spectacles

    ★★★★★

    Oshii managing to corral the influences of '60s Godard style post-modernism and '80s Godard style poetic ennui alongside elements of Seijun Suzuki and Jerry Lewis. For those that find his later films humourless, The Red Spectacles is bursting with laughs, both deadpan and slapstick, while also working as a fairly successful stylistic experiment/deconstruction analogous to what von Trier was attempting with his own films, Europa and Epidemic.