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  • BlacKkKlansman

    BlacKkKlansman

    Essential.

    (I don't care what wins Best Picture, and I obviously haven't seen most contenders yet, but I can't imagine another 2018 film winning when this is in the world, and I won't complain when it wins.)

  • Sorry to Bother You

    Sorry to Bother You

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Why didn't he use the white voice?

    When he calls the reporter to try to reveal what's going on, I thought, "Of course they won't believe him, he needs to use his white voice." Well, it didn't occur to the character. So then we get the contrivance of that game show thing, and he gets the news out there, and people think it's great news -- an interesting twist. But I thought -- okay, he has to turn the tide…

  • Man with a Movie Camera

    Man with a Movie Camera

    Reality via Montage: Bazinenstein's Monster.

  • Mission: Impossible - Fallout

    Mission: Impossible - Fallout

    This movie is a lot of fun, and the action impressive, but y'all have to stop overhyping it now, before the backlash that should land on the overpraise comes around and (undeservedly) hits the movie instead. For one, no comparisons to Mad Max: Fury Road, please and thank you; there isn't one moment in this whole series that matches the emotion of Furiosa dropping to her knees to scream in the sand, because no matter how hard JJ tried to…

  • Au Hasard Balthazar

    Au Hasard Balthazar

    I have come to realize that I find something genially disingenuous in Robert Bresson's approach, at least in the latter half of his career. (I say "genially disingenuous" as disingenuousness implies an intentionality or even malice that I don't wish to assign.) The complete refusal of psychology, denial character motivation, and suppression of expressed emotion are designed to strip away artifice to expose the "real", but aren't psychology, motivation, and expressed emotion significant aspects of the reality of our experiences?…

  • Solo: A Star Wars Story

    Solo: A Star Wars Story

    It feels like many reviews of Solo were effectively written the day Ron Howard replaced Lord & Miller, and the narrative was struck: the film would be generic, a corporate product rather than an individual one. Yet, upon viewing, it's clear that there is an authorial presence here: that of Lawrence Kasdan. Isn't this exactly the sort of Star Wars picture one might anticipate from the director of Silverado? (Or, for that matter, Body Heat?) . One wonders why they didn't…

  • Ismael's Ghosts

    Ismael's Ghosts

    Arnaud Desplechin films an Arnaud Desplechin film about how Arnaud Desplechin films Arnaud Desplechin films.

  • Bad Lieutenant

    Bad Lieutenant

    X% excellent, Y% grotesqueploitation, Z% tedium -- but I'm not sure what percentages solve those variables.

  • Juliet of the Spirits

    Juliet of the Spirits

    Light is the very substance of a film [.... L]ight is ideology, feeling, color, tone, profundity, atmosphere, storytelling [....] Light excavates a face or smooths it out, creates expression where none exists, endows dullness with intelligence, makes the insipid seductive [....] Light outlines the elegance of a body [....] Light is the hallucinatory salt, which, burning, unleashes visions.
    - Federico Fellini, Comments on Film

    Making films in color is, I believe, an impossible operation; cinema is movement, color immobility [...]…

  • Lady Macbeth

    Lady Macbeth

    This goes down a lot easier once you realize it's Leave Her to Heaven and not Thomas Hardy.

  • Loveless

    Loveless

    What esteem I have for this film comes from its strong first half, which despite its grim setting contains doses of biting humor. Unfortunately, the second half turns into the world's slowest and most schematic procedural, resolving in a heavy-handed allegory about The Sad State of Mother Russia.

    Spirit Awards 2017

  • Happy New Year

    Happy New Year

    Both IMDB and Letterboxd list this as being 90 minutes and a comedy, but it's nearly 115 minutes and I didn't laugh once. On the other hand, in many ways it's a much better movie in the "extra" 25 minutes than in the 90 that lead into it, though ultimately it suffers from an undersold love story and a lead who is neither sympathetic or interesting. Seeing Francoise Fabian do everything possible to try to make this work simply underscores both the high bar of difficulty and achievement of My Night at Maud's.