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  • Taipei Story

    Taipei Story

    ★★★★

    They say it’s the journey, and not the destination, but with Yang’s work, I find I don’t learn anything from the journey until the destination is reached. If there was ever a director whose work rewards repeat viewings, it’s him. Even though I think Yi Yi and A Brighter Summer Day are both perfect films (two of only four, by my count), I was convinced for most of the first two thirds of this that it was Yang finding his footing. But when he reaches the ultimate point, it reveals the intent of everything preceding in ways that Fight Club or whatever twist-film you want to cite can.

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  • The Breaking Point

    The Breaking Point

    ★★★★½

    One of the darkest movies of Hollywood’s Golden Age easily, with an absolutely ruthless portrayal of desperation brought to us by the absolute legend, Michael Curtiz. The plot of this film would come off edgy if it were made five years later, but the frankness of the presentation makes it so much more genuine and convincing. They’re not boasting that the film is dark, they just know that’s how it ought to be. And MacDougall’s screenplay is one of the best of its era, I feel. More than recommend, I demand people watch this.

  • Tom at the Farm

    Tom at the Farm

    ★★★½

    Pretty enjoyable, though I’d say it’s appeals are pretty obvious. What subtleties there are come mostly from performances, and I would say everyone did pretty great. Even though it’s very different, if you enjoy Dolan’s other work, you’ll probably like this, as it touches on a lot of the same ideas. Really what I wanted would’ve been something with a colder presentation, as the score and editing choice do make it feel kind of melodramatic. But, at the same time, I can tell that was done to make it feel more like a classic thriller, and I do appreciate that.

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  • Only with Your Partner

    Only with Your Partner

    ★½

    The thing I like about Cuaron is how grounded his films are. Prisoner of Azkaban has the most naturalistic acting of any of the HP films, Children of Men makes what seems like a biblically over-the-top apocalypse story into a brutal, humanist experience, and Y Tu Mamá También is, I think, one of the most important films for any teenage boy to watch, based solely on how he discusses sexuality. This, however, feels to me like a well-shot, foreign language version of a shitty SNL-alumni comedy. And I’m quite peeved about it.

  • The Lighthouse

    The Lighthouse

    ★★★★★

    I was not really expecting to be scared by this, but it managed it. I really hope Eggers makes a western, because he would make the type I’ve always wanted but never gotten.