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  • Thief

    Thief

    ★★★★

    You can be a master craftsman. You can be the best in your field. You can be the boss of your own company. You can have the wife, the kid, the house in the suburbs.

    It doesn't matter. Someone owns you.

    Frank has hollowed himself out, to be sure, but he had a lot of help.

  • The Trap

    The Trap

    ★★★★

    Just tremendous work. It kills me that they stopped at three, but what a trilogy this is! This film somewhat ditches the "first act comedy" -> "third act unbelievably dark thriller" structure in favor of synthesizing the two, and I really enjoy that. There's still laughs late in the runtime, but they're tinged with melancholy. It's remarkably humanistic, in a sense: the world is silly, but it's dangerous, and sometimes you have to do silly things to keep yourself and…

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  • Love Exposure

    Love Exposure

    ★★★★★

    What am I supposed to do with this?

    Sion Sono's Love Exposure is one of the longest films I've ever seen, and yet one of the best-paced. Featuring probably one of the most honest explorations of the deeply fucked up thought patterns that religious abuse can perpetrate, it—

    No, not like that.

    Superficial praise doesn't work for me with this film either, least of all because everyone who hasn't seen it looks at the words, and looks at the synopsis,…

  • The Haunting

    The Haunting

    ★★★★½

    The people who made this film understand deeply that a fidelity to observable reality is ill-suited to communicate outsize human emotions, and that only through formal expression of the emotion—framing, editing, etc.—is it fully possible to manipulate the audience into experiencing how it feels to be in a situation rather than how it looks. It's stunning to watch such a self-assured, expressionistic film.

    I'm not at all surprised Robert Wise got his start as an editor.