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  • Pierrot le Fou

    Pierrot le Fou

    During the lesson on The French New Wave in an International Cinema class, I was asked this question:
    "Is formal innovation and experimentation alone grounds for critical appreciation? Do the self-conscious devices used by directors like Jean-Luc Godard enhance your appreciation of a film, or detract from it?"
    This was my answer:
    Like many of the discussion questions from this course, I think it's safe to say that the "general answer" to this week's prompt "Is formal innovation and experimentation…

  • Grand Illusion

    Grand Illusion

    To me, the association between dreamlike imagery and the cinema go hand-in-hand. In a broad sense of the term, the very idea that an artist/filmmaker can craft a piece of cinema to examine the human experience, inner psyches, the complexities of war, or even propose their own view on how the world should operate, is an exhibition of "dreamlike imagery" in its own right. This idea is one I'll expand on when speaking about the "grand illusion" of Renoir's "La…

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  • Paddington 2

    Paddington 2

    ★★★★

    Following the first installment of "Paddington" in 2014, Paul King returns as co-writer and director of the marvelously realized "Paddington 2". While it is simple to categorize this film as a 'family film' (as it should be - kids will love this), there are so many layers to peel back within this film - each layer more delightful than the last. From its gorgeous cinematography, to its witty and surprisingly well-crafted screenplay, "Paddington 2" is sure to shock, please, and…

  • Hostiles

    Hostiles

    ★★★½

    "If you do it enough, you get used to it. Doesn't mean a thing."
    "That's what I'm afraid of."
    The fear of numbness of humanity is one of the most prominent themes brought to life in Scott Cooper's western drama "Hostiles". Characters throughout the film grapple with the ethics of the treatment of Native Americans in the late 1800's - elevated by dedicated performances by Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike, and Wes Studi, and beautifully realized cinematography.

    "Hostiles" tells the story…