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  • The Death of Stalin

    The Death of Stalin

    ★★★½

    "Go back to Georgia, dead boy!"

    This may be my new favourite quotable movie. The equipoise of wit and wickedness made for a fascinating picture that is both terrifically funny and yet, all the same, rather poignant and reflective of a very dark period. The dialogue was brilliantly piquant.

  • Burning

    Burning

    ★★★★½

    I love how Ok Gwang-hee, the producer, said they only purchased the motif of the original novel, and yet Lee Chang-dong makes it a bona fide Murakami adaptation anyway, with elusive cats, dried up wells, mysterious phone calls, and even a little jazz. The two storytellers prove a masterful concoction in this enrapturing slow-burn where nothing is absolute; it is in this ambiguity that Burning is so fulfilling. Rarely do I finish a film and then immediately want to watch it again.

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  • Air Doll

    Air Doll

    ★★★★

    - "Do you wish you had never found a heart?"
    - "I don't know, but... It hurts."

    This film has some truly bewitching exchanges. Some of the dialogue, and much of Bae Doona's monologue, is so terrifically concocted and expressed. Couple this with the composition — the delicate camera work and Koreeda's knack for timing, knowing precisely when to linger — and it creates a profoundly poignant and strangely mesmeric account on loneliness and companionship.

    Even then, the score adds…

  • Death Note

    Death Note

    This is a terrible adaptation, pure and simple. It’s an utter bastardisation of the Death Note manga and its anime adaptation, and barely resembles what it is apparently based on. It’s as though the original work were a third or fourth reference, rather than the immediate source.

    The major issues are in the plot and characterisation. The original version of Death Note is a psychological thriller and part police procedural, in which law enforcement attempt to track down a seemingly…