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  • The Spanish Apartment

    The Spanish Apartment

    ★★★★

    L'Auberge espagnole is a French film. This fact is only relevant because L'Auberge espagnole is EXTREMELY French. It has contemplative, self-involved voiceovers and a loosely constructed plot that focuses less on narrative and more on the characters’ interactions. It has vague reminders of the extent that capitalism structures our lives. It uses a lot of gimmicky one-off visual tricks that verve dangerously close to embarrassing film school experiments. The movie is French to its core, and if that is a…

  • Heterosexual Jill

    Heterosexual Jill

    ★★

    Heterosexual Jill

    I really wanted to like Heterosexual Jill. It’s hard not to root for a small-budget, independent comedy with some rough edges, but Heterosexual Jill did not give me enough to justify my predisposition towards it. I quit the movie after a half and hour, when I realized the ratio of wheat to chaff for this movie was going to be high. First, the wheat: some scenes are well-done pieces of awkward, deadpan humor. Even if these sections are…

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  • M

    M

    ★★★★★

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

    M is a magisterial piece of cinema. Most movies about serial killers engender a sort of respect and even empathy for the murderer. During the course of the cat and mouse game between the detectives and criminal the mouse tends to become humanized, even as we know they deserve their downfall. What is striking is that M denies this empathy. For nearly all of the film M refuses to humanize the serial killer. The only moment of empathy occurs at…