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  • Panic

    Panic

    ★★★½

    PANIQUE (Julien Duvivier, France, 1946) 7

    MONSIEUR HIRE was the first foreign film I watched multiple timers in a theater and was so doggone entertaining for a snooty French art film that I also count it as a seminal learning experience. PANIQUE, based on the same George Simenon novel, never had a chance against such a memory, and it doesn’t have Michael Nyman (or Brahms) doing the perfectly melancholic score. Other changes Leconte made (or didn’t make) all seemed to…

  • Quest

    Quest

    ★★★½

    QUEST (Jonathan Olshefski, USA, 2017) 7

    It may seem cruel and unfair to measure QUEST against the standard of HOOP DREAMS -- one of the greatest and best-known documentaries ever made -- and inevitably find it wanting. But the mere existence of this film, both films, is a good thing, each following for years the lives of a few ordinary people in poor black neighborhoods (there, two school-age basketball players in Chicago; here, one family in North Philly). "You don't…

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  • A Quiet Passion

    A Quiet Passion

    ★★★★½

    A QUIET PASSION (Terence Davies, Britain, 2017) 9 R

    On second view, A QUIET PASSION (a title that could not unreasonably be paraphrased A LOVE THAT DARE NOT SPEAK) transparently became what I inchoately inferred on first view — Terence Davies’s spiritual autobiography regarding his own deeply conflicted homosexuality, through a felt kinship with Emily Dickinson on that score.

    Davies is openly gay but has said often that he’d rather it weren’t so — he is celibate and it “ruined…

  • Everybody Wants Some!!

    Everybody Wants Some!!

    ★★★★½

    EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! (Linklater, USA, 2016, 9)

    What I want to say sounds oxymoronic, but … Linklater has succeeded in making an uncritical critique of nostalgia. On one level this film is 200-proof, capital-N Nostalgia, completely self-absorbed in its era, in the filmmaker's own biography, and in the hanging-out vibe it encourages (there is no plot, per se; with a couple of thereby-significant caveats, below). It's an easy life to view through rose-tinted glasses -- the last weekend before classes…