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  • Hell or High Water

    Hell or High Water

    ★★★★

    As a genre, the western is as immutable as the mountains and rocky crags that grace the landscapes where its stories invariably take place. In the historical Old West, the genre took the form of cheap, yellowed dime novels which, on the whole, were borne out of the turmoil of the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the dusty confusion that followed the settling of the West. In the thirties and forties (the heyday of Ford and Howard Hawks), when the genre…

  • Slacker

    Slacker

    ★★★★★

    "Withdrawing in disgust is not the same as apathy."

    Essay to come. This movie is what the kids would call major.

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  • Anomalisa

    Anomalisa

    ★★★★★

    Charlie Kaufman writes about schlubs. Whether it be John Cusack's hopeless Craig Schwartz throwing himself blindly at the feet of Catherine Keener's Maxine in Being John Malkovich or Philip Seymour Hoffman crying before sex in Synecdoche, New York, Kaufman's characters often tend to be bloated, sad, and in need of something they can't quite understand.

    There seems to always be a woman, some ethereal feminine fantasy of sorts, at the center of the men's attention. Keener in Being John Malkovich;…

  • The Tree of Life

    The Tree of Life

    ★★★★★

    Holy shit. This was amazing.

    The Tree of Life is part of the canon of films like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Mulholland Drive, and Inherent Vice that blow you away but will surely need multiple viewings before any true and coherent thought can be put down on it. It is vast and epic, but intimate. Grand sweeping movements of universe creation are filmed the same as a childhood moment in a sun washed field. I've only seen three movies by…