Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher

Cliff Galiher

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  • Hannah

    Hannah

    ★★★½

    Proof positive of Charlotte Rampling's ability to carry a movie on her performance alone. There's a plot here, but it's exceptionally elliptical—I had to follow up with some other reviews just to make sure that my Day Eleven fatigue had not left me completely insensate. Andrea Pallaoro's dialed-down drama is in the vein of 45 Years, patiently depicting the crushing loneliness of a woman who didn't know her husband as well as she thought she did. Unlike Hannah's Oscar-nominated counterpart,…

  • Vampire Clay

    Vampire Clay

    ★★★

    Goodness knows why I thought the title might be a metaphor. The very literal blood-slurping and bone-dissolving mound of clay at the center of this film is the brainchild of FX-makeup artist-turned-director Soichi Umezawa. His creation, borne of a cheated and frustrated artist, ultimately manifests in the form of Katare, a bald boylike figure who bears a refreshing lack of resemblance to a long-haired ghost. The real stroke of inspiration is to set the film at a podunk art school,…

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  • The Assignment

    The Assignment

    ★★★½

    I am captivated by the idea that, were this film made in 1978 (when the script was written, per Walter Hill), a pre-Alien Sigourney Weaver could well have become famous not as Ellen Ripley but as Frank Kitchen, a professional assassin who undergoes the titular involuntary sex change at the hands of a vengeful surgeon. Four decades later, Weaver instead kicks ass in the latter role, the imperious, institutionalized Dr. Rachel Kay, serenely recounting the tall tale that led her…

  • Call Me by Your Name

    Call Me by Your Name

    ★★★★★

    Every few minutes in Call Me by Your Name, I wish the scene could stretch on all day. I want to spend the full summer with Timothée Chalamet’s teenage Elio and Armie Hammer’s grad student Oliver, luxuriating in every day wasted in frustration or joy. But James Ivory, contributing an elegantly crisp screenplay, knows that one character’s final mandate to “remember everything” means to distill months of sun-dappled Lombardy to their kernels. Guadagnino’s sensory instincts, on synesthetic display in I…