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  • Two Plains & a Fancy

    Two Plains & a Fancy

    ★★★

    Not as revelatory as L for Leisure, which I've seen earlier this year, but retains the same sense of utopia and melancholic optimism. Kalman / Horn teased Two Plains & A Fancy as a western and the temporal displacement parallels a thematic one: The characters are no longer at war with the landscape, but longing to connect, until hubris gets the better of them. There's also a clear understanding here how this discourse feeds into a racially charged "science" that cleared…

  • Earth

    Earth

    ★★★½

    Earth opens with a land blossoming, promising a future one generation will never get to see as the grandfather passes away, prompting his grandson, Vasyl, to push forward towards collectivization against his father's skepticism. What follows is your standard kulak on its way to industrialization via a heavily sexualized (and properly golden showered!) tractor. The arrival of the tractor plays out as an escalation of faces, the intertitles awkwardly stilting the momentum. After its maiden ride and the subsequent production…

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  • MS Slavic 7

    MS Slavic 7

    ★★★★

    Five years ago after an internship in a literary archive, I stayed for another half year as a freelancer and indexed and catalogued the estate of an author we recently acquired, an estate which also included a box of love letters. As I was reading the correspondence, I found it impossible not to get attached to them emotionally - and at the same time it felt like a breach of trust. The letters are so naked, so vulnerable, the writer…

  • Machorka-Muff

    Machorka-Muff

    ★★★½

    Started the Mubi Straub/Huillet retro as the goats intended do: Watched Machorka-Muff (Gee, those names!) on my cellphone while I got drunk on my train back to Munich, giggling like a maniac over the nasal, dialect-heavy voiceover.