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  • An Elephant Sitting Still

    An Elephant Sitting Still

    Foreground is background, the world becomes an isolated and isolating force. Characters filmed in shallow focus long takes, truly at odds with almost imperceptible surroundings. It's so easy to feel alone.

    "You look over to the other side and think 'it must be different.' But you can't go. By not going, you learn to live with it here."

  • Brawl in Cell Block 99

    Brawl in Cell Block 99

    Zahler’s three features seem like a progression. His motifs of digital cinematography, extreme violence, verbose scripts with descent-into-hell plots about working class people in dark life-or-death situations with a sociopolitical bent begins with Bone Tomahawk, which I hated (ugly looking and felt pointless) and ends Dragged Across Concrete which I loved (for class dynamics and justified nihilism, and it looks gorgeous). Thus, Brawl in Cell Block 99 feels like a midpoint in this progression. It has some of the ugly…

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  • Apocalypse Now

    Apocalypse Now

    ★★★★★

    This an example of film making at its finest. Honestly, I don't know a whole lot about the infamous production of Apocalypse Now, other than the fact that it was awful; and yet, the way the film is crafted and put together is so incredible. The troubled production probably increased the hysteria and darkness that the film conveys as it journeys into the dark hearts of men and their desires.

    The film has a simple premise, US Army Captain Benjamin…

  • Elysium

    Elysium

    ★★

    This is the most disappointed I've been with a movie in a long time. Elysium is a mess, plain and simple. It had so many great ideas and talent at its core, and it squanders it all. It features an extremely lazy screenplay, poorly developed characters, terrible performances, and boring plot. It's a film that wanders on the border of decency, and quickly falls into despair.

    When I first read the general concept of Elysium, I hoped it would be…