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  • Le Bonheur

    Le Bonheur

    ★★★★

    Agnès Varda’s 1965 Le Bonheur is a brief 80-minute film that packs a surprising punch. The film follows François (Jean-Claude Drouot), a youthful carpenter living a beautiful life with a beautiful wife Thérèse (Claire Drouot) and two equally beautiful children. He’s already happy, but nonetheless initiates an affair with a young telegram office employee (Marie-France Boyer). We watch as François lives out this joyful new life he has paved for himself, spending time with his mistress in the afternoon and…

  • Cléo from 5 to 7

    Cléo from 5 to 7

    ★★★★★

    Astonishingly only Agnès Varda’s second feature film, Cléo from 5 to 7 is a breathtaking masterpiece of humanism and existentialism. Playing out in quasi-real time, the film walks in the shoes of Cléo (Corinne Marchand), a Paris urbanite and moderately popular singer who wanders around the city for roughly two hours (hence the title) while she awaits results from a cancer screening. We follow her about her day through cafés, boutique stores, cinemas, and parks alike, meeting with various friends…

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  • Days of Heaven

    Days of Heaven

    ★★★½

    The road to Cannes 2019.

    A visually magnificent dream of America and passion, its cool emotions faded like an old photograph. A slow and ponderous 94 minutes to be sure, but the overall effect is rather mesmerizing even when you think you're bored.

  • Possum

    Possum

    ½

    2018

    Irredeemably tedious and frustratingly incoherent. Glancing at the film's Wikipedia page, it's clear Holness thought quite a bit about the movie he wanted to make, but that doesn't stop Possum from being one of the most vapid and tortuously boring films I've had the displeasure of viewing in quite some time.

    Kudos to those that get something out of this, but frankly it's a miracle I made it past the five-minute mark.

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  • Taxi Driver

    Taxi Driver

    ★★★★½

    There's a moment in Taxi Driver when Travis Bickle is balancing his TV set with his foot. There's a light tension in the air as it oscillates back and forth between the force of his foot and gravity. Ultimately it falls over, and its assured destruction is perhaps the film's most obvious parallel to Travis's own downward spiral. Teetering on the edge in his own mental illness and isolation, Travis is very much that TV set.

  • Blade Runner 2049

    Blade Runner 2049

    ★★★★½

    2017

    So frustratingly close to becoming a modern masterpiece, held back literally by a handful of clumsy scenes of exposition.

    Roger Deakins is a treasure. The first shot of Ryan Gosling's silhouette against the harsh orange of poisoned Las Vegas air is *perfect*. Its jaw-dropping beauty caught me off guard even on a second watch.