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  • Lady J

    Lady J

    ★★★★½

    A playfully devious and acerbic period piece—loosely adapted from a Diderot novel—about one noblewoman’s very mischievous scheme to tame a libertine. Boy, this had me in stitches. It’s an absolute charmer of a costume drama, a tragicomedy that’s simultaneously sweet and savage. Cecile de France is a riot in possibly her best role ever. This is pretty much the French equivalent of Love & Friendship. That about sums it up.

  • An Elephant Sitting Still

    An Elephant Sitting Still

    ★★★★★

    That was the best film I've seen from mainland China since forever. Just, wow.

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  • Upstream Color

    Upstream Color

    ★★★★★

    Shane Carruth’s alluring Upstream Color is Invasion of the Body Snatchers for the art house crowd, with hogs replacing pods and identity crisis substituting for McCarthyism. That may be an awfully crude comparison but it’s the overall gist I got as I watched this beguiling, beautiful film. One thing’s for sure, the plot’s mind-control science fiction aspect plays only second fiddle to the transcendent yet universal overarching theme of emotional resonance in people in the vein of Henry David Thoreau’s…

  • Post Tenebras Lux

    Post Tenebras Lux

    ★★★★½

    Contemplative cinema can be a bitch. This most elusive of art house varieties has repeatedly rendered me awestruck, but at the same time hopelessly nonplussed all at once. With that said, the sensory experience waiting in store for viewers in Post Tenebras Lux, perhaps the most idiosyncratic and abstract work to date from Mexican, transcendental filmmaker Carlos Reygadas, can be quite overwhelming and intimidating. If one is unfamiliar with the director’s influences—namely Robert Bresson, Carl Theodore Dreyer, Roberto Rossellini, and…