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  • Perfect Blue

    Perfect Blue

    ★★★★½

    Satoshi Kon passed far too soon, but his filmography is one of the most distinct and compelling in the history of cinema. Perfect Blue is probably his most popular film, and for good reason; it has an excellent story with a really compelling hook, it tackles challenging subject matter in a very intelligent way that makes it a cornerstone of "adult" animation, and it's the closest Kon has made to a straightforward genre film, making it the easiest movie for…

  • K-On! The Movie

    K-On! The Movie

    ★★★★

    Early this morning, someone set fire to one of the buildings owned by Kyoto Animation, a deranged attack not only on the company but also on their employees due to his specific intent to harm (if not outright kill) them. Over 30 have died with just about as many injured, in one of the most sickening acts of mass violence I've ever seen, and doubly so when considering who the victims were. Kyoani's bread and butter was on creating wholesome,…

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  • North by Northwest

    North by Northwest

    ★★★★½

    Took three tries but Hitchcock has finally clicked for me. The "wrong man wrong place" trope is handled with a real deftness (which is to be expected, given Hitchcock's entire career focus), that manages to build solid intrigue while also playing with just how ridiculous the plot kind of is. There are some all-time great setpiece scenes (obviously the crop duster scene comes to mind, but I'd argue the auction house scene and the finale are equally excellent examples of…

  • All About Lily Chou-Chou

    All About Lily Chou-Chou

    ★★★★½

    A cinematic anxiety attack; the realization that for all the beauty and grace in the world, we can't escape each other and ourselves. The lingering, floaty style of cinematography manages to capture the essence of this lingering pain in every breathtakingly gorgeous shot and sequence. This beauty conveys a host of horrors; murder, suicide, rape, prostitution, and other acts of physical and moral degradation play out as if we're looking from afar, vaguely present but totally removed from the reality…

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  • All That Jazz

    All That Jazz

    ★★★★½

    Genius filmmaking that backs up it's satirical edge with a dizzying array of editing techniques to make for one of the strongest stream-of-consciousness approaches I've ever seen in film.

    Bob Fosse's autobiographical look at why he wanted to die is remarkably evenhanded in how it treats the story, at it really doesn't let his stand-in (Joe Gideon) off the hook for his numerous, protracted personality flaws and vices. The look at "show business" feels like a bit more of a…

  • Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

    Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

    ★★★★½

    Manic depression with an emphasis on the insane. The plot is kind of a jumbled clusterfuck but in the fun, farcical kind of way, with witty and dark comedy in spades to keep the whole thing light on it's feet. It seems to be riffing off of soap operas to a degree (the set design and the way Almodóvar goes about characterization especially feels that way), but there's a lot of really fun camera tricks that make for great sight…