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  • The Last Witness

    The Last Witness

    ★★★★

    I've met Park Chan-wook three times in my life: At a signing for Oldboy at Tower Records in Soho, then at the NYFF premiere of Sympathy for Lady Vengeance and once again at a Q&A for Thirst at the same festival. Only at the last event did I get to ask him whom his favorite inspirations were: He said Kim Ki-young and Yasuzo Masumura—which led me to binge on the latter’s works.

    But now, having watched The Last Witness, it's…

  • Vada Chennai

    Vada Chennai

    ★★★★

    Usually quite skeptical of highly-rated Indian films as they often tend to be structurally overrated due to their local voting bases, a trend that’s especially common in South Indian (namely Tamil, Telegu and Malayalam) cinema. However, director Vetrimaran's Interrogation was my 7th favorite film of 2016, a darkly comic satire on corruption that's as brutal as it is mocking. So, it was with some level of excitement and trepidation that I chose to jump into Vada Chennai, which currently sits…

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  • The Blood of Wolves

    The Blood of Wolves

    ★★★

    Fantastic Fukasaku vibes—especially on the narration—but the film does get bogged down in the second half on the weight of its own storyline. Still, if you're hankering for a fresh take on The Yakuza Papers, The Blood of Wolves and Koji Yakusho make it worthwhile.

  • Capernaum

    Capernaum

    ★★★★

    Contrary to some, this didn't come across as poverty porn—if anything, it didn't judge but instead shed light on massive realities of many. I'm not angry at anyone in the film, just frustrated at how the world continues to live while knowing all of this exists.

    Zain Al Rafeea's performance is one of the best by a child I've ever seen, and the fact that the film has literally made his life better is something to note in the greater landscape.

    Currently #6 on Life as Fiction °10: 2018.
    Currently #10 on Letterboxd 50: 2018 Narrative Feature Films.

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  • Prometheus

    Prometheus

    ★★★½

    LIFE AS FICTION Michael Fassbender is the best android ever: This, sadly, is the one true takeaway from Ridley Scott’s return to the Alien universe. If forced to admit another, it would be that the elder Scott brother has now further cemented himself as arguably the single most overrated director working today. For him, style over substance has become par for course, and while that isn’t a bad thing, it’s consistently kept him from being great since 1982. His…

  • Last Action Hero

    Last Action Hero

    ★★½

    Meta before meta was cool. Also: Hamlet and The Seventh Seal.