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  • Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

    Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

    ★★★★½

    There is a scene in this film, a background scene, that completely encapsulates the film for me.

    It is a scene of two shopkeepers judiciously sweeping the bits of sidewalk and road immediately in front of their place of business. In between the two sweepers lies a huge mound of sand.

    No matter how many times they sweep, within minutes any trace of their work will have disappeared.
    It will have made no difference.
    They keep sweeping.

    Nuri Bilge Ceylan…

  • The Thin Red Line

    The Thin Red Line

    ★★★★★


    I heard people talk about immortality,
    but I ain't seen it.
    l wondered how it'd be when l died.
    What it'd be like to know that this breath now
    was the last one you was ever gonna draw.
    l just hope l can meet it the same way she did.
    With the same... calm.
    Cos that's where it's hidden -
    the immortality l hadn't seen.

    What's it like to be lying in the middle of an unfamiliar jungle with birds…

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  • The Teacher

    The Teacher

    ★★★½

    I love it when someone is able to find the perfect way to tell a larger story, in this case, the larger story is that of corruption, how and why it starts, how easy it is to succumb to its trappings, and how effortless it can be to manipulate and take hold.

    Jan Hrebejk again joins forces with Petr Jarchovský, the writer of Divided We Fall, for this tale that focuses on the powers of a teacher on both her…

  • Diary of a Country Priest

    Diary of a Country Priest

    March Around the World 2019 - France

    Well I for one see nothing redeeming in this film. Nothing. Nothing struck me, no idea came to me, nothing made me feel anything other than tired. In fact, I fell asleep a few times (although my husband kept saying I had missed nothing at all when I asked).

    It truly is the "diary" of a country priest. The narration is read like a prayer: monotonous, as though someone were reading Thy Father…

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  • Silver Linings Playbook

    Silver Linings Playbook

    ★★

    My ticket stub says that I saw Silver Linings Playbook but it can't be the same film everyone else has seen. It just can't be. This one was supposed to be charming, enjoyable, fun even. It won the TIFF Audience Award. It was supposed to have great characters. Cooper and Lawrence were supposed to have given wonderful performances. DeNiro, it was said, was back. Jackie Weaver, wait, was she in this?

    The film I saw was bland and boring. I…

  • Boyhood

    Boyhood

    ★★

    It is not surprising that so many people identify closely with Boyhood. It hits all the hallmarks of growing up. There is the promise made years ago that the parent forgot but the child did not. There is the incessant fighting between siblings that is forgotten two minutes later, as well as the faking of who is to blame for the fight when the shouts of "MOM!" have been acknowledged. There is the change in address, school and friends, for…