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  • Consolations (Love Is an Art of Time) Part 1: The Fugitive Gods

    Consolations (Love Is an Art of Time) Part 1: The Fugitive Gods

    Man builds monuments as a tribute to God. Man builds skyscrapers to challenge God. In the face of religious dogma and fundamentalism we choose to build (aka ascend) skyward. Our own meaninglessness subsumed by the desire to conquer - the previously unachieved worlds and boundaries. Reflections no long reveal us to ourselves but reflect the constructed palaces we inhabit, our beings merely another piece of furniture that moves between rooms. Assuming one believes in a God, does he not laugh…

  • Chutes de Tranches

    Chutes de Tranches

    One Hernández's better late period works for sure. Feels so alive and purposeful in its editing. Some of the films from him I've been watching recently had me fearing that his technique was either growing stale to me or that he was leaning in too much into that one technique, but here, in conjunction with much more fast paced editing and a frantic score(?), the almost seven minutes here have breathed new life into me for him. A gentle yet frantic dance across bodies and landscapes, moments of precise clarity smashing against intense sped-up footage and zooms. A tornado of passion for life.

  • American Falls

    American Falls

    Solomon's miniature epic of sorts presents his usual bag of tricks but in a fashion that struck me as being far more cohesive and focused than his previous works. Through utilizing footage that is cohesive in an attempt at presenting a holistic view of "America" his methods of post-production metamorphosis and degradation finds purpose. More than a simple exercise, he presents the corruption and, ultimately, the death of a country. Not literally, but through the passing of idealism and hope.…

  • Pleasures of the Flesh

    Pleasures of the Flesh

    The common saying is that money can't buy you happiness... well Oshima presents a landscape where that isn't complete bullshit. The gains here monetarily bring an amount of freedom previously unattainable to Atsushi, though only for a brief period of time. But it leads one to perhaps the obvious question of "what is it to be happy?" In the stupor brought on by his acquisition of stolen funds he is able to buy sex, women, alcohol, freedom, respect, but he…

  • Violence at Noon

    Violence at Noon

    Cinema at its most brutal and most empathetic. I've seen this film six or seven times at this point and feel like I learn/see something new each time. Breathless if it was actually good, Se7en if Fincher's philosophy was fleshed out. Genre gives way to personal ideology - all the while managing to fulfill the needs of both by its conclusion.

  • Midsommar

    Midsommar

    Mainstream critics: Midsommar is great. So scary and surprisingly funny.

    Friends (some of whom are also critics): Ari Aster is a fraud. Not nearly as smart as he thinks he is and he has no understanding of horror.

    Me: This movie is fucking stupid. Ari Aster can throw his technical prowess at me all he wants, it still amounts to next to nothing. Both this and Hereditary are technical and emotional exercises meant to put an audience through the ringer…

  • Yesterday

    Yesterday

    Proof positive that Boyle is a director whose films are only as good as their script. Nostalgia and banality triumph as Mark Fisher rolls in his grave.

  • Mektoub, My Love

    Mektoub, My Love

    The fact that there's another one of these films (and a third on the way apparently) where the majority of it takes place in a club is frankly astounding. The scenes in clubs in this film felt like an eternity and were shot, as expected, like a old guy who's really into T&A - and that's it. A classic example of a film about beautiful people being beautiful and doing all things French but being made by someone who seemingly…

  • Burning

    Burning

    Surprised this holds up as well as it does. I found myself much more engaged with Yoo's lead performance this time around than Yeun's mysterious stranger. A stronger sense of existential ennui surrounding his every action and interaction, as if filled with a purpose unknown to himself, even at the climax. I'm more impressed with this structurally as well, considering the film completely shifts gears in its final hour from the more meandering drama into full-on thriller with almost no…

  • Loro

    Loro

    Toni Servillo is really good, but I've already seen The Wolf of Wall Street, Spring Breakers, and House of Tolerance.

  • The Halt

    The Halt

    For all the praise this is getting (really, most Diaz films seemed to get praise heaped upon them from what I can see), as well as it's prescient and admirable politics and messaging, this is probably the director's weakest film of this current decade. Unlike previous works where his focus has been dispersed among various characters, here the entire thing just comes across as scattershot and unfocused. There are individual moments that stand out, as well as compositions, but this…

  • Holiday

    Holiday

    Starts off very much in the realms of Refn but soon develops a tone more akin to the works of Östlund. Her images retain a poppy quality to them throughout, very high-gloss, though she doesn't really ever delve into the neon-festishism of the the former. What's striking most is her use of interiors, and is why her images reminded me of the latter as the film progressed. She's playing in the world of the upper class, or at least someone…