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  • Arsenal

    Arsenal

    ★★★★

    Most likely my favourite of the Dovzhenko films I've seen, if only because he seems to perfect the tonality of his distinctly abstract montages. I don't think his cinema could exactly be called one of affects, especially when placed in dialogue with Eisenstein, but, here at least, there is frequently a reliance on the expressiveness of the face; something which is able to refine his montage by allowing his images to stand on their own as wholes within a larger…

  • The Cheat

    The Cheat

    ★★★★★

    Underneath the distasteful fears surrounding the 'yellow peril', The Cheat delivers a striking narrative of humans estranged from themselves by the exchanges which rule them and the relationships they bear to money. Most of the scenes take place in rooms of opulent delight, far above the clangour of the everyday; here, Richard Hardy and his wife, Edith, live alienated from their own personal relations due to their personal quests: his to accumulate wealth and hers to spend it. That Hardy…

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  • The Revenant

    The Revenant

    At first I thought Iñárritu was simply doing a parody of Malick and Peckinpah. Then I realised that this was meant to be taken seriously.

  • The Thing

    The Thing

    ★★★★

    The swirling snow and frozen landscape of the Antarctic may as well be the urban cities of They Live or Prince of Darkness. It still feels the same, the intense animosity of the surroundings and what may be standing in the distance or who we can trust. And because of that we get this sort of vacuum, an empathy vacuum, there's so much focus on the drama and the surroundings we never actually feel a connection to any of these…