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  • The Tree of Life

    The Tree of Life

    ★★★½

    My first film out of the Films From Africa - challenge was a beautiful one and it did a strange thing: it totally changed its style.

    Beginning as a documentarian account of the everyday life of some townsfolk, a narrative streak develops, wherein a man, the protagonist of this 18 minutes short film from Somalia, walks through forests, villages and plains to reach a spot with a sacred tree. As he starts cutting it down, he's killing life itself and…

  • Offside

    Offside

    ★★★★½

    What a great film!

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  • Pickpocket

    Pickpocket

    ★★★★½

    Excellent, gritty and realistic account of a petty criminal left behind by his old pals that can adapt to new aggregational develeopments of contemporary chinese society. A bit too long, maybe, and losing its track in the last half hour, but that's just minor criticism in an overall superb film. Cinematography by genius Yu Lik-wai.

  • Love Exposure

    Love Exposure

    ★★★★½

    Yes, this is maybe as good as it gets. Its biggest achievements surely are that this is not an empty popculture ballet without significant meaning orbiting around itself in a delirious hedonist fashion but bears, on the one hand, a lot of reference to actual ongoing developments (speak: anxieties) of society (The Zero Church as a religious cult, cf. A Guru is born (Takeshi Kitano), or 1Q84 (Haruki Murakami)) and youth culture (panties-hentais versus punky chicks adoring pure love (cf.…