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  • Things to Come

    Things to Come

    ★★★

    All three stars go exclusively to the art direction.

  • Welcome Home

    Welcome Home

    ★★★★★

    OKAERI is a film with something of a legendary status among aficionados of recent Japanese cinema. The film was self-funded by a projectionist and freelance film-critic-turned-filmmaker, and shot on leftover film stock from other independent productions. Its cast ranges from VERY seasoned veterans (Tomio Aoki, the former child-star of Ozu's I WAS BORN, BUT..., who appears as a talkative old man in a park) to recognizable character actors (Susumu Terajima, a frequent supporting cast member of Kitano and Miike films,…

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  • High Life

    High Life

    ★★½

    "You're a grown man with big muscles, and yet you're grinning like a little boy."

  • Shadow

    Shadow

    ★½

    I'm not sure which "shadow" came first--the central plot device of a character using his shadow/double for combat or the decision to make all the sets and costumes monochrome--but it tells you all you need to know about this film that either its central narrative or stylistic traits--or perhaps both--were determined by a very obvious and uninteresting metaphor.

    As with other Zhang wuxia films, the action is decoratively choreographed without being very engaging or meaningful, and there are lots of…