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  • Midsommar

    Midsommar

    ★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Oof. Started out hopeful on this! Aster is talented at sculpting tone and writing characters with interestingly distinct and conflicting traits. Midsommar begins by feeling out these foundational details through genuinely strong performances, even in moments of wordless tension. The Bergman comparisons are warranted here, I suppose, but replicating tone doesn’t mean creating insight. 

    Our starting point: Dani has experienced intense loss. She looks to her boyfriend, someone who’s supposed to love her, for support. The guy’s a shitty partner:…

  • Anima

    Anima

    ★★★★

    Did not expect to be as overwhelmed by this as I was, and was not conscious of what it was working at until after I started tearing up. ANIMA is grief as a dream. The aesthetics of imposed dystopian routine; not rehashed, but repurposed as lyrical representations of loss and the subsequent struggle for a reclamation of self. Damien Jalet deserves to be billed alongside Anderson and Yorke for his choreography. Every cut; every silent bit of information that elevates the narrative beyond one of ‘finding love in a capitalist place’, is linked to his movement.

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  • The Devil's Rejects

    The Devil's Rejects

    ★★★★½

    Leave it to Rob Zombie to give us a manic, gory cop revenge movie that treats its protagonist like the serial killer he’s built to be. If 1000 Corpses is a deep-dive into America’s working class fetishization in spite of the actual American dream of wealth, Rejects shows us the violent resolution of this hypocrisy. The colorful, dizzying escape of the circus ends with a step back into a harsh reality.

    The family at the center of these films live…

  • Annihilation

    Annihilation

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Alex Garland didn’t care to write characters, so should I care enough to write a review? Either way:

    I’m tempted to say that it really shows that this is based on a novel, but in actuality, this feels more like an essay based on the SparkNotes; a thematic mission statement stretched out over two hours of rigidly functional dialogue and clumsy visual symbolism. Garland’s script is less harmful in the things it has to say about loss of identity than…