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  • Irma Vep

    Irma Vep

    ★★★★

    As a big fan of Assayas's "Kristen Stewart renaissance" films (CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA and PERSONAL SHOPPER) l sought this out recently.

    The worship of Hong Kong action cinema and the French cultural scene it depicts feel very of their time, and it's gentle and funny, but also scathing about the deficiencies of the chattering class, with many hilarious caricatures of particular types. This was the period in which John Woo was reaching the peak of his notoriety and influence…

  • Bacurau

    Bacurau

    ★★★★

    Raw, political, unexpected. This film is a thuggish post-colonial twist on THE SEVEN SAMURAI and THE GREATEST GAME that doesn't let any finicky tying off loose ends attenuate its moral impact.

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  • Captain Fantastic

    Captain Fantastic

    ½

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

    "It's our actions that define us. Not our words."

    So goes the refrain of the dead wife in Captain Fantastic, a fascinatingly bad film ultimately almost elevated by its dogged pursuit of that Dead Wife, capital letters, as a trope used to justify, exonerate and ultimately to restore and endorse what should properly be regarded as the regime of child abuse inflicted by its protagonist Ben (Viggo Mortensen).

    By this method, let's consider then just the action of the film.…

  • Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    ★★½

    As a filmmaker, Tarantino makes a great curator—he's Hollywood's bad wedding DJ, cueing up playlists of other directors' greatest hits.

    ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD is shot with a swooping, emotion-laden, nostalgic lens. Tarantino has made a film about filmmaking, and has had to think through his experiences and the conditions of his own work. You can feel some of the hits he's had to take to make his films in the writing, and that's a distinction this film…