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  • Variety

    Variety

    ★★★

    Lacks the aesthetic appeal of other 80s/90s independent films that make up for the lower budget and choppy performances.

  • Shock Corridor

    Shock Corridor

    ★★★

    There’s something about the way this was mapped out that is too exacting, as if it all was an exercise in a basic and silly psychological thriller structure with attempts at social commentary. The pacing almost made it feel more like a series of moments and ideas related to the central themes that were shoehorned into the mental decay template. Not funny enough to be great camp, not disciplined enough to be great drama.

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  • Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    ★★★★★

    Tragedy is lovingly retold as a fantasy about the era that made Tarantino who he is. It’s an escapist fairytale told purposefully, using that “escapist” world-building template in the best way to communicate something intensely personal, namely a sheer love for a lost generation and a lost human life. These characters are more real and emotionally complex than any other Tarantino film, achieved without sacrificing any of the film’s comedic and fantastical flavor. A collection of nostalgic fantasies lead not to tragic loss but idealized reverie, ultimately conveying unmitigated love and childlike wonder.

  • Yi Yi

    Yi Yi

    ★★★★½

    How can a film shot mostly in Taipei prompt innumerable memories of my own life to flood my senses even though I’ve never been to East Asia and have no connection to Taiwanese culture? The persistent hushed aura fostered by a largely immobile camera (some tilts and pans but few axis movements) and contemplative pacing enriches the characters broader longing to block out the meaningless rush of life, while the bold, vivid colors represent—to me—them putting their heart out there…