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  • Jeepers Creepers

    Jeepers Creepers

    ★★★½

    Postmodern American gothic, stitched together from various 70s horror classics without the seams ever becoming too obvious. It mostly hits a dead end after the excellent first half hour, but the all-encompassing sense of irrationality still got to me, we're in the realm of batshit crazy from the start and there's just no escape.

  • The Gambler's Code

    The Gambler's Code

    ★★★

    Star-studded early Ikehiro film. Nice to see a gentler side of Ichikawa for once. Suits him well, he really comes across as gentle, benign and vulnerable once he decides to lay down his arms. The musical interludes are a bit strange, but work well in connection with the less studio bound open-air feel of the film. Ikehiro's direction is good if mostly on the conservative side, a far cry from something like SLEEPY EYES OF DEATH 4 only a few years later. Some of the fight scenes have an interesting chaotic feel, though.

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  • Jojo Rabbit

    Jojo Rabbit

    This is so dull and witless - every attempt at a joke that tries to move beyond "nazis are evil but also stupid" falls completely flat - that it took me some time to realize just how terrible it is even beyond its unappealing surface. Turning Hitler into a clown is in itself no reason for moral outrage. But installing Hitler as a dematerialized, ahistoric metacinematic gadget while at the same time positioning Elsa as the bearer of historical truth,…

  • Undine

    Undine

    ★★★★½

    Resisting the libidinous pull of history. Doubling down on both madcap romanticism and the discursive underpinnings of melodrama, UNDINE probably won't find quite as many fans as PHOENIX and TRANSIT, but might be the most daring Petzold film yet. Or at the very least the most Petzold. Paula Beer rules.

    Plus there's a wonderful love-on-first-sight-as-slapstick scene, like in THE LONG GREY LINE and THE BIG PARADE.