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  • The Seventh Seal

    The Seventh Seal

    ★★★★★

    cinemasparagus.blogspot.com/2021/03/the-seventh-seal.html

    "I, ANTONIUS BLOCK, AM PLAYING CHESS WITH DEATH."

    I'll begin by copping the two opening paragraphs of the great Gary Giddins' essay in the book that accompanies Criterion's Ingmar Bergman's Cinema box set and the first Blu-ray edition from 2009.

    "In recent years, The Seventh Seal [Det sjunde inseglet, 1957] has often been honored more for its historical stature than its prevailing vitality. Those who attended its first international rollout and were changed forever by the experience are now…

  • Elsa the Rose

    Elsa the Rose

    ★★★★

    cinemasparagus.blogspot.com/2021/02/elsa-la-rose.html

    PET NAMES / CODE NAMES

    "Je suis / Le fou d'Elsa / — Aragon."

    "Woman is the future of man." –Aragon, Le fou d'Elsa [Elsa's Madman, 1963]

    Elsa la Rose [Elsa the Rose, 1965] is a kind of collage essay portrait film by Agnès Varda that examines the decades long marriage relationship between the writer-poets Elsa Triolet (née Kagan, Mayakovsky's lover) and Louis Aragon. Stretches of the couple's verse, read by Michel Piccoli, comprise the soundtrack.

    The consummate artist…

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  • Knives Out

    Knives Out

    ★★★★½

    One of the best 2010s American films. It's not a pastiche of Agatha Christie any more than, say, BEND OF THE RIVER is a pastiche of WESTERN UNION. It does, however, rejuvenate the whodunnit in a manner akin to STAGECOACH's modernization and modulation on the western. A cross-class group portrait, a social allegory of American heritage (both in the sense of "inheritance" and "the ancestral"), which brings to mind the families Trump, Murdoch, etc...

    Rian Johnson wanders the house, or…

  • Eyes Wide Shut

    Eyes Wide Shut

    ★★★★★

    A contender for the greatest film ever made. Watched again last night. One note for here: the infamous pool-table sequence: in which the furniture and the chairs seem to stare back at Bill and the viewer, depopulated but haunted by a gaze-"off", which is the dialectic between Kubrick's own POV/world-view/gaze and that of the viewer: a mise-en-abyme of the very Void, or, to quote Morrissey quoting someone else: "I entered nothing / And nothing entered me."