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  • Under the Blossoming Cherry Trees

    Under the Blossoming Cherry Trees

    "Take me back to the capitol city and bring me everything I desire...use your strength to please me."

    Bookended with stunning open vistas of a valley filled with endless blooming cherry blossom trees, which composer Toru Takemitsu's score somehow makes ominous even in the brightest daylight, like giant, swaying ghosts. Drifts of cherry blossoms swoop on whirling winds across the images, and, near our climax, sometimes pile up on the ground, dense as snowpack.

    But the action moves from the…

  • The Night Porter

    The Night Porter

    ★★★★½

    Charlotte Rampling is an extraordinary masochist. If this had been the only film she was ever in she would’ve gone down as a timeless morality-bending punk icon. Through her we come to understand that not every victim is without cruelty nor every abuser without kindness. She eats jelly from a broken glass jar like a fucking animal until you don’t know if her mouth is smeared red with jelly or with gore from the shards of glass tearing away at…

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  • Ace in the Hole

    Ace in the Hole

    ★★★★

    Stark, desolate newspaper noir. All you have to do to get ahead in America is stumble across one man in a hole. If he’s strong enough and can hold off down there in the dirt caked darkness you can sell the idea of him one hundred times one hundred ways to one hundred people.

    As an expose of bad journalism, this is pretty silly. It’s hard to buy the premise of a journalist as puppet master to this extent, especially…

  • A New Leaf

    A New Leaf

    ★★★★½

    Henrietta is a real person. Unmindful, insensible and impossibly awkward as she may be, she is authentic. That’s what makes it so tragic, so dark. Henry (yes, the two lead characters have essentially the same first name - which is either incredibly profound, just stupid funny, or both.)... Henry can’t see her as anything other than an opportunity to be exploited, but Henrietta has a successful career in STEM. She is unconsciously stunning. She is a woman with needs.

    And…

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  • Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution

    Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution

    ★★★½

    There are at least two sure ways to know you're on the right side of history...

    1. The Black Panthers bring you food during your sit in.
    2. The press gives you a bad ass name like "The Occupying Cripple Liberation Army".

    That powerhouse and political force of nature Judith Heumann wasn't on the stage during the signing of the ADA, after all that she did, and instead it was a bunch of white dudes, is the fucking story of civil rights movements in America.

  • The Seventh Seal

    The Seventh Seal

    ★★★★★

    Max von Sydow was twenty-seven years old when he starred in one of the greatest films ever made. He died today. He was ninety. This is a movie about death.

    My wife found out the lump on her throat was benign today and then I watched this movie for the first time in probably twenty years while waiting for her to come home from work so I could give her a kiss. This is a movie about life.

    Death cheats at chess. Life cheats at death.

    The Max von Sydow project starts now.