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  • All the Light We Can See

    All the Light We Can See

    ★★★

    Something of Oliveira’s claustrophobic stagebound classicism let loose in the vast landscapes of the Valley of Mexico; the stunning backdrops become a dense palimpsest of so many overlapping local legends and histories and revolutions, characters from different stories running into one another as their historical eras collapse into one atemporal plane. From ancient Aztec mythologies to Zapatista rebellions of recent history, an overwhelming sense of the historical past’s lingering living traces haunting the ground on which centuries’ worth of stories…

  • Clockwatchers

    Clockwatchers

    ★★★½

    “I can sit there and do nothing as good as anyone’s nephew, you know!” Casually despairing about the possibility of genuine solidarity in corporate capitalism; when work becomes defined by precarity and interchangeability, when the function matters more than the person (“Another tax deduction, same as us”), and when corporate culture’s drained its contents of any substantive meaning. The small indignities of trying to remember what makes you a person in a world that would rather you didn’t (“No machine…

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  • Nomadland

    Nomadland

    ★★★

    A twilight-hued ode to one of the many communities left abandoned by the grotesque corporatization of American government; a society where communities to belong to and houses to live in are considered privileges rather than fundamental human rights, and the tragically unnecessary courage of those who have to create their own communities and find their own places to call home. “No, I’m not homeless,” Fern insists. “I’m just houseless. Not the same thing, right?” Whether working alongside the new class…

  • Dogville

    Dogville

    ★★★★★

    Not much to add to what I’ve written before, but it’s still one of the twenty-first century’s great provocations, and in its mounting cruelties one of contemporary cinema’s essential ethical visions. The naked vulnerability of the guest who shows her face, and the collective failure of the community that demands she work to prove that her face is worth it. “We’re proud to have you among us, and we thank you for showing us who you are.” When the stranger’s…