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  • The One Who Will Come

    The One Who Will Come

    ★★★½

    All tangents, no throughline, until a point very near the end where all the wandering plot threads come together. Until that happened it seemed like an incoherent "we'll say it's art" mess... but it was at least palpably unnerving and creepy, with lots of darkly imaginative images and a general tone of spiritual sickness and malaise. It's subtitled on the gray web and maybe even on Netflix; I hope some of my horror peeps will check this out...

  • Huapango

    Huapango

    ★★★

    Loosely derived from Othello, mostly devoted to a back-story it invents for Iago and Desdemona. Making up plot-poimts to normalize Iago's nihilism and negativity doesn't seem like a smart thing to do, but Iago's dialed into it; in the heavier scenes he finds a performance register that would be suitable for Shakespeare.

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  • Vicky Cristina Barcelona

    Vicky Cristina Barcelona

    Glib and carelessly-imagined ode to privilege. I tried to ignore my distaste for the superficial artsiness of the characters, but after the scene where the blonde girl decided it would be kicks to go to a slummy-looking neighborhood and photograph sex-workers I just couldn't. Esp. when the SW were all "Hello, American Lady Woman! We love you! Come taste the wines and cheeses of my village!"

    An art-adjacent lifestyle is one thing, an arts career is another.

  • Valerie and Her Week of Wonders

    Valerie and Her Week of Wonders

    ★★★

    If this were by a female director, it'd be a compelling menstrual-hut-power fantasy ode to Goddess Reproductive Magic, but that's not a movie that any man could make, so...

    Disturbing crypto-pedo fantasy that reads like Charles Dodgson and Roman Polanski brainstorming on heavy doses of MDMA.

    It's got vampires + a very girly magic-realism drawn from fairy-tales and dream-work. A bit kitsch, innit? In a good way, though, like a lo-fi Nazareno Cruz.