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  • Nomadland

    Nomadland

    ★★★

    Placeless people contrasted by vast open space, "Nomadland"'s harsh portrayal of capitalistic steamrolling grabs the viewer by their heartstrings. But preying on empathy can only take you so far; you need to back that up with substance. The film feels sparse, shots tied together by the faint thread of linear narrative. Shot and edited in a documentary-esque style, Zhao tells the audience very little, instead showing passage of time through movement and simplistic motifs like a New Years celebration or…

  • Bacurau

    Bacurau

    ★★★★½

    “Bacurau,” written and directed by Brazilian filmmakers Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles, is no doubt a political effort, following the path set by Mendonça Filho’s previous works such as “Aquarius” and “Neighbouring Sounds.”

    With the election of current president Jair Bolsonaro, the political atmosphere in Brazil has become less supportive of art as a means of boosting the economy, something that often leads to the death of film industries in other countries. In “Bacurau,” Kleber Mendonça and Dornelles tackle…

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  • Poison

    Poison

    ★★★

    Though thematically intertwined, the three short films that comprise Poison are narratively disjointed. For me, the way in which the three were spliced together created more confusion than harmony, and while each part on its own was endearing, put together it was a bit weak. A compelling debut, but not something I’d return to.

  • The House That Jack Built

    The House That Jack Built

    ★★½

    Lars von Trier seems to think that being able to acknowledge your faults grants you some form of absolution… who’s gonna tell him?

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