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  • Tokyo Godfathers

    Tokyo Godfathers

    ★★★★

    Discussed on the third episode of The Complete Satoshi Kon.

  • The Spirit of the Beehive

    The Spirit of the Beehive

    ★★★★★

    I've been watching The Spirit of the Beehive regularly in order to fall asleep. Not every night, but on nights when I am too tired to read or watch something new but not quite tired enough to close my eyes right away. I've watched the film 3 or 4 times now all the way through, but I don't log it because I haven't really watched the whole thing - I usually fall asleep after twenty minutes or so, either turning…

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  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

    Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

    ★★★★½

    I’m not a big silent film guy, and I do think most of what silent film does best can be done in the sound era. I also think we lost a lot of visual ingenuity, particularly in the mainstream, when we moved to sound, and a lot of directors have become very lazy indeed when it comes to cinematic language. However, there are many great modern sequences that can rival the best of silent cinema. 

    There is no comparison then…

  • Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

    Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

    ★★★½

    There’s perhaps a shadow of this in Mirror and Parajanov’s own masterpiece Color of Pomegranates, and in ways it feels like the dry run for those and many other films that mold and shift time in their narratives and aesthetics and themes in equal measure. Could Erice have seen this, or was there something in the water? Regardless of its place in history, it’s difficult not to want to take a step back and admire the bones holding together this swirling flesh and blood. There’s construction and a basic understanding of how narratives work that is highly impressive considering what’s on screen.

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  • Swing Time

    Swing Time

    ★★★½

    “Oh, Fred’s getting his makeup ready for the next dance routine!

    Oh.

    Oh no.”

  • Maborosi

    Maborosi

    ★★★★½

    Koreeda’s first feature belongs to the niche genre of ghost stories with no ghosts. They are anchored by protagonists who sense the emptiness rather than the life that surrounds them, trapped in a past from which they are unable to shake free. The title means “a trick of the light,” and Yumiko is constantly unsure of her guided path. There are so many brittle moments in the film, most obviously when her new mother-in-law seems lost at sea but more…