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  • Come and See

    Come and See

    ★★★★★

    Sensational: an exercise in war filmmaking unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Best watched as a companion piece to Ivan’s Childhood; plotting the development of WW2 depictions in the Soviet Union. Klimov’s film is very much a response to Tarkovsky’s debut: a visceral, brutal look at war, where the enemy isn’t concealed and is very much a part of the violent storyline. Incidentally, the major hook of Tarkovsky’s work - the dream-like transcendent imagery - is completely missing from Klimov’s 1985…

  • Call Me by Your Name

    Call Me by Your Name

    ★★★★½

    I completely appreciate what’s Guadagnino is going for and, for the most part, it works splendidly. A gorgeous and enchanting escape, a self discovery, and beautiful queer representation. Yet, something about Armie Hammer’s recent allegations doesn’t sit right when looking back - - and it’s not like they are the only defining factor into my apprehension to proclaim this a masterpiece. The power dynamics are so wonky; the contrasting maturity works fine on the surface, but it doesn’t seem plausible…

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  • Climax

    Climax

    ★★★★

    Imagine they just reveal at the end there was never any LSD and it was just one massive fucking placebo effect…

  • A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

    A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

    ★★★

    I admit, I did only watch this for the title. Somewhat intriguing, but finds it hard to keep my attention. Dead-pan is already an acquired taste and, when coupled with language barrier, it makes it really hard to enjoy. Of course there are some brilliant moments and fantastic visual gags, aided by the bleakness of the writing (and the visual style - my god, how drab!), but ultimately it failed to make a long-lasting impression. Saying that, I will definitely be checking out the other films in this trilogy.

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  • Minari

    Minari

    ★★★★½

    I love how intimate this film is. Lee Isaac Chung guides you through the struggles of the family perfectly, inducing a profoundly tender tale of love, hope and misfortune. Minari primarily resolves around assimilation, but it gives you so much more. It’s an authentic tale of the Korean experience that offers the notions of what it means to be in an immigrant, fighting for a place in a rapidly developing social construct. The performances are also unbelievably good; Youn Yuh-Jung deserves the hell out of that Oscar. Heartwarming, yet concurrently heartbreaking.

  • Requiem for a Dream

    Requiem for a Dream

    ★★★★½

    Perhaps the most innovative and technically finicky camera-work/editing combo I’ve ever seen. Paranoia and tension thrive under the neurotic precision of Aronofky’s “hip-hop” visual style. Each subsequent high feels more and more devastating; as the horror builds, visuals blur into the liminal threshold between reality and artificiality. The hallucinatory landscape is terrifying, but presented by the most poignantly afflicting means. An offering of utter nihilism, horrifyingly captured on the big screen.