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  • The Death of Mr. Lazarescu

    The Death of Mr. Lazarescu

    ★★★★

    Both the recent observational documentary, Collective (2019), and Cristi Puiu's acclaimed The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005) deal with deep-seated inefficiency and corruption in the Romanian healthcare system, although they handle their respective subject matters in vastly different ways. Whereas Collective takes a broader approach - exposing the multilayered failures that led to a national tragedy and producing a damning indictment on contemporary politics around the globe - Puiu's film depicts a much more focused series of events; surrounding one…

  • Victoria

    Victoria

    ★★★★

    Sebastian Schipper's Victoria (2015) succeeds where the likes of Birdman (2014) and 1917 (2019) fail - where the latter films' single-take nature often seems like a gimmick, in Schipper's film it perfectly involves the audience in the intoxicatingly dark world of Berlin's underbelly. Of course, this success likely stems from the fact that Victoria was actually filmed in one take - on 27th April 2014 from about 4:30am to 7am in Berlin's Kreuzberg and Mitte neighbourhoods. The resulting film never…

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  • Parasite

    Parasite

    ★★★★★

    "This is so metaphorical."

    I don't really have much new to write that hasn't been said by countless video essayists and reviewers before me - Parasite felt like a classic immediately after my first watch, and one year later it definitely holds up. This time the experience was heightened (perhaps you could say that) by the cinema's faulty lights that flickered throughout the film, as if sending a message through Morse code. What follows are just some general observations.

    From…

  • Moonlight

    Moonlight

    ★★★★½

    Barry Jenkins' Moonlight provides an intimate portrait of identity and masculinity in the 21st century. The film, based on an unproduced play by Tarell Alvin McCraney, In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, utilises various art house conventions to place the protagonist at odds with his tempestuous society. The expressive camera, the slow motion, the lack of diegetic sound in favour of Nicholas Britell's incredibly melancholic score, all combine to create a unique and memorable character study.

    However, the subjective style…