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  • The Misfits

    The Misfits

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    One of the old threadbare myths of the West was that it might offer memory-haunted people a fresh start in a new place. Arthur Miller’s cruel joke in writing The Misfits was to dream up a post-Western where aging Hollywood stars are forced, over and over, to relive echoes of their real-life worst moments.

    Monty Clift plays a character who’s wrecked his face so bad it had to be reconstructed, but won’t stop riding liquored-up at the rodeo. As the…

  • Good Morning

    Good Morning

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    The materials of modern life keep changingβ€”new substances, new machines, new buildings. Ozu is fascinated by forms of insulation that make living in close proximity to others in an increasingly industrial environment into something tolerable: cozy knitwear, empty chatter about the shapes of clouds, TV time, alcohol.

    Then there’s the bodily humor, which links everything from communication (farts mistaken for speech) to washing machine technology (to keep up with the high rate of pants-shitting) into one big metabolic process.

    It’s…

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  • The Pumpkin Race

    The Pumpkin Race

    There are few film images more satisfying than giant, self-propelled pumpkins softly bouncing into a manhole.

  • Crossroad

    Crossroad

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    The cities were full of detail and grotesquery, but there was something about the half-rendered countryside that drew me into endless, third-person motorbike trips. When Solomon, great excavator of the undersides of images, played San Andreas, he charted a course for the heart of the game: the animation of CJ's body at rest.

    The bouquet, left spinning in gale-force winds, is meant to be used as a gift in a romance subplot, a disappointing date simulator. This being GTA, you…