nocturnalduck has written 32 reviews for films during 2020.

  • The Visit

    The Visit

    trying to shape, define, and then ultimately coming to peace with the past.

  • Schindler's List

    Schindler's List

    ★★★★★

    looking to the past to understand the future, the self-immolating exegesis of a modern day neoliberal.

    "cry and i will have you arrested, i swear to god"

  • Mank

    Mank

    fincher's self-critique, and an expansion on the themes of the social network: the complicity of being an abettor to progress in institutionally oppressive systems, the plastic social realities we retreat to as a coping mechanism, and the rare bursts of greatness when a combination of arrogance, selfishness, and stupidity allows their tools to be used against them.

  • The Butcher

    The Butcher

    this is as good of an example as any of how subdued doesn't inherently equal nuanced. stupid genre movie that also decides to be as muted/restrained as possible for some reason, which is unfortunate because some of the shots in this are pretty cool.

  • Creepy

    Creepy

    perfectly adequate, well shot, and well directed thriller that suffers from not entirely atypical narrative jetlag in the ending stretch. something about kurosawa's storytelling just kind of loses me as his films progress but it's tough pinpointing exactly what that issue is.

  • High Life

    High Life

    understanding the annihilation-inducing expansion of the neoliberal state as an increasing apparatus dedicated to regulating and controlling the human body is a good concept, but after establishing that conceit this doesn't really do much with it. the characters are mostly flat and underdeveloped, the atmosphere is initially chilling but becomes increasingly tedious as the movie progresses, and the film's idea that the ultimate wrench in those systems of control will be the innate emotional connection we have to our physical…

  • Scream

    Scream

    works as both a surface-level crotchety blast and also a deeper exploration of the ways desensitization interacts with the already existent ties between violence and the core of american culture.

  • Antigone

    Antigone

    very dry film but that can be fine if it's supplemented with a density/richness of analysis, and films that offer this kind of symbiotic relationship between the perspective of content and form are always very welcome. however, where this falters for me is it being an adaptation of a fictional text in the first place. the story here is stripped of all dramatic affectation, turned into a template that straub-huillet can situate their political discourses onto, but there are always…

  • Hollow Man

    Hollow Man

    the casual misogyny of american social ontology and the sick masculine power fantasies it enables. nothing to outright complain about here but also not much to really latch onto once the central conceit has been established.

  • Touch of Evil

    Touch of Evil

    "i guess you were somehow thinking of your wife, the way she was strangled"

    "oh, i'm always thinking of her, drunk or sober"

  • Annie Hall

    Annie Hall

    the worst kind of histrionics are ones that couch it into a hyper-articulate neuroticism, turning the world into a cartesian odyssey through endless ordeals where the only thing staring back at you are projections of yourself.

  • Zabriskie Point

    Zabriskie Point

    antonioni's eye for spatial geometry and the ways it intersects with systems of power and oppression slightly outweighed his complete ineptness at dramaturgy for me in this one.