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  • Red Nightmare

    Red Nightmare

    ★★½

    Earnest in its own naïve ideology. The real cruelty of propaganda in a vacuum is the maliciousness of its intentions, but Red Nightmare is more indirect with those ties to insidiousness. Its greatest delusions are more reserved than the usual red scare stuff, and what it asks you to be grateful for are (eventually) concrete and in some well-meaning vein, I guess.

    From that, Red Nightmare serves as a pretty spectacularly of-its-time depiction of communist-inspired western nervousness, and the weird compromises people have made and continue to make to maintain their own status quo.

  • Doctor Zhivago

    Doctor Zhivago

    ★★★★

    Neither David Lean's most extravagant work, nor is it one of his more human tales. Distant at times, stilted somewhat, but never not compelled by its own sense of glory, history, and detail.

    I am always fascinated by films that contrast gigantic setpieces with well-worn rooms and other such places. A journey made up of place and time, of big and small spaces, all of which feeling connected but never feeling artificially chained together. Like a massive world which could…

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  • Mirror

    Mirror

    ★★★★★

    Tarkovsky is a bit different from other slow cinema artists that dominate other parts of the world. Like filmmakers such as Bela Tarr and Lav Diaz, Tarkovsky holds shots for long periods of time, perhaps with more camera movement than the others, yet when Tarr and Diaz move their shots, they match the mood out of necessity. Their films are slow, so their camera movements are slow as well, makes sense, and they do it spectacularly. Tarkovsky moves his camera…

  • Joker

    Joker

    ★★½

    Relentless pawing at some vague anti-society message, with its receipts being from strawmen and caricatures created only to reinforce it. The Joker feels necessary in this world, as a sort of rebellion against upper-class callousness. It also feels like a condemnation of an uglier reactionary lower-class that doesn't concern itself with morality so much as it does an image and an idea. But ultimately, Todd Phillips and Scott Silver can do all of that, so long as it's in a…