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  • The Whole Shootin' Match

    The Whole Shootin' Match

    ★★★★

    Like maybe only an amateur can, Eagle Pennell created a lived-in, fully-realized world familiar from real life but foreign to movies, and he painted this canvas in slight variation for two and one-half inimitable films, using the same two actors and practically the same locations. If you were to take Budweiser, rodeos, and baseball caps—the red state signifiers that made American Sniper so much money—and invert them into Lone Star, bar brawls, and hats advertising Big Ag, you might be…

  • Mauvais Sang

    Mauvais Sang

    ★★★★★

    All the stars.

    The kind of movie that, even on a third viewing, makes you ashamed of the last 100 movies you watched, the last 100 days you lived (or rather, didn't), your humdrum existence a pathetic placeholder for what should be called living. A film where not being loved is a kind of dying, where loving without loving is a way of killing.

    Transcend life in art and art in life. Jean Cocteau is dead, forever and never. Believe…

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  • My Neighbors the Yamadas

    My Neighbors the Yamadas

    ★★★½

    Blessed with perfect vibes, and theme music by Akiko Yano that's almost as charming as Vince Guaraldi's, Yamadas faithfully adapts a Sunday comic strip in the style of golden age sitcoms. It's long, lived-in, and understated. If the idea of adapting a funny paper into a movie one four-panel sequence at a time, without a story or anything but Basho haikus to hold it together, seems cursed, the mundane blissful flawlessness of the source material, a Peanuts for the everyday, makes up for it, finding tiny morals in life's foolishness, not to scold but to celebrate–with a whistle and a wah-wah–the perfectly average.

  • Shiva Baby

    Shiva Baby

    ★★★

    Aesthetically kind of heinous, at least when its anamorphic handheld cinematography recalls Krisha more than Fleabag, Seligmann aims for a horror-comedy in which the audience has deep empathy for its protagonist, trying for a microbudget Uncut Gems-style panic attack thrill ride but make it claustrophobic and chaotic bisexual, and if she falls short, which she does, and the life that was present in the short is partly sucked out by the feature's visual ambitions and need to stretch out, then,…

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  • Jane B. by Agnès V.

    Jane B. by Agnès V.

    ★★★½

    Agnès Varda likes daydreams, not psychology. Her movies jump not from one thing to the next but from one thing to a next, always opening, never closing. One film, a documentary made of fictional parts (Jane B. par Agnès V.), leads to another, a fiction made of documentary (Kung-fu Master!), starring Jane Birkin's daughters, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon, and Varda's son, Mathieu Demy.

    Birkin said she wanted “to make a feature film about how I really am: jeans, old…

  • Titanic

    Titanic

    ★★★★

    An epic of duality, bifurcated between day & night, life & death, female & male, romance & tragedy, and held together by love and close-ups. This is the film of a deep-sea explorer but also that of a matte painter at a time when the technique was dying out; just look at the sunsets! (Even James Cameron, however, felt this one was egregious). All those matte paintings, and yet still Cameron waited a week for the right sky for the actors to kiss under;…