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  • The Birth of a Nation

    The Birth of a Nation

    ★★★★★

    [93]

    A fascinating film to me for several reasons, the biggest of which might be its demonstration of cinema as a cantilever of force on a national stage as well as its ability to not only maintain relevance, but actually garner more traction over a century after its release. Granted, that traction is not of amicable nature—it is an ugly, reprehensible agency, but an agency nonetheless, and to ignore its influence on not just cinema but the United States of…

  • The River

    The River

    ★★★★★

    [91]

    After being highly receptive of every Tsai film I’ve seen thus far, I figured it was about time I tried to dive more in-depth about the essence of his very style, and why I find his particular brand of stoicism fundamentally more alluring and captivating than many others’. THE RIVER completely knocked my socks off, and not only does it contain some of the most painfully lingering sequences in Tsai’s canon (and I say that as a good thing),…

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  • Anima

    Anima

    Since my movie viewing has taken a (largely expected) hiatus—with a second child in the house now, every fleeting moment of “freedom” is either dedicated to watching partial episodes of “Cutthroat Kitchen” or attempting to catch up on sleep—you will have to settle for sporadic updates and, more important, my unregulated rambling about the second greatest artistic medium to grace the human race: Music! That’s right, end of Quarter One 2021 means it’s officially time for my favorite albums from…

  • Archangel

    Archangel

    ★★★

    [56]

    It took Madden only two years and two feature films to start approaching “too ‘Maddin’ for its own good” territory, but goddamn even when he’s at his absolute wankiest (i.e., here), I can’t help but admire the man’s unwavering commitment to evocative formalism and deliciously bizarre narrative contraptions. I watch something like this and on one hand, totally understand why someone might find it torturous; conversely, however, I can’t fathom not being at least stirred by the conceptual singularity…

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  • Roma

    Roma

    ★★½

    [47]

    Wasn't even feeding into my most deep-seated contrarian instincts as the credits rolled and I asked myself, “what do people see in this?” Perhaps I know too much about Cuarón and his obsession with ostentatious construction to not be annoyed by the barrage of slowly oscillating (and equally inconsequential) long takes. Seriously, over half the movie is filmed like the final scene of THE CONVERSATION; at least there it served a metaphorical purpose. While others have cited “immersion” and…

  • The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight

    ★★★

    [57]

    I am frankly sick and fucking tired of this movie and the dichotomy it has created within the film community. You’ve got a surprising majority of people claiming it’s a cinematic masterpiece - the next CITIZEN KANE, 10/10, A++, “would let Chris Nolan fingerbang my senses again” - alongside a smaller but equally vocal minority lamenting that it’s the most vile, disgusting, contrived, and overrated waste of space ever created. With all respect, I will never understand people who…