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  • Shiva Baby

    Shiva Baby

    ★★½

    Emma Seligman’s self-assured debut Shiva Baby centers on a college student who runs into her sugar daddy at a Jewish funeral service. That’s basically much it, considering its 70+ minutes of length. With the help of its brisk tone, and one claustrophobic setting, Shiva Baby captures the lead character Danielle’s anxiety and how she dealt with the awkwardness of the situation. Above anything else, the film is aimless and feels incomplete in making sense of this character. Danielle’s ambiguous relationships…

  • Violation

    Violation

    Directors Dusty Mancinelli and Madeleine Sims-Fewer attacks rape and sexual assault with a strong fist in this gruesomely explicit, but pretentious experiment in Violation. The film follows a woman who gets revenge after a sexual assault done by her brother-in-law. There’s a considerable effort and thought in the film’s treatment of trauma and resentment. It is patient and attentive. However, the dialogue just fails to fully convey what it wants to say and to compel audiences in a force. I…

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  • Whiplash

    Whiplash

    ★★★★½

    Damien Chazelle's smashing, adrenaline-fueled, electrifying drama is bloody exhilarating to watch as it is uncomfortably compelling. Chazelle is surely one of the up and coming directors we need to watch out for. His youthful, energetic, intense direction is felt on screen and it's mind-blowing. The film follows a young jazz drummer and his quest to be the best among the rest in a prestigious music conservatory.

    This film reminds me of Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler, and Black Swan, as their…

  • Soul

    Soul

    ★★★

    Pixar has always been consistent in their endless fixations on human behavior, emotions, and life as a whole. Their recent output Soul is probably the studio’s most mature and frankly, adult-fared film that explores death and existentialism at its core. How do you explain death and the fullness of life to an eight-year-old? Directed by Pete Docter and Kemp Powers, the film does a resounding undertaking of being risky and insightful, but in the end something’s quite glaringly missing. Soul