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  • The Swimming Pool

    The Swimming Pool

    ★★½

    THE SWIMMING POOL (Jacques Deray, France, 1969) 5

    The French were the first to take Hitchcock seriously thematically and artistically, at a time before which the Anglosphere dismissed him as a superficial entertainer; all surface, no depth. This prescience seems to have had a bad effect on their post-Hitchcock thrillers however, THE SWIMMING POOL among them. The French seem to have missed that Hitchcock’s genius is that he was ALSO a superficial entertainer and that his surfaces were brilliant too.…

  • Bill & Ted Face the Music

    Bill & Ted Face the Music

    ★★★½

    BILL AND TED FACE THE MUSIC (Dean Parisot, USA, 2020) 7

    It's fan service, which sometimes gets in the way (a friend on Twitter correctly pointed out it'd've been funnier had the daughters not been Bill and Ted Clones, hated rock music, etc.) ... but I'm a fan. And I'm not really sure there would've been any point besides fan service to making a Bill & Ted movie 30 years after BOGUS JOURNEY.

    But unnecessary as it is, it's still the…

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  • Dick Johnson Is Dead

    Dick Johnson Is Dead

    ★★★★½

    DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD (Kirsten Johnson, USA, 2020) 9

    At the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, I saw Kirsten Johnson’s CAMERAPERSON while coincidentally sitting right next to her. As the closing credits rolled, I whispered to her “that was the best film of the festival.” She said “why, thank you” and pressed her cheek against mine. I then immediately left the theater without another word, as I knew going into the film that I’d have to rush to a sports bar…

  • Leave No Trace

    Leave No Trace

    ★★★★★

    ‪LEAVE NO TRACE (Granik, USA, 2018, 10, was 9)

    This is gonna sound more back-handed than I mean it but a significant part of this film’s greatness is in what it DOESN’T do. There is no war flashback; Foster’s reaction to diegetic helicopter sounds is enough. There is no real father-daughter “confrontation” talk before the last scene, because that isn’t these people. There is no VA-related politicking because people don’t live like issues. There is no elaborate long-term plan. And…