Vadim has written 6 reviews for films rated ★★★★ during 2012.

  • Generation P

    Generation P

    ★★★★

    Packed as much enthusiasm as I could into this brief capsule. I'd like to see this again and write about it in greater depth, but I missed my chance to see it in a theater because it played NYC for all of 6 days, before being bumped off by The Silver Linings Playbook on Thanksgiving, gah.

  • Mulholland Drive

    Mulholland Drive

    ★★★★

    2nd viewing, unseen since initial release (once more, albeit probably for the last time, on 35mm). Compulsively watchable: satisfying as this film is, it would've made a terrific show. No small consolation, this film, and the many theories as to How It Works make for great reading, but they're ultimately irrelevant to the effect: Lynch is a master at making oneiric surrealism hypnotic and oddly accessible. Weird to see Justin Theroux first-billed. At the end, you may recall, the last shot has a blue-haired lady saying "Silencio." Just after her, a piercing senior citizen's voice rang out: "What did she say?" That brought down the house.

  • Kill Bill: Vol. 2

    Kill Bill: Vol. 2

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Initial viewing found me incredibly hungover, which fit the film — so fragilely composited from disparate elements it seems ready to fall apart at the slightest wrong move — perfectly. It still seems that way to me. I'm embarrassed by everything I've written, like, ever, but especially from 2004, but I can still roll with my contemporaneous gloss on the Western opening as "a new way of blending the small lives of pop culture geeks and their epic fantasies, suggesting…

  • Yoyo

    Yoyo

    ★★★★

    Consistently daring, not least in the double-casting determining its progression and non-outcome: Étaix is the adult millionaire in the first half and his son in the second, forcing the separation of the two (one reason why dad refuses to exit his carriage to view his restored mansion at the end). Few films have so casually compressed the entirety of the WWII occupation of France: bookended by footage of circus performers and frantic music entering the ring slowing down (as war…

  • Wake in Fright

    Wake in Fright

    ★★★★

    Some of the fastest two hours of my viewing year, so quibbles seem especially minor. Flawlessly directed in a largely non-ostentatious fashion with occasional showboating, especially in the There Will Be Blood-esque opening 360 pan around the outback schoolhouse and surrounding areas. (Another shot cranes up up slowly, with every inch creating an artificial ripple from the lines of an outdoor water tank as its position changes in front of the school's walls — a fleeting effect, but an example…

  • 11 x 14

    11 x 14

    ★★★★

    A relative Benning novice (I've seen and hugely enjoyed Los and RR, not so much Twenty Cigarettes), but various mutterings digital's sapped his rigor may have some basis. Slightly less magisterial than the films I've seen but no less compositionally acute, Benning's views of Chicago and the Midwest strikingly well-composed. (One shot — the view of a plane landing from a sidewalk just before the runway — is repeated with slightly more gravitas in Los.) Read up on before and…