Vadim has written 3 reviews for films rated ★★★★ during 2020.

  • A Man Escaped

    A Man Escaped

    ★★★★

    The challenge is maximizing a poverty of resources. For the subject, it’s a matter of imposed necessity, for the filmmaker a self-imposed challenge. Bresson’s approach is fairly spectacular: lots of cavernous black and white and deep focus largely rejected, which makes the frame sometimes even more overwhelming (e.g. the shot of prisoners filing out into the courtyard frame foreground-left, their gun-toting guard in a beam of seemingly natural light back-right—he’s in control of what’s happening but the opposite of compositional…

  • Twelve Monkeys

    Twelve Monkeys

    ★★★★

    "12 Monkeys is, in a meaningful sense, a remake of La Jetée, but it’s more focused on Vertigo, about which it’s not particularly subtle. After Willis and Stowe put on their disguises, they sit in a rep theater and watch it, issuing the thunderously banal (but true!) observation that every time you rewatch a film, “You aren’t the same person who saw the movie before.” Gilliam takes this logic a few steps further by refashioning the material into deliberate visual…

  • Stranger Than Paradise

    Stranger Than Paradise

    ★★★★

    I'd seen this once before, in high school, on a standard-def DVD. Obviously pretty iconic. Thought about two things while rewatching it:

    * Legs McNeil going off: "Television, burgers, drinking, violent behavior? ... I love all of that. I declare these things to be mine. I appoint liking Hogan's Heroes and McDonald's to be cool. I love America, too. I love everything about Modern America, the long freeways, Republicans, marching off to foreign wars for no reason, the whole bit.…