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  • Naked

    Naked

    ★★★★

    On the surface, Naked has an impeccable and sharp script and Thewlis at his peak tackling a rich, unique and challenging character. For about half an hour the film entrenches you with Johnny, a petulant, violent vagrant with a deep antipathy for social grace and intimacy. For awhile, I tried to approach this as a character study, a gloomy but unflinching look at a man adrift in the modern world. But around the time Johnny meets up with the security…

  • Last Year at Marienbad

    Last Year at Marienbad

    ★★★★

    It's been twelve hours, and Last Year at Marienbad is still eluding me, as is both its design and appeal. The sophomore film of Alain Resnais is pointedly unconventional, a surrealistic and enigmatic exploration of romance and, at least ostensibly, infidelity. In it, environments and memories alike intermingle such that the movie's meaning is both indecipherable and completely open to interpretation. To slap any score or assessment onto it is to project meaning onto it is to map yourself onto…

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  • Belladonna of Sadness

    Belladonna of Sadness

    ★★★★

    Off the bat, it must be said the new 4K transfer on this is impeccable. I recently picked up the bluray from Arbelos, and I'm delighted to report it's worth every penny. The colors and lines really pop off the screen in a way that definitively enhances the experience. The restoration also includes eight minutes of previously unreleased footage, some of which goes a long way in adding thematic depth to the story.

    This is the third time I've seen…

  • The Long Day Closes

    The Long Day Closes

    ★★★

    Structurally ingenious but mostly lacked impact for me. For a movie hustling its ass off to evoke nostalgia, it doesn't do as well as I might have hoped, somewhere on the level of 8½ or any number of Almodóvar movies. The movie floats through the childhood of a young boy, Bud, tethered together by associative memory. One thing happens and then another similar scene flows out of it in a continuous stream. Bud's burgeoning homosexuality is the real draw, but…

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  • Tenet

    Tenet

    Christopher Nolan is here to save cinema as we know it the only way he knows how, and in a way only his most fanatical devotees could love - an expensive looking, action-stuffed James Bond pastiche with funky video game mechanics. This movie has exactly two modes: ceaseless exposition and loud, convoluted setpieces, yet no matter how didactically it explains its physics to you, the mechanics never come close to making sense. It's horribly apropos that a third of the…

  • Mank

    Mank

    ★★★★½

    Full review here!

    Finally, someone made a history of Hollywood picture for acerbic word nerds. David Fincher's Mank, if it is a sign of the quality of the director's forthcoming partnership with Netflix, gives an astonishingly optimistic outlook for the future. Brilliantly cut and shot, this is the best film of the year. It is a remarkable technical achievement that in a just world would compete for Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Lead Actor, Cinematography and most crucially Sound Mixing and…