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  • 2001: A Space Odyssey

    2001: A Space Odyssey

    ★★★★★

    2001 is the greatest film ever made. Period. 

    When I first saw it at the unripe age of fourteen, I didn't have a clue what was going on. It also didn't matter. What mattered was that I became a raving werewolf during the experience, completely moonstruck at the thought of how many hidden, fathomless worlds pulsated beyond the stars. Last night I watched a 70mm print of it on IMAX and I kid you not—the werewolf in me came out…

  • mother!

    mother!

    ★★★★★

    For weeks I’ve been haunted by the dark, dark, dark third act of Darren Aronofsky’s latest film. I remember feeling this way for weeks after Black Swan, too. It’s an emotion that stretches like vines, like fingers, pulsing and slithering its way about without letting go easily. Aronofsky, of course, has always had a gifted predilection for exploring darkness, but in mother! he really amps up the insanity, delivers a mind-blowing climax, and goes places I wasn’t entirely expecting, nor…

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  • I Graduated, But...

    I Graduated, But...

    ★★★

    We only have pieces of the original feature, but in 12-minutes we still get important information about the transition in Ozu’s work that slowly started to call out the disparity between political promises of higher education and the real conditions in which Japanese people lived. 

    Bordwell states, “In the late 1920s, over two-thirds of university graduates could not find work. The title quotes a popular saying of the period, a rueful joke on the false promise of higher education.” 

    Unemployment…

  • Fighting Friends

    Fighting Friends

    ★★

    This could very well be a sequel to DAYS OF YOUTH (1929). The buddy-rivalry pattern, the elusive love interest, the western-styled male fellowship. It's all there, though not nearly as humorous. More weird than anything—two friends knock a girl down with a truck and then take her home and try to seduce her, only for her to runaway with someone else? 

    Ozu is still leaning on the American template, at the same time casting foreshadows of one of his favorite allusions:…

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  • Monos

    Monos

    ★★★★½

    MONOS exists on another planet, a perilous edge of the world fantasy that injects you with a syringe of Lord of the Flies + Aguirre, the Wrath of God. A brutal, unflinching fever dream that takes you hostage for 102min, starves you of its sociopolitical context, then forces you to survive its guerrilla anarchy. These are the lost boys and girls of Neverland. A dysfunctional young militia being trained for a war they can hardly understand, pushed to revolution more…

  • Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

    Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

    ★★

    If you're buying into the manufactured controversy of this film and believe it glorifies Ted Bundy or disrespects his victims, let me suggest you've watched the atrocious trailer rather than the actual film. That's not to say it doesn't have its fair share of problems (it does), but romanticizing a grisly mass murderer isn't one of them. To be sure, this isn't a rolodex of Bundy's crimes. It's not remotely interested in being some hack and slash thriller. It remains…