• The Beast

    The Beast

    ★★★½

    The tragedy of inexorable fates. Bonello plays with genres and Seydoux's melodramatic versatility in a clash between love and fear imploding amidst threadlines of recurring motifs and anachronistic evergreen dreams. There is something really engaging about the way the different eras intertwine and how the film's form slightly changes between them, always keeping a very engaging and dynamic edge. Very pleasing surfaces, making it easy for one to attach to its depalmian formal games.

  • Daaaaaalí!

    Daaaaaalí!

    ★★

    The solitude of the artist in the ordinary world. Dupieux architects a kaleidoscopic gadget that is actually always showing the same image over and over. The surrealist structure and the ludicrous games that deride the artist’s image at the same extent it praises it (both Dali’s and Dupieux’s) are very exhausting and highlight Dupieux’s most annoying traits. His images achieve an uncanniness at times that can be refreshing and some jokes land well, but this is mostly a very useless exercise.

  • Drunken Angel

    Drunken Angel

    ★★★½

    A gangster and a doctor clashing ideals during the occupation by the United States in the ruins of post war Japan. Kurosawa's over dramatized structure and entrancing formal games complement each other surprisingly well in this beautiful humanist film, crowned by some very good performances by Shimura and Mifune.

  • The Bad Sleep Well

    The Bad Sleep Well

    ★★★½

    A political intrigue of corruption and crime conducted like a thriller with noirish echoes. Kurosawa’s version of Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ is a cynical farce heightened by the director’s pointed anger against the subject matter and a very good performance by Mifune.

  • Dodes'ka-den

    Dodes'ka-den

    ★★★½

    Building imaginary houses and riding imaginary trains, taking refuge in dreams in the ruins of Japanese outskirsts. Kurosawa has never been this digressive, and his meandering narrative matches well the abstract pictorial quality of his compositions. Reminded me a bit of Suzuki and Imamura.

  • The Big Combo

    The Big Combo

    ★★★½

    Doomed bodies in heavily contrasted lights and shadows in the land where the first man is first and the second is nobody. A film noir that works almost as a blueprint of the genre’s dark allure.

  • River's Edge

    River's Edge

    ★★★

    Dead dolls floating downstream, teenage alienation in a limbo of a forgotten small town suburbia. Hunter's oneiric dramaturgy, nightmarish and off beat, is entrancing at the same extent it is pesky, and his dark humor is well modulated through the cast's dedicated quirkiness. I find his ideas a bit flat beyond its alluring surfaces, but this is undeniably a haunting experience.

  • Mildred Pierce

    Mildred Pierce

    ★★★

    Money corrupting human bonds. Curtiz's manufactured mise en scène mechanically placing of actors in opposite sides of the screen feels more static than usual and the melodrama artifice doesn't blend with the proto noirish tropes very well, but Crawford is great and the lackluster supporting cast wasn't enough to diminish her glow.

  • Harry and Son

    Harry and Son

    ★★★½

    Perhaps Newman's most personal effort, and also his more humorous one. The sentimentality of the material is rendered more grounded by his precise dramaturgical dynamics as usual, and his performance is stellar. On a side note, it's very touching to see him and Woodward acting together.

  • Daniel

    Daniel

    ★★★

    Children fighting their parents' fight. There is a general feel of the radical left of the two periods portrayed in Lumet's anachronistic montage, but it comes at the cost of a stronger dramatic connection to the material, that is only conveyed (with more shock and anger than actual feeling) in the film's final moments.

  • Not Wanted

    Not Wanted

    ★★★★

    A lonely cigarette floating downstream, a kiss under dizzying carnival lights, hospital walls that go in and out of focus as a hallucination, a woman sentenced to a bitter memory that only time may erase. Lupino's (and Clifton to a certain extent) concentrated direction of actors and the intimacy she establishes with them through her camera achieve a state of grace and richness of intentions that very few manage to conjure. Among the films that remind us that one of the most beautiful things in cinema is how a face and the space surrounding it in a particular framing is able to pack so much.

  • Claudine

    Claudine

    ★★★★½

    Locked up together. Love is an expensive feeling to cherish in a world where every sentiment must be castrated. Carroll and Jones should have a monument erected in their name for the energy and unflinched affection they put into this film, asserting a chemistry impossible to be described by words. The spectacular script, harsh and killjoy, is masterfully handled by Berry's very warm eye, perfectly balancing the film's heavy dramatic and political weight.