At the beginning of Through the Olive Trees, Mohammad-Ali Keshavarz introduces himself to us as “the actor who plays the director,” but though Kiarostami pokes his head through the fourth wall here and there, he rarely breaks it outright like this again. Instead he folds it like an origami sculpture, using the surfaces of cinematic artifice as the doors, walls, and windows of the film’s structure. Through the Olive Trees quite possibly contains even more metatextual shenanigans than Close-Up, though…
Little Women 2019
An absolute masterwork of form and feeling. Greta is great, and that ain’t just an anagram.
The Long Goodbye 1973
If Chinatown is where the classic noir detective story hits a wall, The Long Goodbye is where it falls apart. In Altman’s film, Philip Marlowe is a man from a bygone era turned into a largely indifferent flâneur by the quirks, corruption, and collective neuroses of 1970s Los Angeles. Fittingly, after an investigation that sees him flying by the seat his pants to the same extent that he does in his day to day life, Marlowe solves the mystery and…
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood 2019
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
As with Inglourious Basterds, the wildly over-the-top historical revisionism of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood throws Tarantino’s trademark blend of postmodern artifice and genre pastiche into sharper relief. Only in this film the characters are better developed (even Waltz’s amazing performance in Basterds doesn’t mitigate his character’s inherent cartoonishness), with much of the movie's abundant humor driven by their vividly drawn personalities. And the fact that some of its best moments come when watching an actor as talented and…