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Berlinale 2021.

I loved this film's approach to sci-fi. Change a few details and it could be a period piece about residential schools. A lot of ideas here, almost too many for one 90 minute film, but that's a good problem to have.

Céline Sciamma is done with violence.

Whether it be Anne's first sexual experience, which the director now regards as assault, in Water Lilies, or the scene where Laure/Mickaël is outed in Tomboy, or the direct violence of the banlieues in Girlhood in the past, the filmmaker now chooses to turn the camera away from her young characters in pain. For magazine La Déferlante, Sciamma says "You see, today I wouldn't make that scene again. I couldn't film such violence" in…

The cinema screen is Athena's polished shield.

There’s a moment near the middle of The World to Come where Vanessa Kirby’s Tallie, heading home during a raging blizzard after a visit with a woman for whom she clearly has feelings that she can barely comprehend, takes shelter in an abandoned shack that turns out to already be occupied by menacing, shadowed, strange men. She could stay there, safe from the deadly conditions outside but at the whims of these men, or she could venture back outside, into…

I was folding laundry when I started this movie… As it would turn out this is not the type of movie you fold laundry to. If I had truly wanted to get some chores done I perhaps should have turned on another film. Sonic The Hedgehog, maybe. Or the Tomb Raider remake from a couple of years ago. I have yet to see Galaxy Quest but that strikes me a perfectly capable film to have on in the background while…

Mass

Mass

★★★★

Why do I want to know about your son? Because he killed mine.

There's a lot weighing on the hearts and minds of those directly affected by violence. Mass gives us the opportunity to be fly-on-the-wall in a room with the parents of a mass-shooter and the parents of one of the shooter's victims. They're looking to heal.

It's heavy subject matter for sure, but Mass does SO WELL handling this volatile content. It would have been so easy for…

Pleasure

Pleasure

★★★★

It's a shame that this is going to have a difficult time getting a US release*, as it's one of the most thoughtful, sensitive films at the festival. I feel like this isn't being painted in the best light, given the midnight slot, the very limited tickets (even more so than Passing) and how this surely would've turned into a conversation about **walkouts due to X-rated content** in person. I hope people can see this, because there's a lot more…