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  • Morocco

    Morocco

    ★★★½

    Seems to take place in a universe somewhere between that of the more grounded tragedy of The Blue Angel just before it and the excess of Shanghai Express and other collaborations between Dietrich and von Sternberg just a bit later (Dishonored just after this one is also a bit of a bridge). It's frequently quiet for extended periods of time, JVS's mise-en-scene is more austere, and the romance is much less passionate than in the later films, but the end…

  • Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution

    Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution

    ★★★

    Barack Obama's name is on An American Factory, which, if I understand the film correctly (I admit I have not seen it but have seen almost everything else Reichert has made), is critical of exactly the form of globalization that Obama's policies furthered; now it is on Crip Camp, which celebrates exactly the kind of direct action and grassroots mobilization that he spent his presidency undermining. A generous read is that he has realized his failures and is trying to…

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  • Capernaum

    Capernaum

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Capernaum is for people who think that the ultimate function of cinema is to make you feel sympathy for fictional people, and that political cinema is cinema that makes you feel sympathy for people who are less fortunate than you. It observes, in a frame story, the tribulations of an approximately 12-year-old boy, Zain, who fails to prevent his parents from marrying off his younger sister, runs away, and manages to fend for himself before returning home. There, he stabs…

  • Anomalisa

    Anomalisa

    Ideas about this film I am willing to entertain:
    1. We are supposed to think of Michael Stone as an awful human being.
    2. Everyone is poorly written on purpose, that's the point. Michael can't see anyone other than as a sketch of a human being that exists in relationship to him.

    Arguments about this film I am not willing to entertain:
    1. This film has any insight or anything of significance to say about Michael, the male psyche, masculinity…