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  • Green Fish

    Green Fish

    ★★★

    Now that I've completed Lee Chang-dong's filmography, I'd like to exclaim that he has never made anything less than excellent but Green Fish, unfortunately, contradicts that.

    Green Fish is, for the most part, a formulaic Asian crime film. Helped by early performances by Han Seok-kyu and Song Kang-ho, Green Fish manages to stay within the boundaries of being passable. This is evidently a debut film - though the ending does stand as a sign for the brilliance Chang-dong would go on to direct.

  • Don DeLillo: The Word, The Image, and The Gun

    Don DeLillo: The Word, The Image, and The Gun

    ★★★★

    In my dreams, there's an entire series of documentaries produced by the BBC in which Delillo guides us through the media-saturated second half of the 20th century constructed of Baseball footage and the music of Steve Reich.

    For the time being a one-off episode will do.

  • The Master

    The Master

    ★★★★½

    This review will be sort of pointless since the fact that I struggle to articulate why I liked The Master is exactly why I liked it. Its allusiveness and restraint from explicitly forming a 'meaning' or tangible 'statement' create an odd and yet mesmerizing experience. By the time the credits were rolling, all I felt sure of was that I'd watched something truly powerful, something guttural.

    Like a disciple of the Master himself, Lancaster Dodd, I felt I had fallen under his hypnosis and was a true believer of the secrets he held just beyond my grasp.

  • Nae Pasaran

    Nae Pasaran

    ★★★★

    Proof that solidarity movements are crucial.

    Damn it, I'm not crying, I swear!

  • Johnny Guitar

    Johnny Guitar

    ★★★★½

    A posse is an animal. It moves like one and thinks like one. They're men with itchy fingers and a coil of rope around their saddle horns, looking for somebody to hang.

    The best films are often disregarded on their initial release, Johnny Guitar is a shining example of this semi-true belief. Derided and ridiculed by American audiences and yet admired by European audiences - I can’t think of a more promising sign. 

    Truffaut was right when he heralded Johnny…

  • Citizen Kane

    Citizen Kane

    ★★★

    I'll keep this very short since anything of worth that has been said about Citizen Kane has already been said. The main reason I'm writing anything at all is in an obliged defence of my seemingly contrarian or outright blasphemous rating.

    Here's the thing: Citizen Kane is obviously a very important film within the context of cinema history and technical-wise (the editing and cinematography) its very impressive. But - big but - I simply couldn't care less about Charles Kane.…

  • Beats

    Beats

    ★★★★

    New Labour. New Britain.

    Departures and transitions.

    On its surface Beats may only seem to be a nostalgic reminiscing of the beat-driven era of British dance music in the early nineties. But it quickly reveals itself to have greater depth as it touches upon the then emergence of Blair led 'New Labour' and class transformations. Our protagonist Johnno, his family and new step-dad, represent the then rapidly growing 'aspirational' working class - the soon to be middle class - whilst…

  • Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

    Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

    ★★★★½

    Hold on a second... Peter Sellers was Group Captain Mandrake, the President, and Dr Strangelove... I'm either legally blind and deaf or Seller's just wiped the comedy floor clean.

    Dr Strangelove didn't take long to enter and take a firm place in a tier of films which I knew I wouldn't get round to for a long time - though that's not a sign of critique, rather the opposite. Their sheer magnitude of praise intimidated me. But finally, I got…

  • Chinatown

    Chinatown

    ★★★★

    Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown. 

  • Thesis

    Thesis

    ★★★

    The first third of Thesis shows promise of an engaging mystery preoccupied with academic questions of the 'audiovisual' and violence within an era of VHS and home-video.

    Though as soon as an identifiable antagonist is introduced it unravels into a convoluted whodunnit plot surrounding a love triangle - or I guess a love square? - soon enough all the promise of the first third of the film fades into the background.

    Best advice: turn the film off when you hear the name "Bosco".

    Also worth noting: the incredible brutalist architecture of Facultad de Ciencias de la Información at the Complutense University.

  • Endless

    Endless

    ★★★★

    Willie Doherty and Christopher Eccleston? Please god, let there be more.

  • PlayTime

    PlayTime

    ★★★★½

    Playtime marks my first Jacques Tati film, an occasion I've been eager for.

    Jacques Tati's humour and playfulness remind me of Keaton and Chaplin, most notably in its timeless quality. This timelessness is so impressive as comedy, arguably, ages and becomes dated quicker than most genres, so timeless comedy is a truly remarkable achievement.

    Playtime unfolds like a tongue-in-cheek brochure for modernism in its prime alongside its inadvertent standardization of life itself, and its superficial veneer. And yet, however dour…