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  • Alternative Math
  • First Reformed

    First Reformed

    ★★

    Armond White's got a strong case in arguing that the ecoterrorism slant (which clumsily and unintentionally supersedes the protagonist's spiritual torment) is one reason the film has become so palatable for mainstream audiences. Was hoping this would at least live up to the relentlessly miserabilist Winter Light, but it fails to do even that due to its tiresome, "muh 97% of scientists" brand of environmentalist didacticism. This degree of formal austerity in Schrader's direction might be admirable in this day and age, but it's all undone by garishly blackpilled subversions of Tarkovsky and Dreyer which reek of the childish emotionalism befitting a von Trier film.

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  • Stalker

    Stalker

    ★★★★★

    What is it that we fear most? Hardship and oppression; the immediate terror that lurks in the shadows of a desolate, colorless world? The unknown; disembodied voices, impossible geographies, and the Zone's unwavering gaze? In Stalker, Tarkovsky posits that perhaps the greatest fear of all is the fear of the self, and the inability to fully comprehend one's own nature. Perhaps the climactic rejection of desire should not be seen as an act of cowardice or fatalistic indecision, but of…

  • Shoplifters

    Shoplifters

    ★★★★

    Perseverance in the face of the callous self-righteousness of society; blood is not what truly unites us, but love.