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  • Memories of Murder

    Memories of Murder

    ★★★★½

    From my previous two encounters with Bong Joon-Ho (SNOWPIERCER and OKJA), I expected the genre subversion and absurd humor.

    I didn't expect this to be so movingly humane, or to acquire a genuinely tragic dimension by the end.

    There's always one that gets away.

  • I Am Cuba

    I Am Cuba

    ★★★★★

    Soy Kino.

    One of those movies that’s so thrillingly visceral it’d be irresistible whatever its subject. Obvious propaganda is obvious, but Kalatozov’s tender, poetic humanism and sheer visual audacity makes the potentially didactic vibrate with emotion. There is not a single moment in the film that lacks the conviction of a true believer, and its careening, convulsive camerawork is always urgently alive. You may not be converted to its cause (considering you’re over fifty years from its cultural moment), but damn if you wouldn’t want to get in on that passion.

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  • High Resolution

    High Resolution

    Full disclosure: I briefly kinda sorta knew (or at least knew of) the director from my time at NYU. That was the entire reason I watched this, as far as I know it’s the first feature made by someone in my graduating class. So I had a different experience with this than I would’ve if none of the names in the opening credits were people I’ve encountered in the flesh.

    I’m not sure if he succeeded in cross-pollinating a drug movie with a quarter-life crisis relationship drama, but I can respect the attempt.

  • For All Mankind

    For All Mankind

    ★★★★½

    APOLLO 11: We went to the moon!
    FOR ALL MANKIND: Yes, but what did it feel like?

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  • Blade Runner 2049

    Blade Runner 2049

    ★★★★½

    This movie breaks the world.

    Seriously, let’s take a moment to remember what this actually is, a sequel to a 35-year-old movie that’s been enshrined as a classic. Everything about that points to a stain on the original’s legacy, the best case scenario being one that would fade with enough bleach. This couldn’t be good.

    And it’s not. It speeds right past being “good” without breaking a sweat.

    What it is is one of the most intelligent, ambitious and provocative…

  • The Square

    The Square

    ★★★

    A movie that wants to tell you about empathy, privilege, political correctness, the social contract and the digital age, and all I want is an explanation for how Elisabeth Moss has a pet chimpanzee. It’s incredibly funny and breathlessly audacious but too baggy and muddled to really satisfy. Terry Notary’s ape-man act is a showstopper, but it arguably shoots the film in the foot; it has to go through an entire third act after already peaking.