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  • For All Mankind

    For All Mankind

    ★★★★★

    What a beautiful movie. Full of drama and poetry and humanity. I don't think I've ever felt so fully the heights of the loading platform, the confined spaces of the command module, the thrust of lift off, the crossing of desert space, and the joy of arrival on distant mountain moon.

    The sheer childlike wonder of the astronauts as they bob, all the grace of weightless toddlers, across the surface brings me such happiness, and the sequence about dreaming on…

  • Wanda

    Wanda

    ★★★★

    A google search tells me this film was practically buried by a bad review from the overrated Pauline Kael when it first came out.

    No surprise. Kael watched films with the expectations of a populist. When a filmmaker emerged with their own rhythm, unique truth, and rarified sense of cinema, especially if the film didn't fixate on narrative or characterological satisfaction, Kael dragged them. The joys of filmic construction for its own sake eluded her. She had too much influence…

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  • L.A. Story

    L.A. Story

    ★★★½

    This movie has limited powers of observation and it’s totally okay because it’s a fucking fantasy romcom, and as such it’s about as masterful an example of that as the early 90’s can get.

    Its faults are the faults of the genre. The movie is in no way ever about Sara. It’s always about the man. As soon as the romance starts she seems to totally forget that she’s in L.A. for work. The concept that she’s a journalist on…

  • The Forest of Love: Deep Cut

    The Forest of Love: Deep Cut

    ★★★★

    A preternaturally charismatic demon cult leader of a man walks among us. We love him, almost on first sight. We'll do anything for him. We'll let him do anything to us. But the transgression we'll most allow is that we'll let him bring out the absolute worst in ourselves. We'll become our most base and horrible beings for him. And in this way he leaves a wake of destroyed lives and corpses that he himself never killed (Manson never actually…

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  • The Seventh Seal

    The Seventh Seal

    ★★★★★

    Max von Sydow was twenty-seven years old when he starred in one of the greatest films ever made. He died today. He was ninety. This is a movie about death.

    My wife found out the lump on her throat was benign today and then I watched this movie for the first time in probably twenty years while waiting for her to come home from work so I could give her a kiss. This is a movie about life.

    Death cheats at chess. Life cheats at death.

    The Max von Sydow project starts now.

  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle

    We Have Always Lived in the Castle

    ★★½

    It’s strange when the biggest change you make in adapting a novel to the screen is to add lots of physical violence against the female characters (even a backstory of abuse that’s not stated in the source material).

    It’s interesting that a female filmmaker has done so much to take the inherent dark power away from the female characters and decided instead to victimize them.

    I absolutely love Jackson’s dark comedic masterpiece which this is based on, so even though…