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  • The Man Without a Map

    The Man Without a Map

    ★★★½

    I watched this as research for this piece about Hiroshi Teshigahara's 1964 masterpiece Woman in the Dunes. This feels a bit like Teshigahara's L'Avventura—not necessarily a positive, considering my general indifference to that Michelangelo Antonioni film, but it's by no means negligible.

  • The Face of Another

    The Face of Another

    ★★★★

    I watched this as research for this piece about Hiroshi Teshigahara's 1964 masterpiece Woman in the Dunes. I'd say this film is the second-best of Teshigahara's collaborations with screenwriter Kobo Abe and composer Toru Takemitsu.

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  • Andrei Rublev

    Andrei Rublev

    ★★★★★

    Seven episodes in the life of the titular medieval Russian icon painter, all of which add up to one of the most vivid and detailed cinematic depictions I've ever seen of the life of an artist. From naive optimism about human nature to an abject despair that leads him to swear off art-making for about 15 years, then finally a renewal of his passion with the help of a former monk and a young bellmaker (whose obsessive quest to finish…

  • Trouble Every Day

    Trouble Every Day

    ★★★★½

    An alternately lyrical and brutal vision of desire as pure lust, with cannibalism envisioned as the end result of tossing off one's inner humanity in favor of animal instinct. But then, isn't that what sex essentially is, in some ways? Not that Claire Denis is puritanical about sex; Trouble Every Day is framed not merely as the typical slasher-movie "sex = death" equation, but more as a blood-and-thunder struggle between thought and feeling, scientific detachment and Romantic passion. Certainly, I…