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  • Loulou

    Loulou

    ★★★★½

    Pretty exceptional! Seems like Pialat’s films have a credible emotional structure, and then within that the behaviour is able to operate in a more figurative manner. Here that means a lot of comedy from overemphasising the beats (Huppert’s ex-lover waiting obsessively by the phone and then sadly saxophoning after their call comes to mind), as well as a sort of density that shows how the character’s romantic lives overwhelm their consciousness of themselves. We don’t necessarily need to buy the…

  • Man of the West

    Man of the West

    Quite a harsh film. It is something like the Boetticher Westerns as a film of suspended action - Cooper, formerly a criminal but now a settled man, is captured early on and then can only watch, with a stern jaw that would never allow an agape mouth but rigid shoulders that say the same, as his old crew crumples and crumbles. We hear that in his lawless days he was yoked to his uncle, his thoughts were not his own.…

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  • My Darling Clementine

    My Darling Clementine

    ★★★★★

    In MY DARLING CLEMENTINE, Ford approaches the film's tiny, intimate material in the same poetic mode through which he renders its large, mythic movements - primarily a poeticism of space, atmosphere, faces where the random materials of reality reveal a deeper design and order. This is to say that Monument Valley has never looked quite so forbidding, clouds constantly churning and fog gathering, and we feel an awe in the connection of the largest, most uncontrollable phenomena with a relatively…

  • Burning

    Burning

    ★★★½

    Burning is my second Lee Chang-dong film, after Secret Sunshine; he seems to me an uneven filmmaker who reaches quite powerful effects in sometimes clumsy, sometimes even distasteful ways. Burning, like the earlier film, has a delirium-inducing approach to narrative and length, constantly shifting and changing until you feel uncertain about what you’re seeing and what you’ve seen. It would seem that in it's thriller adjacent material Lee has a fitting subject for his style, but I think actually the…