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  • Secrets & Lies

    Secrets & Lies

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Once you've seen enough of Mike Leigh's movies, you can recognize that they often take roughly the same structure, and you might be able to safely predict the direction that each one you're watching will take. Very brief sojourns with individual members give us a sense of their working and social lives, punctuated with communal scenes that gather the whole gang together, culminating in highly emotional set-pieces in which grievances are aired, secrets are revealed, voices are raised, and tears are…

  • Nimic

    Nimic

    ★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    This seems to me a pretty transparent expression of castration anxiety, which makes its echoes of Yorgos' other work disappointing rather than interesting. The blindfolded "selection" of a "family member" has appeared in at least 3 of his movies now. 

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  • Days of Heaven

    Days of Heaven

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    A strange movie. One of the most beautiful I've ever seen, with images and sequences I immediately wanted to see again, so hypnotic I lost track of time and felt unequivocally transported. Can't say that about much else I've watched recently, besides maybe The Conformist

    But what's the point? The otherworldly aura at best glosses over the daily toil of these laborers, their living conditions and expendability, and at worst romanticizes it all. At the very least there's a disjunction between…

  • La Haine

    La Haine

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I'm happy to be disabused of this take (i.e. - please, someone, tell me there's a glimmer of hope in this movie), but the references to Scorsese and Spike Lee seemed to me like daydreamt flights of fancy. The reality of their lives, Kassovitz shows in still long takes and eruptions of violence, is less cinematic and certainly less glamorous. It's perfect that this ends with an accidental shot to the head that could not be presented more differently than…