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  • Ash Is Purest White

    Ash Is Purest White

    ★★★★

    Overrated this one a bit at TIFF, mostly because it made me nostalgic for Still Life. I would happily watch eight straight hours of Zhao Tao walking and boating through Three Gorges, accompanied by fat synth pads.

  • High Life

    High Life

    A snippet from my Denis article at The Notebook:

    In a film already renowned for its sudden explosions of brutality, its flirtations with transgression and taboo, and its images of a nude Binoche writhing on a stainless steel dildo, Monte’s salvation is High Life’s true reason for being. I use that word, “salvation,” with only a hint of irony. While the film draws on any number of sci-fi and prison film conventions, High Life is classic speculative fiction in that all of the narrative mechanisms—cosmology, astrophysics, violence, reproduction, the ethics of crime and punishment—are interlocking pieces of an ontological/theological puzzle box.

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  • Support the Girls

    Support the Girls

    ★★★★

    I worked a dozen shit retail jobs in my teens and 20s, and more than two decades later I still notice every "How Hiring" sign in every store and restaurant I enter. It's impossible to shake off that training -- of looking for the next, slightly better opportunity. I'm glad to have that in me, and I'm also glad I was eventually able to leave behind that hustle, because managers like Lisa are the hardest working people I've ever known.…

  • Gravity

    Gravity

    ★★

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

    I don't even know how to watch movies like this anymore. I assume this script is what happens when you decide to make a small character film that requires tens of millions of dollars' worth of special effects. I kept thinking about the Bruce Willis and Julia Roberts movie at the end of The Player.

    I've come up with one scenario where this film isn't aggressively stupid. You know how the entire script is built around the idea that Sandra…