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  • House Specialty

    House Specialty

    "You're in a bad way."
    "I had a pastry!"
    "May I see your ID?"
    "I don't have ID on me. I don't need ID to eat pastries!"

    The currency of lemon gin tarts.

  • Deep Valley

    Deep Valley

    ★★★★½

    A precursor to three astonishing films that would premiere a year later in 1948 (Borzage's Moonrise, Ray's They Live by Night, and Negulesco's own Johnny Belinda), Deep Valley emotionally absorbs and transmits the mysterious tenor of filtered light and lengthened shadow essential to pastoral romantic noir. Set in the abundant sprawl of woods clustered against the coast of Northern California outside of San Quentin, Ida Lupino's Libby leads a spare and enclosed life on a neglected farm with her estranged…

  • The Sky's the Limit

    The Sky's the Limit

    A dark wartime oddity with little details I loved: the apple vending machine; Eric Blore's cameo ("If I weren't such a gentleman's gentleman, I could be such a cad's cad."); Fred Astaire's drunken bravado as he immaculately shatters glass, throws stools, and taps from bar to bar while crooning "One for My Baby" in melting lilts; Joan Leslie's lasting expression of tenderness finally pried open as Astaire tells her she has the sweetest face of any girl he's ever seen before departing for the unknown.

  • Love Education

    Love Education

    ★★★★

    A detail I loved: Sylvia Chang's grey "I <3 Justin Bieber" tote bag.

  • Pyaasa

    Pyaasa

    ★★★★½

    "I know you very well."
    "How?"
    "Through your poems and songs. If I know your thoughts and feelings—what more is there to know?"

  • The Arch

    The Arch

    ★★★★★

    “Helplessly he admires her majestic grace,
    and adores her constant dignity.
    But alas, cold are the vaults of her memory
    unable to feel the flame of his feeling.
    . . .
    Deep in the night are my yearnings.
    Dim are the flickerings of my hopes.”

    The romantic haunting of a poem.

  • Outcast Lady

    Outcast Lady

    ★★★★

    Attuned to the melodrama of her life, Constance Bennett’s performance is a rare and solemn gesture of a heart breaking as a woman gradually acknowledges the structurally enforced limitations of her time.

  • The Red Lily

    The Red Lily

    ★★★★★

    A soul-erupting surprise.

  • Café Lumière

    Café Lumière

    ★★★★

    things I loved:
    the melodic breathing state of presence; the meandering ease of tone; the frosted vessels of iced barley tea that indicate Japanese summer and home; the coffee delivery; the freedom with which individuals pursue discursive strains of interest (capturing the sounds of trains, asking questions about a composer visiting a bookstore seventy years ago); the idea that a face can be the shape of a pansy; the framework of life supporting blurred sketches of individuals; Yoko walking over…

  • Trouble in Mind

    Trouble in Mind

    ★★★★½

    Captures that elemental quality of the air which envelopes two people caught in the pas de deux of love.

  • Young Wives' Tale

    Young Wives' Tale

    ★★★★½

    Joan Greenwood! I am smitten with her spritely performance, the tittering tendencies of her voice, her salty squeaky tenor, lulling punctuation, flibbertigibbet movements and flights of quixotic fancy. Words like "whisky" and "ohhh!" unspool from her lips like light-filtered honey that somehow makes one's heart contract with bright laughter.

    A smart chirpy comedy of domestic concerns with a deft screenplay by Anne Burnaby. If only more women could easily shed real life for slinky copper dresses for dinner at the Savoy. Most pleasantly reminded of Clive Brook's light romantic forgotten farce, On Approval.

  • Harvey

    Harvey

    ★★★★½

    "He's devoted to ranunculus."

    I can't believe I waited so long to watch Harvey to completion after a lifelong obsession with Jimmy Stewart. A film so idiosyncratically attuned to the most baffling aspects of my sense of humor. Completely joyful, profound, and dazzling. One of the few films that would benefit from the camaraderie of a receptive and spirited audience.

    "Years ago, my mother used to say to me -- she'd say, 'In this world, Elwood, you must be --…