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  • The Life of Oharu

    The Life of Oharu

    ★★★★★

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

    Mizoguchi Marathon #24

    "It is her fate to wither in the shade."

    The Life of Oharu is a film of shadows. Literally and figuratively Mizoguchi's darkest work, it showcases the unending cycle of suffering for women that only "Enlightenment" may break. An epic film, it features themes that are not unfamiliar to Mizoguchi and his ethos. However, the precision and dread-soaked grace with which this film presents these themes make it stand above the author and enter the realm of…

  • One Wonderful Sunday

    One Wonderful Sunday

    ★★★★★

    I “wake” up. Really, I haven’t slept for three days. It’s all this damn heat. The A/C is broken. My boss isn’t going to fix it.

    I shower. I eat. Eggs, bread, fruit, coffee. The same thing every day. I drop an egg on the floor. These tiles make it pretty annoying to wipe up. I put on my clothes and walk to work.

    Oh boy, is it a scorcher! Nearly 100 degrees! 90% humidity! I sweat through my khakis…

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  • Sound of Metal

    Sound of Metal

    ★★★★

    Yeah I like this a lot. The sound design, the performances, the stages of grief, then redemption, all in a struggle to cling onto something that's lost. It's a delicate look at something that actively terrifies me.

    This is a perfect example of how films foster empathy. Of course I was sympathetic to the deaf community before. But, now, I feel I really understand it.

    It is also a wonderful subversion of movie cliches and no one seems to be talking about it!

  • Fireworks

    Fireworks

    ★★★★½

    A pensive and thoughtful response to the tragedy of fate. Hana-bi is magnificent. Eloquently shot, masterfully scored, a true rumination on the ideals of justice in an unjust world. It's one of those films that make me grateful for how good I've got it. One split second can change everything.

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  • Prisoners

    Prisoners

    ★★★½

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

    Denis Villeneuve Ranked (WIP)

    Is Denis Villeneuve an auteur? It’s hard for me to say yes. His films are a little too reliant on genre, a little too shallow and focused on entertainment, and his directing a little too curtailed and curated for me to call him a visionary. He is a master technician, and one of the 21st century’s most exciting filmmakers, even if he does not possess a personal casus belli. The man makes films because he loves…

  • Paprika

    Paprika

    ★★★★

    Satoshi Kon Ranked

    Complicated to a fault. And yet, filled with so much evocative imagery and so many likable characters to overcome it's confounding faults. I found the meta implications, especially those regarding Konakawa, to be really effective. This late-career work from Satoshi Kon, my beloved reality-bending auteur, won't soon leave my mind.

    A great deal of fun.