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  • And Then We Danced

    And Then We Danced

    ★★★½

    When was the last time you watched a film from Georgia? No, I'm not talking about the American state (despite its favorable tax credits for filmmakers). Part of the reason I wanted to check this movie out was just because I didn't think I could answer that question. Also, as a former ballet student, I have an instant attraction to stories about professional dance.

    And Then We Danced tells the story of Merab (Levan Gelbakhiani), a young student training for…

  • Mean Streets

    Mean Streets

    ★★★★½

    I knew I'd probably like this, but I didn't know just how much. Something something intricate rituals... (Also, it's absolutely hilarious to me that this briefly held the record for most uses of 'f-word' on screen until The Last Detail came out a few months later). More rambling over at the blog:
    penniesforthestorm.tumblr.com/post/190868737554

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  • Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    ★★★★

    Cliff and Rick. Rick and Cliff. Buddies and pals (to quote another famous duo). "You're a good friend," people say to Cliff. "I try," Cliff replies, a statement more layered than it seems at first.
    When we first see them, Rick (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Cliff (Brad Pitt) are riding high. It's the 1950s, and Rick is the star of a hit TV Western, Bounty Law. Cliff is his stuntman-- his double. But stars fade, and by the end of the…

  • Parasite

    Parasite

    ★★★★½

    Simply outstanding-- I think my favorite thing about it was that I had no idea where the story was going. As a writer myself, and as someone who watches a lot of movies, over the years I've gotten pretty good at 'predicting' story beats. (And I don't mean this in a cynical way at all, or as any kind of flex-- my work involves building narrative, so I've learned how to pay attention.) I'm sure on a second watch, I'll pick up more foreshadowing, but for this first run-through, I was entirely along for the ride.