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  • Memento Stella

    Memento Stella

    ★★★★★

    witnessing the cyclical creation and destruction of the universe through the eyes of god, looking in the mirror and seeing nothing in return; oh universe, i know your face / looks just like mine

    it makes a great deal of sense in retrospect, but it wasn’t until somewhat recently that i came to understand just how fundamentally sad Makino’s project as an artist really is. in each of these films he searches for the impossible, making tangible the liminal space…

  • War of the Worlds

    War of the Worlds

    ★★★★½

    extraterrestrial sleeper cells rising before church grounds to abet the annihilation of humankind, colonizing earth with the blood of its most powerful inhabitants. this remains incredibly potent in its treatment of US responses to 9/11, but this time around it became clear that Spielberg is equally interested in prescribing his images as analogs to those of modern terrorism as he is in painting the invasion as the total collapse of modernity at the hands of an overwhelmingly ambivalent and ostensibly…

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  • Young Mr. Lincoln

    Young Mr. Lincoln

    ★★★½

    the man can split a log in half but can’t decide which of two pies is the better, go figure. Fonda is great here and Ford once again demonstrates the fact that nobody else has ever done a better job of framing figures against the sky. the last two shots are key: Lincoln’s statue at profile, real and concrete, fading then into a shot of a historical photograph of the statue itself; a history of images doubling back on themselves, making men out of monuments, making monuments of men. 

    72/100

  • Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2

    Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2

    ★★★

    video doesn’t lie: American gods born through word of mouth, through obsession & in the image not seen. ridiculous to call this bad by any means, though i will say it does unfortunately squander a great deal of potential.

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  • Glass

    Glass

    ★★★★½

    a work which consistently rewrites both itself and its predecessors, undercutting the narratives it explicitly lays out as a means of reaching eventual and tragic vindication. the tyranny of a centrist surveillance state as a denial of trauma and the experience of otherized parties, though this is of course what ultimately brings it all together and allows for the glorious breakdown of hegemonic control. (meanwhile, Shyamalan’s own control over form is truly remarkable.) 

    upon recently revisiting Unbreakable, i remarked that…

  • Pulse

    Pulse

    ★★★★★

    Kurosawa’s Pulse operates on so many levels it’s tough to keep track of. That being said, it is essential to note that this is not a film about the sociological dangers of the internet, or what have you. Rather, it is a film about the degradation of human systems—especially those regarding not only communication but representation—and the means through which loneliness and alienation may proliferate as a virus in the wake of such breakdown. The fact that the internet is…