Favorite films

  • August in the Water
  • Goliath and the Dragon
  • Pestonjee
  • Utsav

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  • Life Back Then

    ★★★★

  • Ecstacy of the Black Rose

    ★★★½

  • Light of Africa

    ★★★½

  • The 8-Year Engagement

    ★★★★

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  • Ecstacy of the Black Rose

    Ecstacy of the Black Rose

    ★★★½

    shin kishida's director figure - balding and limping at age 32, coercive, deluded, and self-justifying - might be the single most repulsive figure in the history of self reflexive films about the exploitative power imbalances in filmmaking (and there are many runners up).

  • Light of Africa

    Light of Africa

    ★★★½

    grasping at straws at the end of the world.

    at one point a young man takes his sick to the point of dying friend to the hot baths, picks him up in his arms like a child and carries him to the window, opens the window and a burst of vicious cold rolls into the frame like Winter would be personified in an old fleischer's cartoon.

    not sure at all what to make of this but tatsumi kumashiro's rejection of interiority for pure, weird physicality and landscape is really something.

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  • Young Mr. Lincoln

    Young Mr. Lincoln

    ★★★★★

    history just a stick falling over in the snow, or a shadow cast over someone.

  • Kids Return

    Kids Return

    ★★★★½

    on certain days i think this melancholy portrait of young blindly navigating the passage into adulthood is kitano's finest work - a delicate synthesis of the editing and mise en scene experiments of his previous films, applied to arguably the most layered character work of his career (only achilles and the tortoise comes close for me).

    boxing becomes not a central metaphor but the physical shape of the film's emotional weights - every punch struck (in or out of the…