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  • Samaritan Girl

    Samaritan Girl

    ★★★½

    Samaritan Girl is a sombre coming-of-age drama about the loss of innocence, redemption, and family relationships.

    It's difficult to summarise the plot without giving away too much of the story, but it's a pretty unusual, offbeat film in various ways, and I question the mindset of the young protagonists at times.

    In the wrong hands this film could have become a bizarre, exploitative mess, but somehow it manages to become a cathartic, serene and soulful experience. Worth watching.

  • Close-Up

    Close-Up

    ★★★½

    Close-Up is an unusual film. It blends fact and fiction by recreating scenes of a real-life criminal fraud case and even includes the people who were originally involved playing themselves.

    It's a fascinating, groundbreaking piece of cinema that's truly unique but it never blew me away at any point. I can understand and respect its greatness but personally it's not really for me.

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  • Taxi Driver

    Taxi Driver

    ★★★★½

    Taxi Driver is in my opinion possibly Martin Scorsese's masterpiece. The film evokes a lot of feelings in me: Loneliness, romance, insomnia... There is a certain dream-like fantasy feel as the story meanders along. Robert De Niro's character Travis Bickle is a voyeur. He drives his taxi, watching the city unfold before his eyes. He is behind his glass windscreen however, and unable to relate or interact to anything around him. There's a bizarre romanticism to the hellhole that is…

  • Sansho the Bailiff

    Sansho the Bailiff

    ★★★★½

    Set in feudal Japan, Sansho the Bailiff follows the family of a governor who exiled for being too lenient on his subjects. As his family travel to live with him, they are misled by a scheming woman, kidnapped and separated. The mother is forced into prostitution while the young brother and sister are sold as slaves to the ruthless Sansho.

    The film is a grim and tragic melodrama, but it's so beautiful in its execution. There's a certain grace and poignancy that makes the film simply fantastic.

    A must-see for fans of classic Japanese cinema.