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  • Creature from the Black Lagoon

    Creature from the Black Lagoon

    ★★★★½

    Hahahahahah...love the poster.

  • American Honey

    American Honey

    ★★★★½

    A truly incredible film by Andrea Arnold. But you must be very patient. Arnold could have told this story in 90 minutes but it would've lost much of its impact, imo. Arnold makes sure to detail every character to make them real and that's why we end up caring about them.

    The film is also about the American dream and its downside. A lot of the promises offered come to naught. But Arnold deals with these complex issues with a light touch. The film is also a great portrait of many of the young subcultures and their constituents. A great film all around.

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  • Humanity and Paper Balloons

    Humanity and Paper Balloons

    ★★★★★

    It's truly sad that Sadao Yamanaka died at the age of 28, a few months after completing this masterpiece. Based on this film, I'm sure he would have had a career similar to that Kurosawa, Ozu, Naruse, Mizoguchi, Oshima, etc. if he had survived. But as my LB friend Yaruse points out, despite the fact that only three of his films are currently available in complete form (apparently a few others exist in parts), he still managed to have a…

  • When a Woman Ascends the Stairs

    When a Woman Ascends the Stairs

    ★★★★½

    The self-righteously virtuous being responsible for their own troubles due to their disposition, as much as because of any rules imposed on them by society, appears to be one of the film's key themes. The saintly aura that the protagonist, beautifully by Hideko Takamine, creates around her ultimately brings her down even further. But this is not a wholly pessimistic film. No one can stop her from trying to ascend those stairs, even if she always finds herself at the bottom.