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  • Psychiatry in Russia

    Psychiatry in Russia

    Albert Maysles spends three months embedded among soviet psychologists, visiting facilities where then dominant Pavlovian theory dictates treatment of patients.

    While filled with typical rote documentary details and filmmaking, his camera is drawn most to human expressions, forming a picture of people trying to do good or get well, largely the same as we do today. The fact that it’s 60 years old seems barely relevant — that they’re Russian even less so. He leaves it to narration--delivered with smokey…

  • The Wages of Fear

    The Wages of Fear

    As compelling an indictment of industrialized capitalism as has perhaps ever been filmed, this is also one of the most thrillingly tense films ever made. A leisurely first act introduces us to a community that is cut off from the metropolitan world, and is lousy with tramps who can no longer find work. The local American oil company tightly controls what little opportunity there is in the area- opportunity that is shrinking. We slowly learn about a handful of local…

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  • There Will Be Blood

    There Will Be Blood

    I look forward to 20 years from now when I've seen more of the films time has to offer, and can still say this is among the greatest ever made. PTA tapped something unreal and nightmarish with this film, and it frightens me in a way no horror movie has ever managed.

  • Act of Valor

    Act of Valor

    "The story, in which a group of SEALS stumble upon a Muslim extremist’s plot to sneak some suicide bombers into America equipped with some particularly nasty gear, barely has the twists and turns to fill out an episode of 24, much less a feature film. It also employs some of the cheesiest villainy imaginable, including an over-the-top act of terrorism that sets up our bad guy all the way through his final plan that of course involves the Mexican/US border…