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Rod has written 140 reviews for films during 2016.

  • Toni Erdmann

    Toni Erdmann

    ★★★★½

    A challenging film because it is steeped both in pure realism and the utterly absurd (I just couldn't fathom the premise and some of the situations at points), and finally winning me over in its second half due to some incredible and unforgettable scenes and moments. Even more so beyond that, when I considered the achievement of this film as a finely tuned and measured piece that completely earns its epic length and reverberates way beyond the The Cure's 'Plainsong'…

  • The New Land

    The New Land

    ★★★★★

    See my review of both films here: letterboxd.com/rodstar/film/the-emigrants/

    This essay really captures the magnificence of the films in words: www.criterion.com/current/posts/3899-the-emigrants-the-new-land-homelands

  • The Emigrants

    The Emigrants

    ★★★★★

    It is difficult to put into words the true magnificence of this 6.5 hour opus (let us just call this and The New Land what they truly are - one single film!) from the artistic behemoth that is Jan Troell, who directed, photographed (with some lighting advice from Sven Nykvist), edited and co-wrote the whole grand undertaking himself! 

    The story is one of a band of Swedish Emigrants who make the journey from their unforgiving homeland to the hope of a…

  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    ★★★★

    The first SW film I hadn't been brimming with anticipation for (constant social media attention is desensitizing my excitement somewhat, constantly finding myself navigating and trying to avoid spoilers and stupid opinions), and then seeing 3 star or lower ratings from critics on LB before hand, had made me a little nervous...

    A decidedly more adult affair (my 6 year old was bored and restless for the most part) that sports probably the most intelligent (for the most part) dialogue…

  • The Handmaiden

    The Handmaiden

    ★★★★★

    Chan-wook Park recovers extraordinarily well after his hollow misfire in Stoker. This is just delicious on every level!

  • Kubo and the Two Strings

    Kubo and the Two Strings

    ★★★½

    I cannot deny the visual quality on display here, but am kind of puzzled at the adoration such a generic adventure story with bland writing is receiving. The final scene saved it from being an average 3 star film for me.

  • The Naked Kiss

    The Naked Kiss

    ★★★★★

    Jim Jarmusch illuminated this one for me when he listed it as one of his favourites, and boy does that dude have taste man!

  • Arrival

    Arrival

    ★★★★★

    It lives in the same universe as Interstellar, Close Encounters and Contact and for mine, is the pick of the bunch at this point in time. Villeneuve is truly one of the great cinematicians of the current era!

  • Krisha

    Krisha

    ★★★★½

    A real nerve-fryer executed with Bergman and Cassavetes precision!

  • Cemetery of Splendor

    Cemetery of Splendor

    ★★★★

    The most absorbed I have been in an Apichatpong Weerasethakul film yet!

  • Nocturnal Animals

    Nocturnal Animals

    ★★★★★

    Inky black psychological neo-noir with emotional heft, moody cinematography and score, sharp writing, measured pace, skillful editing, knockout performances and an opening credit sequence that is flat-out bizarre!

    Who would have thought Tom Ford had something so damn dark within him?

    The most riveting cinematic excursion I have had in 2016 so far.

  • Lost Highway

    Lost Highway

    ★★★★★

    Slavoj Zizek's analysis is certainly worth the investment of one's time from what I have read so far, dense and heady stuff though! images.wikia.com/cinema/bn/images/e/eb/The_Art_of_the_Ridiculous_Sublime_On_David_Lynch's_Lost_Highway.pdf