Ruth Scouller

Ruth Scouller

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Aussie with predilection for Asia-Pacific cinema, editing and archival preservation.

↓ Best first viewings of 2020

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  • The Florida Project

    The Florida Project

    ★★★★

    Dafoe's Bobby may be my favourite character to arise from the last couple years of American cinema. It won't necessarily go down as one of the greatest performances in American cinema (neither showy nor developed), but it should go down as one of the classic roles, a character we still talk about decades from now, which Dafoe makes possible.

    I'd wager a lot of us are more familiar with this world of budget motels than we'd care to admit. Of…

  • China Dolls

    China Dolls

    ★★★★

    The late 20th Century gay scene experience of Asian Australians as directed by Tony Ayres feels like a gumbo of many of my perennial topic preferences, so the chances of me not enjoying this were admittedly remote.

    Tony Ayres treats this as an autobiographical piece which speaks for the experiences of many, with some glimpses into what would later become The Home Song Stories. The talking heads (including photographer William Yang) are made up entirely of Asian-Australian men (mostly Chinese…

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  • Mission Congo

    Mission Congo

    ★★★

    "Evangelists making a living on the videos of ribs of the little kids" (Damian Marley, 2010)

    Is there anything more white devil's heart of darkness than an American televangelist conducting diamond mining operations in Zaire which he misrepresents as crucial provision of fundraised humanitarian aid to a Rwandan refugee crisis? He even finds the nerve to take some happy snaps with genocide mastermind Bagosora.

  • The Miseducation of Cameron Post

    The Miseducation of Cameron Post

    ★★★

    Akhavan's authentic, warmly humoured observation is still there, however Miseducation otherwise fails to really do anything worthy of unusual acclaim within the christian gay subgenre (for which I harbour an abiding soft spot). Nice, but they usually are, and there have been a lot of them lately. Even the casting of Moretz and Gallagher and a pick-up hitchhike ending all feels a bit too pro forma. Perfunctory tick.

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  • A History of Violence

    A History of Violence

    ★★★★½

    A couple years ago, this film was firmly in my Top 50. I haven't seen the film for a couple years now, and by the time I did my top 100 Letterboxd list, this was no where in sight. I've decided this film requires a rewatch.

    This film is a delight from Cronenberg. It mixes various little film influences together into a great little story. But the film wouldn't work without the acting. Mortensen gives one of his best ever…

  • Match Point

    Match Point

    ★★★★½

    Match Point is everything I was hoping, and more. Woody serves up arguably his most delightfully rich genre reinvention, kind of like a reimagining of A Place in the Sun with a dash of Crime & Punishment.

    Match Point is a curious cross-reference of influences. It has the bedrock of a Woody Allen film. The emotional energy and relationship betrayal of a Hitchcockian dark thriller. And a sliver of Barry Lyndon Irish rogue penetration of high society to it. Most of…