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  • Vitalina Varela

    Vitalina Varela

    ★★★★★

    In my eyes, Pedro Costa is one of the most exciting, interesting, and important directors currently working. This is due to his principles as a storyteller and filmmaker, to which he adheres resolutely, making him a unique voice in cinematic history. Because of this I'm going to start off this review by explaining my fascination with his work in basic and broad terms.

    An organic approach to stories. The stories Costa works with stem from lived experience, while not being…

  • Workers, Peasants

    Workers, Peasants

    ★★★★★

    Had to catch this as part of the ongoing Straub-Huillet retrospective on mubi. I tend to forget the experience of seeing a film by the duo, so each time I return I am overwhelmed by their work and by how efficient it is, it's really quite unlike watching films made by anyone else. There is, of course, the specific film and what it contains within itself. But more than that, it's the continuation of the highly distinctive style, perhaps the…

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  • Wolf Children

    Wolf Children

    ★★★½

    Film #114 from the list of recommendations, first of four animated suggestions from Rachel.

    It's as if a film was created with a motivation, in its most basic way, formulated as "how can we make this as cute as possible?". A question to which the answer apparently is, take some kids, make them turn into little wolves and that's about it. There's still a sympathetic story present. The virtuous and sacrificing single mother obviously facing significant challenges raising her abnormal…

  • Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love

    Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love

    ★★½

    I’ve been gone for a while, traveling the country, so haven’t had the chance to keep my challenge going. But I did get the chance to check this out last night, after missing it at a festival last year. While certainly interesting, it seems a little confused, as if looking at a puzzling phenomena from an outsider’s perspective, a perspective informed by other outsiders’ dubious interpretations and an inability of the two main characters (though the film makes no attempt…

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  • L'Avventura

    L'Avventura

    ★★★★★

    Finally feeling somewhat on the same page as Antonioni, and that happens in a film where communication is it's most subversive element, the one that discloses the least about what is actually going on in the film. And there is clearly a disconnect between the director/writer and his characters here. While delving into fascinating psychoanalysis, the distance remains and much like Luigi Pirandello, Antonioni lets his characters roam free without doubting the primal forces that directs the film. As though…

  • Red Desert

    Red Desert

    ★★★★★

    First off thanks to Connor and Marcus for promptly guiding me to this immediately following my review of L'avventura and never has a recommendation felt so appropriate. Of course I loved it, as Antonioni's scenes become more layered in complexity, though the lifeless black-and-white has its charm, so does his narrative. And it is important to remember this complexity going in to this film, as interpretations often tend to err on the simplistic side. Still we explore the realm of…