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  • Summer of 85

    Summer of 85

    ★★★½

    Seen as part of the 2020 NewFest, the NYC-based LGBTQ film festival. I rarely will pass up a new Francois Ozon film. I've followed him for years and he's done some great films. His latest - "Summer of 85" - is definitely one of his lesser features but still has some beautiful photography. good acting and interesting characters.

    Based on a YA novel, it's about a young gay teen's first (and tragic) love. In that, it has some aspects in…

  • The Trial of the Chicago 7

    The Trial of the Chicago 7

    ★★★★

    I wound up liking Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago Seven” quite a lot, although I was leery due to the mixed reviews and worries that it would over-simplify the turbulence of 1968 to make it palatable to a wide audience.  And to be honest, there were those elements - making Abby Hoffman and Jerry Rubin a couple of lovable and irascible Yippies, the use of the Black Panthers as a plot device, the deeply conflicted prosecuting attorney, and…

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  • The Conformist

    The Conformist

    ★★★★★

    I'd never seen Bertolucci's "The Conformist", a visually sumptuous film set in Italy in the late 1930s about a young opportunist who sees fascism as a way to advance himself and work through his inner conflicts. It's a fascinating film, although the photography and sets sometimes overwhelm the storyline. And considering Bertolucci was only 29 or so when he directed this, quite an accomplishment.

    Jean-Louis Trintigant plays Marcello Clerici, a man from a privileged background but whose family has deteriorated…

  • The Devil All the Time

    The Devil All the Time

    ★★★

    In spite of all the hype and promotion by Netflix and the star-packed cast, this Southern Gothic story is a mess - an interesting mess but a mess nonetheless. A tale of backwoods religiosity, duplicity and revenge, it's set in 1950s/1960s West Virginia and Ohio, it has multiple storylines that gradually converge as it jumps back and forth between generations.

    What held my interest throughout was the talented cast and especially Tom Holland who plays a young teenager Arvin Russel,…