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  • La Haine

    La Haine

    ★★

    While watching La Haine (1995), it doesn't take long for even the least attentive filmgoers to recognize director Kassovitz's dependence on suffusing the entire narrative with pop-culture and meta-cinematic references. As a film about the mercurial nature of racial and cultural anxieties among disenfranchised youths, such narrative devices may be necessary, as the three lead characters - estranged from their ancestry and marginalized from society - borrow from cultures outside of their own to create a sense of identity. The…

  • A Bittersweet Life

    A Bittersweet Life

    ★★★★

    Those who are intimately familiar with Kim Jee-woon's filmography will argue that his defining characteristic as a storyteller is not his penchant for genre experimentation, despite having the reputation of a distinguished genre filmmaker, but his stylistically audacious construction of cinematic realities. Kim's films are spatial journies that demonstrate the camera's ability to render a setting into a thematically malleable landscape. Not only are locations treated as pure abstractions of the core themes of his stories but also given roles…

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  • The French Connection

    The French Connection

    In The French Connection (1971), Roy Scheider and Gene Hackman patrolled with Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso for a month to get the feel of the characters. Hackman became disgusted at the sights he saw during this patrol. In one incident he had to help restrain a suspect in the squad car and later worried that he would be sued for calling him the n-word.

  • 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

    4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

    ★★★★

    Movie: "Women of Letterboxd, what do you think of Romanian Communist Party General Secretary Nicolae Ceaușescu enacting the abortion law Decree 770 in 1966?"

    Me, an intellectual cinephile: "Not a woman, but my mom and cousins are. I think Decree 770 was an inside job, and everyone knows abortions can't melt the Warsaw Pact."

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