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It (1927)
A salesgirl with plenty of 'it' pursues a handsome playboy.
Director: Clarence G. Badger
Drama
Comedy
Romance

A flapper shopgirl woos her rich boss with animal magnetism, otherwise known as "it."

Invention I have put this film on my list of required viewing for cineliteracy. The reason is obvious: here we have the creation of a persona that changed the world of film and indeed the world. I believe that the relationship between film reflecting society and inventing it...


Published November 25, 2022
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Hiroshima Mon Amor (1959)
From the measureless depths of a woman's emotions...
Director: Alain Resnais
Drama
History
Romance

The deep conversation between a Japanese architect and a French actress forms the basis of this celebrated French film, considered one of the vanguard productions of the French New Wave. Set in Hiroshima after the end of World War II, the couple -- lovers turned friends -- recount, over many hours, previous romances and life experiences. The two intertwine their stories about the past with pondering the devastation wrought by the atomic bomb dropped on the city.

The Pull of Connection I saw this thirty or so years ago. I don’t remember it moving me profoundly, but then so many things at that age routinely inject you with massive change without you knowing. Seeing it now gives me great, great appreciation for what...


Published November 25, 2022
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Enter the Void (2009)
Director: Gaspar Noé
Fantasy
Drama

This psychedelic tour of life after death is seen entirely from the point of view of Oscar, a young American drug dealer and addict living in Tokyo with his prostitute sister, Linda. When Oscar is killed by police during a bust gone bad, his spirit journeys from the past -- where he sees his parents before their deaths -- to the present -- where he witnesses his own autopsy -- and then to the future, where he looks out for his sister from beyond the grave.

Tomorrow Never Knows One of our next great filmmakers, yet another South American, makes a film about French filmmaking. That once great tradition was compromised in the sixties by a burst of non-sustainable creativity that ate itself. A decent enough metaphor is that cinema overdosed on...


Published November 25, 2022
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Bad Timing: A Sensual Obsession (1980)
His terrifying obsession took them to the brink of death and beyond.
Director: Nicolas Roeg
Drama
Mystery
Thriller

Alex Linden is a psychiatrist living in Vienna who meets Milena Flaherty though a mutual friend. Though Alex is quite a bit older than Milena, he's attracted to her young, carefree spirit. Despite the fact that Milena is already married, their friendship quickly turns into a deeply passionate love affair that threatens to overtake them both. When Milena ends up in the hospital from an overdose, Alex is taken into custody by Inspector Netusil.

Doubts that Bind Love is internal. It is sustained by questions of doubt, tension, expectation. The solidity of the hand is strengthened by the slipperiness underfoot. So suppose you wanted to make a film about the fields that animate your anchor relationships. You couldn’t do what everyone...


Published November 25, 2022
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2046 (2004)
Are you still in the mood for love?
Director: Wong Kar-wai
Drama
Science Fiction
Romance

Women enter and exit a science fiction author's life over the course of a few years after the author loses the woman he considers his one true love.

Gloved Hand If Welles, Tarkovsky and Kurosawa are the three past masters. Greenaway, Medem and Kar-Wai are the three greatest living filmmakers. All three weave incredibly deep and personal stories which bleed into the act of their creating the film. Each create striking images that resonate...


Published November 25, 2022
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The Golem (1920)
Director: Paul Wegener, Carl Boese
Fantasy
Horror

In 16th-century Prague, a rabbi creates the Golem - a giant creature made of clay. Using sorcery, he brings the creature to life in order to protect the Jews of Prague from persecution.

Life This is the most exciting film I have seen of those made before “Kane.” It is far better than those usually clumped into the so-called expressionist movement, particularly better than “Caligari”. The lighting, framing and rhythm of the thing is about of the same fine quality....


Published November 25, 2022
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Memento (2000)
Some memories are best forgotten.
Director: Christopher Nolan
Mystery
Thriller

Leonard Shelby is tracking down the man who raped and murdered his wife. The difficulty of locating his wife's killer, however, is compounded by the fact that he suffers from a rare, untreatable form of short-term memory loss. Although he can recall details of life before his accident, Leonard cannot remember what happened fifteen minutes ago, where he's going, or why.

Skin as Photograph I rate this very high on my scale, primarily for its ambition and intellect. Usually I get annoyed at IMDB comments that report the story as if it were important, but it is here: ---Lenny's home is attacked, wife raped, him injured. He develops this...


Published November 22, 2022
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I Am Cuba (1964)
Director: Mikhail Kalatozov
Drama

Four vignettes about the lives of the Cuban people set during the pre-revolutionary era.

Sculpted Spatial Force Is this the best film ever made? For me today in its afterglow it is. I'm so fickle. I think if all else were equal, I'll always take embodied, real cinema that is coherently integrated. The way of telling the story is ideally complex...


Published September 21, 2022
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Inception (2010)
Your mind is the scene of the crime.
Director: Christopher Nolan
Action
Science Fiction
Adventure

Cobb, a skilled thief who commits corporate espionage by infiltrating the subconscious of his targets is offered a chance to regain his old life as payment for a task considered to be impossible: "inception", the implantation of another person's idea into a target's subconscious.

Insides of Emma (The Fall of Angels) When I watch a movie, all sorts of machinery kicks in. I am aware of only some of that, and can massage and train only a bit of it — of what I see of myself. This machinery is...


Published May 13, 2022
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Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)
The quest begins
Director: Travis Knight
Animation
Adventure
Family

Kubo mesmerizes the people in his village with his magical gift for spinning wild tales with origami. When he accidentally summons an evil spirit seeking vengeance, Kubo is forced to go on a quest to solve the mystery of his fallen samurai father and his mystical weaponry, as well as discover his own magical powers.

Gently Weeps This film hit a sweet spot for me. It merges essential Shintoism, magic and origami in a story about storytelling, four subjects of deep interest for me. This is orgasmic level engagement, this mix. I need to see it again in 3D to see...


Published May 13, 2022
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