Favorite films

  • Blow-Up
  • Crash
  • Chungking Express
  • Brazil

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  • Ilo Ilo

    ★★★½

  • The Hustler

    ★★★★

  • Winter Sleep

    ★★★★½

  • Black Orpheus

    ★★★½

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  • A Brighter Summer Day

    A Brighter Summer Day

    ★★★★★

    This review contains various thematic spoilers but only vague allusions to plot spoilers. Read at your discretion.

    A Brighter Summer Day is a truth epic, a four hour journey into the abyss of teenage disillusionment. It's about the reality of growing up and the consequences of an aimless life. It's a quiet movie, of people kissing in the dark, with conversations happening between people offscreen, of themes muted in favour of shapeless ideas. It's paced like life itself, with threads…

  • Werckmeister Harmonies

    Werckmeister Harmonies

    ★★★★★

    Werckmeister Harmonies is a film of constant symbolism and allegory. It is the greatest philosophical and political allegory since Sátántangó, another film by master auteur Béla Tarr. Werckmeister Harmonies is Tarr's most exciting film (although Sátántangó remains his best) because it's the most brimming with ideas. Adapting the novel The Melancholy of Resistance by László Krasznahorkai, Werckmeister Harmonies more than matches the quality of the masterful original text. The film is more implicit in some ways, taking the dense metaphorical nature of the novel but…

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  • Ilo Ilo

    Ilo Ilo

    ★★★½

    Ilo Ilo is a story driven by economic anxiety. While it is about complacent lives and intimate emotional moments, it mostly plays as a film about how economic anxiety can affect a family and their mental state. Set during the 1997 Asian financial crisis, a family starts to fall apart. A lot of small accidents and misunderstandings congregate, until larger misfortune manifests. The story centres on a Filipina maid, moving to Singapore to find a better life and earn more…

  • The Hustler

    The Hustler

    ★★★★

    The Hustler is a film about losing. In that sense, it's a film about living. To win usually requires great losses. It is not a film about pool, but a story about people. Hustling is just a profession here, a way to make money. The lead may think it's the centre of his life, but slowly he finds it isn't. He must fulfil himself as a person, not a pool player. In the end his final victory is to surrender,…

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  • The Lost Daughter

    The Lost Daughter

    ★★★★½

    Bad people are complicated. There is something dark at the centre of The Lost Daughter, a film which viciously tears apart the idealism we often have about motherhood. It is a film of mothers, but not one of love. Instead we see a rot, mothers who find children a burden. The Lost Daughter is an uncomfortable movie, with a constant unease and sense of dread. We wait to be given answers, for characters to be uncovered and exposed, and yet…

  • Weathering with You

    Weathering with You

    SPOILERS ahead, but I would recommend reading this review regardless.

    This was my own personal hell. I was actually very excited to see Weathering with You. Makoto Shinkai is a mixed director at best but his work was certainly improving over the years. Two of the friends I most trust for anime recommendations told me this was great. I even almost went to the English premiere. Boy am I glad I didn't. I hated this film. I was fine for…