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  • Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    ★★★★★

    "I can no longer keep my blinds drawn,
    And I can't keep myself from talkin'..."

    I'm a sucker for late style. Always have been, always will be. Many favourites of mine exist in this mode: Lynch (Inland Empire, TP: The Return), Scorsese (The Irishman) Ran, Beethoven's 9th - facing up to that final curtain, characters having to live with their past, attempts to communicate the incommunicable: all of these really start pushing my (intellectual and emotional) buttons.
    Of course, Tarantino…

  • State Funeral

    State Funeral

    ★★★★½

    Full review to come at some point* - but right now this looks like the most important piece of archival restoration since They Shall Not Grow Old. A stunning achievement, it's one of these difficult films that really demand a one-sitting viewing: you just have to be bowled over by the spectacle on show, and savour its lethal, acetic irony (of which the final information cards make clear). The timing of its release is also horribly appropriate, in a period…

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  • Wings of Desire

    Wings of Desire

    ★★★★★

    Wenders with a Negroni on a Saturday night: my living room appeared to transform into a floatation tank, as I drifted off into a sphere of pure melancholic relaxation. This has to be one of the most beautiful works ever filmed, on a purely visual level, and some of those monologues (Damiel's first, the trapeze artist's last, Peter Falk at the coffee stand) are properly showstopping.

  • The White Ribbon

    The White Ribbon

    ★★★★★

    When I told my housemate I was about to watch a German film about "kids doing creepy stuff in a village", she retorted that it sounded like "the most German film ever made". I guess she's right.

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  • Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia

    Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia

    ★★★★

    By no means flawless, and very uneven—but of course the film would be 10x worse if it were polished. Peckinpah stuck his hands into the Mexican soil and pulled out a loose, shaggy myth, tangled with bullet casings and clods of earth: a pinballing elegy that moves along towards an inevitable conclusion. The central conceit is brilliant, a Kurtz-like encounter dragging the pitiful Bennie along his damned road trip. However, this is where the film almost shoots itself in the…

  • Cold Meridian

    Cold Meridian

    ★★★★

    It's Strickland's world, we're just living in it.
    Some people rushed to Netflix last Friday to catch Mank on its first day. I however, having still not caught up with Mank, flocked to Mubi at quarter past midnight to see the new Peter Strickland short. Like all of his films, if you can't see it in the cinema, watch with the best headphones you've got - the soundscapes are another world in themselves. And it's especially true for this film,…