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  • Eternal Love

    Eternal Love

    ★★★

    Time was running out for Lubitsch to continue making silent films to his own specifications, and I guess he really really wanted to make a berg-film before that door closed. I was going to write as though I had watched it as "Lubitsch's western," but it gets really Arnold Fanck toward the end, so the genre tag's kinda unmistakable. Still, it's a romantic melodrama that reminded me often of Ford circa Four Sons... which is a very strange niche for Ernst L. to be parking himself in.

  • Nicotina

    Nicotina

    ★★★

    Making a movie explicitly for the purpose of reusing Tarantino's Pulp Fiction structure of interconnects is not a good thing to do, but these guys do it rather well. The nasty peeping/stalking character played by Diego Luna (as bad or worse as the character in Short Film bout Love) is a big, big minus, but the scenes in the barbershop, after everything has gone south and souther, are amusing and it's overall not a dead loss.

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  • Vicky Cristina Barcelona

    Vicky Cristina Barcelona

    Glib and carelessly-imagined ode to privilege. I tried to ignore my distaste for the superficial artsiness of the characters, but after the scene where the blonde girl decided it would be kicks to go to a slummy-looking neighborhood and photograph sex-workers I just couldn't. Esp. when the SW were all "Hello, American Lady Woman! We love you! Come taste the wines and cheeses of my village!"

    An art-adjacent lifestyle is one thing, an arts career is another.

  • Valerie and Her Week of Wonders

    Valerie and Her Week of Wonders

    ★★★

    If this were by a female director, it'd be a compelling menstrual-hut-power fantasy ode to Goddess Reproductive Magic, but that's not a movie that any man could make, so...

    Disturbing crypto-pedo fantasy that reads like Charles Dodgson and Roman Polanski brainstorming on heavy doses of MDMA.

    It's got vampires + a very girly magic-realism drawn from fairy-tales and dream-work. A bit kitsch, innit? In a good way, though, like a lo-fi Nazareno Cruz.