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  • The Monopoly of Violence

    The Monopoly of Violence

    ★★★½

    A disturbing and enraging film - it closes on the image of a man whose hand has just been blown off by a police grenade. Built upon cell phone footage of police brutality taken by "gilets jaunes" protestors, it constructs a hall of mirrors in which the protesters, academics and even a cop or two discuss these images. At times, they argue about it. But THE MONOPOLY OF VIOLENCE was made for a French audience which knows the context of…

  • The Drifting Classroom

    The Drifting Classroom

    ★★½

    The first Obayahsi film I've seen so far which does not look like the work of a major director. The weirdness seems out of his control at times - the sets and special effects are sometimes beautiful, but the tone is all over the map. THE DRIFTING CLASSROOM was probably intended for an audience around the same age as the students it depicts, but the hints of mother/son incest and older teacher/teenage girl relationships feel very uncomfortable for that reason.…

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  • Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

    Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

    ★★

    The popular idea that comedy needs to “punch up” is too simplistic. It’s not always easy to figure out who has real power – the small army of cis male comics who think transphobia is the height of free thought are rather confused about it – or how to use humor to criticize Karens roaming Wal-Mart screaming at anyone with a mask on or empty female Instagram influencers without buying into sexist attitudes. (Look at how badly jokes about Britney…

  • Mank

    Mank

    ★★½

    I think it's safe to say that David Fincher's reputation on Letterboxd is extremely high - last year, I saw a stat that FIGHT CLUB was the highest-rated film on the site. Something has gone awry with the reception of MANK when review after review here calls it his worst film. Having seen it, I can understand why. It pursues a curdled mixture of nostalgia and critique that, honestly, will go over the heads of a Netflix audience that's never…