• The Souvenir

    The Souvenir

    ★★★★

    Extremely personal and unwaveringly honest, Joanna Hogg's The Souvenir is a patiently-paced and perceptively poignant dissection of first love, toxic relationships, and finding direction in one's life. A semi-autobiographical coming of age, the patent specificity of Hogg's story ultimately affords it a universality. There is such an astute understanding of craft, with terrifically naturalistic performances and some truly creative cinematographical choices, but above all, is its fragmented reflection of people.

    Need to check out Part II, asap.

  • Pi

    Pi

    ★★★½

    Mathematics, religion, and the meaning of life make for a painful quest to an empirical answer in Darren Aronofsky's feature debut. Pi follows Max Cohen, an obsessed mathematician who is plagued with cluster headaches, paranoia, and hallucinations attempting to find a complete order in the world. Even in his debut, Aronofsky ticks his thematic boxes. Obsessive protagonists? Check. Frenetic soundtrack? Check. Psychological toll? Check.

    A film that, in a number of ways, does not feel too far off from Eraserhead, David Lynch's own feature debut. Pi is arguably Aronofsky's most Lynchian and most certainly an impressive debut.

  • Moolaadé

    Moolaadé

    ★★★★

    Ousmane Sembène takes the fight to the oppressive forces of patriarchy under the guise of tradition in Moolaadé. A film pouring with an affecting and inspirational power that is able to handle harrowing subject matters with a fluid blending of tone and mood. Rich and lush in its devotion to both a sociopolitical message and a humanistic beauty. Even at 81 years of age, Sembène finds a uniquely embracing warmth.

  • Everything Everywhere All at Once

    Everything Everywhere All at Once

    ★★★★½

    Much to talk about and much to say, but in short, this is a film that makes you appreciate not only the possibilities of films but the possibilities of life. It is an experience and it is totally worth the hype.

  • Floating Weeds

    Floating Weeds

    ★★★★

    The Criterion Challenge 2022

    Floating Weeds is not only one of Yasujirō Ozu's most visually impressive films, but undoubtedly one of his most dramatically unreserved. A remake of his 1934 silent feature, A Story Of Floating Weeds, what Ozu has predominately honed in on here is the evolution of his craft. While only his third work in colour, Ozu utilises his palettes, mis-en-scène, and art design to the fullest advantage, completely epitomising his distinct style.

    Ozu has always had the…

  • Atlantics

    Atlantics

    ★★★½

    A gothic and bewitching allegory for growth and change, Atlantics blends broad social commentary and elliptical magical realism. In her feature debut, niece of Senegal legend Djibril Diop Mambéty, Mati Diop makes ambitious cinematic decisions and wholly piercing reflections of issues regarding materialism, migration, and the refugee crisis. A romantic love story. A supernatural ghost story. A class-conscious political drama. Love and loss, grief and remorse, life and death.

  • I Am Not a Witch

    I Am Not a Witch

    ★★★★

    Part social satire, part bleak tragedy, Rungano Nyoni's I Am Not A Witch is a culturally rich tale of witch camps and a uniquely striking indictment of misogynistic values and patriarchal power structures in a post-colonial African society. Elevated by Maggie Mulubwa's affecting lead performance and David Gallego's beautiful cinematography, Nyoni tackles a lot in her debut feature: tradition and modernity, the unknown, the supernatural, the roles of women, the exploitation of culture. Nyoni's implementation of magical realism, and at…

  • Rififi

    Rififi

    ★★★★

    The Criterion Challenge 2022

    An excellent example of film noir à la française, Jules Dassin's Rififi is a classic of the crime genre and an antecedent of the French New Wave. Fresh off the boat from being blacklisted by Hollywood, Dassin would adapt Auguste Le Breton's novel of the same name, using a minimal budget and a well-casted ensemble of non-stars. Known for its 32-minute-long heist sequence, Rififi establishes its procedural nature with a significant amount of care and detail.…

  • Eyes Without a Face

    Eyes Without a Face

    ★★★★

    The Criterion Challenge 2022

    The Skin I Live In, but without the transmisogyny, insipid plot decisions, and gross mishandling of sexual violence.

    A visual spectacle plaited with ghastly gore and poetic ethereality, it is not hard to understand why Georges Franju's Eyes Without A Face is regarded as a cult classic. Incredibly influential and ambitious, from its narrative, to its cinematography, to its themes, to its soundtrack, and to its sense of horror. Franju intertwines terror with beauty, the horrific with the innocent, fully understanding the power of graphicness – the site of Édith Scob's face, both when masked and unmasked, is unforgettable.

  • X

    X

    ★★★½

    A24's "elevated" horror days are numbered... the slasher era is in full swing, baby

  • Belfast

    Belfast

    ★★

    Wishes it was as soulful, as poignant, as heartfelt, as impactful, as personal, as tender, and as unique as The Long Day Closes or even Roma. I dislike Kenneth Branagh more and more with each passing day.

  • The Father

    The Father

    ★★★★

    A film not only about dementia but from the perspective of dementia, Florian Zeller's The Father was far more disorienting, surreal, and scary than I had ever anticipated – and I am so glad for it. Truly remarkable from a conceptual standpoint (not so much because of its originality, but rather because of its execution), and even more remarkable from an acting standpoint. A big part of me wondered whether Anthony Hopkins should have won the Oscar, and my God,…