REVIEW: Thelma [2017]

Jesus Satan. The moment you leave home for college is the moment your parents say, “Have fun, but don’t lose who you are in the process.” It’s a worthwhile sentiment that we often take for granted as an implicit notion that we are who we will remain despite embarking on a journey full of unknown responsibilities, freedoms, and dangers. How can we truly know our identity when we’ve yet to cultivate one on our own? How much of that “who you are” is actually “who we want you to be”…

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REVIEW: Louder Than Bombs [2015]

“After this I’ll slow down. I promise.” Few depict love’s pain onscreen better than Norwegian writer/director Joachim Trier and co-writer Eskil Vogt. They’ve cultivated a distinct voice for character-driven dramas of friendship and romance that build and dissolve with an authentic rhythm of life’s unpredictability. Their characters ache inside and out as they deal with the struggle of human connection and their English-language debut Louder Than Bombs is no different. In it are three men traversing a world removed from the life they led with a matriarch no longer by…

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Top Ten Films of 2011: Melancholy with a slice of hope

If anyone tells you 2011 was a bad year for cinema, stop in your tracks, turn around and walk away without ever looking back. They have no idea what they’re talking about. With a wealth of quality films from bonafide auteurs devoid of source material, the sheer amount of original work is astonishing. The trend for remakes will most likely never end, but it’s good to know artists in and out of the Hollywood system are fearlessly treading their own path to make movies exciting again. And by exciting I…

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Top 25 Films of 2011

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 150 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: Win Win directed by Thomas McCarthy #24: The Adjustment Bureau directed by George Nolfi #23: Super 8 directed by J.J. Abrams #22: Source Code directed by Duncan Jones #21: Weekend directed by Andrew Haigh #20: The Interrupters directed by Steve James #19: Contagion directed by Steven Soderbergh. #18: Senna directed by Asif Kapadia. #17: Santiago 73, post mortem[Post Mortem] directed by…

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TIFF11 REVIEW: Oslo, 31. August [Oslo, August 31st] [2011]

“I want you to understand” Memory and nostalgia—these are the things Joachim Trier sought when creating his dark, hopeful, and depressing love letter to his hometown. Rather than use that word, however, he made a point in his Q&A at the Toronto International Film Festival to call it the place he was born. Every city in the world is remembered by its citizens and ex-pats, they reminiscence about good times, how they felt, or how they miss it. The opening to Oslo, 31. august [Oslo, August 31st] is a collection…

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REVIEW: Reprise [2006]

“I wish we could just meet all over again” Joachim Trier has definitely accomplished something with his debut feature film. The opening sequence is so disorienting that you can’t begin to expect what will happen next. Showing a montage of what “could” happen once our two leads mail out their manuscripts, from success to failure to meeting again and succeeding together, is a bold move. I wasn’t sure if we had just been privy to the entire film condensed and would soon see the details, or if the title of…

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Top 25 Films of 2006

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 88 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: Déjà Vu directed by Tony Scott. #24: Lady in the Water directed byM. Night Shyamalan #23: Casino Royale directed by Martin Campbell. #22: Stranger Than Fiction directed by Marc Forster #21: The Science of Sleep directed by Michel Gondry #20: Half Nelson directed by Ryan Fleck #19: Clerks 2 directed by Kevin Smith #18: The Last King of Scotland directed by…

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