REVIEW: La vérité [The Truth] [2019]

You can’t trust memory. Despite the title of her autobiography being La vérité [The Truth], it takes a while before Fabienne Dangeville (Catherine Deneuve) says what we know to actually be true. Her stories about being a loving mother in text are just that: stories. Despite being a screenwriter, not even Fabienne’s daughter Lumir (Juliette Binoche) could conjure an anecdote that bore any resemblance to such an idyllic façade if she tried. But while everything boils down to what the aging actress finally expresses during a defensive fit of anger,…

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REVIEW: Doubles vies [Non-Fiction] [2019]

An infinite minority. You know when you go to a get-together and the conversation inevitably turns to current affairs for which everyone has a fringe understanding? So rather than provide true opinions, they simply start regurgitating what they’ve read on the subject. Most times their content doesn’t even come from a primary source because we’ve conditioned ourselves to blindly trust media outlets that paraphrase, parse, and filter through their own personalized political agenda. Fact therefore becomes a stepping-stone towards editorial and that editorial suddenly becomes a stand-in for the facts.…

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REVIEW: High Life [2019]

What do you know about cruelty? Redemption can be an illusion to so many people. They try so hard to make up for past misdeeds that they often fall prey to even more along the way. That’s what happens when you give your quest a tangible goal—achieving it becomes paramount, the process a means to an ends. If you tell a murderer that they will be forgiven upon saving their victim’s family, who’s to say they wouldn’t simply kill another to do so? If you tell someone that saving humanity’s…

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REVIEW: Un beau soleil intérieur [Let the Sunshine In] [2017]

Being a backstreet lover is just unbearable. Is love all consuming? Or disposable? If you discover it’s one above the other, how do you know you’re right? The answer is simple: love is whatever you need it to be for yourself. Don’t compromise your happiness or comfort. Don’t allow your beau to walk over your feelings to pretend what you have now is enough despite your needing more. Leave yourself open to change and—as the title to Claire Denis‘ latest film states—Un beau soleil intérieur [Let the Sunshine In]. Because…

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REVIEW: Ghost in the Shell [2017]

“I give my consent” **Spoilers included** The backlash against Rupert Sanders‘ Ghost in the Shell remake has been fierce and constant—for good reason considering it’s inarguably racist. Is that racism intentional? Not necessarily, but it exists just the same due to choices made. While hyperbolic declarations about it being “the reverse Get Out” are exaggerated on an intellectual scale, they aren’t on an emotional one. You cannot decry people of color for getting incensed when a property very specifically connected to a race other than white is usurped by white…

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REVIEW: The 33 [2015]

“Aim to miss” As if being the international feel-good story of 2010 wasn’t enough, the Copiapó mining accident at the San José copper/gold mine in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile included the type of personal, human melodramatic intrigue ripe for cinematic interpretation. Sourced from Hector Tobar‘s non-fiction novel Deep Down Dark (commissioned with each miner’s help so one couldn’t benefit more than another), Patricia Riggen‘s The 33 could be fiction. Mario Sepúlveda (Antonio Banderas) was working his day off, Álex Vega (Mario Casas) was days from fatherhood, and Mario…

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REVIEW: Tusen ganger god natt [1,000 Times Good Night] [2013]

“I’ve been waiting for that call since I met you” Being an embedded photojournalist is a concept I cannot quite wrap my head around. To willingly go into a war zone and risk your life to get a shot, not for plaudits, but to educate the world about atrocities we’d rather turn a blind eye towards? It’s one thing to do it in a place where an errant bullet aimed at a rebel or infidel could miss its target and hit you instead and a whole other at present when…

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REVIEW: Godzilla [2014]

“Let them fight” The reason Gareth Edwards‘ rebooted Godzilla proves so effective is that it retains the thematic essence of its 1954 ancestor, Gojira. Still an over-arching metaphor for mankind’s hubris and wont to destroy everything it doesn’t understand out of fear, Dave Callaham, Max Borenstein, and multiple script doctors simply found ways to alter the DNA so it could be relevant for an American demographic rather than Japanese. I’ll be honest: we aren’t a country that enjoys watching foreign lands painted as the victim while we look on with…

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REVIEW: Cosmopolis [2012]

“My prostate is asymmetrical” Thematically more like what David Cronenberg created before his last three films; I’m not quite sure what to think about Cosmopolis. Faithfully adapted from a novel by Don DeLillo, its look inside the day of billionaire magnate Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson) skews closest to the hellish descents behind the director’s eXistenZ and seminal work Videodrome through a filter of smugness a la Bret Easton Ellis‘ American Psycho. The characters speak in pronouns with a universal aloofness that makes their world appear a coldly detached fabrication of…

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REVIEW: Copie conforme [Certified Copy] [2010]

“I’m afraid there’s nothing very simple about being simple” Any lovers of Jesse and Celine need to see Copie conforme [Certified Copy]. Think of Abbas Kiarostami‘s film as an alternate Before Sunset if its two lovers from different countries stayed together, got married, and had a child instead of losing touch like they did after the end of Before Sunrise. Philosophical discussions occur, opinions about the validity of art are shared, and the authenticity of love comes into question. The title also comes into play early and often with the…

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REVIEW: L’heure d’été [Summer Hours] [2008]

“It’s nicely displayed” What is the true value of something? Whether it a house, paintings, heirlooms, or photos, do objects hold more worth monetarily or sentimentally? Just the fact that the deceased is taxed upon death shows how important the money is to the whole system of life, rendering one’s childhood memories into commodity. Olivier Assayas’s film L’heure d’été [Summer Hours] delves into this very topic, showing a generational gap as well as a societal one when it comes to a trio of siblings’ mother’s estate. Two of them have…

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