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By James Wham | March 31, 2020
At the Museum

Phases of Matter is not interested in the hospital as a site of sickness. Tortum’s documentary is concerned with workers—the human element that can transform the moribund into a “festive” feeling—following the daily doings of surgeons, nurses, janitors, dieners, students, and professors.

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The chaos of the moment feels aptly reflected and deeply felt in both a Bogdanovich slapstick classic from the seventies and a Hammer horrror gem from the sixties.

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By Michael Koresky | March 27, 2020
Our House

This column will not simply be about great films we saw in theaters, but about films on which are imprinted the mental traces of the past, of the ineffable experiences of seeing them at a certain point in our personal histories.

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In this ongoing column, one writer will send another a new piece of writing about a film they have been watching and pondering over, in the hopes that this will prompt a connection to a different film the other has been watching or is inspired to rewatch.

review
By Chloe Lizotte | March 13, 2020

The crux of the story for Autumn is not her awakening to a varied feast of resources, but her ability to take control of her own self, an internalized conflict that only intensifies as she moves through Planned Parenthood.

review
By A.G. Sims | March 7, 2020

Reichardt’s hushed visual approach animates the movie into something more contemplative than its sweet, humorous screenplay might indicate. In her films, characters tend to look at things and think. A diegetic bird squaw might fill the silence, or a plucky banjo. In those moments, the object gazed upon becomes imbued with meaning.

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By Katherine Connell | March 6, 2020

While the horror of The Invisible Man lies in its frank, violent metaphor for all kinds of abuse, the scenes that present the unrelenting, compulsive ways that men, even so-called nice guys, protect other men are more subtly chilling.

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By Nicholas Russell | March 4, 2020

Bacurau utilizes its aesthetics to paint a sensuous, earthy picture of a self-sustaining mixed community that rejects capitalistic tendencies in favor of collectivism. History is prized over revitalization.

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By James Wham | March 3, 2020

Rather than servicing the melodrama of the film, as in Black Coal’s mood-washed frames of neon red and icy blue, Diao’s flamboyant visual style here works sardonically—accentuating evil in a strange, unfamiliar way.

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By Lawrence Garcia | February 28, 2020

The basic premise trades in the kind of casual absurdism that’s by now expected of Porumboiu. More surprising is the fact that The Whistlers plays much like a standard policier—a relatively by-the-book offering from a director who has distinguished himself by a willingness to throw out the manual.

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By Michael Koresky | February 21, 2020

Malick’s filmmaking, especially here and in everything after, strikes me as a way of using the cinematic form to piece together a visual approximation of a world made unknowable by our own perceptions, our own human limitations.

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By Daniel Witkin | February 20, 2020

One can’t discuss Costa for long without focusing on his use of photography—it seems that with every successive film he learns something new about how digital cameras absorb light that no one else has yet figured out.

symposium
By Genevieve Yue | February 20, 2020

To survive means one has to keep surviving, to bear the anguish of what in some ways can never be escaped, until one can do it no longer. Surviving is what we see mother and daughter doing for each other in No Home Movie, though it also pains and consumes them.

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By Jeff Reichert | February 19, 2020

There is no privilege accorded to one state of being over another. All of these figures exist within the same frame of Apichatpong’s cinema. And, importantly, to his characters, all are equals.

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By Daniel Witkin | February 18, 2020

What is happening in Chile is related to what is going on in many other places. And I do see a parallel with the protests of the 60s. It seems the big circle of time is closing.