Bio: Ratings are clinically formulated via felicific calculus specifically excluding the 7th variable.
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|83 86%||The Atomic Cafe (1982) - Jan 29, 2018
"Extremely hilarious and horrifying collage of Atomic Age Absurdity. Instead of direct exposition or narration, the filmmakers rely on clever editing of the archival footage and soundtrack to heighten the contrasts and mixed messages that constitute the film's narrative. The absurdity however arises from the sources themselves and is grave enough to slap you across the face. As political satire I'd say it's up there with Dr. Strangelove but plays out more as a retrospective historical commentary."
|7 0%||That's My Boy (2012) - Jul 10, 2015
"Plays out as a hideously warped piece of anti-American propaganda. Apparently it's now OK to make casually lighthearted jokes about pedophilia, incest & domestic violence. There's nothing rebellious or radical in unrepentant racism, sexism & homophobia. Worst of all it tries to implement some rotten kind of morality to it all. I loath to sound moralistic but since there are zero laughs, it's all I'm left with. I just want everyone to know I sat through this film. Every. Last. Shit-stained. Frame"
|72 56%||Roma (2018) - Jan 30, 2019
"Cuarón is a true master at crafting beautiful sequences that tell a story visually. However the underlying writing & structure of the film feel somewhat contrived & work against it as some kind of modern incarnation of neorealist cinema (a contradictory concept by itself). It is completely soaked in nostalgia both in terms of theme & style which also muddles the water for me. Whatever narrative thread I clung to ended up feeling slightly cheap & impersonal (the opposite of its intent I'm sure)."
|80 80%||Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974) - Jan 05, 2021
"Delirious revenge-fueled road trip through masculine self-destruction into some kind of violence-crazed redemption. Basically competes with Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant for the sweatiest movie ever. Besides the whole psychotic masculinity this contains many of Peckinpah's familiar themes about the dynamics of freedom & exploitation (expressed also within the dynamics of USA & Mexico) & like the best of Peckinpah's films it comes out with a desperate poignancy that's quite without equal in cinema."
|87 94%||The Insect Woman (1963) - Nov 10, 2015
"Although the plot frames a rather basic "woman's lot" story, the film really fleshes it out out thanks to its remarkably unsentimental perspective, natural performances, beautiful composition, dominant physicality & fragmented narrative. It really captures the turbulent setting & life experience of its main character in a dynamic "truthful" way. Very stubborn with its bleak pragmatic viewpoints but maintains a level of dignity & purpose through them, affording agency in place of victimization."
|78 75%||Black Cat's Revenge (1970) - Dec 27, 2014
"Yakuza action thriller meets supernatural horror with some comedy thrown in. Not the most coherent use of narrative/tone but it keeps you interested & has plenty of surprises in store. The mash-up of styles works surprisingly well & it creates impressively varied atmospheres ranging from light & comedic to suspenseful, threatening, psychedelic & grotesque. The action scenes work well & the cast is not bad. Also Meiko Kaji is the boss. Very well shot & too strikingly bizarre to easily forget."
|92 98%||Dawn of the Dead (1978) - Nov 12, 2014
"Some weird anarchic type of masterpiece, Dawn of the Dead still manages evoke a wincing smile, throwing together biting social satire, goofy slapstick & plenty of disgusting gore. It revels in a sort of controlled chaos that Romero gleefully steers on an ocean of rampant creativity. His direction is far from masterful yet somehow from almost amateurish circumstances rises a sort of modern absurdist comedy masterpiece that stays true to its ideas and never overplays its grim satirical tone."
|67 38%||Birdman (2014) - Dec 01, 2019
"At its core a very strong character portrait with an engaging tragicomic backbone. Iñarritu willfully dilutes that with technically impressive but often misguided trickery, losing sight of what works in the story. I hate to describe films as pretentious (being myself its embodiment) especially considering the incredible craft & vision they can display but despite its postmodern self awareness this cannot escape the irony of its masturbatory conceit. Keaton is gold though which may elevate this."
|94 99%||Ballad of Narayama (1983) - Aug 20, 2015
"As beautiful as it is bleak. Maintains a cool anthropological perspective that's both spectacular and emotional without turning cheesy or sentimental. The narrative is slightly all over the place and some of the symbolism a bit heavy-handed but the naturalistic style holds everything together brilliantly. It paints a brutally human picture of the everyday struggle for survival in physical, social and spiritual sense. Breathtaking visuals and Sumiko Sakamoto is absolutely transcendent."
|83 86%||Street of Shame (1956) - May 09, 2018
"Mizoguchi's final work is an urgent & heartfelt look at the Tokyo sex industry. His stance feels rooted in conservative values, argued with deep humane concern & sensitivity to cultural & socioeconomic realities. It feels like a culmination of an artist's career & a direct moral statement drawing on a lifetime of experience. Stripped bare of all poetry, naivety & idealism (or progressive vision) it could feel contrived or blunt if not for Mizoguchi's assertive poise. Peculiar avant-garde score."