Favorite films

  • The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On
  • Diary of a Pregnant Woman
  • Devil in a Blue Dress
  • Gertrud

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  • Letter from an Unknown Woman

    ★★★★★

  • Drive My Car

  • Coherence

    ★★

  • Losing Ground

    ★★★★★

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  • Drive My Car

    Drive My Car

    I discussed this film with at length with some friends. I said, based on Happy Hour, Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy, and this film, that a hallmark of Ryusuke Hamaguchi's work is the portrayal of ambiguous conversations, where we observe characters' words and body language at length, but cannot tell exactly what they mean in the moment. Only in retrospect, having gained context from seeing the many facets of their lives and the lives of their interlocutors, does anything become…

  • Coherence

    Coherence

    The fact that the dialogue in this film was improvised is surely a vindication of the oft-maligned dialogue in M. Night Shyamalan's Old. This is not a criticism of either film.

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  • Night Is Short, Walk on Girl

    Night Is Short, Walk on Girl

    A common way of describing Tatami Galaxy is that it adapts a stream-of-consciousness mode of presentation to animation. That is, its way of visualizing all the little, tangential relations in the main character's mind or accenting those elements of given events that stick out to him the most helps the viewer experience the world as it corresponds with the motions of a mind. This looks similar, but it's not quite. Both because of its structure and its main character's disposition,…

  • Liz and the Blue Bird

    Liz and the Blue Bird

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    We're very close to things Mizore does which other people wouldn't normally see. She fidgets with her hands and feet, and she watches Nozomi from across the room. The film sees from inside her personal space, but not through her eyes. Even the fantasy sequences are mainly explanatory, not subjective; they're not even understandable to Mizore. Still, we're close enough that it's hard to see what she doesn't let in. At the climax, it reaches out further: when the sound…