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  • Promising Young Woman

    Promising Young Woman

    ★★★★

    The Oxford English Dictionary notes that in Greek Mythology Cassandra was cursed by Apollo so that her prophetic wisdom was always disbelieved; as a noun, Cassandra has come to mean "a prophet of disaster, especially one who is disregarded."

    Palpably disdainful of rape culture's Apollonian spell on society, Carey Mulligan's Cassie has made it her life's mission to earn back some fucking regard. Stalking clubs for "nice guys," (a myth in its own right) she paints herself up like a…

  • Smooth Talk

    Smooth Talk

    ★★★★

    I'm watching you.

    Peaking out from under Arnold (A.) Friend's shirtsleeve is a tattoo of an hour glass with wings, matching the logo emblazoned on his car. Time flies.

    This is something Connie, Laura, and Jill know well. When we first meet them, they have to hitch a ride in order to make it back to the mall in time to catch their parents. On their next excursion to the mall, Connie's mother grills her about how long they are…

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  • Nomadland

    Nomadland

    ★★★★

    Dedicated to the ones who had to depart

    Where Nomadland reviews have highlighted the film's anti-capitalist sentiments, semi-documentarian study of an ignored portion of the American population, and the film's roots in the Western genre (ScreeningNotes writes evocatively about Chloé Zhao's repurposing of Western iconography), it was the metaphoric strain of the film that resonated deeply with me. Zhao has spoken about Terrence Malick's influence on her work, which comes through here in echoes of The Tree of Life where…

  • Judas and the Black Messiah

    Judas and the Black Messiah

    ★★★★

    We had very few role models back then. We had Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali. I had an FBI agent.

    The Black Panther Party, the NAACP, the Crowns, the impoverished whites, all groups depicted or mentioned during the course of Judas and the Black Messiah; an abundance of organizations, but little actual organizing. Rather, poor and Black communities are shown to have a variety of interest groups dedicated to their issues, but ones that are fractured and disperse.…

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  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

    ★★★★★

    As much as the third Indiana Jones film is about obsessive tendencies (concisely indicated by the hard cut between young and old Indy, both fighting for the Cross of Coronado), it is also about transference of knowledge. That is to say, where the Nazis burn books, Henry Jones shares them with his son. Indy is a testament to the teachings of his father, following in his academic footsteps and displaying a number of the same personality traits; he's been shaped…

  • Mad Max: Fury Road

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    ★★★★★

    A personal aside before the review: The Alamo Drafthouse in Kansas City continues its run as the most impressive theater in the area by providing a free, early screening of Fury Road, entirely making my week!

    (EDIT 08/14/2020 - After reading accounts from KC Alamo employees - some of whom worked there during the time of this Fury Road screening - in The Pitch, I feel awful about promoting and supporting this particular location for so long now knowing that…