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  • Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence

    Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence

    Oshima crafts unassailable parallels between his protagonist Jack Celliers and Jesus Christ. He accomplishes this on a meta level ranging from them sharing the initials JC to the most prominent line (and title) of the film, celebrating the Birth of Christ. Celliers is portrayed as a messianic figure able to seemingly disarm his enemies and uplift the humanity of his troops with impunity. Remembering this parallel is important to contextualizing the film’s deconstruction of masculinity, ranging from the abstract considerations…

  • The Last Black Man in San Francisco

    The Last Black Man in San Francisco

    ★★★★½

    There’s no place like home. Growing up near San Francisco, I visited the city countless times and spent a substantial amount of my childhood in the area. Seeing films such as this and Blindspotting in recent years have been rewarding and nostalgic experiences. Even more so than Blindspotting, The Last Black Man in San Francisco perfectly captures the essence and inherently personal sense of wonder which encapsulate the Bay Area.

    It is noteworthy that some of the films inspiring this…

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  • Hyderabad Blues

    Hyderabad Blues

    Portrays the east/west, NRI/non-NRI, traditional/modern cultural dichotomy with a level of nuance uncommon in Indian cinema. First heard about this underseen and low budget movie in connection to Swades (2004) exploring the tropes of Indian migrant films and it's an interesting connection to make. While Swades focuses on an individual bringing their portable skills back to their homeland, the lens of Hyderabad Blues is focused largely elsewhere.

    We see a late 20s Indian tech employee from Atlanta return home to…

  • Iruvar

    Iruvar

    ★★★★★

    Mani Ratnam's treatise on politics, power, and populism. The manner in which he is able to balance the lives of the two seminal figures amidst their respective backdrops in entertainment and politics - along with the intersection of the two in society, is simply astounding.

    Anand is from his proletariat and modest background, surviving meagerly until he gets his big break, which still is fraught with tension and pessimistic of youthful hope and the industry writ large. Tamil Selvam is…

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  • Twisted Pair

    Twisted Pair

    ½

    “I don’t NEED a weapon! I AM the weapon.”

    I have to start this review by thanking Neil Breen for screening this movie in theaters. This was, by far, the best theatrical experience of my lifetime. Rancorous eruptions of laughter followed by audible gasps of shock ensued throughout the entirety of the runtime.

    Twisted Pair, for those of you who had doubts over its intention, is a classic Neil Breen film. The same stilted dialogue, unnatural acting, and use of…

  • Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, for all of its plaudits and criticisms, is a film only Tarantino could have created. This film both feels and functions as an internal and external reflection for Tarantino, primarily through the culmination of erudition he has gathered and experienced throughout his career.

    This is fairly evident, at the very least on a technical level, as structural and stylistic elements of a myriad of his prior films manifest themselves throughout the lengthy runtime. Some…