PHILL

PHILL

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unlike a lot of people on letterboxd i actually like movies

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  • Embrace of the Serpent

    Embrace of the Serpent

    ★★★★★

    The fact that a movie with extremely poignant and culturally (universally) relevant themes, powerful performances from indigenous people with little to no acting experience, gorgeous black and white cinematography in a beautifully scenic jungle setting, and a minimalist score ALSO has transcendent psychedelic visuals capping it off is simply a gift

  • First Reformed

    First Reformed

    ★★★★★

    Putting this right up near the top of my best of the decade list was an extremely easy decision. In this era of hyperbole, I resist calling Paul Schrader’s first foray into the transcendental style of filmmaking a “masterpiece,” but it’s hard to find the words that adequately describe just how masterfully this whole film comes together. It feels effortless as we watch it unfold: a locked-down academy ratio frame merely observing, there may as well not be anyone but…

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  • Twelve Monkeys

    Twelve Monkeys

    ★★★½

    Nobody does set design quite like Terry Gilliam. Shooting on location is one thing, but creating a believable underground sci fi dystopia location to shoot on is another. And being able to introduce a sense of humor into it? God-tier. Another particular high note is Brad Pitt, whose unhinged behavior somehow feels both deranged and perfectly controlled. The narrative points however are a bit less controlled, and the simple beauty of La Jetée is all but lost in the extended…

  • Hail, Caesar!

    Hail, Caesar!

    ★★★★

    I did not appreciate this enough when I saw it in theaters. I also can't believe this came out in 2016? Feels like decades ago. Deakins is sublime as always, and the critiques of the film industry/capitalism/religious institutions is fantastic.

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  • First Cow

    First Cow

    ★★★★★

    The final cut to black hit me so hard I nearly fell over. Manages to be Reichardt's most accessible narrative (excepting maybe Wendy and Lucy) while also being slow and steady like you'd expect from her. The performances from the two leads are as good as they come, and for the first time I feel like Reichardt is being humorous here. I found myself laughing at how silly some of the first half was. I also always appreciate a director…

  • Sound of Metal

    Sound of Metal

    ★★★★½

    Very tough to go on with the rest of the day after something like this. I've had a big soft spot for Riz Ahmed ever since his performance as Nasir in the HBO miniseries The Night Of; he plays flawed, toubled characters like this so convincingly and with such nuance and sensitivity that one might be forgiven for thinking they're watching his real life play out on screen. His presence here, coupled with some aggressive sound design and great use…