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  • Ready Player One

    Ready Player One

    "I hate myself

    I hate myself

    I hate myself

    For loving you"

    The text people are searching for to decode this bizarre film is Hiroki Azuma's critical theory book Otaku: Japan's Database Animals. I first heard of the book through McKenzie Wark, who, following Azuma, posited that Japan had begun grappling with post-modernity several decades earlier than the rest of the world. This I think is true, because what began in Japan can be seen emerging in the United States…

  • The Favourite

    The Favourite

    Just no good at all. Aesthetically inept, politically boneheaded, and a full-bore slog to sit through.

    Lanthimos is working at cross-purposes by applying his lifeless style to costume drama. If the intent was to produce some kind of friction, it doesn't register; if he meant to "revitalize" his chosen genre, the exact opposite is achieved. It's truly amazing how none of his formal choices cohere, or even betray the attempt to. His actresses bob in and out of pointless shots,…