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  • I Love You Jet Li

    I Love You Jet Li

    ★★★★

    Most of the time seeing airports these days serves as a reminder of how much our definition of modern living has transformed over the past year, but the airport seen here is so obviously mapped to the internal psycho-geometries of its unseen(?) narrator that it seems to exist in a world apart from our own. In that sense it is a sort of funhouse mirror of our current moment that draws attention to the imaginative labor that has always been part and parcel of getting by in this day and age.

  • Juke and Opal

    Juke and Opal

    ★★★★

    “A little poem” (in the words of writer Jane Wagner) from Lily Tomlin's second television special that was more effective at dismantling my emotional defenses than most features in recent memory. Tomlin and Pryor both pull off the impressive feat of emotionally raw performances while still remaining somehow unknowable, drawing on a dense network of racial and class associations and expectations without falling into the easy categorizations that prime-time television (or indeed much of bourgeois society) tries to force us…

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  • Eraserhead

    Eraserhead

    ★★★★★

    The gulf between "watching" this with a girlfriend back in college (which now feels hilariously ironic) and returning to it a decade later is almost as expansive as the limitless void which bookends the film. I expected that it might strike me as too on-the-nose so many years later, but there is a reason that this little film continues to occupy such significance alongside Lynch's later masterpieces. Most "readings" I've come across fail in one sense or another to capture…

  • Coming to America

    Coming to America

    ★★★½

    More classic Hollywood fish-out-of-water comedy than the 1980s laff riot I expected. Crazy that even though this came three decades before something like Crazy Rich Asians, this feels much more politically assured in its depiction of outrageous wealth – not just because Akeem is purposely hiding it for most of the movie, but also because it highlights just how unearned inherited wealth actually is compared with the capitalist fairy tale of the later film. Landis brings his action-adventure chops to…