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  • Zelig

    Zelig

    ★★★★★

    “Zelig” is a holy text of absurdism. 

    Rather than necessary and constant striving towards an unknowable god, the deity of “Zelig” - is assimilation. Seeking it out is just as obligatory, and just as futile, as the search for one all-powerful figure. 

    The character of Zelig creates meaning through the appropriation of others’ meanings - able transform himself into a manifestation of whomever he is with at any given time. It begins as a survival mechanism, and evolves into a…

  • History Is Made at Night

    History Is Made at Night

    ★★★★½

    “History is Made at Night” is a film so packed with emotion that it creates its own ecology of nostalgia. 

    In a runtime of under two hours, director Frank Borzage manages to stir such sentiment that you will find yourself weepy-eyed for a long ago... that was actually just 45 minutes prior. 

    Working across the genres of noir, screwball comedy, and disaster flick, Borzage manges to unite the many threads through one powerful continuity; love. Love through all. 
     
    Borzage…

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  • Radio Days

    Radio Days

    ★★★★

    Woody Allen’s “Radio Days” aches with tenderness and tangibility. It’s a gauzy portrait of the past filtered through the lens of loves encountered on the way through life. 

    According to Stanley Kubrick’s brother-in-law, the director used to watch “Radio Days” on repeat; claiming it felt to him like a “home movie.”

    Kubrick, born in the Bronx, was only one borough removed from the Rockaway, Queens of “Radio Days.”  The success with which the movie captures its particular time and place…

  • Trading Places

    Trading Places

    ★★★

    “Trading Places” is a social satire with admirable aims. But the way that it whiffs its landing is emblematic of the deepest problems in the very 1980s culture that it parodies. 

    Annoyingly talented sleazebag of a director John Landis pitched “Places” as an updated version of the Preston Sturges and Frank Capra socially-conscious comedies of the 30s. 

    At first blush, “Places” appears to be an apt homage to these predecessors. Opening to the chords of Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro,” which…

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  • Pretend It's a City

    Pretend It's a City

    ★★★★

    I love to watch Martin Scorsese love things. The man laughs with his entire body, and speaks about his passions with his whole soul. And Martin Scorsese loves Fran Lebowitz. 

    A good deal of “Pretend It’s a City” is essentially just Scorsese sitting and listening... adoring Fran. And the rest, is the two of them... sitting and listening to each other... adoring New York City. And complaining about it. 

    Because what’s more New York than bemoaning everything wrong with New…

  • Safety Last!

    Safety Last!

    ★★★★½

    “Safety Last” sets up stakes with the speed and precision of the most practiced camper. Or the most legendary of silent comedians. 

    Harold Lloyd’s classic film is an exercise in emotional efficiency. With a simple conceit; guy wants to impress girl, “Safety” still, at every turn, will have you grasping your armrest in tense apprehension. 

    Lloyd’s iconic work is without audible dialogue, but it’s near impossible to watch through without verbalizing several times, “How is he going to get away…