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  • First Cow

    First Cow

    ★★★★

    "History isn't here yet... It's coming, but we got here early this time. Maybe this time we can be ready for it."

    So assured and patiently told. Kelly Reichardt binds the will to individual freedom that emerged from the era of Jeffersonian expansion, to the odious capitalist myths of limitless growth and profit without exploitation that persist into the present day.

    At its heart, there's such genuine naivety about John Magaro's portrayal of Cookie; so visibly unsuited to the frontier's…

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  • Possessor

    Possessor

    ★★½

    While I do enjoy the idea of Cronenberg and Son's as some sort of Mom-and-Pop's family business who forgo cutting keys or fixing boots, in favour of making disgustingly violent existential horrors. This story, as with Antiviral, has a fascinating conceit, but in execution feels too amateurish and devoid of insight to stand up to scrutiny.

    Brandon Cronenberg does everything through a stubbornly abrasive tone that's hard to get along with. The alternate 2008 retro-tech setting is a drab, sterile…

  • Ema

    Ema

    ★★★★

    Makes you yearn for the days when a femme fatale's plan was as simple as seducing some poor schmuck to murder her husband for the life insurance payout. City life, ambition, sexuality, family, art. Those things sure seemed easier to make sense of back then...

    Visually resplendent and stylised to within an inch of its life. Pablo Larraín's film often skirts the suspicion that underneath its euphoria and explosive energy, at its core, the entire exercise is all just a…

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  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    ★★★★★

    Whether suppressed or actualised, that characteristic sense of longing within queer romance is entirely relatable to the escapism offered in the fantasy worlds of art. In our voyeurism we're encouraged to idealise and fetishise the lives existing behind the faces we encounter. We yearn for self-discovery in their company, hoping for a brief moment to forget the entire process is an illusion.

    This is the tension Céline Sciamma uses to express the heavy ache of desire for companionship and creative…

  • Yesterday

    Yesterday

    One of the more contemptuous cultural products I can ever recall. Posturing as a huggably soft saccharine-morality tale, while presenting a profoundly reactionary discourse; fuming with generational resentment at an alien and ugly contemporary world.

    With Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis both approaching their mid-sixties, you do have to empathise with the cold chill anyone their age must experience upon encountering the music kids today are into: Dominated by postmodern rejections of sincerity, and the discordant, digitised noise of SoundCloud…