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  • Midnight Lace

    Midnight Lace

    ★★★½

    giallo by way of Douglas Sirk

  • Giant

    Giant

    ★★½

    A lumpy and strange thing with a WILD cast full of eccentric supporting parts devoured by heavy ICONS and MESSAGES. If you take an edible (like me), the first two thirds or so are compelling when the sloppy editing and embarrassingly flat staging don't distract from the pretty landscape photography. Bonus points for the weirdest James Dean performance and the fabulously destabilizing presence of Mercedes McCambridge. Perhaps best viewed under a maniacal unified fan theory that combines characters from Baby Doll, Written on the Wind, Johnny Guitar, Rebel Without a Cause and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in an alternate universe.

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  • The Skin I Live In

    The Skin I Live In

    Tender and cruel, beautiful and horrific, moving and dark, this may be Almodovar's masterpiece. A deft and dense summation of many of the thematic strains in his filmography (negotiation of gender performance, tortured familial relations, the malleability of identity, the burdens of the past on the present, the weight of trauma) and perhaps the most stunningly structured of his major works with one of the greatest employments of flashbacks I have ever seen. A perverse and pleasurable amalgam of Georges Franju, Douglas Sirk, Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang, Luis Buñuel, and Jack Smith. In other words, it could only have been created by a master like Almodovar.