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Archive | July, 2019

The Farewell Review

26 Jul

Anyone can probably find something in this film to connect with, but make no mistake: at its core, it is a story about an Asian American’s experience, written and directed by an Asian American woman. To say that it is merely about family is vague to the point of being inaccurate, because the dynamics of what constitute a family are vastly different when it comes to immigrant parents. If you have that experience, you know what I’m talking about: the push and pull between cultures, the shame of feeling like an outsider in both your own skin and your “American” community, and sometimes even the outright rejection of certain parts of your identity. All of that is laid bare on screen here, handled with pure and tender care by Lulu Wang.

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Midsommar Review

10 Jul

Hereditary was a great film with stellar performances, an effective onslaught of dread, and an interesting exploration of grief through horror. It also concluded with an obnoxious, pseudo intellectual final 10 minutes that would’ve nearly ruined the whole thing if everything before it wasn’t so good. I’m afraid to report that Ari Aster, certainly buoyed by the blank check A24 gave him, embraced those last 10 minutes and produced from its ashes a maddening, 140 minute slog of a film – one that will surely be praised as some sort of profound achievement due to the A24 label slapped on it.

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The Last Black Man in San Francisco Review

2 Jul

Lovingly and beautifully shot and scored, as if in a haze yet also with crystal clear focus. The filmmakers’ passion is evident in every single frame, and there’s clearly a lot of heart behind this story. At the same time, the slickness of the visuals sometimes feels like a placeholder for character and story, with the script only just scratching the surface of some of the issues at play (both on a macro, community wide scale and on a micro, character arc scale). It meanders a bit too much in the first half, and the climax, while effective because of Majors’ wonderful performance, is also a bit contrived.

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