Miss Bala


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In the earlier, more authentic film, Naranjo generally employs an austere style: his languorous pans and tracking shots suggest the weight and force of the world beyond his heroine’s comprehension. Naranjo knows when to take a straightforward, analytical look at a decisive act. He depicts the drug lord’s meticulous taping of cash to the heroine’s naked waist as a devastating montage of defilement. An image of Sigman facing forward, hands behind her head, in a black bra and a money belt made of packing tape, provided the original film with its searing poster art.

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Michael Sragow — Film Comment

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How Sundance Made Indie Movies Mainstream


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What was new here was that formerly fringe filmmakers were now getting big crossover deals and gushy reviews, redefining indie cinema in the public consciousness. This began a snowball effect with other newer and younger would-be writers and directors. Sundance and Cannes 1989 were the first major “Yes We Can!” moments for those who had had studio and network gates slammed in their faces in the past or who’d never had the confidence or connections to go that far in the first place.

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Telly Davidson — The American Conservative

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The ‘beautiful love affair’ between Catherine Deneuve and YSL


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At his fashion shows, Deneuve always sat front and centre in the private clients’ row, supporting her friend and wearing his couture designs, which he made especially for her. The star was his first customer at his new Prêt-à-Porter store, Rive Gauche, when it opened in 1967, and remained Saint Laurent’s muse until his death in 2008.

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Christie’s

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To All The Romantic Comedies I’ve Loved Before


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Luckily for me—and for all of us—Noah Centineo’s swoonsome Peter isn’t that kind of good guy. In this respect, the film departs, winningly, from the novel from which it’s adapted. In the book, Peter is that kind of guy—or at least, his boorishness in insisting that “no rom coms” be written into the contract by which he and Lara Jean establish the terms of their fake romance, is a clever feint suggesting we have on our hands a character reminiscent of the insufferable John Thorpe in Austen’s Northanger Abbey. In the film, by contrast, it’s Lara Jean who writes in to the contract the condition that Peter must watch Sixteen Candles, while he in turn stipulates that she must watch Fight Club. The mutuality of the agreement sets their relationship on the right terms. The scene in which we watch them—Peter, Lara Jean, and Lara Jean’s younger sister Kittie—watch Sixteen Candles together is all the proof we need that the onscreen Peter has evolved from the Peter on the page.

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Sarah Tindal Kareem — Avidly

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In ‘Bandersnatch,’ Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Meets ‘Black Mirror’ Fatalism


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Just finished watching this. Great concept. And that’s why today’s needull is on Bandersnatch.

Besides the frustratingly grating message, “Bandersnatch” does have its better moments. One of the more complicated endings involves Stefan going back in time, and allowing his child-self to die with his mother in a train crash. In the present day, Stefan dies quietly in his chair, and it’s clear that he’s achieved some sort of peace or resolution from the past trauma, even though it’s one that leaves his father distraught, and perhaps, the player uncomfortable with the events unfolding in front of them. The scene is one of “Black Mirror”’s best for this reason: There is no clear-cut answer of right or wrong when it comes to this choice, making its unresolved question all the more thoughtful.

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Grace Z. Li — The Harvard Crimson

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Things only adults notice in A Christmas Story


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Merry Christmas!!

Ralphie’s father, only ever referred to as The Old Man (Darren McGavin) is a typical representation of a Midwestern father figure in the early 20th century. He’s stern but not cruel, caring but not affectionate, and distant but not absent. He’s a man’s man, and he spends most of the film just trying to read his newspaper and enjoy a little bit of turkey while his sons get into trouble around him. If you look close enough, though, there are little hints of eccentricity in The Old Man’s life. He insists on being timed when he changes a tire, for example, and went through the trouble of burying his “major award” in the backyard and supposedly playing “Taps” in tribute to it as he did. He even takes some time in the department store to skip along with the Wizard of Oz characters. Ralphie doesn’t think much about it, but there’s more to his Old Man than newspapers and furnace battles. He has a rich inner life that we only see glimpses of.

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Matthew Jackson — Looper

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Reflections on Warner Bros’ Wonder Woman (2017)


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Some will argue that without certain heterosocial tropes——dress-buying with witnesses, slow dancing, melting with some man into a softly-lit chamber——Diana of Themiscyra could not realistically grow her long-term interest in defending human innocents. For my part, a hero driven to joy and follow-through by something like Kant’s sense of duty is feasible for Wonder Woman, and worth wishing for.

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Joseph Spece — Berfrois

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