幸せな時間の先に Beyond Happy Hour (2018)

ドーターズ Daughters (2020)

國產凌凌漆 From Beijing with Love (1994)

How to Be Alone 2019

It Follows 2014

Rewatched as part of a horror film club.

Being freed of the suspense meant I could focus my attention elsewhere, such as on the constant camera movement.

ハッピーアワー Happy Hour (2015)

Watched in two sittings.

Didn’t quite work for me in the way Hamaguchi’s later films did, and I eventually slipped into using it as Japanese comprehension exercise. I can understand wanting to establish parallels between characters’ narratives, but with this runtime, it risks feeling like repetition rather than reflection.

I know this was part of an improv workshop with non-professionals, but a couple of these performances were so good it’s a shame they’ve got no other credits.

Love & Friendship 2016

Psych 2: Lassie Come Home 2020

రౌద్రం రణం రుధిరం RRR (2022)

How should one watch propaganda? I think a lot about my limits when watching non-US cinema, and this movie tests my ignorance. It’s intoxicating in that a battle of independence from the British Empire sets up an easy underdog story. But what national mythmaking is occurring on the other side? The theater can hoot and holler when blood splatters on the slogan “the sun never sets on the British Empire”, but how should it respond to the omission of Muslim contributors to independence in the credits sequence?

Crimes of the Future 2022

Despite its implications, only Kristen Stewart’s character seems to truly believe that “surgery is the new sex”. The movie itself certainly doesn’t. The lingering gaze on exclusively female naked bodies tells us “the old sex” still rules. Give me more of Stewart’s labored breathing and she pushes in an endoscope.

Despite that, I enjoyed this as a well done world building exercise.

Fire Island 2022

This movie loses easily the best part of Pride & Prejudice: Elizabeth Bennet. Noah lacks the traits that made that character compelling. One example of many where contorting to fit the shape of the book harms the story (e.g. Dex’s alleged original offense).

If anything, Noah is far more of an Emma Whitehouse than Lizzy: a meddler, conceited not about his own (certain) attractiveness, but his cleverness.

It also doesn’t help that the movie feels excessively in dialogue with social media trends of today. One could hear the hash tag slip through characters’ lips before each online platitude.

幕末太陽傳 A Sun-Tribe Myth from the Bakumatsu Era (1957)

So much of this movie would have been lost on me without 2020’s Artist of the Year. I feel lucky to have accumulated just enough historical cultural cognizance to see that there’s something under the surface of the comedy, even if I can’t grasp it the same way its original audience may have.

But I'm a Cheerleader 2000

Saving Face 2004

There’s one line, something to the effect of “what the fuck do you care what kind of dance I do?”, that’s stuck with me. There was something about the delivery of the line that crossed a threshold of believability I didn’t know was there. I was startled out of watching the movie and into seeing the conversation.

Romeo + Juliet 1996

Doesn’t necessarily live up to the first 10 minutes, but those 10 minutes are really excellent. In particular that nightly news framing device. Maybe I just don’t like the play.