Birdman (2014)

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The sensational draw of Birdman may not be what sticks the most from the film. While the film dips its toes into the superhero world, most of the film is a dramatic story about everyday human characters trying to find their way. In a lot of ways, Birdman feels like the antidote to the superhero film but muddles this by also trying to give itself moments of superheroism. Continue reading

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Month in Review: November 2014

1. Ida
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Trafic (1971)

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In context with the rest of Tati’s work, Trafic is disappointing. As its own film, it fails to hit its stride until late into the film, leaving a lot of low, slow scenes that lack zest or life. While there are certainly trappings of Tati’s work, it’s disappointingly his most straightforward fictional feature film. Continue reading

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Mr. Hulot’s Holiday (1953)

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Mr. Hulot’s Holiday belongs to a rare class of films. It’s one of those titles that evokes such a warm, vibrant mood that there’s something intangibly magical imbued into its runtime. It’s a film about a holiday that shares the relaxed, idyllic pace with the audience without ever feeling droll or overstimulating. Even moments when the film seems like it should be distressing, there’s too much warmth imbued in the film to feel anxiety or stress. Each moment where the film should lul into boredom, is brought back from the brink by an interesting gag. Continue reading

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Jour de Fete (1949)

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Writer/director/performer Jacques Tati began feature filmmaking without his beloved and iconic Monsieur Hulot. While Jour de Fete lacks one of the primary features of most of Tati’s films, it still sets up many of the ideas, themes and techniques that Tati would develop and mature over his film career. While still not fully formed, Jour de Fete will be instantly familiar to anyone who has seen Tati’s later films. Continue reading

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