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Aug 7, 2014

Screening Log: July

Parviz Parastui in Leili Is With Me

Leili Is With Me (Tabrizi, 1996, A+)
Without a doubt the greatest Iranian comedy of all time. A film of indescribable wit and compassion, and an unrivaled social study of war time Iran, featuring one of the best comic performances ever put to screen by Parviz Parastui. 

Day For Night (Truffaut, 1973, A) (thoughts)
"What the experience adds up to is a film about cinema made with immeasurable love for the medium. Truffaut’s infectious energy pierces through the screen. His penchant for subtle, affecting comedy, so expertly utilized in the Antoine Doinel series, is at its sharpest."

South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut (Parker/Stone, 1999, C+)
Each revisit drives the film further and further toward intolerability. Occasionally funny but consistently loud and crass and increasingly soft-edged.

Boyhood (Linklater, 2014, B+)
An incredibly difficult film to write about.

Still Life (Shahid Saless, 1974, A+) (podcast discussion)
A masterpiece of lyrical beauty, indebted to and influenced by the "translucent reality" of Sohrab Sepehri's majestic poetry, and as powerfully effective in its simplicity.

Snowpiercer (Bong, 2014, B-)
An unholy mess of superbly staged action sequences, visionary stylistic flourishes and shallow socio-political insight reduced to hokey metaphors. Snowpiercer is worth watching inasmuch as it is uniquely different from similarly scaled Hollywood genre fare.

22 Jump Street (Lord and Miller, 2014, B)
Consistently hilarious, which is more than can be said about any studio sequel. There is no significant improvement on the original, but Hill and Tatum prove themselves again as genuine stars with great chemistry, while Lord and Miller - following the success of The LEGO Movie - prove themselves as irreverent, fresh voices in Hollywood comedy.

Borgman (van Warmerdam, 2013, B-) (review)
A furiously energetic opening sequence sets the tone for an eerie and hypnotically strange ride. The obviousness of the oft-revisited sociopolitical allegory is grating at times, but the film never loses its sense of mystery.

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