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Film

Hale County This Morning, This Evening

Non-fiction filmmaking as lyric poetry, RaMell Ross’s feature is unlike anything I’ve seen before, and will demand frequent revisits. In 2009, Ross began working in Hale County, Alabama, to teach photography and coach basketball. His film follows two subjects, an aspiring professional basketballer, Daniel, and a catfish factory worker, Quincy, a young father with twins on […]

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Film

Private Life (Tamara Jenkins, 2018)

Originally posted here. The best comedies are really testing to watch. They set up scenarios so precarious in their stability that you begin a mental countdown until the whole structure tips over. This is exactly how it is with Private Life, a glorious (and excruciating) comedy-drama, directed by Tamara Jenkins. Rachel and Richard (Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti) […]

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Film

Faces Places (Agnès Varda and JR, 2018)

Originally posted here. “Chance has always been my best assistant”, the inimitable Agnès Varda intones towards the beginning of her newest film essay, Faces Places. Varda’s career is a gorgeous synthesis of innovative fiction films (Cléo From 5 to 7 [1961], Le Bonheur [1965], Vagabond [1984]) and even more inventive documentaries (Daguerréotypes [1975], Murs murs [1981], The Gleaners and I [2000], and, very much the best […]

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Film

The Rider (Chloé Zhao, 2018)

Originally posted here. Director Chloé Zhao was filming her first feature, Songs My Brothers Taught Me (2015), on the Pine Ridge Sioux reservation in South Dakota when she met Brady Jandreau. He was a promising bronco rider, until he was bucked off his horse during a rodeo; he was severely injured, requiring surgery to insert a metal plate into […]