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Fresh Kill (1994)

Rachel Says

What to say about Fresh Kill... this movie was 50% movie, 50% video art. It kind of rocked. There was like a little bit of a plot with the fish that makes you green, which is a bad thing to happen to you, and also with Sarita Choudhury's dad kidnapping her daughter but then giving her back at the end. But also kind of whatever, I rly liked the scenes in the restaurant where all the high society normie New York ppl were talking gibberish and sometimes it came out backwards and stuff, and also the talk show clips with the grandma were fun. The sky was pink, that was cool. Idk it was nice, and now I know how to rip DVDs.

Shu Lea Chang
Sarita Choudhury, Erin McMurtry

Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971)

Rachel Says

Well I was v creeped out by this after watching it in a dark ass unlocked cottage by myself and then trying to sleep in a loft after with only one way out, but tbh the ghost girl seemed really easy to get away from, like she had Jessica in her clutches a bunch of times and Jessica just screamed NO and then pushed her off. And now that I think about this in the light of day I am more confused than scared, like what did ghost girl want with Jessica anyway? And was I really supposed to find it ambiguous whether that shit was real or not cuz it definitely seemed very real to me. Well, we put a lot more stock into the idea of women being nutso and hallucinating things in 1971 that's for sure. Believe Jessica! Most horrifying part of this was the huge pesticide spraying tractor lmfao that dude was just rolling around spraying it all over the place, DDT powder on his fuckin face. Jessica literally ran got soaked by it TWICE lmfaooooo. She is going to die!!!!

John D. Hancock
Zohra Lampert, Mariclare Costello, Barton Heyman, Kevin O'Connor
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Three Colors: Red (1994)

Rachel Says

My most fave of the three colors, they definitely improve each time. This one felt the most full and fleshed out. The main character was so charming and so serious but in a totally un-self conscious way. I loved her! Everything she did felt totally embodied and thoughtful, solid and sweet. Hitting the dog and immediately dragging it back to the car, finding its owner, and apologizing. I love how unexpected everything that happened here was, and the strange time-twisty things going on with the old and the young man, their mirror stories. Maybe I was just high but that felt surreal and confusing in a fun way to me. The ending wrapped it all up in a really silly, dramatic way that I have no problems with even though it was bizarre. Also everything was red and it looked gorgeous. Good trilogy!

Krzysztof Kieślowski
Irène Jacob, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Jean-Pierre Lorit
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Night on Earth (1991)

Rachel Says

Five fairly solid little Jarmusch-ian shorts, some definitely better than others, which is always the risk with vignettes like these. Super simple concept, super simple transitions with the clocks on the wall, not a ton going on in any one vignette but an earnest, chance interaction between strangers, which is always something I like to see play out. I liked the Winona Ryder and Gena Rowlands one, and the New York one was great too with all of the screaming--Rosie Perez was fantastic, Giancarlo Esposito was so charming and had the best laugh, Armin Mueller-Stahl was a beautiful, perfect clown. My favorite one was Rome, so chaotic and sexy and goofy and absurd and now I'm a little in love with Roberto Benigni I think. Paris and Helsinki were meh, esp Paris with the hot chick playing a blind person by rolling her eyes in her head the whole time which kind of gave me a headache lol.

Jim Jarmusch
Winona Ryder, Gena Rowlands, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Giancarlo Esposito, Rosie Perez, Isaach De Bankolé, Béatrice Dalle, Roberto Benigni, Matti Pelonpää
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Chungking Express (1994)

Rachel Says

Off kilter, wacky, fun, so fun. Slo-mos, jump cuts, blurry bits, all sorts of kooky camera play. I do love the art of the film short story, like Wheel of Fortune & Fantasy, and this one was split into two stories. Favorite part of both was the male vulnerability, the naked ache, the weird jogging, the tighty whities, etc. But also, paired with male obtuseness, unobservance, in both but especially in the second. Might have to write something about Tony Leung brushing his polar bear stuffed animal--so cute, so vulnerable, so sad, and then so undermined by the switch to Garfield, which he doesn't even notice! Crazy boys! But crazy boys deserve love too! Looking at Faye Wong was also a major plus.

Wong Kar-wai
Tony Leung, Faye Wong, Brigitte Lin, Takeshi Kaneshiro
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Saint Frances (2019)

Rachel Says

Had a nice time with this. I appreciated that Bridget wasn't like 21 or something. It was layers of women suffering, but in a way that almost always did not feel heavy handed, but instead realistic because of little touches: particularly loved the working mom yelling about how nobody "knows how to go to the doctor," just so the most obvious thing that someone who is experiencing post partum depression and someone who is more or less managing constantly bleeding out of her vagina would simply not think to do because, how could that help?? I also like how the movie didn't get her to some grand change in her life where she's finally gonna "get it together"--she just decided to feel her feelings and also share them with someone who clearly cares about her for once. And that is big! One thing I realllllly hated was the last bit of the last scene, where Franny runs back to her after going to school. Just leave it with her going to school! She's gonna forget about Bridget by tomorrow! That's how kids are! The thing about "I'll tell you about my period" was really dumb and should never have made it past the first draft. But oh well.

Alex Thompson
Kelly O'Sullivan, Ramona Edith Williams, Max Lipchitz, Charin Alvarez, Lily Mojekwu
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The Way We Were (1973)

Rachel Says

Ended up watching this in installments, with the last 20 minutes coming like over a week after the rest of the movie lol so that impacted my viewing. Didn't really remember wtf was going on at the end there. But it was fun to see Barbra Streisand as a lil Commie but in a 1940s pre-red scare way and then a mid-red scare way. Communism meant something kind of different in the eras this movie was set in so it was fun backtracking and thinking about where the f we are now.

Sydney Pollack
Robert Redford, Barbra Streisand
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Girl, Interrupted (1999)

Rachel Says

Dumb and too long! Angelina Jolie's character was terribly annoying, not compelling at all. I remember reading the book as a teen and feeling confusedly moved by it which probably just means I recognized it as the trauma porn that it was at the time, but thought that it was supposed to be doing something for me in a way it never did.

James Mangold
Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie, Brittany Murphy, Elisabeth Moss, Whoopi Goldberg, Jared Leto
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Three Colours: White (1994)

Rachel Says

Everything was white! But in a great way: gauzy, glaring lights, old snow, dingy, washed-out whiteness. My bad for not fully paying attention (having trouble doing that these days) but I didn't not read Karol's actions as a super elaborate revenge plot until after the film ended and I read about it. I see it now. But also I don't think it was all about revenge from the very beginning either, or even entirely at the end. He still loved Dominique. He learned French so well for her. And he made a real connection with that sad guy who wanted him to kill him. That was beautiful. A very complicated, tragic, pathetic, surprising, earnest, cruel character. Good!

Krzysztof Kieślowski
Julie Delpy, Zbigniew Zamachowski
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Reality Bites (1994)

Rachel Says

Was fine, Ethan Hawke was a dick, Winona Ryder was cute, Janeane Garofalo was the best one. Everyone in their 20s been dealing with the same problems forever :'). But then we forget about it when we get older and it gets better but like... damn it sucks you know???

Ben Stiller
Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, Ben Stiller, Janeane Garofalo
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Three Colours: Blue (1993)

Rachel Says

So blue. Every shot had something blue in it, and/or a blue tinge. Was really beautiful. Juliette Binoche played the saddest person on earth rly well. And yet somehow she still has a life, which kinda made me mad. I liked her relationhip with her neighbor. And the guy who was in love with her forever.

Krzysztof Kieślowski
Juliette Binoche
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When the Cat Comes (1963)

Rachel Says

Visually mad, wholesome little romp featuring critique of the corrupt socialist state. Loved the colors, loved the long magic show scene with the floating clothes and the tricks with the hat and the cat riding on a ball. Loved all the cats, such great actors. The relationship btwn the teacher and the children was really cute and well done and escalated to the perfect amount of tension at the end.

Vojtěch Jasný
Jan Werich, Vlastimil Brodsky, Emilia Vasaryova
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Big Trouble (1986)

Rachel Says

Watched while deep in the depths of depression, so I didn't view it fairly enough probably, but good thing it was just a silly light comedy anyway. It was fun. Peter Falk was very selly, Alan Arkin was a great straight man, the plot had lots of fun twists and turns toward the end there, especially the last one which I didn't see coming lol. Really liked the last scene when everyone is giddy and kissing, felt very Cassavetes with the close-ups and the extended weird emotion to the point that it's uncomfortable.

John Cassavetes
Peter Falk, Alan Arkin, Beverly D'Angelo
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