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Bottoms (2023)

Rachel Says

I don't know if I wanted to like this or to not like it, and I don't know why! I don't like new stuff... And I don't like when girls try to make feminism funny, but I did like that that is actually not what they're doing at all here! I appreciated that the most I think, the weird irreverence of this and its pure lack of mission. The plot was dumb and fell apart, and some of the acting was not my fave, and it didn't end up actually being that funny for me... and for some reason I just can't get behind Rachel Sennott even though in theory I feel like I should be into her. Idk!

Emma Seligman
Rachel Sennott, Ayo Edebiri, Ruby Cruz, Havana Rose, Kaia Jordan Gerber

About Dry Grasses (2023)

Rachel Says

Man, I dunno. I mean, it was definitely good. And visually beautiful. Wintry, moody, scenic, all that. But it was also over 3 hours long lol, and largely tedious. It was like watching a Russian novel (or, a Turkish novel). Lots of philosophical and political convos. The movie gave itself space to play these out in great, sometimes deadening, detail. I probably would have been better able to follow them on a page, but I just don't have patience for philosophizing! I never have. Like, just go do something and shut up! Shut up! Also been having some thoughts related to this and Afire which maybe I'll play out in a longer writing but prob not tbh, but like, it's pretty clear that Samet is not a sympathetic character. He's a piece of shit. That he gets laid at all is shocking (actually I really liked that twist, and am still making sense of the metacinematic zest that came in there). And yet the movie treats him like he's worthy of us following around, worthy of us considering the things he considers, even though the things he considers are dumb and egotistical and myopic. Just like the main character in Afire. So I'm thinking about how in U.S. Hollywood movies (and literature), we no longer consider characters like these worthy of our gaze or our time because they are despicable in a feminist sense. We refuse to even look at this kind of sniveling masculinity. But it is still, maybe, worthy of our gaze and our study, no? Isn't everything? Maybe only non-U.S. cinema is still willing to go there anymore, I dunno...

Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Deniz Celiloğlu, Merve Dizdar, Musab Ekici, Ece Bağcı
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Tótem (2024)

Rachel Says

So sad, lovely, hyper real, agaze focused on this moment in time. The realism (maintained until the last moments) made it even sadder, I think, because, realistically, it offered no magical resolution, no great comfort. Lots of great acting and heartbreaking stuff. The actress who played Sol was amazing. Cruz was such a good character. All of the sisters, too, and their complicated relationships. Anybody watching woud wanna be part of this lively, academic, artistic Mexican fam and friend group. Extra sad when somebody cool dies :( The scene with the clown wig lip syncing wrecked me. The final two shots were genius and confounding, in that order.

Lila Aviles
Naíma Sentíes, Iazua Larios, Montserrat Marañón, Mateo Garcia
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La Chimera (2023)

Rachel Says

Might need to watch again, less stoned. Alice Rohrwacher is absolutely wild. So dense, maximalist, conceptually complex, visually stunning... jeez! I love how slowly the "plot" is revealed to us, as far as there is a plot. I love all of the disparate pieces, how they kind of come together, kind of don't. Our main character is deep in his heartbreak from the beginning, and that never wavers, even as we see him robbing graves, coming to terms with his goofy criminal friends, kind of falling for Italia but ultimately being unavailable, and then, finally, as the rest of the world is taken from him, kind of just leaning into that, because that's how he's been all long. Even that is an oversimplification of what happened. Love the scrappiness, the little shacks, the communal living, the rundown manor, all of it! Squalor and grandeur rub elbows. Present and history. The living and the dead! Ah!

Alice Rohrwacher
Josh O'Connor, Carol Duarte, Isabella Rossellini, Alba Rohrwacher, Vincenzo Nemolato
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La Chimera (2024)

Rachel Says

Might need to watch again, less stoned. Alice Rohrwacher is absolutely wild. So dense, maximalist, conceptually complex, visually stunning... jeez! I love how slowly the "plot" is revealed to us, as far as there is a plot. I love all of the disparate pieces, how they kind of come together, kind of don't. Our main character is deep in his heartbreak from the beginning, and that never wavers, even as we see him robbing graves, coming to terms with his goofy criminal friends, kind of falling for Italia but ultimately being unavailable, and then, finally, as the rest of the world is taken from him, kind of just leaning into that, because that's how he's been all long. Even that is an oversimplification of what happened. Love the scrappiness, the little shacks, the communal living, the rundown manor, all of it! Squalor and grandeur rub elbows. Present and history. The living and the dead! Ah!

Alice Rohrwacher
Josh O'Connor, Carol Duarte, Isabella Rossellini, Alba Rohrwacher, Vincenzo Nemolato
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Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

Rachel Says

Silly and maximalist. Need to tell Jake I finally watched this. The plot was not very complicated and got a bit repetitive, but I gotta say Michael Cera was made for this role. Kieran Culkin was good too. Actually the whole cast was weirdly stacked. But Michael Cera carried this shit.

Edgar Wright
Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aubrey Plaza, Kieran Culkin, Brie Larsen, Alison Pill, Ellen Wong, Chris Evans, Jazon Schwartzman, Mae Whitman
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Killers of the Flower Moon (2023)

Rachel Says

Good movie, real well done. Solid 3.5 hours, flowed great.

Martin Scorsese
Lily Gladstone, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Jesse Plemons
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Civil War (2024)

Rachel Says

I enjoyed being high for this and seeing it in a theater. And I always love Kirsten Dunst, was good to see her again, like an old pal. She looked great. A little hard to pin down, but only because everyone's brains are stupid right now and we don't know how to look at things. It's not really a story about our near future--it is intentionally politically inscrutable. It could be set in a different war, in a different place, on another world, and it would still be about journalists confronting the horrors of humanity, trying to remain neutral observers, inevitably failing. And about ambition and talent and all that noise, too. All of which is interesting to me, so ultimately I did like it. Looked good, sounded good, was disturbing af too. Effective.

Alex Garland
Kirsten Dunst, Wagner Moura, Cailee Spaeny, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Nick Offerman
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Sinister (2012)

Rachel Says

Snoooooooze. Sry Ethan.

Scott Derrickson
Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, James Ransone
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Cutter's Way (1981)

Rachel Says

I love John Heard. I love young Jeff Bridges. Can't go wrong. Heard was so fucking good in this though, actually. V committed to the character. Toward the very end, after the house fire, I felt like it rly hit its momentum and became confusing in the best way, and ultimately I could not tell what was true and what wasn't, and I love the way Jeff Bridges ended it. Big spiral! There were some great little speeches here, too. Rly loved Cutter on people watching the Vietnam War on TV: first thought is, I hate the United States of America, then There is no God, then........ I'm hungry. Jeez Louise. And Mo sobbing her way through sex. Ugh. Ouch. Good stuff.

Ivan Passer
Jeff Bridges, John Heard, Lisa Eichhorn, Ann Dusenberry
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Blue Velvet (1986)

Rachel Says

V prototypical Lynchian, which means I didn't rly dig it. He just does not do it for me. I will concede that his obsessive exploration of male sexual violence was raw in a way I preferred here, with the run of dialogue toward the beginning where he's going back and forth between calling her mommy and an idiot and telling her not to look at him and trying to fuck her and being insane. Madonna whore business very strong there. But just like all his other shit it lost its own thread and lacked depth and had no emotional core for me. Bla!

David Lynch
Kyle MacLachlan, Laura Dern, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper
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Lady Chatterley's Lover (1982)

Rachel Says

Mellors was sexy. Too sexy for Connie. Director took some insane liberties with the book, which were totally not necessary and not improvements! Made Clifford somehow more evil and more innocent Made Mrs. Bolton less complex? Somehow still also not enough fucking? I think it's just too good of a book to be also a good movie...

Just Jaeckin
Sylvia Kristel, Nicholas Clay, Shane Briant, Ann Mitchell
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The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)

Rachel Says

OK yes this was the second movie of the night and I had smoked too much weed but it was also unintelligible and confusing! All the boys were cute and sexy and Jeff Goldblum got to dress up as a cowboy so that was nice.

W.D. Richter
Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Jeff Goldblum, Ellen Barkin, Lewis Smith, Christopher Lloyd, Clancy Brown
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