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Days of Being Wild (1990) Directed by Wong Kar-wai Even more than most Wong films, Days of Being Wild is a film of languor. With its scattered characters, near-absence of narrative, and staccato rhythm (long stretches of hushed conversation punctuated by violent outbursts), the movie achingly embodies a particular state of ennui in 1960s Hong Kong, as men and women listlessly weave in and out of relationships. Wong weaves a tangled, mesmerizing web out of...
McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) Directed by Robert Altman McCabe & Mrs. Miller, like so many Westerns, begins with a stranger riding into town under an opening-credits ballad: Leonard Cohen sings “The Stranger,” his light and unconsoling voice floating above spare guitar figures like someone looking for a place to be warm and not expecting to find it, as Warren Beatty, in a bearskin coat as wide as a doorway, approaches Presbyterian Church, a mountain-west...
The Battle of Algiers (1966) Directed by Gillo Pontecorvo Based on the eponymous campaign during the Algerian war, The Battle of Algiers is perhaps best known for its technical aspects, which have been rarely, if ever imitated: the almost universal use of non-actors; the hand-held, documentary-style aesthetic, so convincing that the film ran in America with a disclaimer that “not one foot” of actual war footage was used. But none of this would be nearly...
Westworld HBO, Sundays through November Warning: Spoilers Ahead. In an interview leading up to Westworld’s premiere this past Sunday night, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy revealed that much of their new HBO show, lifted from Michael Crichton’s oracular 1972 film, was incubated simultaneously to Joy’s pregnancy with their first child. Concern over where the future of humankind lies dictates concern around of arguably its most profound and unpredictable creation: artificial intelligence. As much as we fret over...

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