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Mina Rhee


Providence RI

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Mina is a senior at Brown University studying Modern Culture and Media.

A quietly powerful film about the searching for meaning where there is an absence, both religious and personal. The deliberate framing of each shot makes every moment of the film feel intensely emotionally charged and cooly considered at the same time.
Contemplative and restless at the same time - the voiceover set against the languidly moving figures on screen poetically captures the ennui of the white upper class living in colonized India. This muteness, along with the judgement of the voices offscreen, makes it apparent that something is rotten at the heart of this vision of lush opulence, something that saps the strength and leaves its subjects impotent.
Feel very mixed about the last two seasons, but I love seasons one to three: the relationship between Luther and Alice Morgan (who Ruth Wilson does an AMAZING job of playing) is a completely unique villain/hero dynamic that is perfectly tonally pitched, though other the parts of the series can sometimes veer a little into overdark melodrama.
I personally really loved this remake. Given Guadagnino's academic background as well as the overt references to Lacan and psychoanalysis this film makes, including the embroidered wall hanging in the very beginning of the film that reads "A Mother is a woman who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take", I thought it was interesting how the film explored the psychoanalytic idea that the place of the mother is a space where boundaries between self and other break apart - both in the idea of a witch coven where everyone can read each other's minds as well as dance as something that allows one to access the limits and maybe even transcend the limits of one's own physical boundaries.
My favorite musical! The use of colors in the film are amazing - especially how the wallpapers of each room coordinate with the actor's costumes in each scene.
Such a fun film - the scenes of the girls as schoolgirls are perfectly nostalgic and genuinely funny, and the emotional current that carries through to the present day when they are all grown up give real depth to plot and characters.
Amazing and prescient in so many ways - Julianne Moore's incredible performance and the perfectly tonally pitched undercurrent of horror aside - totally predicts the clean eating/goop types of feminized anxiety marketed as health and empowerment today.
Maybe the best use of pop music in a movie ever? Obsessed with how We Found Love by Rhianna starts playing when the two characters meet in a convenience store - I think it perfectly captures the potential of pop songs to be ironic yet perfectly sincere and heartfelt, a pure rush of emotion, at the same time.
Truly amazing and a lot more contemplative than I expected from the movie going in - both the action scenes and the moments in between are meditations on what constitutes an authentic existence in a mediated world - not just on the level of technology but also sexual difference and facts in political events.
A wacky and bleak film about the cruel caprices that thrive in an impersonal and supposedly objective bureaucracy. I found especially cutting the use of grand musical cues in what were supposedly ordinary moments, both for comedic effect and commenting on the way the main character's movie imagination became a means of futile escape from the blankness of his life.
A comfort watch for me - the level of care that goes into describing the different recipes for each season and how they personally relate to the main character applies to the entire movie, which is understatedly intimate and touching.
This film is obviously an artistic achievement and very thought-provoking, but it leaves me with a sense of frustration that I find with a lot of Alex Garland's work. He seems to ask interesting questions and then leaves them unanswered - not in a way that I find particularly meaningful. For example, this film asks questions about identity, change, and grief, and seems content to leave things open in a way that doesn't necessarily change the terms of his questions or offer any greater insight into them than at the start of the film.
So fun and the opening credits in this movie are so beautiful - and underrated Miyazaki that still bears much of his signature components (flying vehicles, odd character pairs, anachronistic setting) paired with a different art style and more straightforward adventure movie tone that still has a hint of his later dreamy charm.
As revenge film about a woman setting out against her rapist, I think it's successful. But I'm not sure if the narrative is sufficient to reckon with the colonial implications of the presence of these characters as settlers in Australia. It draws parallels between Claire and Billy's fates, but as a film that focuses on Claire and gives her a form of redemption and survival that it cannot give to Billy, I'm not sure if drawing connections is sufficient here.