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Film

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

The original Star Wars trilogy is in many ways the textbook example of the hero’s journey, the battle between good and evil where the hero overcomes challenges and sets things right. And while there are certainly merits to this structure, there’s something else that made Star Wars interesting, it wasn’t simply the structure, it was a sense of world in place where everything was run down and falling apart and the glory days were long gone.

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Film

Black Panther (2018)

Wakanda is the true star of Black Panther. The afro-futuristic country comprised of five tribes lead by the titular warrior king provides a rich tapestry that does more than contextualize the film, but stands at the forefront of what makes this film such a unique and interesting blockbuster. It is a film rooted in the ideas of how the land shapes a people.

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Film

The Shape of Water (2017)

This film is an egg. The surface is sleek, pristine, and polished, it glistens with this sort of pristine purity, a film so in love with films, with romance and with period pieces that it would be hard to ask for a bigger love letter to Hollywood cinema in both its golden era and monster movie glory.

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Film

Lady Bird (2017)

Christine (Saoirse Ronan), a teenager attending a Catholic school in Sacramento, insisting that everyone call her Lady Bird. She never explains the reason behind the name, but she probably imagines it conjures a person of importance like the former first lady. In reality, her life is about as pedantic as Hank Hill’s dog of the same name. It’s a goofy name, but it’s the one she wants to have.

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Film

Liliom (1930)

Spoilers: The film is discussed at length.

Frank Borzage’s 1930 adaptation of the Hungarian play Liliom is less notable than two other adaptations of the same material. The 1934 adaptation of Liliom was directed by Fritz Lang, one of the great German Expressionism directors who is more well known than Borzage. Liliom would later ba adapted into the stage musical Carousel by Rodgers and Hammerstein, which would be adapted into a feature film in 1956.