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Almost Favorites

by Derek Wood
I really like these films, a lot. They’re juuuuust a wee bit below my absolute favorites, for reasons I can’t really explain in most cases. The cases I can explain: THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS, CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS, A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE and A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE all affected me on a level commensurate with my favorites. What separates them is that they aren’t films I will want to revisit multiple times, which in these cases is a compliment: these movies are too distressing and painful for me to want to re-experience. I value them, I greatly admire them, but I don’t really want to go there again. THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE (originally EL… Read more

I really like these films, a lot. They’re juuuuust a wee bit below my absolute favorites, for reasons I can’t really explain in most cases.

The cases I can explain:

THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS, CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS, A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE and A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE all affected me on a level commensurate with my favorites. What separates them is that they aren’t films I will want to revisit multiple times, which in these cases is a compliment: these movies are too distressing and painful for me to want to re-experience. I value them, I greatly admire them, but I don’t really want to go there again.

THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE (originally EL ESPÍRITU DE LA COLMENA) was pitching a perfect game until the 9th inning, when it made the choice to show something 1) it didn’t need to show, and 2) looked cheesy to boot. Oh Victor Erice, you were SO close…

FIVE EASY PIECES originally bowled me over. But when I watched it again more recently I couldn’t reconnect with whatever that extra something was. I think it might simply be a younger man’s film.

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