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Life Itself

Life Itself loads up plot line on top of plot line to imitate emotional depth, and that kind of narrative manipulation doesn’t work for everyone.

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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The Unloved, Part 55: Silent Hill

It is true that "Silent Hill" had fans and defenders when it came out (including one Brian Tallerico—his quote is on the DVD box I bought at Newbury Comics in 2010) but I've still felt alone in my love for it since first watching it. It doesn't make lists, Film Twitter doesn't talk about it, Radha Mitchell remains a supporting player when this should have made her a full blown star, Christophe Gans wouldn't make a movie for almost a decade and when he did it went straight to Netflix. Doesn't sound like much of a parade for a film I've never been able to shake. It's gorgeous, haunting, fun and full of awesome women giving great theatrical performance and it's made by a guy who clearly loved his source material. The images of "Silent Hill" have stayed with me for nearly a decade and don't show any signs of growing dim. 


But more importantly, this film is about a mother separated from her child. And I'm doing everything in my power, limited though it is, to remind everyone that a crime is being committed against children because they're different. They're not white. They're poor. And the government hates them and wants them to suffer. They have put them in cages and they're hoping we forget about them. Not while I have a platform. Not while I'm alive. This is for them. This is for my brother, the bravest person I know, whom the United States government hates because he's not like them. This is for journalists, with whom the president has declared war. For the men and women at the Capital Gazette. I don't pretend my video essays have any impact. But I say something because I can, because we all must. We have to say something every day because no one will do this for us. I don't have a metaphoric wraparound here. I'm outraged, I'm sad and I need the world to change right now but I don't think it's going to. Not without everyone's effort. 

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