Tár (2022)

Following fifteen years in hibernation, Todd Field came back with Tár, a Cate Blanchett-starring juggernaut posed to either sweep at the Oscars or at least to make enough commotion to remind the public at large what cinema can be about. Among other things.  

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M3GAN (2022)

As the joke goes, people who are really excited about technology, AI, and who surround themselves with smart gadgets most likely do not work in tech, or at least if they do work in tech, they do not have anything to do with cyber-security. On the other hand, people who do work in tech and who are aware of how these convenient technologies can enable others to negatively impact their lives don’t install Ring doorbells and smart fridges, and they elect not to bug their own houses with Alexa-enabled technologies. They may decide to have a printer, but they might choose to keep a weapon nearby in case it makes a suspicious noise.  

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AVATAR 2, Rollercoasters, and Reality Distortion Field

It is honestly fascinating to observe how Avatar: The Way of Water is ploughing relentlessly through the vast expanses of the worldwide box office, now on course to eclipse a whopping target of two billion dollars, all in the space of just about a month since its much-anticipated release. But equally, this unstoppable juggernaut is already slowly evaporating from our consciousness. 

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Aftersun (2022)

Charlotte Wells’ debut feature Aftersun opens with a piece of homemade footage of a young girl interviewing her father. She distracts him from whatever it is he is doing by prodding him about his age, because from the point of view of an eleven-year-old, being in your thirties is effectively equivalent to being a biologically functional fossil. The two have good fun, exchange laughs and then the picture freezes, which is where we realize we have not been watching the home video footage per se, but rather we have been looking at a screen where someone else is playing said footage. And we might just make out this person’s reflection in the TV screen.  

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Letterboxd and the Gamification of Movie-Watching

It’s January and as everyone on Film Twitter will know, it’s the time of getting that nice email from Letterboxd with a beautiful summary of the movies you watched in the previous year, the star-ratings you dished out, the stars you championed, the list you prepared etc., a.k.a. The Year in Review. Consequently, what you will end up seeing on your social media timelines is a veritable slew of stats coming from your friends, followers and complete strangers, some brandishing their ludicrous-plus numbers of movies they consumed in 2022, some casually gloating over their perfect Gaussian distribution of star-ratings and others seeking their status conferred upon them by the society at large due to their impeccable taste in cinema.  

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A Man Called Otto (2022)

Meet Otto. Otto is a boomer. He’s about to retire from a job he has held for his entire adult life because, following a merger, his old ways did not fit with the future direction of the company. Otto leads a scheduled life. He is a stickler for rules and regulations. Every morning he makes sure cars parked on his residential street have correct parking permits displayed in correct locations. Otto makes sure the gate to his street remains closed because it is not a through-street. Otto always double-checks if recycling is properly sorted and corrects when people dump cans into the paper bin.  

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Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022)

Has Rian Johnson finally found his groove? Having spent the last decade-and-a-half bending genres (Brick, Looper), creatively reinventing cinematic staples at his own peril (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) and refreshing the rather stale and calcified template of a whodunnit mystery (Knives Out), he has finally decided he’d like to dabble in this sandbox for a few more minutes. In fact, this might be where he finds permanent cultural accommodation – if only by way of squatter’s rights – as on top of a deal to produce, write and direct two Knives Out sequels, he has been busy producing and overseeing a Columbo-style TV show Poker Face which is about to be released for public consumption any second now. And if his most recent addition to what is now considered a Knives Out brand is anything t go by, staying within the confines of the whodunnit subgenre was the right choice to make.  

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Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)

At this point my memory may be conveniently failing me, but I don’t think I ever promised anyone that in the event of Avatar 2 being finally released theatrically, I would ‘do a Herzog’ and eat my own shoe. And even if I did, I am officially pleading amnesia because I don’t think I own a pair of shoes I’d be comfortable enough to cook and consume. There’s not enough thyme in the world to make this experience even remotely acceptable.  

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