Reprise (2006)

Joachim Trier lets the creative sparks of two young aspiring authors enthusiastically fizzle all through Reprise, tantalising us with vivacious Truffautian editing constantly leaping beyond the immediate narrative, and weaving in novelistic qualities that seek to understand his characters the way they might ultimately one day write about themselves.

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A History of Violence (2005)

Within A History of Violence’s interrogations of humanity’s ravenous self-destruction, David Cronenberg skilfully crafts a biblical allegory from one humble diner owner’s confrontation with his shameful past, visiting the sins of fathers upon their children with chilling brutality.

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Mulholland Drive (2001)

David Lynch’s skilful layering of illusions in Mulholland Drive turns our focus away from the reality of one aspiring Hollywood actress’ insidious deeds, and towards the guilt, hope, and resentment which fester inside her, piecing together new, surreal realities out of the fragments of old ones she would much rather forget.

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Hero (2002)

The breathtaking elegance of Hero’s martial arts choreography is only matched by Yimou Zhang’s own meticulous production design, its vibrant assortment of colour palettes defining several varying accounts of one swordsman’s epic quest to defeat three assassins in ancient China, and stylistically elucidating the historical value of each.

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Public Enemies (2009)

Public Enemies may not be the intensive study of opposing equals that Michael Mann has so effortlessly pulled off before, but in his superb staging and epic set pieces based in Depression-era America, it nevertheless becomes a compelling examination of an unjust system slowly squeezing out one of its most vocal dissidents – real-life bank robber, John Dillinger.

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Polytechnique (2009)

In Denis Villeneuve’s tragic reconstruction of the 1989 Polytechnique Montreal massacre, he traps us inside a labyrinth of narrow corridors and bleak modernist architecture, following the immediate perspectives of two students whose fates will be forever intermingled with one violent, hateful man and his brief reign of terror.

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