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Since its release almost four decades ago, Jacques Tati’s Play­time (1967) has aged like a fine wine. It start­ed life as a crit­i­cal punch­ing bag and slow­ly gained recog­ni­tion as an exquis­ite­ly detailed (and very fun­ny) vision of a bland and ulti­mate­ly bleak mod­ern distopia.

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Mulholland Drive

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I first saw Mul­hol­land Dri­ve with my friend Rana in her tiny Tokyo apart­ment. The film end­ed at mid­night and by the time we grew tired of ana­lyz­ing its many twists and turns, we real­ized day­light had already crept in through her curtains.

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When Psy­cho was released in 1960, it was crit­i­cized for twist­ing and bend­ing the con­ven­tions of the pre­ced­ing decades of cin­e­ma com­plete­ly out of shape. Then bit by bit it was revealed that direc­tor Alfred Hitch­cock was cor­rect at every bend.

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Thomas Edi­son famous­ly claimed that suc­cess is 10 per­cent inspi­ra­tion and 90 per­cent per­spi­ra­tion. In that same spir­it, and for as long as I’ve known her, Farah Shaer has been one very busy bee. 

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The Godfather

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From start to fin­ish, The God­fa­ther (1972) is a mas­ter­piece of pac­ing and mood, and an excel­lent exam­ple of how the estab­lished rela­tion­ship between cin­e­ma and archi­tec­ture can be upheld while being used in com­plete­ly fresh and excit­ing ways.

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Taxi Driver

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Mar­tin Scors­ese is wide­ly con­sid­ered the most influ­en­tial Amer­i­can film­mak­er of the last thir­ty years, and this is due in large part to his abil­i­ty to cap­ture the hec­tic ener­gy of the city in which he grew up. In many ways, Taxi Dri­ver (1976) is his most effec­tive movie: an unre­lent­ing por­trait of angst, nihilism, and the debil­i­tat­ing effects of urban life on the psyche.

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