Favorite films

  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • The Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer
  • The Human Condition II: Road to Eternity
  • Nobody Knows

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  • Infinity Pool

    ★★★

  • About Schmidt

    ★★★★

  • The Human Condition II: Road to Eternity

    ★★★★½

  • Dracula's Daughter

    ★★★

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  • 20th Century Women

    20th Century Women

    ★★★★½

    Annette Bening played my grandmother.

    Not entirely, not in the details, not in her personality. But in a general sense, I saw Grandma Bessie in Annette Bening's Dorothea. My dad's mom was a white woman born in Tennessee during the Great Depression, who saw the rise of country music, of Elvis, of feminism, who married outside of her race in a time and place she could have been shunned (or worse) for it, who moved to California to follow Elvis…

  • My Winnipeg

    My Winnipeg

    ★★★★½

    "Ah, another black-and-white surrealist film. How original. I know where this film is going," Chris Bravo arrogantly thinks to himself. "This really won't be about Winnipeg, will it? I bet he won't even mention the Jets."

    ----

    My hometown is Los Angeles. Or, more precisely, a little suburb about 45 minutes south of Downtown L.A. that recently contained more Mexican-Americans per capita than any other city in the country. I lived a mile away from the oldest operating McDonald's in…

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  • Infinity Pool

    Infinity Pool

    ★★★

    I'll be honest--I was expecting more. The premise is incredible. We have native cloning practices, awful rich, Western characters we love to hate, trippy ethical dilemmas, and the diametrically opposed extremes that are a wealthy resort in a poor, seaside country. The set-up, the building anarchy, the production design are impeccable.

    But it ultimately felt like Brandon Cronenberg didn't know what to do with this impeccable set of ingredients, how to finesse it into a satisfying story. Too much of…

  • About Schmidt

    About Schmidt

    ★★★★

    Funnier than I remember, and Jack Nicholson really is acting his ass off here, even if he isn't going very big or emotional. It's that subtle assholeness, that seething rage that is always bubbling beneath Jack's surface, but never erupts. On a rewatch, it's truly remarkable.

    As a whole, About Schmidt holds up. Maybe it's because I'm getting older. I'm nowhere near close to retirement, but I can see now how life ends up the way that Schmidt's life does.…

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  • Cure

    Cure

    ★★★★½

    Impeccable sound design.

    If there was one thing I will always remember about Kiyoshi Kurosawa's 1997 film, Cure, it will be the film's sound production. At first, the movie felt oddly silent. I was almost bored due to the fact that there was barely any musical scoring, and there were just innocuous buzzes and drumming and brrrrrrs. Until about the halfway point, and it all made sense. The buzzes and drumming and brrrrrrs were purposeful. The lack of orchestral music…

  • Don't Worry Darling

    Don't Worry Darling

    ★★★

    A maddening film. On the one hand, there are aspects of this movie I absolutely love. The soundtrack, borrowing heavily from classic R&B and soul hits of the 60s, was a superb jukebox to accompany the film. The set and costume design were totally on point, conveying the shiny, new plastic aesthetic of 60s suburban utopia perfectly. And Florence Pugh absolutely carries this movie. Her bursts of manic energy, her strained sanity, her elation and anguish--I believably felt it all…