Favorite films

  • Faces
  • Audrey the Trainwreck
  • Meek's Cutoff
  • Killer of Sheep

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  • Blithe Spirit

    ★★★★

  • Eve's Bayou

    ★★★★

  • Inside

    ★★½

  • Relative

Pinned reviews

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  • Route One/USA

    Route One/USA

    ★★★★★

    Robert Kramer's 'Route One/USA' is often categorized as a road movie or a diary film about two expats returning for a tour of their home country, to look for "America," but this film is nothing so neat and tidy, for neither is its subject. 'Route One' uses America and its history, its mythology, its geography, its rhythms, and its people to explore the complicated promise of freedom. America is simultaneously the land that births great poets and progressive thinkers like…

  • Spring Night, Summer Night

    Spring Night, Summer Night

    ★★★★½

    Taking place in a once prosperous Ohio mining town, 'Spring Night, Summer Night' is set within the type of small community where telling the future takes no magic: A young person can look across the room while dancing at the only bar in town and glimpse the particular worn down and tired archetype they will eventually replace in the years ahead. Some may escape for a brief stretch, by joining the Army or trying their luck in a big city,…

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  • Ghostwatch

    Ghostwatch

    ★★★★★

    While 'Ghostwatch' can be looked at as a precursor to all the 'Blair Witch' and 'Paranormal Activity'-type films, that doesn’t really do 'Ghostwatch' complete justice. For one, 'Ghostwatch' doesn’t present itself as found footage. It doesn’t rely on the concept that the people in the film recorded up until their dying breaths, only for their tapes to be discovered by others who are publicly presenting the material at a later date. The film that it shares perhaps the most in…

  • Shadows of the Mind

    Shadows of the Mind

    ★★★

    For October Horror this year, I returned to 'Shadows of the Mind' after reviewing it on here a few years ago. This is far from a strong film, but I do think it is better than its current reputation suggests.

    In Roger Watkins’ films, characters are often driven mad by their environments. In doing research for this essay, I learned that Watkins believed the scariest film of all-time was Orson Welles' 'The Trial,' which makes sense when looking at his…

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  • Safe

    Safe

    ★★★★★

    There is an interview with Guy Maddin on the ‘My Winnipeg’ Criterion disc in which he compares melodrama to Werner Herzog's ecstatic truths. Maddin defines melodrama as "life uninhibited,” a style where characters can turn their insides out by articulating their deepest emotions in their fullest and most expressive forms. In ‘Safe,’ Haynes does something unique with melodrama, because he treats the film’s most ecstatic moments like they are being yelled through gritted teeth. There is a disharmony between the…

  • The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

    The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

    ★★★★★

    With the exception of Mabel in 'A Woman Under the Influence,' I don’t know if Cassavetes ever gave us a better "self-portrait" — with so many of his personal insecurities and struggles on display, as well as his singular drive for creative freedom — than he did through the characters of Cosmo and Mr. Sophistication in 'Killing of a Chinese Bookie.' Cosmo finds freedom through putting on his act. As he says, he only feels like himself when he is…