Favorite films

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

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  • The Black Cat

    ★★★★

  • The Nightmare

  • The House on Sorority Row

  • Deathdream

    ★★★★

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  • Malatesta’s Carnival of Blood

    Malatesta’s Carnival of Blood

    ★★★★

    'Malatesta’s Carnival of Blood' feels almost defiantly handmade. You can sense the extreme efforts its makers went to in designing the film in every frame. Its trippy, candy-colored sets are constructed out of little more than bubble wrap, styrofoam cups, and an assortment of glittery and doomed recycled objects. The production’s lack of resources became its greatest asset. The film owns its artifice. The atmosphere created on screen feels like a junky craft store was willed to life solely to…

  • The Velvet Underground

    The Velvet Underground

    'The Velvet Underground' charts the creation of a mystique — that most important and ineffable factor that is so central to the greatest rock ’n’ roll bands. A great deal of what made up The Velvet Underground’s particular mystique came from their association with Andy Warhol. The film is obviously primarily biographical, but the most important aspect of the experience is how Haynes arranges the information. Presented largely as an oral history told by those who were present during the…

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  • Deathdream

    Deathdream

    ★★★★

    'Deathdream' (also known as 'Dead of Night') packs the anger, grief, and confusion of an entire era into one 88-minute film. And it does so without the weight of self-importance that so many of our modern, more prestigious, and socially minded horror productions tend to bear. As Travis Crawford succinctly puts it, what makes 'Deathdream' and other classic 1970s horror films so effective is that the earlier productions “deftly handled themes of great importance, but in a way that only…

  • The Hound of the Baskervilles

    The Hound of the Baskervilles

    'The Hound of the Baskervilles' is far from a strong film. Blame is often cast at Paul Morrissey for its deficiencies. But the failure of 'Baskervilles' is mostly due to a mismatch of collaborators. The film feels very much like a director-for-hire gig. It is clearly Peter Cook’s and, even more so, Dudley Moore’s show. But the duo’s work here is a far cry from 'Bedazzled' or their famous television sketches. Few of the jokes work and most of the…

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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 Texas Chain Saw Massacre

    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

    ★★★★★

    I’ve already watched this film twice in 2020. I’ve held off on reviewing it, but today I felt compelled to jot down some thoughts about watching 'Texas Chainsaw' on the 4th of July this year. The experience has really stuck with me. I remember nothing felt right about a holiday taking place at the time, especially one that celebrates a country that remains so undeserving of praise at the moment. Instead of the traditional BBQ, some friends and I did…