Bright Wall/ Dark Room

Bright Wall/ Dark Room


A different lens on films. No hot takes, lots of long reads.

("Favorite films" are the four films most recently featured on the site)

Favorite films

Recent activity


Recent reviews

  • Double Indemnity

    Double Indemnity

    "Before a word is uttered, a single joke is cracked, or a single body is screwed or shot—or both—Double Indemnity suggests that death renders nearly every action a futile one. How can any decision matter if they all lead the decision-maker to the same grave?

    It’s a curious way to start a film. But then, it’s a curious film: A crackerjack pulp thriller that alternately smirked and shocked its way into defining both an expanding cinematic genre and a director’s…

  • People on Sunday

    People on Sunday

    "For a film concerned with spontaneity and play to emerge extemporaneously, or at least without undue contrivance, makes a charismatic kind of sense. As Isenberg observes, it’s this collision of production history and film aesthetic that’s encouraged historians to celebrate People for what it appears to prophesy: the authenticity and immediacy of Italian neorealism and, later, the French New Wave.

    It may be that with its real locations, non-professional performers, and documentary-style cinematography of the city surrounds, People presages aspects…

Popular reviews

  • Paris, Texas

    Paris, Texas

    "Travis’ commitment to getting lost is greater than his desire to be loved. It happens. When we can no longer stand ourselves, we can no longer stand others. We fling ourselves from the burden of love into escapism: a substance, a job, a far-off desert. A few personal events can spark this kind of reaction; most commonly, shame. If we can understand shame, we can understand why a man would abandon his family for the desert. Why a man walks alone until he collapses."

    Read the full essay here:

  • The Beach Bum

    The Beach Bum

    “The way we experience movies shapes the way we experience life, and to experience a movie like The Beach Bum, to ingest and absorb this much giddy existential gratitude, strikes at least this viewer as quite a blessing.”

    Read the full essay from Ethan Warren here: