RSS feed for Caleb
  • The Peanut Butter Falcon

    The Peanut Butter Falcon

    Sets itself apart from other films focusing on disability by doing a refreshingly good job of firmly establishing the societal and institutional sources of biopower that surround people with disabilities as the required site of intervention rather than the internal. At times teeters on the edge of subsuming Zak’s body into the landscape of the "quirky" Sundance-y narrative as a passive Other but never quite gets there, thankfully. The final scene feels like a missed opportunity because of the fairly nuanced causality it establishes throughout, but the film still contributes to a pretty thoughtful representation of the systemic oppression of disabled bodies.

  • The Lighthouse

    The Lighthouse

    The first act of The Lighthouse spends its entire run-time establishing enough Lacanian signifiers to send Christian Metz into an absolute tizzy. It’s easy to liken a filmmaker like Robert Eggers to Ari Aster, who crafted one of my least favorite films of the decade with Midsommar. Both films from this year unashamedly revel in overt pastiche, but what separates them in my eyes is that Aster deployed this technique in service of absolutely nothing, a vapid and empty piece…

  • It Chapter Two

    It Chapter Two

    A spectacular mishandling of incredibly sensitive material. Not even an attempt at an exploration of generational trauma here, instead deploying the depiction of hate crimes, suicide and domestic abuse as window dressing for kool shotz, scarez and goofs. Wow.

    That Angel Of The Morning needle drop feels like a fairly good summation of how seriously this is being taken.

  • Joker


    Way too dumb to be dangerous.

  • House of 1000 Corpses

    House of 1000 Corpses


    Obsessed with Zombie’s aesthetic, how his editing style (cutting between film, handheld digital home-video style imagery and Friday-night TV-special graphics) formalizes the film’s thematic interests. The most extreme perversions commodified as American iconography; serial killers become myth, canonized and celebrated... and true evil can silently hide amongst the condescending revelry. I don’t think Zombie implies any causality but he certainly toys with corollary structures between voyeur and object, and its use of direct influence/weaponized pastiche makes for an incredibly rich text on horror spectatorship. It’s (probably) the best film to come out of the post-modern American horror era.

  • Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood


    My entire experience with Tarantino is predicated on the indecision to label him as neither a formally empty pastiche fetishist nor a cogent and contemplative pop remix artist, because I truly don't know the answer. And as I think about it, I'm not entirely sure I know the difference between the two labels I've considered as polarities.

    Am I one attentive re-watch away from cracking his entire filmography, or am I reflecting on fairly empty but highly satisfying genre exercises? Truly not sure, though I am confident that I enjoyed this.

  • Aziz Ansari: Right Now

    Aziz Ansari: Right Now

    absolutely insane that he begins this thing by straight up spinning his sexual assault as a good thing because it forced other assholes like him to treat women differently so that they don’t get accused of something similar.

    and then waits for an applause break... and receives one...

    absolutely fuck this

  • Midsommar


    Ineffectual revenge catharsis masked as prestige. Empty pastiche, grafting technique from Zulawski, Polanski and Hardy, but in the service of absolutely nothing. A meaningless work of forced twisted-ness.

  • Son of Frankenstein

    Son of Frankenstein


    His name has become synonymous with horror and monsters. Why, nine out of ten people call that misshapen creature of my father’s experiments 'Frankenstein'.

    How the legacy of one generation affects those who inherit it, and the inevitability of victimhood in the wake of dehumanized scientific progress. Dr Frankenstein once felt like God through his creation of life, and now his son Wolf serves that very image of God, a disciple of his father’s miracle, the immaculate conception of Wolf’s…

  • The Mummy

    The Mummy


    We live today - we shall live again - in many forms shall we return

    The recycling of energies, of thoughts and obsessions across generations and cultures framed during the movement to modernity, science overtaking mysticism as meaning-maker. Oft considered as diametrically opposed, with one only existing through the disproval of the other - definitions predicated on the invalidity of its opposite. Maybe an oversimplified duality, but used effectively here. Two means of creating truth which should be theoretically unbiased,…

  • Spring Breakers

    Spring Breakers


    American party culture as passive racialized suppression. White college students indulge in what was originally used by the socio-economically disenfranchised as coping strategies… ways in which one could feel some sort of semblance of agency within a system that takes it away from you. To the appropriators, these realities are empty iconography. Symbols are posited as the gateway to identity, and these racialized images have been so far removed from their original function that they become pop symbology; something as…

  • Unforgiven



    An icon reckoning with his cinematic legacy, as well as the legacy of an entire genre.

    Little Bill gleefully disavows the narratives of the “wild west” to the naive young biographer, intent on bringing truth to the nature of killing. And yet, his motivation for keeping guns out of his town is enigmatic. It’s not to keep violence away from Little Whiskey - two boys slice the face of a woman and then leave unpunished, and the sheriff himself beats…