Favorite films

  • Raise the Red Lantern
  • Bringing Up Baby
  • Hungry Wives
  • Dogville

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  • Strange Days

    ★★★★

  • La Flor

    ★★★★½

  • Kate

    ★★½

  • The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury

    ★★

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  • Run Lola Run

    Run Lola Run

    ★★★★★

    Truly an exceptional piece of film-making, even if one sets aside the fact that it more or less invented the current version of iterative, accumulative narrative that is the basis for the highest pinnacles of television episodes and video game structure 21 years later.

    In spite of the well-executed German techno that dominates the score, the film achieves its most beautiful, somehow, in its longest shots of Potente just running. As film, Lola Rennt does more than just gesture at…

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  • Cruising

    Cruising

    ★★½

     I’m sure you’ll make the right choice

    I’m not a person to comment well on this, obviously. This entry is so that I can remember my initial feelings. I'm not pretending my analysis is worth anything on this subject.

    It’s a less judgmental movie than I feared, if still dated in some unpleasant ways. The early ‘80s weren’t a very safe time for gay guys, but I’m not sure about the atmosphere of menace. I suspect it is amped up…

  • Moby Dick

    Moby Dick

    ★★★½

    It’s a misbegotten idea, isn’t it, attempting to adapt the original Great American Novel into a two hour film? Particularly as large sections of that novel are (sometimes scientifically laughable!) educational digressions for the reader, as well as tart observations about humanity, pity, temperance, and religion. I suppose that if one reduces Moby Dick to only the actual narrative action then two hours is about correct, though the obvious charge is that misses the point of the novel.

    Which makes…

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  • Murder on the Orient Express

    Murder on the Orient Express

    ★★★

    Over the last few of decades of film, it has often been the case that a director will take a woman with whom he is in love and create a movie that is a cinematic monument to how beautiful that person was at that time.

    Examples include Woody Allen creating Annie Hall for Diane Keaton, Luc Besson creating The Messenger for Milla Jovovich, and Quentin Tarantino making the Kill Bill movies with Uma Thurman.

    But not a single one of…

  • The Blob

    The Blob

    ★★★★

    Another movie that I regret not watching previously. To be fair, it has a mixed critical reputation, but there are a couple of things going on with that, I think.

    The first is that this is a technically limited film. The squishy wiggly sound-effects go a long way, but the decision to keep undercutting the sound design by showing a mass of shiny plastic that rarely moves even by the standards of yesteryear presents a real problem for anybody looking…