Favorite films

  • Cameraperson
  • My Neighbor Totoro
  • Phase IV
  • Lady Terminator

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  • Narc

    ★★½

  • Elio Petri: Notes About a Filmmaker

    ★★★

  • The Cabin in the Woods

    ★★★★

  • Fergus Walking

    ★★★½

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  • Eraserhead

    Eraserhead

    ★★★★★

    But having rated it five stars, I'm not sure if I ever want to do this to myself again. It was my first time in the theater, and I forgot that on my previous viewing at home I paused a couple times (toilet break, water). In the theater, there is no escape, and I seriously contemplated fleeing a couple times, just because I found the film so effectively anxiety-inducing.

    ERASERHEAD is a miracle of sound design, of no-budget imagination, of…

  • The Long Day Closes

    The Long Day Closes

    ★★★★½

    Perhaps you're like me, and haven't seen much Davies, but you've seen enough Loach and Leigh to feel like you've got the measure of things when it comes to British kitchen-sink miserablism, and autobiographical coming of age stories have no special appeal for you, and you saw THE HOUSE OF MIRTH sixteen years ago and it quickly faded into a miasma of costume dramas, bubbling between THE END OF THE AFFAIR and AN IDEAL HUSBAND and a passel of Austen…

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  • The Cabin in the Woods

    The Cabin in the Woods

    ★★★★

    If this came out today instead of 2011 it would be 8 episodes long and the first 20 minutes (after a cold open in Madrid) would be about Bradley Whitford's home life and commute to work and we wouldn't meet the five cabingoers til ep 3 and it would be ludicrously distended but also have like 40 minutes more of Whitford and Jenkins dicking around and the dismemberment goblins would get their own arc and I would probably, grudgingly, accept that trade, but this is still a banger.

  • Fergus Walking

    Fergus Walking

    ★★★½

    I used to play this game when I was a kid which involved looking out of one eye at an object up close, then switching eyes and taking delight in the slight shift if the object.

    William Raban loved that game so much, he made multiple films where he played it. This one is a self-describing object, contentwise (unless the man on screen is for some reason not named Fergus, which would be an odd choice), but gains all its…

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  • At Eternity's Gate

    At Eternity's Gate

    ★½

    Five runner-ups for my least favourite aesthetic decisions in this film (no order):

    1) Shooting a shot like a POV handheld, but then having the person in frame look off camera to talk, and then doing the opposite
    2) Bottom of frame blur-o-vision applied arbitrarily
    3) Going black and white for literally two shots
    4) Going piss-filter for any number of shots
    5) Repeating audio we've heard like twenty seconds ago

    ... all of which pale in offensiveness to the…

  • A Hidden Life

    A Hidden Life

    ★★★★★

    Speculation has abounded about Terrence Malick's latest, that it might be something "more conventional". It is, and it isn't. Here's how it is: it has its clearest dramatic structure since BADLANDS, possibly even more clear. An Austrian couple during the outbreak of WWII gradually discover that the man will be required to make an oath of loyalty to Adolf Hitler. He believes, because of his Christian morality, he cannot do so. This dilemma drives the entire film, and the relationship…