Favorite films

  • The Hudsucker Proxy
  • Margaret
  • Tampopo
  • My Winnipeg

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  • A Bay of Blood

    ★★★½

  • Suspiria

    ★★★

  • Tetsuo: The Iron Man

    ★★★★

  • House

    ★★★★★

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  • Miracle on 34th Street

    Miracle on 34th Street

    ★★★★½

    My wife and I have one more Christmas until our daughter understands complex language and we have to decide what to do about Santa Claus. We're torn. I can see arguments on both sides. I came into Miracle on 34th Street expecting something as opinionated as the "Yes Virginia" editorial, but I was surprised to find the movie a lot more nuanced. The movie even argues against letting children believe in Santa, I think.

    If that sounds weird—the whole end…

  • The Iron Giant

    The Iron Giant

    ★★★★★

    What if a gun had a soul and didn't want to be a gun?

    That's the pitch Brad Bird used when writing The Iron Giant. The movie is based upon a children's book, The Iron Man, but The Iron Man is not about a sentient weapon. Bird reframed the adaptation to be about a living gun after his sister was shot and killed by her husband.

    The original children's book was also borne of grief. Ted Hughes, poet laureate of…

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  • A Bay of Blood

    A Bay of Blood

    ★★★½

    Over the summer, my vinyl-of-the-month club offered PAURA: A Collection Of Italian Horror Sounds From The CAM Sugar Archive. Obviously, I snapped it up. Great music, though it's hard to find a time when the atmosphere is right for bossa nova backed with creepy little girl whispers. I don't think it's a very popular item: I got to it pretty late and my pressing is 80 out of 1000. Here's a Letterboxd list of its contents. Some real rarities there;…

  • Suspiria

    Suspiria

    ★★★

    I can't be the only one who keeps singing the title in my head to Sussudio, right? Sususpiria.

    This movie feels like it was created using the Marvel Method: someone scribbled down the roughest of rough draft ideas on a cocktail napkin (GIRL KILLED, CEILING MAGGOTS, COUNT FOOTSTEPS), Argento filmed images that loosely corresponded to the outline, then the writer went back and overdubbed dialogue to try to make sense of it all. Argento has the visual storytelling chops of…

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  • House

    House

    ★★★★★

    What a feast of fantasy. A non-stop pop art bobsled. The playfulness asphyxiates. Right from the get-go, I wondered, "Is there going to be a single non-bonkers transition? Will this movie get cute with every cut?" There are a few normal transitions, but they're so rare that they might as well not be there. Obviously Obayashi is amazing and I cannot wait to see more from him.

    The movie is such a collage that I kept drawing links to other…

  • Kwaidan

    Kwaidan

    ★★★½

    The artificiality of the sets here is really something special. Kwaiden weaponizes whatever it is that makes little kids scared of old Doctor Who episodes, or the I, Claudius BBC miniseries, or National Film Board of Canada shorts, or educational videos about minerals from the science museum, or filmed black box productions from the late '70s. Something about cheap productions of vaguely hippieish 1970's art is unsettling, tipping right into an uncanny valley. Kwaiden plasters that aesthetic over the whole…