• So Pretty

    So Pretty

    ★★½

    “how long for your passenger?”

    [cw: liberal use of the words “bodies” and “spaces" bc i am a hack]

    utopias and what they must exclude, a film with so much i could love and unfortunately more that i cannot. as a study of paradisal trans ‘togetherness’ complicated only by brief intrusions of police violence against individuals in a manner simultaneously parochial and not didactic enough and a preoccupation with transience, it fails to reckon with what the utopia requires, what…

  • A Night to Dismember

    A Night to Dismember

    ★★★★★

    that this isn't widely considered one of the most electric and rapturous formal bacchanals in cinema history is a testament to the failure of film criticism to recognize value in its own object of study. an experiment in withholding the orienting and ordering force of time within the confines of ostensibly narrative cinema: breakage upon breakage within myriad disjunct aesthetic forms as the beats of the slasher are interpolated with softcore pornography, melodrama worthy of the soap opera and children's…

  • Paperhouse

    Paperhouse

    godly...like the exact negative of those awful roald dahl stories about how being a bookish kid gives you magic powers and makes you better than everyone else. escapism without escape and the limitations of dreams brought into focus so that we might understand the things they *can* do better, the pain of isolation and fear alleviated just enough by these brief moments of connection in the fantasies of the sickly. literally broke my heart, also straight up one of the most elegantly composed movies i have ever seen, zero exaggeration

  • Mr. Arashi's Amazing Freak Show

    Mr. Arashi's Amazing Freak Show

    ★★★½

    a good account of how misogynistic commodification and consumption of vulnerable girls and their bodies is as much in force at the margins as it is everywhere else, a counterpoint to the fantasy of community in the presence of other freaks which is as bluntly miserabilist in its narrative momentum as possible but whose moments of abstraction are so rapturous that the monotonicity of the rest is forgivable. great gowns, beautiful gowns....maybe pair it with Katherine Dunn's Geek Love? idk

  • Nowhere

    Nowhere

    ★★★★★

    it always comes back to this, then...one of the movies i'd call truly perfect. every impulse of a countercultural moment of absolute sexual fluidity swept up into araki's most outre sensibilities, a terrified, loving, dissatisfied, and ecstatic attempt to preserve the sense an era by acknowledging its imminent demise. certainly not utopian, for all its surface pleasures (and they are many). self-harm and self-obsession are coequal partners in the denial of the outside world (the windows of these characters' rooms…

  • Spring Breakers

    Spring Breakers

    "act like you're in a movie or something"
    as utterly contemptuous as it is willing to luxuriate in the vapid sensuousness of white upper-middle class hedonism, an aesthetic defined by the drift between beauty and vulgarity, corniness and the sublimated genuine. and always, always conscious of the fact that what enables said hedonism is the displacement of violence and pain onto black people, who remain conspicuously marginal amongst the decadence of spring break (especially pointed is the fact that the…

  • Black Christmas

    Black Christmas

    ★★★★

    terrifying in its informatic sensibilities, the whirlwind of movement and plotting that denies the characters access to even the fear they ought to feel until their last moments, and exciting for how explicitly it addresses the voyeuristic argument against the genre, counterposing that is in fact that voyeurism coupled with the uncanny displacement of identification, the irresolvability of exactly what the killer is (besides a bare visual-narrative mechanism) that provides the genre with its political vitality. and this is a…

  • Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed

    Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed

    ★½

    what a shame that this sucks so bad, but like how do you take the first 40 minutes of this, ostensibly an interesting if tonally and formally shaky story about the way that involuntary commitment for the most vulnerable is a naked exercise of moralistic power and greed, and how self-harm and loneliness function in the aftermath of trauma, and then, through one of the most odious fucking twists i've seen in a movie, use it to conclude that young…

  • Blood and Black Lace

    Blood and Black Lace

    ★★★★★

    "perhaps the sight of beauty makes him lose control of himself, and kill"

  • Shoot the Moon Right Between the Eyes

    Shoot the Moon Right Between the Eyes

    ★★★★

    "you can have whatever you want, you just need to want it, and make it happen....it's a choice. it's a choice we make."
    first time a movie has made me cry in quite some time. love this so much

  • In the Mouth of Madness

    In the Mouth of Madness

    ★★★★★

    one of the greatest works of popular fiction, yet as condemnatory of popular fiction as an aesthetic and economic phenomenon as one is likely to see outside of marxist a/g filmmaking. from the first shots of the depersonalized assembly of the mass market paperbacks the film firmly inscribes its diegesis within the context of mechanical reproduction of art, the endlessly iterable texts of contemporary mass media made into the organizing principle of this self-immolating pulp horror fever dream.

    rather than…

  • Frankenhooker

    Frankenhooker

    pretty dope, there's something to be said here about the suburbanite housewife-to-be being reconstructed from a class of women whose work relegates to them to disposability and transience, normalcy (degenerating into a grotesque parody of itself, natch) built from the literal bodies of women commodified and discarded, perhaps to be returned to later (all at the whims of a dude playing hero). quite empathetic and astute, really. put this in the forced feminization canon