Eva has written 16 reviews for films rated ★★★★ during 2019.

  • Halloween

    Halloween

    ★★★★

    Michael Myers digs old tools of harm out of the rotting shell of a domesticity he once knew primarily as just a vehicle for inflicting spiritual violence. is it any wonder he tries to reassemble a family by making corpses and digging up tombstones? Laurie Strode nearly tears herself apart crawling and climbing through his nightmare dollhouse of failed connection, until all she can do is scream, dripping with blood and with a face painted shock-white by dust. Zombie's sequel…

  • The Box

    The Box

    ★★★★

    keeps appending increasingly baroque moving parts to what was already a fairly complex narrative machine until we feel almost as suffocated as the characters themselves, and ends up as a very moving aestheticization of the violence inflicted in service of maintaining the comfortably upper-middle class family unit, recognizing it as both material, deeply embedded in nationalist frameworks, and inextricably spiritual. after we have thoroughly destroyed each other something worth living for is promised to us in death, “a place where the sidewalk ends and despair is no longer the governor of the human heart”. infinite worlds possible

  • Tetsuo: The Iron Man

    Tetsuo: The Iron Man

    ★★★★

    the tension between the easiest and most immediate reading, which is that Tsukamoto might just be dressing up a conservative nightmare about the penetration of the middle-class by encroaching technological advancement and outre sexualities, literalized in the scene where the salaryman is penetrated by a woman with a prehensile metallic phallus, and the obvious glee displayed on every formal and narrative level creates a sort of dialectical space for the anxieties and fantasies of transhumanism to be worked out. in…

  • Looking for Langston

    Looking for Langston

    ★★★★

    really compelling in how it moves from archetypal abstractions, suggested in the play of shadows and tableaux vivant, to very concrete and historicized particulars (which don’t overbearingly announce themselves as exemplary or vulgarly functional), e.g. the use of Mapplethorpe’s photographs set in an abstract void where their actual historical context is not elided (the narration makes clear the intended critique) but where the gaze is redirected, the black subject moving freely through these images, liberated briefly from the eroticizing/fixating stare of the camera and the structures of power behind it. incomparably lovely film

  • Don't Go Breaking My Heart

    Don't Go Breaking My Heart

    ★★★★

    every emotion is concretized into something tangible (an apartment, a frog, even the skyline of a city), spatialized across the surfaces of sleekly angular modern architecture, or performed as slapstick and pantomime: nothing remains interior here (and thus it is necessarily less moving than something like Romancing in Thin Air, which is defined by its inexpressible lacunae). a frog dies and everything that was stuck in place is released back into the air, made ephemeral once again. pretty vertiginous, like standing on a skyscraper that’s still being built right beneath your feet

  • August in the Water

    August in the Water

    ★★★★

    on cosmic (in)significance and miracles of proximity. flows in reverse from the mundanities of these teenagers’ lives to the loftiest peaks of cinematic abstraction effortlessly. the rediscovery of a boundless soul through bodily harm; not the atoms but the spaces between (the sublimity of negation). the only thing humans can give to the earth is blood (but what wonders it bestows in return). marvelous

    ”i’m not scared about the boundaries anymore”

  • Collateral

    Collateral

    ★★★★

    two men drift, adjacent but necessarily separate, through a city composed of oneiric modernist tombs loosely connected by a vast, impersonal darkness. one of them is a consummate professional, only interested in practicalities; the other is a consummate professional, only interested in abstractions. maybe the purest (and iciest) distillation of Mann’s late-era obsession with dialectical oppositions between the ideal and the material, realized directly here in the flesh of these men. brilliant use is made of Tom Cruise as something…

  • Peggy Sue Got Married

    Peggy Sue Got Married

    ★★★★

    Coppola doesn't shy away from availing himself of the simpler pleasures of the high school redux comedy, but what makes this so compelling is the way he inflects the melodrama almost overwhelmingly with premonitions of mortality and dreams collapsed. even the antiseptic, brightly lit style of the first 80 or so minutes gives way to something just a shade more forceful towards the end, with the hues of the sunset rendered in violent streaks of orange and thunder striking in…

  • Like Grains of Sand

    Like Grains of Sand

    ★★★★

    "Even then, I found the body warm...a warmth like that, I don't trust it."
    ------
    "Are you cured?"

  • Vamps

    Vamps

    ★★★★

    ”Can you please just focus on symbolism?”

    maybe no better metaphor exists for Heckerling’s cinema than young women and their cultural moment affectionately preserved as they currently are into eternity. this movie is suffused with such a genuine love for both the medium and the female leads that it's hard to resist falling head-over-heels for it. that ending, too, is a really lovely reckoning with aging which ditches the broad Gen-X technological cynicism of earlier scenes to instead focus on the notion that witnessing the way the present moment came to be might only deepen your love for it

  • The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting

    The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting

    ★★★★

    Simultaneously a highly compelling visualization of the epistemology of art and a parody of the same. Always there is a missing link which fragments narrative and denies interpretability to art, and yet it is this lost piece which is most crucial. Are these nothing but the delusional rantings of an overeager auteurist? Given the eerie plausibility of the connection between bourgeois decadence and militarism drawn in the penultimate scene, I can’t say I’m totally convinced by that reading, but, of…

  • To Sleep with Anger

    To Sleep with Anger

    ★★★★

    “Some folks that are always running to help the victim, deep down, are attracted to pain and suffering...they love to be near the dying.”

    “When you’re made to feel half a man, well, what do you think the other half is?”