• Deception

    Deception

    It's been at least two years since I wrote regularly for Letterboxd. Back then, my primary interests were in formal qualities and structures, in particular the ways that those qualities/structures illuminate or mask the forces of production behind the film in terms of literal labour.

    In the past two years, my interests have strayed far more toward the literary, the adaptive, the ethical, even if I still largely enjoy accessing these ideas through the framework of visual fireworks and structural…

  • Breaker Morant

    Breaker Morant

    I didn't love this film overall but that 180-degree rule-break in the opening monologue is fire.

  • Dark Glasses

    Dark Glasses

    The first half is an articulate, brilliant film that plays like an MTV Greatest Hits rendition of Argento's early career. Later it devolves a little into a slightly gutless and overly rigid dreamscape, which both serves the ideas of the film well and diminishes the overall affectual experience.

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    The film itself is never particularly entertaining, but it is a Real Sam Raimi Horror Movie through-and-through, with Real Sam Raimi Horror Movie things on its mind, including the question 'what would happen if witches and warlocks had no idea how to express love so transmitted their feelings exclusively into corpses, alternate selves and hexes, and how would those alternate selves and hexes manifest as bodily ailments, and how would those bodily ailments manifest across multiple possible hauntologies?' So, yeah,…

  • Happy End

    Happy End

    I missed this Haneke when it came out, largely as a result of the lukewarm reactions at the time, which perhaps I should have paid no attention to. Haneke is as nihilistic and comprehensive a surveyor as ever, though it is admittedly a little strange to watch him work so domestically. If the rest of his domestic films operate within the firm conditions of genre trappings (yes, even Amour and Caché, this one is a lot more corrosively established -…

  • Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood

    Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood

    Even if he was asleep, he'll think he's seen it all - yep, everything Linklater does best is here, history so minimised that it can be embodied almost entirely in one person's (imagined) version of the menial and everyday. The film works very hard to counterpoint Stan/America's fantasy with alternate perspectives even if it never settles on them, which is of course the most unsettling thing Linklater could do - to remain invested in the mythic whilst in a process of complete examination.

  • Everything Everywhere All at Once

    Everything Everywhere All at Once

    Entertaining in the moment and overall an interesting case study in the fact that there are no stakes in a text wherein literally anything can happen.

  • RRR

    RRR

    ★★★★★

    The most joyful experience I’ve had at the cinema in an extremely long time is this, a semiotic epic in which two individuals become symbols of history over and over and over again. Rajamouli’s finest work and there’s no doubt about that.

  • Train Again

    Train Again

    ★★★★★

    Arrival of the cinema at la ciotat

  • The Batman

    The Batman

    Some of the most well-directed Hitchcock riffs this side of De Palma, particularly in the first two acts (which outrun pretty much every other superhero movie sans BvS) but I can’t help feeling we could do with an optimistic Batman movie sometime soon. I’d love to see more from this team.

  • Mirch Masala

    Mirch Masala

    It is less specific than my favourite Mehta films (particularly Maya Memsaab) but this lack of specificity it makes up for in fury; the correlation of the text's women with the plants which grow (literally) from below ground toward visibility is a startling aesthetic principle that the film makes intelligent use of. In fact, even many of the film's male characters are associated with the same imagery (not least through the use of the colour red, but also through the odd match-cut) but this is always framed carefully and explicitly as an abuse of those below, as a punching-down, even an appropriation of sorts.

  • Red Rocket

    Red Rocket

    Probably my favourite of Sean Baker's first three movies, a very richly observed drama full of rhyming aesthetic moments (I'm particularly drawn to the two boat images & the recurrent triptych set-ups in the house, particularly the mirror-based ones), though as with all Baker films it runs for just about fifteen minutes too long & therefore misses the chance to hit maximum impact with its elegiac, magical ending sequence.