Favorite films

  • In the Mood for Love
  • Fanny and Alexander
  • Around Orouët
  • Close-Up

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  • The Paranoids

    ★★★½

  • Main Theme

    ★★★

  • Ammoru

    ★★★½

  • Broken Highway

    ★★★★½

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  • The Paranoids

    The Paranoids

    ★★★½

    Pleasantly meandering deadpan slackerdom whose low-stakes drift ends up feeling like just the right wavelength for capturing Luciano’s flailing state of perpetual becoming without ever quite being one thing or another. From his irrational bouts of paranoia and hypochondria to his quietly terrifying burst of rage over a grocer’s bad wine, he’d probably be considered on the verge of some kind of breakdown if only he could be bothered to wake up a bit. Learning that perhaps his greatest achievement,…

  • Main Theme

    Main Theme

    ★★★

    Surely one of the strangest romantic comedies out there. Asked, like Somai before him with Sailor Suit and Machine Gun, to craft a slick star vehicle for pop idol Hiroko Yakushimaru, Morita seems like he couldn’t bear the straightforwardness of the assignment, and so threw all matter of complications (both aesthetic and narrative) in the way of letting his teenaged dreamland arrive at its more or less foregone conclusions. A bright-eyed kindergarten teacher falling for a traveling apprentice musician, though…

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  • Titane

    Titane

    ★★½

    Clearly, I’m in the minority here, but it’s the sort of transgressive provocation I just find incredibly dull, if not flat-out useless. As with Raw before it, the sensationalist genre trappings just become a way for Ducournau to avoid having to try to say anything about any emotional depths she might’ve wandered into. Indeed, literally nothing of either Alexia’s narrative trajectory or Vincent’s emotional awakening would change at all if her baby had been made of flesh and blood instead…

  • Friends and Strangers

    Friends and Strangers

    ★★★★½

    The best new young-people-going-through-vaguely-defined-shit film I’ve seen in years; if Vaughan largely leaves the reasons for Ray and Alice’s stuntedness – professional, romantic, emotional – only hinted at, numerous casual reminders of Australia’s aboriginal and colonial origins point to some more widespread malaise amid all the self-indulgent millennial comfort. Past failures that haven’t been fully reckoned with, future roadmaps not yet drawn, a present dominated by so many forgotten histories, useless digressions, missed cues, and false starts. “We’ll just have…