Favorite films

  • The X Files
  • Twin Peaks: The Return
  • Empire of the Sun
  • Mirror

Recent activity

  • Benediction

  • Anton Chekhov's The Duel

  • Have You Heard from Johannesburg?: Apartheid and the Club of the West

  • The Secret in Their Eyes

Recent reviews

  • Benediction


    In Benediction, British cinema’s laureate of self-loathing, writer-director Terence Davies, sets his sights on Siegfried Sassoon, the gay English poet and writer whose antiwar verses brought him great acclaim in the aftermath of World War II. It’s a film that’s both elliptical and caustic, a rhapsodic portrayal of an upper-crust milieu in which words are wielded like weapons by people who might otherwise be pariahs.

    Davies bookends Benediction’s narrative with two distant events: a 1914 performance of Igor Stravinsky’s scandalizing…

  • Anton Chekhov's The Duel

    Anton Chekhov's The Duel

    [Author’s Note: I have no individual reviews in Issue #760, so jumping to Issue #761]


    Dir. Dover Koshashvili. 2009. N/R. 95mins. Andrew Scott, Fiona Glascott, Tobias Menzies.

    There’s a horrible moment at the start of this adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s pointed novella when all the sun-dappled still lifes (e.g., a lady’s red shoe caught by a ray of morning light) promise a quick descent into Merchant Ivory middlebrow. Then the stubbly and disheveled Ivan Andreitch Laevsky (Scott) kills a…

Popular reviews

  • Nomadland


    [Published as part of New Pollution #2]

    The irritatingly genteel Nomadland, adapted from a nonfiction book by Jessica Bruder, appears well on its way to golden statuettes and other year-end plaudits. For writer-director-editor Chloé Zhao this is the last stop before the Marvel Moloch grinds her personal stamp, such as it is, to a pre-viz’d pulp with The Eternals. I didn’t much care for the mannered neo-realism of The Rider, but at least it could fall back on the authenticity…

  • Jojo Rabbit

    Jojo Rabbit

    [Published September 9th, 2019, Slant Magazine]


    Waititi prefers to treat his audience like drooling cretins who need their hands held through every shift in tone, reassured that everything, even in a world off its axis, is going to work out. It doesn’t help that this misguided production is utterly devoid of laughs, though I admit to cracking a desperate smile when the nitwit Nazi played by Sam Rockwell demands that an underling bring him German shepherds, as in the dogs, and is instead delivered shepherds who are German. It’s a flash of punny bliss in what’s otherwise Marvel Presents Mein Kampf.