Favorite films

  • Empire of the Sun
  • How Green Was My Valley
  • The Empire Strikes Back
  • It's a Wonderful Life

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  • Platinum Blonde

    ★★★½

  • Aya of Yop City

    ★★★½

  • Bluebeard's Eighth Wife

    ★★★★½

  • Arsenic and Old Lace

    ★★★★

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  • An Autumn Afternoon

    An Autumn Afternoon

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Ozu’s final film looks again at the problem of the upper middle class marrying off daughters, with another variant in perspective. But like “Good Morning” and “ Kohayagawa Family” there is some shift back towards the comedy and nansensu stylings of the 1930s films that were once Ozu's bread and butter. And the opening credits seems to confirm this call back to 30s comedies, instead of the familiar cross hatched brown (tatami mats? Burlap?), of Ozu’s post-war films, this films…

  • Late Spring

    Late Spring

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    When doing what’s right (by social expectations) is wrong (for the individuals) every person involved winds up unhappy and less well off and separated from the family they truly and deeply love. 

    The fascinating balance of the film is that it manages to critique the universality of behavior society requires without discarding the institutions that society is trying to enforce.

    That is to say the film does an admirable defense of marriage but also is extremely insistent upon this point,…

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  • Platinum Blonde

    Platinum Blonde

    ★★★½

    A pip of a picture that’s almost put over but the perils of pacing do it in. 

    Amusingly the film knows it’s front loaded, doesn’t have an ending, and so it pivots to self reflexivity of literally having them wrote themselves out of the mess of over wrought plotting.

    It’s also Mis-titled as platinum blonde when it really should be called “Cinderella Man”.

    Capra’s direction is solid and it’s got the occasional wit and charm that is in his best…

  • Aya of Yop City

    Aya of Yop City

    ★★★½

    Sharply written and nicely animated film dealing with teenagers, abortion and paternity. Cute and funny, but the titular character is underwritten and as a result the characterization of Aya is overwhelmed by all the big characters of her community that the picture is really about. It’s a nice warm and entertaining film

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  • Jojo Rabbit

    Jojo Rabbit

    ★★★★★

    A film with a miraculous balance of tone and sentiment that manages to find sweetness and humanity and forgiveness in the darkest of times and offer a narrative path of humor and absurdity to counterpoint a story of the terrifying indoctrination of children and the creeping insidious terror of fascism and authoritarianism. 

    Let us not forget that children becoming fanatics selling out their parents and loved ones is no laughing matter and rooted deeply in history particularly the history of the 30s-50s. The real stories of children like Jojo are far darker and more disturbing than this fable—but we have to have hope.

  • Creed

    Creed

    ★★★★★

    A superb film from start to finish that is just about perfect in every way. From fantastic performances, a great script, stunning cinematography and steadicam choreogepahy, flawless, brilliantly paced editing from the moments of intimacy where the film takes its time to the energetic and throwback style of the final twelve round fight.

    But what is most impressive of all is that this film has a beautifully realized theme about identity and place in the world—which perfectly dovetails with the…