Favorite films

  • The Intruder
  • Baxter, Vera Baxter
  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
  • The Wind Will Carry Us

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  • Bad Sister

    ★★★

  • Drink Slay Love

    ★★★

  • Stalked by My Mother

    ★★★½

  • Dirty Teacher

    ★★★

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  • Song to Song

    Song to Song

    ★★★★★

    My piece for the upcoming volume Life Above the Clouds: Philosophy in the Films of Terrence Malick, on the relevance of Plato to Knight of Cups and Song to Song. I decided to just post it on my blog to make it easier to incorporate pictures. 
    strohltopia.com/2021/08/24/platonic-myths-of-eros-in-knight-of-cups-and-song-to-song/

  • The Intruder

    The Intruder

    ★★★★★

    Most of Denis’ work has an elliptical quality; she forsakes the usual connective tissue of exposition and instead shows us evocative shards of narrative. L’Intrus pushes this tendency to its far extreme. At one point, we see the film’s unsympathetic protagonist, Louis Trebor, go to sleep in Geneva, Switzerland and then we see him wake up in Busan, South Korea. Further confounding the narrative, surreal waking events are juxtaposed with dreams in a way that unsettles the distinction between the…

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  • Dark Glasses

    Dark Glasses

    ★★★★½

    Connoisseurs of late style: assemble. If Argento’s received classics are grand operas of fear, this is a late-career piano sonata. Zero interest in the bad takes here. I totally understand not liking Argento, but fawning over his 70’s and 80’s stuff and then beating up on this is a horrible opinion, and what’s worse, a boring one. 

    I’ll have more to say about this once I let it marinate and rewatch it. A couple brief remarks: it’s very clear who…

  • Lady in the Water

    Lady in the Water

    ★★★★★

    Even better than I remembered it. The nature of a bedtime story is to make it up as you go along, piecing together an ad hoc mythology that generates continuous conflict while enabling the desired conclusion. Shyamalan builds this methodology into the structure of the film, as an antidote to the postmodern death of originality bemoaned by Bob Balaban’s grumpy critic. The meta-fictional level and the first order narrative work seemlessly together. The result is by turns hilarious, moving, suspenseful, and exhilarating in its unbridled creativity. Giamatti is incredible, as is the entire supporting cast.