Favorite films

  • Babe
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Winter Light
  • Annie Hall

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  • Grand Illusion

    ★★★½

  • Nickelodeon

    ★★½

  • The Last Duel

    ★★★½

  • Licorice Pizza

    ★★★★

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  • Grand Illusion

    Grand Illusion

    ★★★½

    Renoir's WWI POW melodrama is a lovely salute to pan-European (and specifically European, unfortunately) solidarity in contrast to nationalism, and it's got a great roster of characters who are hard not to love. I've always loved The Great Escape, which obviously takes a lot of cues from this movie but also ends up with a far less rosy and idealized depiction of humanity, which maybe makes sense in the context of something like WWII (and implicitly the Holocaust/atomic bomb, whose…

  • Nickelodeon

    Nickelodeon

    ★★½

    Not without merit, and the first half in particular is filled with some glorious tribute/pastiche of early silent-era filmmaking, including a bunch of gags and pratfalls that wouldn't feel out-of-place in a Harold Lloyd picture. But boy, does Bogdanovich's fixation on a sentimentalized history cut both ways. On the one hand, the affection for this era of filmmaking is contagious, and it's hard not to be caught up in the period detail and scrappy outsider stories this film depicts. But…

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  • American Factory

    American Factory

    ★★½

    American Factory has a lot of really good raw material about the fresh evils of multi-national corporations and the ways in which labor gets exploited by global capitalism. Its central fight for unionization at the Fuyao factory in Dayton, Ohio, is rousing and vital. All of that is why I've given American Factory anything close to a positive rating. But the rest... woof. The fact that this movie frames the whole conflict of the situation as some sort of American…

  • Licorice Pizza

    Licorice Pizza

    ★★★★

    I was completely captivated by Paul Thomas Anderson's rambling, completely unpredictable nostalgia ode to a '70s Southern-Californian, showbiz-adjacent adolescence. A lot of people have compared this to Altman, and that's probably what's immediately in PTA's head here, but what this actually reminded me of is the fiction of Beverly Cleary and the other mid-century children's lit in that mode (I'm thinking also of Robert McCloskey's Homer Price and Keith Robertson's Henry Reed): mildly precocious children going through a series of…