Favorite films

  • The Piano
  • Persona
  • When Harry Met Sally...
  • Aliens

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  • A Hero

    ★★★

  • Licorice Pizza

    ★★★★

  • Benedetta

    ★★★

  • Don't Look Now

    ★★★★

Recent reviews

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  • Benedetta

    Benedetta

    ★★★

    Benedetta is hardly the first movie to be salacious, sincere, facetious, outrageous, and tedious at the same time. Still, something about how it synthesizes all those tones feels distinctive. Sometimes it feels like a counterfactual carnivalesque, wet with blood and not just with blood, of all the ways the Catholic Church might have evolved—or how it may already have existed, in isolated pockets or in toto—if it hadn't pushed its ardors for extravagant piety and sensuous spectacle so far into…

  • Don't Look Now

    Don't Look Now

    ★★★★

    Because Julie Christie is one of my lecture topics in next week's classes, because the editing of Don't Look Now was a significant influence on Maggie Gyllenhaal and Affonso Gonçalves in certain passages of The Lost Daughter, and because it's after 11pm. And do you need a reason to revisit Don't Look Now? If it's asking to be watched, seems wisest to comply. Honestly, it's a bit too oogah-boogah harum-scarum for me to totally get behind it; some of the…

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  • Parallel Mothers

    Parallel Mothers

    ★★★½

    I never thought I'd say this about an Almodóvar movie, but the visuals were the weak spot here. You could easily convince me that the blank walls and simple compositions against which formidable d.p. José Luis Alcaine shoots closeup after closeup (without much more ocular interest in several two-shots or masters) are a kind of subliminal reminder of bareness, of unfilled space. So many Almodóvar films are unabashed valentines to plenitude, overfill, and excess, but politically and psychologically, Parallel Mothers

  • West Side Story

    West Side Story

    ★★★½

    The new West Side Story is such a fundamentally sound, technically proficient, thoughtfully considered version of a classic show that I'm dejected not to have responded more deeply, either to its craftsmanship or its emotional claims. There's plenty to be said in its favor, especially in the opening sequence, which stakes its own authoritative path through the show's unforgettable prelude, rendered so iconographically in the prior, justly legendary film. Today's West Side Story summons a new, unsettling level of physical…