Favorite films

  • The Red Shoes
  • Casablanca
  • The Godfather
  • His Girl Friday

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  • The Card Counter

    ★★½

  • Fiddler on the Roof

    ★★★★½

  • Everybody's Talking About Jamie

    ★★★

  • Into the Woods

    ★★★½

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  • Casablanca

    Casablanca

    ★★★★★

    Tonight he’ll be at Rick’s. Eventually everyone goes to Rick’s.

    Casablanca (1942) is one of the best movies of all time. It came out in the midst of World War II and yet doesn’t come close to the cheap tricks or laborious lectures of propaganda . Still, the context is there and an agenda. It won Best Picture, Director, and Screenplay Oscars. Some of dialogue is known by everyone. There are plenty of movies that won awards and had quotable…

  • The Red Shoes

    The Red Shoes

    ★★★★★

    It is much more disheartening to have to steal than to be stolen from.

    I typically shy away from the term “masterpiece”. Perhaps that is because I conflate it with perfection rather than the mere work of a master. That perfection should be obvious to everyone and be separate from nostalgia and historical context–unless context is a conscious ingredient–and thus applies to very few films. In film, being a collaborative medium with so many people at work that go unseen…

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  • The Card Counter

    The Card Counter

    ★★½

    While the form is strong and Schrader is up to his old religious tricks, I can't say I felt this one very much. The trappings suggest that a twist or thrill is in store. There isn't. I'm not angry about it because it is so still and effective. But it's not up to much in the plot.

  • Fiddler on the Roof

    Fiddler on the Roof

    ★★★★½

    A wonderful musical and a wonderful story though, of course, rather melancholy. Tevya is one of the greatest characters of all time, and very probably my favorite. A man whose flaw is that he bends but will not break because he is of a member of a group whose greatest strength is that they bend but do not break. That is the meaning of the fiddler--who bends his bow but never breaks a string--living on the edge between disaster and…

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  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

    Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

    ★★★

    While it ultimately succumbs to its (at this point rather tired) Marvelousness, the bulk of the film is rather pleasant, channeling and building on martial arts films. It's still relentlessly queasy in its "camera" movement, but I'd say there was more grace in the choreography at times, which was a nice respite. Oh and there was a genuine belly laugh in this movie.

    They still don't know how to film a battle sequence. Just like the final showdown in Black…