• Drive My Car

    Drive My Car

    ★★★★½

    drive my car is an archipelago of lives. a mosaic of little stories. at first it had seemed to me that hamaguchi’s film-making language couldn’t ascend being one of wit and jeu d’esprit. but drive my car is a work that’s woven with passion, confession, creativity and the perpetual mystery of others and what they hide.
    this film stresses my argument that films clocking in at three hours are perfectly fine as long as they keep you thoroughly engaged.

  • Fresh

    Fresh

    ★★★

    did everyone else catch the scene where paul (the bartender friend) was driving to the house and the rap song he was playing in his car referenced “armie hammer?” it’s called arm & hammer.

    i liked nothing but the foreshadowing—when steve met noa at the grocery shop and there was written in big letters just above her head “FRESH MEATS.” or when she asked him if he wanted something to eat and he replied “only you.” OR when he said “i…

  • Remy, Nobody's Girl

    Remy, Nobody's Girl

    ★★★★★

    i grew up watching remy, and each time i rewatch it it feels like i’m being held all crispy-limbed and brittle against the slip of time. makes me wonder, where does happiness go when it goes!

  • The Metamorphosis of Birds

    The Metamorphosis of Birds

    ★★★★★

    “i wonder what might prompt a mother’s hands to preserve her children’s childhoods. is it our fear of not recognising them when they can think for themselves?”

    the cumulative power this movie has, god. GOD. a gorgeously shot on 18mm work that makes you muse on the absence of a mother in your life and stuff. it isn’t concerned with any bigger truths or issues but it’ll remain in my memory for so long: it is always beautiful to watch…

  • In the Mood for Love

    In the Mood for Love

    ★★★★

    man, my muscles ached with the sheer effort of trying to love it as much as i was supposed to. it feels weird, although normal, to deviate from the general consensus (!) it’s a film about, yes, love; but also about nostalgia, loss and betrayal, memories, opportunities, and above all, the brutality of time’s passage. 

    the movie is indubitably stunning, and god did i love those figure-hugging cheongsam dresses, the traditional social climate and the relatively calmer politics. and if there’s…

  • Cold War

    Cold War

    ★★★★½

    tell me, what’s better than a movie negotiating a series of aesthetic key changes, mirroring the ebb and flow of a beautiful, tumultuous love story in a communist climate, speaking of freedom of incarceration, of a woman with pragmatic dreams and a man with western-leaning dreams (you can’t call the movie political, not exactly, although politics had a hand in bending their stars), of feelings left unsaid, capturing THAT sense of liberation and entrapment intertwined? i’ll wait.

  • Never Rarely Sometimes Always

    Never Rarely Sometimes Always

    ★★★★

    trust me, i was fidgeting in my seat like crazy just waiting for someone to say something from the heart. god how i was waiting for autumn to thank her friend just once, but she just didn’t. but by the time the diner scene has begun, the film already gave me two wonderful and cathartic moments: in the titular questionnaire scene and the hand holding scene, so i don’t get to be upset because i didn’t get to indulge in whatever…

  • Don't Look Up

    Don't Look Up

    ★★★½

    i liked how it was pretty obvious that the bash ceo was a parody of bezos, elon, jobs, and a whole bunch of other greedy self-interested dudes rolled into on, and how timothée turned out to be the only earnestly religious person—it was so random. oh, and the way randall was an introverted scientist who slowly turned into leo dicaprio as the movie went on.

  • Columbus

    Columbus

    ★★★★½

    “i’m also moved by it.”
    “yes. yes! tell me about that!”
    “i thought you hated architecture?”
    “yes. but i’m interested in what moves you.”

    there is something particularly profound, undeniably relatable about this arthouse movie. was it how jin avoided the purgatory of the hospital? was it how casey found respite in taking care of her addict mother? maybe it was how they bonded over modernist architecture and how their tendency to see themselves in every architectural thing around them…

  • Crystal Swan

    Crystal Swan

    ★★★★½

    “loving your motherland is a spiritual practice.”

    well, a young belorussian woman refusing to conform to provincial miserabilism; whose mother chastises her in every given opportunity and does nothing but grieve the damage caused by the collapse of communism; who uses music as a form of escapism and finds respite in being away from the rest of the world sounds just like my thing! 

    if you squint, the entire plot revolves around a telephone that will supposedly ring. but what…

  • Shoplifters

    Shoplifters

    ★★★★★

    what more can i possibly ask for other than a beautifully woven movie on the found family trope set in tōkyō—which feels even more gritty and real—and that encapsulates every feeling from aching like having your hair tied in a roundabout’s railing to bursting with warmth as though you ate the sun itself? god.

    it was pretty easy to turn this film into a poverty-stricken tragedy. but hirokazu kore-eda refrained from doing it; the tone remains hopeful, fleshing out wonderful…

  • All Too Well: The Short Film

    All Too Well: The Short Film

    ★★★★

    “i’m sorry for dropping your hand.” - ATW
    “i’m sorry. thank you.” - M&M 

    all too well reminds me of malcom & marie—if malcom had apologized for not thanking marie and if he hadn’t dropped her hand, if if if. 

    it’s the “if only” factor, yes, and god if you’re a songwriter (& a movie director, but i genuinely don’t think i would’ve liked the film as much if it wasn’t for its lyrical context) who’s somehow capable of fitting all the…