Favorite films

  • Barrabas
  • Way Down East
  • The Boulevard of Scheveningen
  • A Countess from Hong Kong

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  • The Novel of Werther

    ★★★★

  • La Cecilia

    ★★★★

  • Stolen Desire

    ★★★½

  • Dark Glasses

    ★★½

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  • The Third Man

    The Third Man

    ★★★★½

    Every decision that Reed makes is in bad taste; the dutch angles are so academic and the direction so unsubtle that it completely undermines the psychological ambiguity the text works to establish. They alone are proof enough against the idea that Welles directed a second of the film, though Bogdanovich is also completely right that this film could not have existed without the style Kane, Ambersons and The Stranger established. (Even Welles failed to impress me on this occasion, whose…

  • The Novel of Werther

    The Novel of Werther

    ★★★★

    I always find the shadows in Ophuls so compelling, most of all in Caught but equally here. They're equally as pronounced as they are in Murnau and Tourneur, but they never subsist on their own as they often seem to in Nosferatu and Cat People. Equally as important as the shadow is the body or object required to make it appear. Ophuls is not a dualist, it is never a question of counterposing physical appearance and non-physical truth. Though psychology…

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  • Hidden

    Hidden

    Panahi's films are increasingly only addressed to a very specific metropolitan audience, made now with a certain self-important authority never found in the work of his mentor (who he is nonetheless so eager to emulate). It is hard to regard this turn as anything other than unfortunate, given it is this very audience which is treated with great ambivalence in what remains his single great work, Offside. Since then, his work has taken on the significance of the self-conscious activist…

  • The Forgotten

    The Forgotten

    In the absence of anywhere else to write this, I'll put it here. I've been obsessed in the last three weeks with this painting of Christ and the woman of Samaria, finished sometime before 1504 by Juan de Flandes after the mathematical revolution in perspective by Masaccio and before, or slightly parallel to, the gaudiness of the High Renaissance. This painting sits somewhere between these two points, and is simpler than what was standard for either (in fact it reminds…