Favorite films

  • Chinatown
  • Sweet Smell of Success
  • The Night of the Hunter
  • Ace in the Hole

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  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    ★★★½

  • Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

    ★★★

  • The Menu

    ★★★½

  • I Stand Alone

    ★★

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  • The Metamorphosis of Birds

    The Metamorphosis of Birds

    ★★★★★

    Come, learn the language of birds. They will teach you to use words like wings, and they will take your heart, gift it feathers, and lift it to the currents of the sky. Where the seas are echoed, where the infinity of the horizon line can be explored, this is where the invisible path of birds will take you, where you will be shown the smallest of miracles and the greatest of tragedies, the inexpressible joy, the uncountable grief, and…

  • Persona

    Persona

    ★★★★★

    Oh man, where do I start? Persona defies interpretation; in fact, one of the many themes of the film is the very struggle with interpretation. This film has so many different ways to interpret it that you could watch it hundreds of times and see something new each time. (it blows my mind how complex Persona manages to be in just 85 minutes). At the core of the film— the thread that runs through it all— is duality. The duality of things…

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  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    ★★★½

    A rewatch five years after its release finds me thinking about how deeply Three Billboards is a 2017 movie. It feels enmeshed in its time, a Trump-era moment, when it seemed like the world was both spinning off its tracks and moving forward like normal. When grief, accusation, inaction, and violence all echoed into each other to become anger. When one could see the pain and injustice of the world and then look around at nothing happening, nobody doing anything—…

  • Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

    Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

    ★★★

    Glass to layer, to conceal, to protect, misdirect, symbolize, shatter. Glass as bombastic architecture, phone screen, protective shield, fragile ego, personalized tumblers— which (like so much else in the film) doubles as both a token of friendly familiarity and potential clue to the secretly unfolding mystery. Rian Johnson’s Glass Onion, sequel to the 2019 hit Knives Out, is bigger, brighter, flashier, crashier, and more brazenly socially reflective than its predecessor. The film sets itself apart with a more visually engaging…

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  • Memoirs of a Geisha

    Memoirs of a Geisha

    ★★

    Filmed all in Japan, with Chinese actresses, while speaking English. Could you imagine if that was reversed-- if a Japanese director made a film set in America, with British actors that only spoke Japanese, but in an American accent? ... Yeah, I think that would be pretty comical.

    Not only that, but here the pacing is incredibly uneven, the story is confusing, and the writing approaches soap-opera levels of melodrama. However, the costume/makeup is great, and there are a few dance scenes with some captivating cinematography.

  • Everything Everywhere All at Once

    Everything Everywhere All at Once

    ★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The ultimate capitalistic fantasy: taste the pure possibility of the multiverse and then return to dutifully do your taxes. That is only one of the ways this film espouses the pernicious ideology of capitalism; such values are embedded in the very fabric of its conceptually inconsistent multiverse. The maximalist excess, the superficial thought, the rush of spectacle, the triumph of the individual— these are the implicit and explicit outcomes of the capitalist system, and also the driving forces of the…