Favorite films

  • Earth
  • Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks
  • Nights of Cabiria
  • Wax, or The Discovery of Television Among the Bees

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  • Not a Pretty Picture

    ★★★★½

  • Being John Malkovich

    ★★★★

  • The Black Phone

    ★★★½

  • Daybreak Express

    ★★★★½

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  • Vitalina Varela

    Vitalina Varela

    ★★★★★

    In my eyes, Pedro Costa is one of the most exciting, interesting, and important directors currently working. This is due to his principles as a storyteller and filmmaker, to which he adheres resolutely, making him a unique voice in cinematic history. Because of this I'm going to start off this review by explaining my fascination with his work in basic and broad terms.

    An organic approach to stories. The stories Costa works with stem from lived experience, while not being…

  • Workers, Peasants

    Workers, Peasants

    ★★★★★

    Had to catch this as part of the ongoing Straub-Huillet retrospective on mubi. I tend to forget the experience of seeing a film by the duo, so each time I return I am overwhelmed by their work and by how efficient it is, it's really quite unlike watching films made by anyone else. There is, of course, the specific film and what it contains within itself. But more than that, it's the continuation of the highly distinctive style, perhaps the…

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  • Not a Pretty Picture

    Not a Pretty Picture

    ★★★★½

    Conceptually Not a Pretty Picture is a revelation. A sort of proto-Kiarostami, in which fiction, re-enactment of real events and documentation are all integral to the point of the film. It almost becomes a documentary with inserted snippets of acted out amalgamations of combined real-life experience. As much as focusing on the recreation of these events, Coolidge finds an urgency by granting time to documenting how the actors grapple with their role and shape the general structure of their improvisation.…

  • The Black Phone

    The Black Phone

    ★★★½

    Sinister has always had a special place in my heart. While I don’t think, in general, it is a great film. It is an effective horror flick that manages to push some buttons (however personal they might be) to set that little inspiration engine in motion. It always seemed to me, for nebulous reasons (quite possibly fabricated by romantic recall) as a bit of an outlier of the genre. For this reason, I was rather excited for another Blumhouse production…

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  • L'Avventura

    L'Avventura

    ★★★★★

    Finally feeling somewhat on the same page as Antonioni, and that happens in a film where communication is it's most subversive element, the one that discloses the least about what is actually going on in the film. And there is clearly a disconnect between the director/writer and his characters here. While delving into fascinating psychoanalysis, the distance remains and much like Luigi Pirandello, Antonioni lets his characters roam free without doubting the primal forces that directs the film. As though…

  • Red Desert

    Red Desert

    ★★★★★

    First off thanks to Connor and Marcus for promptly guiding me to this immediately following my review of L'avventura and never has a recommendation felt so appropriate. Of course I loved it, as Antonioni's scenes become more layered in complexity, though the lifeless black-and-white has its charm, so does his narrative. And it is important to remember this complexity going in to this film, as interpretations often tend to err on the simplistic side. Still we explore the realm of…