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  • The Birth of a Nation

    The Birth of a Nation



    A fascinating film to me for several reasons, the biggest of which might be its demonstration of cinema as a cantilever of force on a national stage as well as its ability to not only maintain relevance, but actually garner more traction over a century after its release. Granted, that traction is not of amicable nature—it is an ugly, reprehensible agency, but an agency nonetheless, and to ignore its influence on not just cinema but the United States of…

  • The River

    The River



    After being highly receptive of every Tsai film I’ve seen thus far, I figured it was about time I tried to dive more in-depth about the essence of his very style, and why I find his particular brand of stoicism fundamentally more alluring and captivating than many others’. THE RIVER completely knocked my socks off, and not only does it contain some of the most painfully lingering sequences in Tsai’s canon (and I say that as a good thing),…

Recent reviews

  • Kids




    “This is what a Harmony Korine movie would look like if he hired someone else to direct it.” Oh… right… Anyway, this helps me express the point that I enjoy him far less as a writer than a director—you could hand this script to Scorsese or Lynch and they’d have trouble mining something interesting from it. These loosely directional stories of Rotting Youth rarely get me excited, and Clark’s purposely risible (but seemingly underpinned) limning of the material offers…

  • We Won't Grow Old Together

    We Won't Grow Old Together



    An unforgiving portrait of asphyxiated wish-fulfillment; this is what a Rohmer film might look like if he were less interested in his characters’ moral struggles and the buried humanity therein than the inevitability of decay. It’s an awful lot like watching someone beg to be tortured, endure and subsequently complain about the torture, and then beg for it again once the welts have turned yellow. For that reason it can be an occasionally unpleasant experience, but at times equally…

Popular reviews

  • Roma




    Wasn't even feeding into my most deep-seated contrarian instincts as the credits rolled and I asked myself, “what do people see in this?” Perhaps I know too much about Cuarón and his obsession with ostentatious construction to not be annoyed by the barrage of slowly oscillating (and equally inconsequential) long takes. Seriously, over half the movie is filmed like the final scene of THE CONVERSATION; at least there it served a metaphorical purpose. While others have cited “immersion” and…

  • Burning




    Strongly agree with one of Mike D’Angelo’s major points of contention—that damn pink wristwatch needs to go. I might even take it one step further and nix the garage/cat scene, or at least muddle it a bit. (That is to say, don’t have the feline triumphantly march over the instant his name is uttered. Do cats ever even respond this obediently? Mine certainly do not.) These inclusions sour the ending just a tad, deploying a vindictive/redemptive undertone that I…