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  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

    The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

    ★★★★★

    The industry's present default is that every story should trace a protagonist's growth & change. It's a vague narcissism, assuming the world exists for our inner growth. But here, man is in proper scale: puny, mean, & wildly disposable.

    Huston's film presents initially as a study of Bogart's Fred C. Dobbs. And it can be read that way for at least 2/3 of the film: a story of a desperate man who is cursed with getting what he's after. A sort of…

  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

    Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

    ★★★★½

    Maybe the greatest testimony to the power of movie star charisma and chemistry? Any other pair stars in this film, it's a minor cult classic.

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  • Hell or High Water

    Hell or High Water

    ★★★★★

    Rewatch w/ my 10 year old. (Both of my sons love this film.) I think Taylor Sheridan's script for this is one of my two favorites of the last decade or two (along w/ SOCIAL NETWORK). Soulfulness, not cleverness. Elemental yet subtle. Serious fun.

    There's so much to admire here. The characterization & dialogue feel lived in,& natural, & authentic, but never falls into mere indulgence. Just when it's on the verge of being too slow, it's punctuated by a great scene…

  • The Royal Tenenbaums

    The Royal Tenenbaums

    ★★★★★

    In my mid-20s in Fayetteville, Arkansas, I was reeling from the end of a long term relationship, working on an MFA in poetry, playing in bands, drinking way too much, painting all day and falling asleep on my couch each night to this movie.

    By 2003, I started dating my wife, got my shit (mostly) together, and turned a page. Cut out the (purposeful) self-destruction, cut out the (shitty, faux-Rauschenberg) painting, and stopped watching the movie for 17 years. Until…