Favorite films

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  • Unknown Pleasures
  • Happy Here and Now
  • Teknolust

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  • Within Our Gates

    ★★★

  • Time

    ½

  • Duelle

    ★★★★

  • Gosford Park

    ★★★½

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  • The Busby Berkeley Disc

    The Busby Berkeley Disc

    ★★★★★

    After my first week of atomized, eye-searing remote teaching, of course I was willing to skip the usual sub-Stage Door backstage bandying that accompanies a Busby Berkeley film and, to quote Carly Rae Jepsen, cut to the feeling and watch this all-Berkeley program that's apparently an actual disc on my peak-DVD Berkeley set.

    I'd seen them all before, but twenty-one of his numbers in succession certainly simultaneously exhausted me and made me absurdly giddy, fully aware that this was a…

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  • Lux Æterna

    Lux Æterna

    ★★½

    Not a fan of Noé in the slightest; I just came for Gainsbourg and Dalle. Indeed, I wish Noé just stretched the two talking at the beginning to fifty minutes. Everything present is ultimately in service of Noé's lightshow, but I found Noé's use of a Buñuel quotation more than a little puerile, but then this is a Noé film.

  • Amanda

    Amanda

    ★★★

    I'm just catching up with titles from directors debuting at Berlin next month, and if we're the remotest lucky, it'll be as strong as last year's. I had expectations for this one, and it's best if one goes into this blind, but ultimately it felt too self-consciously writerly for me and veered too much into the treacly despite its naturalistic design. For example, there's a curious, out-of-the-way scene early on where a mother and daughter discuss Elvis that one just…

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  • Esther Kahn

    Esther Kahn

    ★★★★★

    Oh, this one murdered me, and it's frankly consumed my holiday. Inevitably: How am I literally the seven-hundredth person to log this? My film taste isn't that obscure. I'm familiar with and love Arnaud Desplechin, but I'm not certain this one stood much a chance. After receiving mixed reviews at Cannes, it was rejected by the NYFF and infamously named the best of 2000 by Cahiers du Cinéma. It didn't wash-up stateside until 2002 (I have no idea what its…

  • A New Leaf

    A New Leaf

    ★★★★★

    Boundlessly entertaining and brilliantly written, this is obviously the best thing Elaine May did for the cinema. It deserves to be an unquestioned classic, and it may well be on its way given the currents. I generally gravitate toward art that is simultaneously romantic and acidic (or laced with strychnine, sodium arsenite, boron compounds, etc.), and May succeeds swimmingly even lending some hesitant redemption to Matthau's rotter.

    Of her oeuvre, this exists in a classification of its own, with the…