Favorite films

  • The King of Comedy
  • Duck Soup
  • Monsieur Verdoux
  • The Black Cat

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  • In Front of Your Face

    ★★★★½

  • U2: A Rock Crusade

  • Exposed to Danger

  • Deadly Strike

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  • In Front of Your Face

    In Front of Your Face

    ★★★★½

    As a relative Hong Sang-soo novice, I'll say that this movie required a certain acclimation period for me, because its style goes against so much of what I've been conditioned to think a "well-made movie" looks like. It's shot on less-than-state-of-the-art digital video, replete with blown-out backgrounds and audio that muffles when the wind hits the mic. Hong parks his camera for long, long dialogue scenes that encompass information that a screenwriting manual would tell you to cut. If two…

  • Exposed to Danger

    Exposed to Danger

    A rare example of a female filmmaker who toiled in Taiwan's genre/exploitation fare, Yang Chia-Yun (Karen Yang) directed the legendary-to-me feminist rape-revenge movie The Lady Avenger - and if you direct a movie like that, you automatically become a Subject For Further Research.

    This thriller-with-slasher-elements stars the Lady Avenger herself, Lu Hsiao-Fen, as a woman who has just served a long prison sentence for a murder she didn't commit. She moves to a small town where no one knows her,…

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  • The Card Counter

    The Card Counter

    ★★★★½

    Weird that they left all the Abu Ghraib stuff out of the trailer. I assume this was accidental?

    Another Paul Schrader movie from Paul Schrader. You've got a man living an ascetic lifestyle writing a diary in a room, you've got the Pickpocket ending - all that good stuff you like and look forward to from our Uncle Paul. Almost every scene is set in a depressing hotel room, prison, or casino. I like that what draws Schrader to gambling…

  • The French Dispatch

    The French Dispatch

    Outlaw Vern had a viral tweet this week in which he said: "The Wes Anderson negativity I've noticed lately is so goofy. Were people ever like, 'Oh great. Here comes Jacques Tati with another one of his fucking Jacques Tati movies'?" Putting aside the fact that, yes, people absolutely did feel this way about Tati, I am somewhat sympathetic to his broader point. Wes Anderson is a supremely talented filmmaker who has created a style uniquely his own, and that's…