Favorite films

  • Hill of Freedom
  • Daisy Kenyon
  • Floating Clouds
  • Please Don't Eat the Daisies

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  • The Merchant of Four Seasons

    ★★★★

  • Eight Hours Don't Make a Day

    ★★★½

  • Tale of Cinema

    ★★★

  • Veronika Voss

    ★★★½

Recent reviews

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  • The Neon Bible

    The Neon Bible

    ★★

    Some strong moments scattered about that don’t really pull cohesively together. The Terence Davies modus operandi is dialed up here to levels I’ve not seen elsewhere but it rarely works; the totally isolated soundtrack where only the most crucial sound is heard is too stifling for most of the sweeter memory scenes to work. I will say though, in the scene where David finds his mother’s body while a lullaby scores the scene, the only diegetic sound heard is David’s…

  • All I Desire

    All I Desire

    ★★★★½

    Couldn't let go and had to rewatch after only a few hours. The shock hasn't worn off even after a second viewing. A profoundly lucid examination of a household's psychosexual tensions. Imogen Sara Smith (precise and cogent audio commentary on the Kino blu-ray) mentions that she finds Dutch Heinemann to be a somewhat weak character, but I'm not convinced he's much of a character at all. He reads more to me as just an extension of Naomi's explosive sexual energy,…

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  • Cure

    Cure

    ★★★★

    Came around on second viewing. I suppose initially the distance of the mise-en-scene set me off on a strange resistance to the film but now it seems clear to me that Kiyoshi Kurosawa is far from cynical. His interest here appears to be in exploring the characters' failure to come to grips with the mundanity of evil. He understands that nothing is more terrifying than grounding trauma in domesticity. The cut from detective Takabe's silent breakdown to the abrasive sound…

  • The Unknown Girl

    The Unknown Girl

    ★★★★½

    "A good doctor has to control his emotions."

    Surprised by how well this holds up on a rewatch. A fictional character is driven by a lingering tragedy to slowly slip out of her narrative function and become a fully fleshed human being. The result is one of the most poignant portrayals of trauma. Naturally, the initial traumatic event only leads other deeply rooted traumas to resurface, from child abuse to the systematic exploitation of the poor. Despite the violent intrusion…