RSS feed for Catherine
  • Amy

    Amy 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 23 Aug, 2015

    So glad I saw this, but one of a handful of films I don't think I could ever see again. Requiem for a Dream levels of disturbing to me. We watch Amy actually disintegrate before our eyes. There's a lot to be said about the way footage is used here, the ethics, the complicit viewer, the new forms of documentary with the raw materials available. Whether you love this or object to it, it's a great platform for many different…

  • Valley of the Dolls

    Valley of the Dolls 1967

    ★★★★ Watched 01 Aug, 2015

    This is not a good film, but I love it for that reason. It has no idea what to do with the scraps kept from the book. None. But there's spectacle in the way it jumps from stilted nothings to pill-popping camp, with Patty Duke as the definitive Neely O'Hara at the center. She regularly and single-handedly raises this movie from the dead, and it is something like shrieking magic.

  • Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

    Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 01 Aug, 2015

    can i just live off mission impossible movies forever?

  • Inside Out

    Inside Out 2015

    ★★★★½ Added

    Take all my tears Pixar. Just take them all.

  • The Fury

    The Fury 1978

    ★★★★½ Added

    Top Ten By Year: 1978 - #6

    Pauline Kael’s review of The Fury is one of her most famous because it’s an anomalous hyperbolic rave, a viewing experience that sounds like it amounted to something like an orgasm. Much of the review’s notoriety stems from the generally lackluster reaction people tend to have to Brian De Palma’s follow-up to Carrie. De Palma devotees drool over it, and most others either casually dismiss or actively deride the film. But I’m with…

  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1978

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 04 Mar, 2015

    Top Ten By Year: 1978 - #7

    Philip Kaufman spends the first half of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, a remake of Don Siegel’s 1956 film, establishing a paranoid mood piece where the threat infiltrates safe spaces before we’ve even had time to settle into the picture. They may just look like plants, but fuck do they move fast. Everything is in plain sight right from the beginning, covering both the corners and foreground of the frame, and there is…

  • The Shout

    The Shout 1978

    ★★★★ Watched 13 Jan, 2015

    Top Ten By Year: 1978 - #8:
    The only comparison I have for the cryptic and unknowable experience of The Shout are the films of director Nicolas Roeg and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. The ‘unknown’ at the center of The Shout, made up of aboriginal mysticism and an unreliable narrative, makes for a disturbing nucleus that resides underneath consciousness. Even the credits are hazy and out of reach.

    Like our next film, sound is central to The Shout, employing…

  • I Wanna Hold Your Hand

    I Wanna Hold Your Hand 1978

    ★★★★ Watched 09 Jan, 2015

    Top Ten By Year: 1978 - #9
    From time to time Robert Zemeckis marries touchstone history to the lives of his characters. His success rate varies but his first film, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, is scaled to chaotic perfection. This isn’t Forrest Gump haplessly stumbling through hallmark events like a walking gimmick; this is a dogged unshakable group of fanatical girls who very much want to shove their way into a national moment; by gaining access to The Beatles…

  • The Mafu Cage

    The Mafu Cage 1978

    ★★★★ Watched 09 Feb, 2015

    Top Ten By Year: 1978 - #10:
    Top Ten By Year: 1978 is bookended with films directed by women. I couldn’t really say whether The Mafu Cage is well-regarded or not because it’s not regarded, period. Hell, it doesn’t even have a wikipedia page. In one way this makes sense; the majority of people are likely to be turned off by this claustrophobic and perverse story. In another way, it makes no sense whatsoever; just where oh where is the…

  • Autumn Sonata

    Autumn Sonata 1978

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 01 Mar, 2015

    I figured that Ingmar Bergman’s mother-daughter showdown was a sure bet for my final ten. The Magician made my 1958 list even though I far prefer this over that. But 1958 was a different template with different scales.

    Autumn Sonata could also be called ‘The Meeting of the Bergmans’. This was the one and only collaboration between Ingmar and Ingrid, and it carried a finality for both (it was the director’s last exclusively theatrical release and the star’s final feature…

  • Halloween

    Halloween 1978

    ★★★★ Rewatched 21 Feb, 2015

    John Carpenter wastes no time bringing deep-focus compositions and inquisitive camerawork into the daytime streets of ‘Haddonfield, Illinois’, creating an unassuming town scaffold where peaceful suburbia ought to be. Michael Myers is a stark specter, his blank white presence is direct and his sneakiness is presented directly, entirely without sneak. The camera is on a constant swinging pendulum, roving between Myers and our trio of girls. We are never with either of them. Not truly. Halloween occupies the space between…

  • An Unmarried Woman

    An Unmarried Woman 1978

    ★★★★ Watched 18 Mar, 2015

    Jill Clayburgh prancing around in her undies, giggling uncontrollably in the throes of foreplay, and performing with a rare in-character spontaneity. All this and more support Paul Mazursky’s dramedy about a woman trying to rebuild a life after her husband abruptly leaves her. There is a fascinating knowingness and a concerted effort to tap into the what the ‘modern woman’s picture’ may look like that is by turns outdated and still shockingly relevant. As Erica tries to figure out who…