RSS feed for Jake
  • Tenebre

    Tenebre 1982

    ★★★★★ Watched 28 Oct, 2014

    Double-feature of this and IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS, on repeat until you just go insane.

  • Love and Death

    Love and Death 1975

    ★★★★★ Watched 23 Oct, 2014

    One of the few Woody Allen films to fully reconcile his sardonic wit with his overriding desire to be seen as a smart, serious person, actively mocking his own literary pretensions before they took over his films.

  • The Puppetmaster

    The Puppetmaster 1993

    ★★★★★ Watched 06 Oct, 2014

    Urge to write something big on Hou gradually shifting from "want" to "need."

  • *Corpus Callosum

    *Corpus Callosum 2002

    ★★★★★ Watched 07 Oct, 2014

    One of the best films of the millennium, a wry digital experiment that is revealed (in a better twist than any recent mainstream movie contains) to be a comment on how digital filmmaking will change Hollywood, with the real work now done by programmers in Toronto offices.

  • Listen Up Philip
  • Public Enemies

    Public Enemies 2009

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 26 Sep, 2014

    I've gone from disliking this film to loving it to now finding it one of the best of the last decade. A crime movie that foregrounds the allure of iconic criminals while thoroughly countering it with a brutal vision of single-minded crooks and equally simple cops. (In an amusing twist, it is the nascent FBI that is seen as far more nefarious by the public at large in this movie, distrustful of a Depression-era government body formed, in part, to…

  • Eraserhead

    Eraserhead 1977

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 20 Sep, 2014

    A perfectly calibrated film. The length of time it took to assemble the full thing can be felt only in how carefully ordered everything is, how exacting the sound design. It may have had lasting cult popularity because it's "weird," but I think it held on for how evocative it is, how well it nails that sense of being trapped by automation and shrieking metal and the feeling that a city is really an alien planet capable of corrupting our very DNA. Lynch wouldn't make a better movie until FWWM.

  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 1974

    ★★★★★ Watched 19 Sep, 2014

    One of the few canonical classics of New Hollywood I think still deserves its full rep. Such a multivalent film, and also one of the few horror movies to keep me in total terror the whole time without resorting to cheap tricks.

  • Manhunter

    Manhunter 1986

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 18 Sep, 2014

    MANHUNTER is not Michael Mann's best film, but that does not preclude it from being one of the best American genre films of all time. Its mixture of exacting, over-researched realism and pure, unabashed style may have nominally inspired an entire generation of TV shows that have made bank for CBS, but nothing in CSI's invasive forensic illustrations (copped from THREE KINGS more than this) produces the same effect of total identification with its ostensibly chilly, distant characters.

    Mann explores…

  • The Innocents

    The Innocents 1961

    ★★★★★ Watched 17 Sep, 2014 1

    One of the best horror movies ever made. Profoundly unsettling, and so distinctive from the usual, expressionist b&w horror in its minimal use of crazed lighting, its idyllic setting, and its focus on Kerr displaying her character's interiority rather than displacing it through the production design. Really great stuff, I wasn't expecting to be this taken with it.

  • From the Clouds to the Resistance

    From the Clouds to the Resistance 1979

    ★★★★★ Watched 22 Aug, 2014

    The opening vignettes of mythological discussions are seemingly at odds with the subsequent leap to the postwar era, but the film links various forms of struggle across the ages: against Nazis, against internal fascists, against age, against the gods themselves. It grounds conflict as not only a necessity of drama, but of a life worth living. The Straubs' structural filmmaking is a marvel, subtly iconographic even in its matter-of-fact compositions.

    The first segment shows a nymph shot so that the…

  • Phantom of the Paradise

    Phantom of the Paradise 1974

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 22 Aug, 2014

    The best rock movie since THE GIRL CAN'T HELP IT. Neck and neck with CARLITO'S WAY as my favorite De Palma.