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  • Beloved

    Beloved 1998

    ★★★★ Watched 23 Jul, 2015

    Discussed with Henry Gamble's Birthday Party writer-director Stephen Cone on the latest episode of the podcast. I've always cast a suspicious eye at those who dig for "film maudits," and then try and position themselves as "I got it right now when everyone got it wrong then." It's usually a lot of judgement of others' opinions, and rarely do these elevate to then describing the work as much as trashing everyone else.

    Stephen, however, isn't interested in positioning himself in…

  • Unfriended

    Unfriended 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 25 Sep, 2015 4

    From an email I sent to a mentor of mine:

    It's a "desktop" horror film that I think should interest you—not because of its "New Media" techniques but because of how it uses the visual language of the desktop to appeal to the classicist functions of narrative and suspense. There are many elements—rephrasing typing, a cursor spinning over a button, lagging, and notification sounds—that work as social codes that the contemporary audience is familiar with, and then they are exploited…

Popular reviews

  • Moonrise Kingdom

    Moonrise Kingdom 2012

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 04 Aug, 2013 3

    I could talk about how this film's structure finally achieves the blissful melancholy that has been at the heart of all of Wes Anderson's films. I could talk about the precision of his framing and tracking shots, and how often he finds visual comedy through a perfect edit, or the slight entrance of new material into the frame. I could talk about how depressing the film is, the hints of both a traumatizing past, and that in a way, Sam…

  • American Hustle

    American Hustle 2013

    ★★ Watched 21 Dec, 2013 21

    "Russell's most exciting moments are three-layered: a familiar narrative or comic convention is exaggerated into a transgressive act, then grounded with a flurry of humanizing psychological detail."
    -Dan Sallitt, 2002.

    American Hustle would easily fit into the same realm as Pain & Gain, The Bling Ring, and Spring Breakers in the excess/over-belief in the American Dream run of films that amounted to a lot of pointless trend pieces this year. Like these films, it is also fueled through the specific vision…