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  • Always For Pleasure 1978

    ★★★½ Watched 11 Dec, 2014 2

    "You can drink beer out here. You can throw your can on the street. This is the greatest city in the world."

    One of many great quotes from this film (though the bay leaf woman might steal the movie), which I discuss as part of the Crtierion Box Set.

    Turns out I already eat prawns correctly.

  • Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers 1980

    ★★★½ Watched 08 Dec, 2014

    Considered here for the Les Blank Criterion Box Set. Watched this one first, but as a foodie who uses at least half a bulb of garlic in anything I ever cook, this is a pure delight for me the stand out of Blank's work.

  • Jealousy 2013

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 14 Dec, 2014

    My choice for the Best Film of 2014, which I explain here.

  • Here's To The Future! 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 09 Dec, 2014

    Considered here for its Migrating Forms premiere. Gina is a friend, as is true of a lot of people who helped make this film, so take with a grain of salt. But I love the way this film operates so differently from most films about filmmaking, which often see it as a torturous process by The True Artist. Movie making can be fun time, folks!

  • The Avenging Eagle 1978

    ★★★½ Watched 18 Nov, 2014

    The story here is standard Shaw Brothers material, though some of the more self-aware humor certainly keeps it from being entirely filler between the action set pieces. Quentin Tarantino advertised Sun Chung as the "Kubrick of the Shaw Brothers" for his New Bev double feature, which isn't a particularly revealing or apt comparison. However, Chung has a specific use of master shots in action choreography that emphasize the spatial locations of the fight. If Lau Kar-Leung's fights create a visceral…

  • Actress 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 01 Dec, 2014

    Reviewed on the latest podcast. Deeply unsettling in ways I didn't expect. While I quite enjoy them, Greene's last two films could be seen as more or less love letters to their subjects. I assumed given the relationship between Greene and Burre (they are neighbors; she obviously has put a lot of faith in his project), that the same would follow. But the truth is that what makes Actress unique is that Greene is much closer to his subject, and…

  • Buffalo '66 1998

    ★★★★ Watched 05 Nov, 2014 1

    Discussed with Mike D'Angelo on the 50th (!) episode of The Cinephiliacs. Delightfully weird, turning left when it seems to go right. What it does that is so magical, is not tell a completely different type of story than most Sundance films (this recent, truly awful trailer for the Blu-Ray really does sell something obvious), but substitute scenes and moments for things that we don't usually get, making everything feel new again.

  • Junior Bonner 1972

    ★★★½ Watched 24 Oct, 2014

    I'm slowly understanding Pekinpah, having an adverse reaction to The Wild Bunch when I was young (emphasis on the young), and finding much of The Getaway pretty unpleasant. But Junior Bonner seems like a much more effective take on seeing the West pass by and the souls left behind, and the closest to the Hawksian ethos (though Hawks found the picture lousy: "Everybody in it was a loser. I hate losers.") More pragmatic in its ailing look at going home…

  • Eden 2014

    ★★★ Watched 09 Nov, 2014

    Excised from an upcoming piece on Antonioni and Assayas, which I realized I was just shoehorning for what felt like a) an excuse to finally write on this b) a bit sexist of me to choose that avenue to write about her work, which deserves its own space. Honestly, I'll need to see this one again, as by expanding her canvas, it all seems so broad, when her talents have clearly come in minutia. One scene I love not mentioned…

  • Shame 2011

    ★½ Rewatched 11 Nov, 2014 7

    Bullshit from the first frame: a film that uses "sex addiction" to tell a universal story of addiction, draining any specificity in order to create an abstract world where nothing feels lived in. A sterile set of poses in supremely crafted shots that never reveal any psychology. Brandon rushes into the bathroom to jerk off at work and McQueen shoots it from a bird's eye view, but this cuts us off from his face but also his body, so what…

  • Ornette: Made in America 1985

    ★★★ Watched 16 Nov, 2014

    Discussed alongside Portrait of Jason for its Blu-Ray release. Think this is a bit too conventional in spots, most notably the slew of talking heads explaining his importance in the second half of the film, even if Clarke puts them in a wacky TV. It really just goes to illustrate how unique the first half is, jumping around in time without context to provide a really interesting portrait of this man and his style. Cool solar system 80s graphics tho.

  • Portrait of Jason 1967

    ★★★½ Watched 16 Nov, 2014

    Discussed with Ornette as part of its Blu-Ray release. Perhaps more interesting in retrospect in some ways because the last 10 minutes holds the ace of letting us know how "fake" it all might be. But watching that bottle go down and those laughs come out is really thrilling cinema.