RSS feed for Matt
  • Munich

    Munich 2005

    ★★★★ Watched 29 Aug, 2015

    "all this blood will come back to us"

    men sacrifice themselves for a cause that continues to renew itself, but they carry on because they need to be seen to be doing something no matter how ill equipped they are to deal with the consequences - a film emphatically about people in which the only political act is murder.

  • Twixt

    Twixt 2011

    Rewatched 28 Aug, 2015

    as personal a film as I think I've ever seen - Hall Baltimore writing the opening to his new novel: his voiceover/inner monologue says "Virginia", the name of the girl who haunts his dreams, but he types "Vicky", the name of his daughter, instead. He corrects the mistake, then Coppola cuts to three or four shots of family photos of the two of them together, before cutting back to Baltimore deleting everything on the page and pouring himself a drink.…

  • The Manchurian Candidate

    The Manchurian Candidate 2004

    ★★★★ Watched 25 Aug, 2015

    "there's always casualties in war, sir"

    best scene (there are a few): intense, emotional conversation between two men, both having been fucked by their country, in an elementary school classroom. The walls are covered in out-of-focus children's drawings of smiling people, while one of the men holds back tears in a close-up.

  • Friday Night

    Friday Night 2002

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 22 Aug, 2015

    stunning on every conceivable level - why waste words when everything is felt

  • Double Team

    Double Team 1997

    ★★★ Watched 16 Aug, 2015

    not one pane of glass in this movie is left unshattered

  • A Perfect Getaway

    A Perfect Getaway 2009

    ★★★★ Watched 14 Aug, 2015

    "there's some really good details there"

    baffling in a way that demands a repeat viewing, not to necessarily know what's happening but to understand how Twohy is making it happen - the brilliance of the opening credits sequence, in particular, only reveals itself in hindsight, re-contextualising everything one assumes to be the facts (pointedly stylised home videos - REC light, battery meter, time stamp) as a construct of editing.

  • Inspecteur Lavardin

    Inspecteur Lavardin 1986

    ★★★½ Watched 06 Aug, 2015

    two images from this movie that perfectly encapsulate Chabrol's cinema:

    1) a bottle of whiskey hidden inside a hollowed-out bible

    2) a terrified man rehearsing his fake smile in a mirror after seeing a detective pull up outside his apartment, before telling the two half-naked girls in his bed to hide and be quiet.

    everyone has something to hide.

  • Coal Money

    Coal Money 2009

    Watched 02 Aug, 2015

    "what a fucking shit job"

    the documentaries I respond to the most are the ones in which the role of the filmmaker is diminished to the point of virtual anonymity - People's Park being the ultimate example of this, comprised entirely of one 77 minute shot. This, my first Wang Bing, is similar to the individual work of one of PP's co-directors, J.P. Sniadecki, in that there are cuts, but not many, and the "narrative" is a construct of these…

  • Magnificent Obsession

    Magnificent Obsession 1954

    Watched 26 Jul, 2015

    "let me be your eyes again"

    there's something insidious about the way Rock Hudson tries to lie and trick his way back into Jane Wyman's life after being an integral if passive part of both the death of her husband and her own blindness. Lying about who he is to get close to her with the goal of absolution and using that as a foundation for a romance is asking for trouble, but somehow it works, if only because these…

  • Merci pour le Chocolat

    Merci pour le Chocolat 2000

    ★★★★ Watched 22 Jul, 2015

    "instead of loving, I say 'I love you' and people believe me"

  • Autumn Tale

    Autumn Tale 1998

    ★★★★½ Watched 19 Jul, 2015 1

    The way Rohmer shoots conversations between two people in this is fascinating. Characters talk objectively about their love lives together in a two-shot, before, usually as one of them says something the other doesn't agree with/want to talk about, one of them leaves the frame. The camera stays as it is, leaving one character alone in a shot made for two, while Rohmer cuts to the other in a shot of their own. The conversations continue as if nothing has…

  • Homework

    Homework 1989

    ★★★★½ Watched 15 Jul, 2015

    "do you know what praise is?"

    a series of very simple 1-on-1 interviews in which Kiarostami (wearing sunglasses indoors and sat behind a desk) asks numerous schoolchildren about their homework that, collectively, becomes a deeply pessimistic study of a generation of children failed by education - both in school and at home. As the interviews pile up, patterns begin to emerge: stories of violent schoolteachers, illiterate and impatient family members, the importance of cartoons; and the accumulation of these…