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  • The Lighthouse

    The Lighthouse

    ★★

    Pastiche, most impressive and most stale. See also: depressing. Neither the first nor the last kitschy invocation of Bergman, Dreyer et al. but certainly the one to give me most pause about (1) the current state and effect of their legacy and (2) the soundness of what I wish/hoped would be that state and legacy. Regressive wallowing in rose-tinted nostalgia and selective romanticism for the past never make for the answer, but merely asking “What happened?” I believe is fair.…

  • Good-for-Nothing

    Good-for-Nothing

    ★★★★

    YOSHIDA (1/19)

    First Yoshida, so, thoughts are scattershot, but highest expectations have been met. Remarkably reserved, especially for an early, debut even, Japanese New Wave film. (Ignore the concomitant implication of out-of-the-gate qualitative superiority over Good-For-Nothing's compatriots. I live for the unbridled hysteria and colorful gusto behind and to behold in e.g. The Sun's Burial, Killers on Parade, I Hate But Love, and on.) Indeed, all the textural signifiers of green Nūberu bāgu entries are here (Jazz a'plenty and a'glorious(!!)…

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  • The Straight Story

    The Straight Story

    ★★★★★

    Like a warm, elegant, and all too painfully honest and revealing denouement to and look back at all the learned and unlearned lessons of life, at all the people long gone who still had love to give or at least could have used a little more, at all the simple joy, and sorrow, and laughter, and heartache, and lost and found love before arriving at a tender, perfectly understated, perfectly articulated, perfectly human moment, just as quiet as every last…

  • Mommy

    Mommy

    ★★★★½

    Like the fascinatingly and evocatively portrayed main character, "Mommy" abounds in unrelenting energy and joy despite so much underlying sadness and discord. Here is a film, like the titular mother of the film, that refuses to allow itself anything less than unceasing hope and Dolan stunningly captures the bitter difficulty and sweet reward of that effort and process.