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Favorite films

  • Dilating for Maximum Results
  • Lollygag
  • Reflections
  • The Human Voice

Recent activity

  • Drylongso


  • Saltburn


  • The Wild One


  • And Everything Is Going Fine


Pinned reviews

  • Love Is Strange

    Love Is Strange


    Ira Sachs’ portrait of a couple after 40 years together is aptly titled, capturing both Ben and George’s connection and each’s peculiarities. Late in the film, at a bar, Ben bullshits his way into free drinks, and they talk about their apartment and fidelity and old adventures. The conversation flows effortlessly, wisely scripted to illuminate two entwined lives in a matter of minutes. 

    Just don’t let the rich, nuanced dialogue distract you from appreciating Sachs’ framing. It’s often astonishing in…

  • The Rapture

    The Rapture


    Astonishing in its audacity and its sincerity, even on my third (fourth?) viewing. Writer-director Michael Tolkin shows multiple scenes of group sex, and he treats evangelical christian beliefs with the utmost seriousness, but he arguably depicts both as spiritual dead-ends. (I’m not fond of the “who is this movie for?” question, but I’ve had to wonder that every time.)

    Tackling morality and faith, nihilism and meaning, interiority and personae, Tolkin’s themes here are similar to Paul Schrader’s go-tos, though Tolkin…

Recent reviews

  • Drylongso



    A vital, once-lost gem of 80s indie cinema. Filmmaker Cauleen Smith uses recognizable characters and a vivid sense of place to ground a message that, sadly, hasn’t lost any urgency in the 35 years since this came out. 

    Shooting in Oakland near the peak of crack cocaine’s impact, Smith focuses on a supportive community. She doesn’t shirk from acknowledging violence and fear, but more attention goes to friends, neighbors, and Pica’s photography class. Even the woman loudly claiming rights to…

  • Saltburn



    This dark comedy has a little to say about class and lot about desire; primarily, it’s propelled by twists and bold strokes. 

    Once again, Fennell’s starts with some fairly basic truths, then creates a vivid character with the audacity and imagination to exploit them. Unlike the singular Cassie from Promising Young Woman, her protagonist here, Oliver, has some clear antecedents. What’s distinctive is Keoghan’s quicksilver ability to shift between the character’s many gears. He’s thrilling to watch, from recognizable behaviors…

Popular reviews

  • Babylon



    Robbie kills it, and Jean Smart skillfully rescues the pompous thesis statement that she’s forced to speak. So much for the good news…

    1. Chazelle indulges his fascination with high-functioning addicts and violent egomaniacs, milking them as spectacle for, easily, 95% of the three hours. Then he trots out the “insight” that it’s a long, soulless road to a tragic dead end. It’s like getting a “Just Say No” lecture from a coke dealer. 

    2. He attempts a “statement” about…

  • You Won't Be Alone

    You Won't Be Alone


    First up, this isn’t a horror film. It’s more of a meditation on existence, sex, gender, love, and the cycle of life, albeit one that happens to involve a hideous, seemingly ageless witch with black claws and a taste for blood. 

    It doesn’t have a horror film’s pacing either; it flows dreamily. When the transitions between sequences involve some bloodshed, mostly we just see the aftermath. 

    Instead, the tone is pastoral, the voiceover that of someone never taught proper language…