Favorite films

  • Faces
  • Audrey the Trainwreck
  • Meek's Cutoff
  • Killer of Sheep

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  • Velvet Goldmine

    ★★★★½

  • The Beast with Five Fingers

    ★★½

  • The Phantom of the Opera

    ★★½

  • New York Ninja

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  • On the Bowery

    On the Bowery

    ★★★★★

    A personal favorite of mine and one of American independent film’s true groundbreakers. The importance of ‘On the Bowery’ lies not just in its foundational status, but in its openness towards its subjects and in its style. The film follows Ray (Ray Salyer), an ex-railroad worker struggling to stay sober, through three days living on New York’s skid row. Upon arriving, he falls in immediately with a group of fellow alcoholics and loses most of his money and belongings. He…

  • Quietly On By

    Quietly On By

    ★★★★★

    ***Update: All of Frank V. Ross’ films are currently available on Joe Swanberg’s new streaming platform! Check them all out here!***

    'Quietly on By' begins just as 24 year-old Aaron Riley (Anthony J. Baker) suffers a severe nervous breakdown after losing his job and his girlfriend. The rest of the film takes place in the aftermath. In his fragile state, Aaron dawdles through his days like he is lost in his own head. With no job or responsibilities to guide…

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  • On the Bowery

    On the Bowery

    ★★★★★

    I reviewed this on here not too long ago, so forgive the repetitiveness, but I expanded my previous LB review into a longer piece for Split Tooth that was published this morning. This film left such a profound impression on me when I first saw it. I can’t think of many other films that were more important than 'On the Bowery' in expanding my sense of what a movie could be when I was younger, so this was a really…

  • Boundaries

    Boundaries

    100th review on here and it happens to coincide with another milestone!

    The site I write for, Split Tooth, hosted its first online film premiere today! We are extremely excited that this first premiere is 'Boundaries' by Christopher Jason Bell. As noted in our intro on the site, Bell's films are often about immigrants trying to establish a sense of home in America, forging relationships, and often struggling socially and economically. (Of particular note is his 2020 short 'Trammel.' I…

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  • Safe

    Safe

    ★★★★★

    There is an interview with Guy Maddin on the ‘My Winnipeg’ Criterion disc in which he compares melodrama to Werner Herzog's ecstatic truths. Maddin defines melodrama as "life uninhibited,” a style where characters can turn their insides out by articulating their deepest emotions in their fullest and most expressive forms. In ‘Safe,’ Haynes does something unique with melodrama, because he treats the film’s most ecstatic moments like they are being yelled through gritted teeth. There is a disharmony between the…

  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

    ★★★★★

    I’ve already watched this film twice in 2020. I’ve held off on reviewing it, but today I felt compelled to jot down some thoughts about watching 'Texas Chainsaw' on the 4th of July this year. The experience has really stuck with me. I remember nothing felt right about a holiday taking place at the time, especially one that celebrates a country that remains so undeserving of praise at the moment. Instead of the traditional BBQ, some friends and I did…