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  • How Stella Got Her Groove Back

    How Stella Got Her Groove Back

    ★★★★

    This is my mom's favorite movie of all time and I love that about her. I hope I can make a movie she likes in the same way.

    So beautifully lit throughout, extremely stylized, broad melodrama. Excellent camera work and staging. Angela Bassett really is incredible. Lives in the lineage of All That Heaven Allows / Ali: Fear Eats the Soul / Far From Heaven. I'd love to see more.

  • Black Angel

    Black Angel

    ★★★

    Viewed on cinephobe.tv

    Favorite sequences:

    - Peter Lorre silently and slowly discovering June Vincent rummaging through his safe, just as she is tipped off by her piano playing partner by a switch to “moonlight sonata” 
    - A wonderful montage of a man getting drunk on whiskey, cross-fading with neon signs, twirling cameras, canted framing, pushes and pulls, which lead to a blacked-out dreamy flashback which looked to be shot and replayed through a fish tank or something. It was really effective! 

    Dialogue:

    “You didn’t exactly kick me in the face yourself”

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  • A Dim Valley

    A Dim Valley

    ★★★★★

    A couple years ago Brandon sent me the script to A Dim Valley, his third feature. It was characteristically precise and moving. The film is the same and I'm proud to have worked on it as a producer and editor (with Pisie Hochheim). When Brandon makes a movie, the sets are as tranquil as the films themselves, he does all the scheduling and in his words "absorbs the stress" so that others don't have to feel it. His demeanor on…

  • August at Akiko's

    August at Akiko's

    ★★★★★

    For the second time separated by almost exactly one year, I found myself sobbing with Alex as Akiko chanted to him. The scene comes about an hour into Christopher Makoto Yogi’s 75 minute masterpiece August at Akiko’s and its emotional power, like the entire film, is mysterious to me. So I felt compelled to write about it which I don't do a lot. Why does this movie rock me so much?

    Set on the “big island” of Hawaii the film…