Favorite films

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • Rashomon
  • La Strada
  • World on a Wire

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  • The Red Shoes

    ★★★★½

  • L'amore

    ★★★½

  • Hamlet

    ★★★★½

  • The Spirit of the Beehive

    ★★★★

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  • Mulholland Drive

    Mulholland Drive

    ★★★★★

    "I just wanted to come here." - "To Winkie's?"

    A dream. A nightmare. A fever dream.

    "Just call me Coco. Everybody else does."

    I want to write something about Mulholland Drive, but I have no idea what, or how. The film has been analyzed into detail to death and then some (it feels like the movie that could have given birth to the genre of [Insert film title] explained! videos on Youtube), and re-treading the generally accepted reading of the…

  • Berlin Alexanderplatz

    Berlin Alexanderplatz

    ★★★★★

    Freunde, das Leben ist lebenswert...

    Forty years ago today, the first episode of Fassbinder's magnum opus Berlin Alexanderplatz first aired on German television, and it is my intention to watch every single episode on its 40th anniversary - a project that will keep going until December 29th. This review will get updated after every episode.

    The first episode, aptly titled The Punishment Begins, opens with our main character's release from prison, where he served a four-year sentence for manslaughter. Franz…

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  • The Red Shoes

    The Red Shoes

    ★★★★½

    The centerpiece of The Red Shoes is clearly its ballet scene, which comes pretty much exactly at the film's halfway point, lasts about 17 minutes, and is everything you could ever want from a dance scene in a film: Breathtaking, exciting, beautiful - and most of all cinematic. It goes far beyond the stage that it is set on, and becomes an engrossing fantasy. In its most surreal moment, a newspaper turns into a dancer, and then back into a…

  • L'amore

    L'amore

    ★★★½

    Two Anna Magnani films for the prize of one. L'amore consists of two halves, each basically a 40-ish minute short film starring Anna Magnani.

    The first is Magnani's rendition of The Human Voice, that one-woman-show written by Jean Cocteau we have see most recently done by Tilda Swinton, but has also been performed on the screen by Ingrid Bergman, Rosamund Pike and Sophia Loren. As is to expected, Anna Magnani is acting her heart out, and delivers my favorite rendition…

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  • Three Songs for Benazir

    Three Songs for Benazir

    ★★★★

    So you are telling me it is possible to make a documentary about fugitives living in absolute poverty in a camp in Kabul without just reveling in the worst aspects of their fate, but actually showing them as human beings with hopes and aspirations and agency? And you're telling me that, by letting us get to know your protagonists, rather than letting them remain a cipher that the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse get unleashed upon, you manage to get…

  • Colette

    Colette

    ★★★

    I am torn on this one.

    On the one hand, this is a well-made examination of grief and re-opening wounds that are many decades old.

    On the other, there are at least three moments in this film in which its protagonist, a 90-year-old woman, is either at her emotional breaking point or well beyond it, but the camera keeps rolling mercilessly. At one point she is even commenting herself on how morbid she thinks this really is. It just seems…