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  • Dirty Harry

    Dirty Harry

    Startlingly contemporary in how it feels crafted to preempt every conceivable take anyone could have on it, but ultimately just the ne plus ultra of attempts to have one's cake and eat it, and the extent to which it became and remains an enduring icon of American fascist masculine id makes it hard to lend any slack even if you're predisposed to do so. Looks great though, those nighttime scenes in particular are gorgeous.

  • Stakeout

    Stakeout

    ★★★★½

    One of the best anti-cop movies. Gorgeous and heartbreaking, a procedural's procedural.

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  • Goodbye, Dragon Inn

    Goodbye, Dragon Inn

    ★★★★★

    Art exists to be used, and so to does (the) cinema. Any talk of this being a "love poem to the movies" is exactly the sort of rank sentimentality the movie steadfastly refuses to indulge; insofar as it is concerned with the "magic" of movies, or going to the movies, it is with the uses of enchantment, so to speak.If we understand dialectics in the sense provided by Huey Newton, i.e. two things (concepts, ideas, etc.) crashing into each other…

  • Manhunter

    Manhunter

    ★★★★★

    Drastically underdiscussed the extent to which this is as much a work about gender as Silence of the Lambs, albeit from a different angle and somewhat less obviously; the more one appreciates this, the even more deathly sad the way it all ends becomes. Dolarhyde's red dragon is the result of a continuous, learned refusal to believe in the possibility of the kind of change or transformation he truly wants and needs (there's an obvious and considerably more interesting than…