Favorite films

  • Local Hero
  • Fallen Angels
  • The Spanish Prisoner
  • Desk Set

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  • The Hole

    ★★★★½

  • Shooter

    ★★

  • Urbanissimo

    ★★★½

  • The Tender Game

    ★★★★

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  • The Hole

    The Hole

    ★★★★½

    Wonderfully digressive, improvised dialogue about nothing and everything, from the St. Bernard's Waltz to bone-rattling dread and existential anxiety in the age of nuclear proliferation. And beautifully animated. I'll think about this for a long while.

  • Shooter

    Shooter

    ★★

    Dumb trash. I thought it was going to be at least good dumb trash, but no such luck.

    At least they cast Levon Helm, but this was a ridiculous (of course) and downright stupid script, with no character development – scratch that, no actual characters – or much of anything really. Wikipedia led me to assume that there'd be a few good set pieces, but nah.

    (Special attention should be paid to the sheer laziness of the names. Beyond the…

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  • Man with a Movie Camera

    Man with a Movie Camera

    ★★★★½

    What a lively, energetic, groundbreaking -- but above all, fun -- film. Man with a Movie Camera was Vertov's magnum opus, bringing the already-established Soviet montage theory of editing and cinema together with his boundless appetite for innovation and experimentation, and it crackles to this day, nearly a hundred years after it was made.

    The film announces at the beginning that it has no intertitles, no actors, no sets, no staging -- it's "an experimentation in the cinematic communication of…

  • Garlic Is as Good as Ten Mothers

    Garlic Is as Good as Ten Mothers

    ★★★★

    I love how, in a Les Blank movie about music, food is prominently featured. And how, in a Les Blank movie about food, music is prominently featured. (I noticed Arhoolie Records founder Chris Strachwitz's name in the credits for sound and camera work, alongside Wim Wenders.)

    It's hard not to love his movies for their irrespressible, bubbly enthusiasm, their compelling characters, their shaggy messy kitchen-sink sensibilities that aren't afraid to get goofy, and Garlic ... is no exception. In under…