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  • Blow-Up

    Blow-Up

    Over the span of “Blow-Up’s” 111 eccentric minutes, our sense of space degrades — beautifully, casually, inescapably. Here, Antonioni seems to be working through his art heritage. Giotto created space with a grounded aesthetic harmony; more than 600 years later, Antonioni shattered it.

    “Blow-Up” added Pop to the melancholic Antonioni’s palette of modernity. The meditative qualities of his Monica Vitti-led tetralogy — “L’Avventura” (1960), “La Notte” (1961), “L’Eclisse” (1962) and “Red Desert” (1964) — led some critics like Sarris and…

  • My Neighbors the Yamadas

    My Neighbors the Yamadas

    ★★★★★

    Isao Takahata's magically mundane 1999 anime, and by far the most undervalued major film from Studio Ghibli. It has absolutely no use for conventional story structure—the film is instead a series of haiku-like sketches in the life of the Yamadas: an overworked dad, a worrying mom, two wily children, and a tough-as-nails grandmother who comes to terms with death. Most sketches are barely five minutes in length, and are bookmarked by punchy haikus from the likes of Basho and Buson.…

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  • The Hateful Eight

    The Hateful Eight

    ★★½

    No, Tarantino. This is the last straw. You've gone too far, and you've proven your detractors right: you are only in it for the bloody money. (Emphasis on blood.) I've been willing to defend QT's oeuvre for a long time now, but if I want to maintain a responsible and self-respecting conscience, I have no choice but to renounce him. Despite his desire to be cinema's VC Barnum by way of a crimsony Jackson Pollock, QT has maintained an infrequent…

  • Dunkirk

    Dunkirk

    ★½

    In Interstellar, love conquers all. In Dunkirk, home is where the heart is. Maybe by the time Nolan makes his space western, the truth will set us free.

    More thoughts soon.