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  • Nashville



    (The first half are my screening notes for when I presented NASHVILLE as part of a film series on American political movies. The second half is a post-screening review I penned on the leading ladies of NASHVILLE — in my view, its emotional core.)

    Robert Altman’s cinema can be summed up in one Nashville shot. The shot occurs at a Nashville country club called the Exit-In. Nine of Nashville’s twenty-four main protagonists have gathered here. The head of a folk…

  • Twin Peaks: The Return

    Twin Peaks: The Return


    Now that we've won the "Twin Peaks on Letterboxd" fight, here's what I have to say three months later, after dwelling on the lessons learned from this new odyssey of surprises and shocks.

    "The new “Twin Peaks” box set ... gives fans a chance to pay closer attention to the amazingly filigreed performance of Kyle MacLachlan. He clocks in no fewer than six different variants of his iconic Agent Cooper, each with its own identity: OG Coop (chipper, patient, eager…

Recent reviews

  • Capernaum


    Lebanese director Nadine Labaki delivers the cheap emo goods faster than an Amazon Prime package, and “Capernaum” is just as soul-killing. Her film reduces the agonized-over philosophical choices of the Italian neorealists (De Sica, Roberto Rossellini, early Luchino Visconti) to a grab-bag of #aesthetic tricks. A non-actor here, a shaky-cam fight there, and voilá: instant knowledge of the world beyond your own bubble.

    Here’s the moral difference: “Bicycle Thieves” made drama out of the doldrums of everyday misery, its plot…

  • Springsteen On Broadway

    Springsteen On Broadway

    It might seem obvious that having the show on Netflix is better than nothing, but is it? What’s wrong with the fiction the Boss leaves us on his records? I can offer neither an immediate solution to the sold-out show and ghastly prices offered by ticket brokers nor a way out of the Netflix-ization of America in which people retreat from each other and toward a dull blue screen. But I can say that “Springsteen on Broadway” is one more…

Popular reviews

  • The Hateful Eight

    The Hateful Eight

    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…

  • It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

    It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World


    I had one of the most exciting encounters at a movie theater EVER yesterday, so bear with me.

    Yesterday, I re-watched It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World (Bland-ley Kramer, 1963) in glorious 70mm at LACMA! It's gotten a lot of hate around these parts for being cataclysmically unfunny. And while I can see why people would think so (Kramer has an awful eye for comedic direction, and the sheer pomposity of his statement that he would make "the comedy…