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  • The Ladykillers

    The Ladykillers


    I was thinking a lot while watching this (and loving it) how odd its tone seems today -- a tone that's gently, playfully farcical. Alec Guinness's fake teeth announce the movie's disinterest in realism from the get-go. No. This one is more interested in comical face-making, droll understatement, and the screenplay as Swiss-clock efficiency. The movie strikes an aesthetic mood our cultural seems unable to inhabit anymore, which is sad. We see foreign films and older movies precisely because they…

  • Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal

    Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal


    I surprisingly loved this. Just some dumb thing that showed up on Netflix, I thought, that might kill time while I ate my cannellini and sardine salad for dinner. But it turned out to be accidentally avant-garde: one of those documentaries composed mostly of re-enactments, but in this case, every single word from the re-enactments was taken from the wiretaps the feds used in the actual case. So every moment feels very fictional and yet hyper-realistic at the same time.…

Popular reviews

  • Through the Olive Trees

    Through the Olive Trees


    I had that all-too rare experience of appreciating a film I loved even more because of the experiencing of teaching it. The first time I saw the movie (at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens (then called the American Museum of the Moving Image) back in 95 or 96) was one of the very few moments I left a theater feeling as if my mind had split open (my first screenings of L'AVVENTURA and of Apichatpong come to…

  • I Accuse

    I Accuse


    I enjoy this movie.