Favorite films

  • The Watermelon Woman
  • Irma Vep
  • Black Girl
  • Losing Ground

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  • Mad Max: Fury Road

    ★★★

  • Licorice Pizza

    ★★★

  • Breaking

    ★★½

  • Bodies Bodies Bodies

    ★★½

Recent reviews

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  • Mad Max: Fury Road

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    ★★★

    Does not hold up, quite. A road trip movie, in a sense, whose final destination, like its first, is home (think nostos), so that’s something, at once American and western Classical of it, respectively. I suppose it attempts to use feminism as an interpretive tool for present and possible structures of social organization, and arrives at a politics sympathetic to the underclass and to the precariat. In that sense at least, its vision of the apocalypse is ultimately utopian — after…

  • Licorice Pizza

    Licorice Pizza

    ★★★

    PTA’s least specific film, and the lesser twin to Wes Anderson’s RUSHMORE. 

    In LICORICE PIZZA the society of a fecund era, the American midcentury, is meaninglessly evoked, even squandered — until the very end, with the arrival, finally, of a cipher that Anderson knows what to do with. That ikon is Hollywood. Represented by Sean Penn and his actor-director character, the scene builds to a grand and merciless ridicule of the social pathologies (or “culture”) of bread and circuses within our…

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  • Nope

    Nope

    ★★★★½

    Jordan Peele’s Nope is a slight film: imagist, terse—yet eloquent in suggestion, in portent: a minor work. Inconstant and inconsistent, smaller than its ideas, it’s amateurish, possessing too the amateur’s proximity to the avant-garde. We see it defy—decline!—professionalism or polish.

    Who knows whether this does it any good, this braveness and aesthetic integrity. At the least it means that Nope is able to pay rapt attention to itself; Peele is a fastidious director, in the end, almost a dandy of…

  • Joker

    Joker

    ½

    a film with no ideas save for an impaired sense of populism. the psychosis of desperation and sorry immiseration common to a certain suppressed underclass gets treated here as the stuff of wackos and a conservative fundamentalist’s idea of the dispossessed Left—which is to say a people deluded by their own righteousness (this being the inherent righteousness of poverty, a notion believed in only by those who’ve never known lack) into instigating an uprising with an ill-defined cause and an…