• I Are You, You Am Me

    I Are You, You Am Me

    ★★★

    One of Obayashi’s most conventional teenage romantic comedies. Not my favorite among his work, but some good eye for location (such a charming small town) and a good duo of actors. More restrained formally than usual for the director but sufficiently quirky and mystical in its visual inspiration to keep it engaging.

  • Incredible But True

    Incredible But True

    ★★★

    Droll moral tale where modernity fights against the march of time. Ants and surfaces, cats and dogs, fishing under the light of the sun. Quite funny and well sustained by the four main actors performances (they are all great, but Chabat’s performance stroke a particular chord with me, so tender and honest).

  • Top Gun: Maverick

    Top Gun: Maverick

    ★★½

    A really fun yarn directed by a really bad director. The appreciation of such an exercise heavily relies on the spectator’s susceptibility to accept the cheesy dramatic ineptitude and poor mise en scène and just get concentrated on the film’s superficial pleasures: really fast airplanes and easy moralistic jingoism. I really like the bare narrative structure, conventional structurally but really well strung together, and how everything is very admittedly an excuse for having fun with planes and proud talented airfighters.…

  • The Rebel

    The Rebel

    ★★★½

    A man of action in a world of words. Such an angry film but also so tender and sad. The dryness is very rigorous and masterfully handled, Bresson as an obvious angular stone. Great central character and very interesting management of his feelings and indignations (the depiction of his relation to his sister, which I found deeply touching, is essential for the narrative to properly work just as how he relates to the young marxist revolutionaries and the homossexual businessman who feels attracted to him).

  • Elvis

    Elvis

    Maximalism as utter ineptitude. The most stupid and outrageously disjointed product of our era’s schizophrenic zeitgeist, and a very apt representation of this hollow cultural abundance of formal stimuli, spiced up with a notion of rhythm and speed that could not be more manipulative and misguided. A film made for times of TikTok, Instagram and publicity, for people who never actually felt an image in their lives, going by drenched with information and deprived of any actual experience of the…

  • Guys in the Cafe

    Guys in the Cafe

    ★★★

    So full of resentment. Vecchiali’s otherworldly mise en scène renders the diptych between the wet night streets and the huis clos of the café really impactful. Very bitter and violent ending.

  • Pakeezah

    Pakeezah

    ★★★★

    Like being under a spell, or trapped inside a hallucinatory dream. An unruly ode to beauty, megalomaniac and unbound. The plot barely exists given Amrohi’s dazzled marvel with the film’s form, this is such an unique spectacle of music, abundant dramatic overtones, lavish scenery and visual excess. It reminded me a lot of Mizoguchi, but transposed to India’s interests and sensibilities in cinema. Kumari is simply outstanding, the way her eyes gaze upon the world and the rhythm in which her body moves translate the film’s fragile and tortured gaze of marvel, full of grief but also absolutely submissive to the world’s enchanting charm.

  • The Black Belly of the Tarantula

    The Black Belly of the Tarantula

    ★★★½

    Depraved contemplation. Exploring the architecture of spaces and bodies with inspired perversion and a deeply fascinated gaze. The actresses’ beauty haunts the film and Cavara’s patient exploration of the lush locations seems to heighten his desperate search for beauty and violence. The introduction with Barbara Bouchet is really spectacular.

  • Amuck!

    Amuck!

    ★★★

    Perverse pleasures. Quite a mediocre giallo yarn saved by Bouchet’s beauty and Amadio’s better than average eye.

  • The Novelist's Film

    The Novelist's Film

    ★★★★½

    From words to gestures, from black and white to color, from ideas to feelings. Sang-soo understood that to film someone is to fall in love with that person, and when that feeling lasts beyond the images captured miracles such as this film are allowed to exist. Forever learning, learning to look, to film, to speak, to think, to write, to live, to love. Such a beautiful and profoundly generous film. One of the most beautiful ‘I love you’ pronounced in the history of cinema.

  • Ice

    Ice

    ★★★

    Symptoms of sexual and political impotence. On the apparent impossibility of conciliating revolutionary struggle with human integrity. The sequence of emasculation followed by the sexual relation between two of the characters summarizes the film’s complex dialectics between political frustration and revolutionary military action.

  • Antoine and Antoinette

    Antoine and Antoinette

    ★★★½

    The hostility and gentleness of the world - people try to do what’s best for them, but we also help each other out so much. Destiny works in tortuous ways. Such a great hand for characters and a wonderfully concise mise en scène. Nobody ever filmed couple dynamics as Becker did.