Favorite films

  • Consuming Spirits
  • My Dinner with Andre
  • Werckmeister Harmonies
  • First Cow

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  • Paterson

    ★★★★½

  • I'm Your Man

    ★★★★

  • Holy Motors

    ★★★★

  • Quilombo

    ★★★½

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  • Meek's Cutoff

    Meek's Cutoff

    ★★★★½

    In Meek’s Cutoff, there are no great men, no archetypal Western heroes ready to match will and wit successfully against impossible odds. There is no Will Munny (Unforgiven) defying certain death in a storm-darkened saloon; no Hugh Glass (The Revenant) rising by sheer will from a literal grave to crawl a hundred miles of sub-zero wilderness. Instead, a small group of unremarkable settlers is lost in the vast, inhospitable wilderness of the Oregon Territory.

    They are as utterly ignorant of…

  • Holy Motors

    Holy Motors

    ★★★★

    “We never arrive intellectually. But emotionally we arrive constantly.” –Wallace Stevens, Notebooks

    Holy Motors is more poignant and death-haunted than I was expecting, though still borne along by a kind of joyful buoyancy stemming from the inventive absurdity of its vignette structure. It is a swan song for cinema that uses the inherent self-reflexivity of such a project to playfully slip the noose, as it were, into new possibilities. Yet what survives the constant reinventions, the spirit of fresh possibility…

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  • Paterson

    Paterson

    ★★★★½

    "I asked how can you ever be sure
    that what you write is really
    any good at all and he said you can't
    you can't you never can be sure
    you die without knowing
    whether anything you wrote was any good
    if you have to be sure don't write"

    --W.S. Merwin, "Berryman"


    "We're interested in the language, that you call breath,
    if breath is what we are to become, and we think it is"

    --John Ashbery, "Flow Chart"


    The first…

  • I'm Your Man

    I'm Your Man

    ★★★★

    I'm Your Man looks and feels like a rom-com, but it's not exactly that-- like an android that looks and acts human but isn't quite, the film subverts its purported genre and becomes an understated but trenchant exploration of the modern, algorithm-sculpted realities we are each increasingly numbing ourselves into.

    Alma is a recently-divorced (or recently-split) scholar studying ancient cuneiform tablets (punning deliberately, I'm sure, on our ubiquitous modern tablets) which contain some of the earliest-known writing-- the earliest attempts…