Favorite films

  • Ikiru
  • True Stories
  • Rocks in My Pockets
  • My Winnipeg

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  • Ghosts of Mars

    ★★★½

  • Stanley & Iris

    ★★★½

  • Just Another Girl on the I.R.T.

    ★★★★

  • Nightmare Alley

    ★★½

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  • In the Cut

    In the Cut

    ★★★★½

    In the Cut is a treatise on the ethics of desire, and I felt like I was not supposed to be watching it. Campion's gaze is so far from my own that it was like I was intruding on women having a private conversation, or like I was listening in on gossip that could turn at any moment to being about me.

    Many have noted that this a '90s erotic thriller that has been flipped to be from a woman's…

  • The Piano

    The Piano

    ★★★★★

    This movie is not a romance. It has some of the superficial overtones of a romance, but the love story here is just a part of the plot; it does not inspire any empathetic engagement or vicarious lust. The feel of the love story is best captured by that shot of George's dirty fingernail slowly creeping toward pale flesh visible through a hole in Ada's leggings. Maybe that slowly stalking finger is sexy for George, but for us, it's gross…

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  • Ghosts of Mars

    Ghosts of Mars

    ★★★½

    This is the movie that everyone thinks is John Carpenter's worst? Ghost of Mars is good! Top half of his filmography, I think. Admittedly, I did imaginatively replace Ice Cube as Desolation Jones with Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken to restore the movie to its original intent. Do that, and it's a perfect mix of Doom and Duke Nukem 3D, making the movie an adaptation of my summer of 1996.

    Ghosts of Mars : Assault on Precinct 13 :: Escape…

  • Stanley & Iris

    Stanley & Iris

    ★★★½

    A romantic drama in which Jane Fonda teaches Robert De Niro to read. It made me wonder what it would be like to be illiterate. Sure, I've been to foreign countries where I couldn't read the language, but that's very different. I wonder whether I've gone a single day since childhood without reading a single thing... not a traffic sign, not the back of a shampoo bottle... nothing. Probably not. My whole life has been structured around reading. There's no…

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  • 2046

    2046

    ★★★★★

    It's rare that I meet up with someone I haven't seen in a long time and think, "Whoa, this person is radically different." People bald, go grey, gain weight, and change jobs, but core personalities never seem to change very much. The thought of people changing themselves utterly is lightly disturbing—as if the old person had died and been replaced with a changeling.

    That's the experience I had with Chow Mo-Wan at the beginning of this movie. At the end…

  • Thief

    Thief

    ★★★★★

    The plot of Thief doesn't deviate much from the archetype of the One Last Job movie. It's straight-down-the-line, but that's not to say that it's by-the-book: it's as auteurish and stylized as all get-out. The archetype demands individualism, and here, the look and the score and the vibe and the dialogue all overflow with personality and panache. As far as One Last Job movies go, this is as close to perfect as you can get.

    Michael Mann specializes in portraying…