Favorite films

  • Stromboli
  • Kwaidan
  • The Long Day Closes
  • Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

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  • Invisibility

  • Night Colonies

    ★★★★½

  • Meteorites

    ★★★

  • Ponniyin Selvan: Part I

    ★★★★

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  • Invisibility

    Invisibility

    Another of Apichatpong's exploration of sleeping, joining Cemetery of Splendour, Memoria, Blue, Night Colonies, too many to name. Like some of those pieces, here he blends and merges sleep/waking, dreamer/dreamed, filmmaker/subject, film/audience, fiction/reality. The political overtones may lie in the subjects finally appearing to wake, united at last in a shared space, only to suggest we're all always in a perpetual state of waking.

    Unrated because I was only able to see a flattened copy of this installation piece. The…

  • Strands

    Strands

    ★★★½

    There's a really keen sense of loneliness and isolation in this beautiful black and white play of light, water and steam against a bathroom wall. A longing look out a window. Even the soundtrack, which provides interesting counterpoint, feels overheard from another room, another realm even. At one point, I thought I saw a face in the water -- probably not there, but probably also intended in some way.

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  • Captain America: Civil War

    Captain America: Civil War

    ½

    For the life of me I can't understand how fans find anything to give a shit about in these films.

    There's no personality, no stakes, no energy on display from either the cast or the directors. In the Russo brothers, Marvel have found their ideal directors: artless, visionless servants of an episodic TV structure. The action isn't exactly unintelligible (Marvel films are too insidious to be completely unsound), but it's passionless: hyperkinetic yet perfunctory. The Russo brothers' "style" seems to…

  • Phantom Lady

    Phantom Lady

    ★★★★½

    A searing and insidious noir, finding and seizing every opportunity to break out of its studio confines. Even early on, Phantom Lady begins to distinguish itself from Siodmak's other "blue collar" noirs like The Killers and Criss Cross, positioning itself visually as something much more gothic and romantic, and therefore much more surreal and scary. A strange phantom New York -- a hazy, sleepy place like Eyes Wide Shut's -- is conjured up with expressionistic framing and lighting, and tricks…