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  • Monster

    Monster

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Monster centers on the character of Aileen, played by Charlize Theron, but this does not mean that Aileen is entirely a monster. It is true that this anti-hero protagonist -- who is based on the real-life Aileen Wuornos, the first documented female serial killer in the United States -- is a prostitute who becomes a murderer. However, she is also portrayed as a victim whose brutal rape by a sadistic sex client would have ended in her death if she…

  • Baby Driver

    Baby Driver

    ★★★

    Pure audiovisual action-fantasy spectacle.

  • Crash

    Crash

    ★★★★

    The film that brings a new meaning to the term "autoeroticism" -- delightfully and perversely extreme!

  • Breathless

    Breathless

    ★★★★★

    Rewatched this one for class - it also pertains to my M.A. thesis proposal.

  • Taxi Driver

    Taxi Driver

    ★★★★

    Rewatched for a film studies course.

  • Velvet Goldmine

    Velvet Goldmine

    ★★★½

    This classic of New Queer Cinema -- directed by Todd Haynes -- is for you if you are a fan of glam rock/punk. David Bowie and Iggy Pop are two of the stars represented by characters played by an outstanding cast that includes Christian Bale, Ewan McGregor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and Eddie Izzard.

  • Citizen Kane

    Citizen Kane

    ★★★★★

    Rewatched in preparation for seeing Todd Haynes’ Velvet Goldmine, which borrows its narrative structure.

  • The Bride with White Hair

    The Bride with White Hair

    ★★★★★

    Rewatched in preparation for teaching a lecture on Leslie Cheung.

  • The Piano Teacher

    The Piano Teacher

    ★★★½

    A tightly-wound piano professor (Isabelle Huppert) at a Parisian music academy has a secret life that she attempts to hide from her domineering mother. When a younger music student aggressively pursues her, she gradually falls apart. As this occurs, the film gracefully transitions from the conformist milieu of classical music to the transgressive world of the piano teacher's transgressive fantasies. A bit too long, this film delivers Haneke's signature dark worldview.

  • The Wild Bunch

    The Wild Bunch

    ★★★★

    Now I understand why this film and Peckinpah have had such an outsized influence on subsequent films and filmmakers

  • The Eye

    The Eye

    ★★½

    Even when taking into account the cultural difference between a Cantonese ghost story and a horror story, this film plays a little flat, in my opinion. I'm interested to see what the remake does with this story.

  • Double Indemnity

    Double Indemnity

    ★★★★★

    So much noir goodness: hard-boiled characters and dialogue, chiaroscuro lighting, the murky area between good and evil, just to name a few.