Favorite films

  • The Country Doctor
  • Bless Their Little Hearts
  • Twenty Years Later
  • American Stories

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  • Cassandra's Dream

  • Balloons

  • My Bodyguard

  • Irma Vep

Pinned reviews

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  • Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater

    Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater

    On the occasion of my film Double Play making its streaming premiere on the Criterion Channel, I wrote for Filmmaker magazine about the last nine years of my life as a director-writer and one-time actor. It includes Richard Linklater's advice to me about film critics, memories from being road buddies with James Benning, and candid details from the uneasy production of my feature Porto and working with prickly Tim Roth on Bergman Island. You can read it here.

    If you're not a Criterion Channel subscriber and would like to see Double Play, please drop me a line.

Recent reviews

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  • Cassandra's Dream

    Cassandra's Dream

    I didn't watch Baldwin's live interview with Woody, but I did feel compelled to put this on, the only theatrical feature directed by Allen that I couldn't recall having seen. The ludicrous plot makes it easy to shift focus to other elements, such as the two leads' spiky GQ model haircuts and the ill-fitting Philip Glass score. Allen has mostly used existing music, and listening to the generic Glass collaboration gives you clues to why. The master shot style here…

  • Balloons

    Balloons

    Was really glad to discover this on YouTube on a Sunday morning:

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPT3PToNP2g

    One of the very best early Fleischer shorts that I've seen... not sure why it's been excluded from the Out of the Inkwell Bluray and DVD collections that have come out (the Library of Congress holds a print). Max finds ways to torture Koko (before he was known as Koko -- the original title was just Balloons, so they must have added Koko's in a reissued print…

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  • Play

    Play

    Östlund just pulled a Haneke in Cannes, which makes sense. Haneke is the dominant influence at the festival these days, or at least he was the last time I was there, in 2017, when several filmmakers in the competition seemed to be tipping their hats to him: Ramsay, Akin, Zvyagintsev, Lanthimos, Östlund, and Mundruczó. Richard Brody called some of these filmmakers the Hanekets, and the Cahiers du cinéma wrote, in an editorial: "The official program is truly a program, in…

  • Top Gun: Maverick

    Top Gun: Maverick

    Showing up to the mall famished was very tempted by the Burger King "Stranger Menu" Waffle Burger (two waffles, a single patty, sauce, cheese, and a layer of onion rings). My partner and I go for steak frites at the chain bistrot instead. This place has zero ambiance, but we linger for a bit, order another round of drinks. Nice buzz going. I go get us tickets for Top Gun: Maverick IMAX, front row. The man in line next to…