Favorite films

  • L'Avventura
  • Design for Living
  • Kiss Me Deadly
  • Mera Naam Joker

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  • The Jazz Singer

  • Son of the White Mare

  • Skinamarink

  • Sideways

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  • Knock at the Cabin

    Knock at the Cabin

    ★★★★★

    in typical M Night fashion, this is astonishingly tense until it’s astonishingly earnest and moving. Night’s fixations on the family unit and collectivism are so organically updated to the internet age in the least annoying way possible. a film about echo chambers and misinformation and grief and trust and listening to each other, with some of the tightest and most inspired formal work you’ll find in contemporary American cinema. the usage of close ups here is staggeringly intense and beautiful…

  • Twixt

    Twixt

    ★★★★★

    "You gotta have a lot of story, none of that style bullshit."

    Twixt begins as a cheeky In the Mouth of Madness-style metafiction about artistic autonomy, pretentiousness, and the writing process, within a small-town ghost story and a Stephen King-esque tone and narrative set up. has lots of genuinely funny self-effacing humor, which Val Kilmer and Bruce Dern deliver on the exact right wavelength, but there’s a real spookiness on display that’s made all the more unsettling by the uncanny…

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  • Skinamarink

    Skinamarink

    based on how people have been talking about this, I went in expecting the blair witch project by way of tsai ming liang, and instead got a low-fi domestic nightmare version of hotel monterey. equating that chantal akerman film to skinamarink isn’t entirely accurate though, at least beyond the way that they both depict existing in spaces and the feeling of being seen and/or unseen. this is very singular, particularly in its constantly morphing textures that make you see shapes…

  • Collateral

    Collateral

    ★★★★★

    an electric blend of the ~cool~ and the genuinely humanistic. Cruise’s slick nihilism undone by Foxx’s (and Mann’s) empathy and care for others. the way Mann shoots and aestheticizes the nighttime streets of LA, the car lights flowing in rows opposite each other, you see the world as an ecosystem of ebbs and flows, of small parts working together in harmony. feels like a precursor to the depiction of streams of code and crowds of people he’d so beautifully capture…

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  • Spider-Man: No Way Home

    Spider-Man: No Way Home

    one of the most reddit “films” i’ve ever seen. the ultimate “I CLAPPED BECAUSE I KNOW THAT REFERENCE” movie. felt like I was watching Spiderman fanfiction written by a 3rd grader. just totally shallow and contains nothing interesting thematically beyond “REMEMBER THIS!?” even in the potentially emotional moments, the emphasis is on the reference rather than any real meaning beyond a callback to something. there’s no deconstruction or anything interesting happening. any growth that Peter has in this film is…

  • The Whale

    The Whale

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

    I have no idea where to even begin with this so I’m going to start by saying that the film opens with Brendan Fraser (who is as good as anyone could possibly be in this - it’s a shame that this is his big comeback role, and the condescending conversation around him and his performance is a whole other story, but he does what he can here) jerking himself off into a near-heart attack. it only gets more absurd and…