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  • Vertigo



    Maybe the most richly patterned, and richly colored, film ever made. 

    It has three of my favorite shots of all time (the darkening bookstore, the lonely psychiatric ward hallway, and the ghostly emergence into green light) along with a dozen others that I’ll never forget. Beyond enchanting.

  • The House That Jack Built

    The House That Jack Built


    Packed with the kind of vulgar sensationalism one expects from a serial killer movie, von Trier’s latest slop bucket is rarely smart and always tiresome, substituting (as his films so often do) shock value for wit and stale ironies for genuine artistic statement. The few rinds of truth we have to gnaw on are poisoned by the wealth of depravity that surrounds them. Intentional or no, it lionizes pop murderers in terms grosser than even the media does. There may…

Popular reviews

  • Hereditary



    Dreadful in the right ways, and creative in its generation of dread, Hereditary offers a tense and technically proficient first half before its descent into silly occult tropedom. Far from the sublime finale of A24’s earlier project, The Witch, Hereditary’s closing hour fails to scare—and worse, fails to fill its secular, modern world with any believable diabolism (which ought to be the goal of any scary movie set in the contemporary West). The most frightening thing in a horror film shouldn’t be family drama, but that’s what we get here. Extra half-star taken off for that awful expository voiceover at the end. 

    Great final shot though.

  • Fitzcarraldo



    Man and his ambition. Hubris and its nemesis. Risk and its reward. In Fitzcarraldo both filmmaker and his fiction undergo the same trials, succeed and fail as one, and in the end realize greatness of their own endogenous designs. 

    The film’s ethos, and indeed the ethos of Herzog’s career, may be summed up in this brief dialogue:

    Missionary: “We can’t seem to cure them of the idea that our everyday life is only an illusion, behind which lies the reality…