Joe Baker

Freelance writer, film enthusiast, contributor to

Favorite films

  • Casino
  • Magnolia
  • All the President's Men
  • Heat

Recent activity

  • Sanctuary


  • The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez


  • Germany Year 90 Nine Zero


  • The Heavenly Body


Recent reviews

  • Sanctuary



    Domination as therapy. Or maybe domination as filmmaking (and acting) itself.

  • Battleground



    Screening William Wellman's "Battleground" today can feel slightly misleading and familiar, only because so much of this 1949 film (yes, released only 4 years after the end of the war) has been sampled, stapled , and re-imagined in numerous other war films. Its influence cannot be denied. Following an ensemble of soldiers as they march into The Battle of the Bulge and become entwined in the infamous Bastogne area, for much of its running time, "Batleground" is battle-adjacent. Focusing on…

Popular reviews

  • Woman in the Dunes

    Woman in the Dunes


    Teshigahara’s first big international success, garnering several Oscar noms and winning a prize at Cannes that year, “Woman In the Dunes” is a heavily metaphoric venture into the weird domestic world of an insect researcher becoming involved with a woman living in a sand dune. The setting is claustrophobic… the camera work is filled with intense close ups of skin, dirt and sweat. Thematically and visually, one can sense Teshigahara evolving as a filmmaker, but the story itself failed to…

  • Sing a Song of Sex

    Sing a Song of Sex


    A completely unusual, amorphous effort that, regardless of Oshima’s sordid and challenging history so far, feels like nothing else he’s done yet. Four male students, fresh out of school, go on a trip with their teacher and three female schoolmates. Their main purpose is to screw around, maybe get laid and dwell in their imaginary sexual flights of fancy wherein they rape another attractive female student (Kazuko Tajima) they only briefly witnessed leaving school the previous day. Refusing to foreground…