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  • West Side Story

    West Side Story


    This shows that Wise is a great director. The lighting, production design, and choreography are all stellar.

    But this bogs down whenever there is a slow song. The romance cloys. Leonard Bernstein's ballads stink because his gift is that of adornment, not of crafting a beautiful tune.

    In the fast, show-offy songs he excels. And so does the movie. The Officer Krupkey number, I want to live in America, and Stay Cool are riveting. And Bernstein's melodic sense is finally…

  • Year of the Dragon

    Year of the Dragon


    When a batshit crazy narcissistic egomaniac makes a movie you expect it to be so over the top that it's entertaining. Annoyingly this is seldom the case. Usually the artist's self-absorption creates something that speaks to no one but its author. This is not true of Year of the Dragon. As a friend pointed out, Cimino used his huge Hollywood budget to make a grindhouse flick. Which at the Music Box theater played in a pristine 70mm print from a…

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    I feel the reviews here miss the point. This is an intentionally de-romanticized view of the sixties that was made during the time it is portraying. There is no nostalgia in this telling. The people are not pleasant. They are lost like many hippies were. So the movie is depressing and sad like life sometimes is for some people. You can be lost and never found again. You can lose yourself. The Pink Floyd score is great and the cinematography is by an all time cinematic genius: Nestor Almendros.

  • 20th Century Women

    20th Century Women


    Almost nobody reads my lists or reviews. So why do I write them?

    My guess (uncertain just like everything) is it's a process of self-definition (or self-creation?). By delineating what I like I say something about what I am.

    I think in this sense, guilty pleasures are more revealing than great films we love. The flaws we overlook show us more nakedly. I have no shame when I say that Chungking Express and Together are two of my favorite movies…