• Lifeboat

    Lifeboat

    ★★★★½

    By the standards of most of Alfred Hitchcock's work, even this one seems underseen - but knowing how much he can work with in a very limited setting there's only so much more that can be done to create a tense atmosphere that only if ever feels characteristic to a director that's remained a household name over the years. Even then, that minimalism which is employed within Lifeboat when considering its setting only ever remains so chilling. Every performance here…

  • A Snake of June

    A Snake of June

    ★★★★★

    I'm almost certain this might just be one of the greatest films of the 21st century; an erotic masterpiece unfolding in the style of a neo-noir, by way of Shinya Tsukamoto. This is only the second Tsukamoto film that I've seen, following Tetsuo: The Iron Man, but I'm already certain that he's bound to be a film director I'm going to love as I keep watching more of his work. But with talking a film like A Snake of June,…

  • After Yang

    After Yang

    ★★★★★

    Sundance 2022, #1 (Spotlight)

    Much like Kogonada's prior Columbus, it feels very highly meditative - though I'm mostly in awe at how he takes what worked for him in there into a more vast concept and setting, looking at the world from the eyes of artificial intelligence. Nonetheless, there's a wonderful sense of intimacy present in how it looks at the concept of what it means to be living the life of a human being.

    But even then, when life…

  • A Hero

    A Hero

    ★★★★½

    Asghar Farhadi doesn't look through a lens of simple "good" or "bad," but looking through how the world goes through the eyes of Rahim in A Hero, we're just seeing a man who feels imprisoned by circumstances of debt - thrown back and forth. In most films, this could easily be seen as a point of view made to be sympathetic, which makes the title A Hero sound fitting enough, yet he gives us a chance to question whether he…

  • River's Edge

    River's Edge

    ★★★★½

    Unfolds akin to a horror movie - especially in how it presents a collection of horrifying circumstances based on how younger people can interpret them, starting off with a murder and the instincts coming forth about how the youth choose to respond. When taking into consideration the fact that it opened within the same time frame as Stand by Me, it feels like a much darker counterpart, because of how this film captures a sense of disillusionment that the youth find themselves engaging with upon a tragic event.

    And also, a young Keanu Reeves is just astonishing in here.

  • Happy Together

    Happy Together

    ★★★★★

    Maybe the most overtly sad film that Wong Kar-wai has ever made; because of the immense detail to which he places in depicting the manner in which love sweeps one away - to a point of possessiveness, infidelity, eventually to the point it just feels like it hurts. It's one among many reasons why the English-language title, taking from the Turtles' song of the same name fits to describe how the film pans out. This is a pained relationship at…

  • The Negotiator

    The Negotiator

    ★★★½

    This movie could easily be trimmed down by at least 20 minutes, and the script also might need a lot of work because it's not near as tight as it could be, yet it's still very gripping to see the whole scenario unfold. Even then, I feel like it's mostly the actors at the center who are keeping everything as entertaining as it is - considering there's not much else to write about when covering the way it's directed by…

  • In Search of Famine

    In Search of Famine

    ★★★★½

    Not my first Mrinal Sen; though I imagine he's going to be a director whose work I'll be actively looking out for. It's interesting to watch a movie that completely interrogates the ethics behind filmmaking given the subject that the protagonist intends on covering - by making a film about a famine which killed many living in rural India in the 1940's. In covering his opportunism, there's also a question being raised about what said art will ultimately do for…

  • Set It Off

    Set It Off

    ★★★★

    Maybe the most fun that an F. Gary Gray movie has ever been - but also one that oddly feels very timely. Gray directs Set It Off akin to a hip hop music video, but it also fits perfectly when considering the circumstances at play - and ultimately what motivated the robbery. Gray pulls no punches with the depiction of living under a racist society, constantly pushing these women on edge. The dynamic between all four of them can be felt;…

  • Day for Night

    Day for Night

    ★★★★★

    Jean-Luc Godard dismissed Day for Night as a "lie" but I think maybe that's the point that François Truffaut was trying to make about the film, and why it ultimately wins me over. It's a love letter to making movies, but it doesn't shy away from the fact that even behind the scenes, anything could really happen to stint any production. Even then, when you're taking Day for Night as a movie all about trying to keep everything together despite…

  • Breathless

    Breathless

    ★★★½

    Feels like it encapsulates everything that the Jean-Paul Belmondo character in Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless represents, especially in that he was a self-obsessed caricature wanting to build himself out as one built of culture, wooing over a girl because of that shallow self-interest. But I think that where Jim McBride succeeds in making his take of Breathless stand out is felt first in the reversals - an American man now attempting to woo over a French girl (it was opposite in…

  • New Rose Hotel

    New Rose Hotel

    ★★★★★

    Hypnotic in all the best ways possible, but I think that the structure of a film like New Rose Hotel is one that's bound to stick with any viewer. But I think that it's only fitting enough to say that Abel Ferrara isn't the sort of filmmaker you can pin down with just a couple of films. Even then, what I love most about New Rose Hotel comes from the fact that it noticeably isn't really so much a film…