Favorite films

  • Smithereens
  • Killing Them Softly
  • Kwaidan
  • I Knew Her Well

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  • The Sadness

    ★★★

  • Petite Maman

    ★★★★★

  • Red Rocket

    ★★★½

  • The Batman

    ★★★★

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  • The Sadness

    The Sadness

    ★★★

    The Sadness starts from the premise of a virulent strain of rabies intersecting with a general sense of social malaise. From the sleepiness of the opening to the sickly lens that colours Taipei's topography, we get the sense that something is wrong even before the narrative shifts to an all-out bloodbath. Food that in any other context would look fine immediately takes on the appearance of rot or contamination. The whole first act is a fantastic stretch of environmental storytelling,…

  • Petite Maman

    Petite Maman

    ★★★★★

    Went into this assuming a film with a runtime of seventy minutes and change had to be a minor work, tossed off under pandemic conditions while Céline Sciamma planned bigger and better things. I could not have been more wrong. Petite Maman has the feel of crystalizing the entirety of the human condition. While helping clean out her late grandmother's home as her mother processes in private, eight-year-old Nelly finds a portal into the past. And that's maybe all the…

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  • Red Rocket

    Red Rocket

    ★★★½

    Baker usually pokes around the under-represented and oft ignored corners of the American landscape, drawing from them stories about lives that rarely take center stage in the narratives we consume. His work is unvarnished, raw, and deeply empathetic. Characters who might find themselves at the butt of a joke elsewhere are in Baker's world given meaningful desires, fears, and deep inner lives. The work is also rounded out by undeniably talented supporting casts, fully lived in and framed with an…

  • The Batman

    The Batman

    ★★★★

    The Batman plays like the antithesis to what I've come to dread in the superhero genre. It's grounded in character and theme, methodical, occasionally contemplative, and features action not because it's expected but rather because it serves this particular narrative. If it ends up functioning as a blueprint for the superhero films to come, it's one I'd happily revisit. I’m also very into the Year One-ness and psychological depth of it all. Matt Reeves doesn't entirely toss out the origin story—it's…