James has written 80 reviews for films rated ★★★½ .

  • Kid Blue

    Kid Blue

    ★★★½

    At home, 16mm

  • Despair

    Despair

    ★★★½

    At home, 16mm

  • The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean
  • Edward II

    Edward II

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    At Home, 16mm

  • The Missouri Breaks

    The Missouri Breaks

    ★★★½

    At Home, 16mm

  • Sid & Nancy

    Sid & Nancy

    ★★★½

    At Home, 16mm

  • Kenneth Anger - Magier des Untergrundfilms

    Kenneth Anger - Magier des Untergrundfilms

    ★★★½

    Amazing that this doc crew was on-hand for the filming of Lucifer Rising, illuminating so much of Anger’s methodology - particularly just how scrappy and nearly single-handed these productions were. Really makes the imagery therein all the more impressive.

    I wish the doc had chosen to subtitle Anger’s interview portions, rather than have the narrator dub over the translations. That’s really the only gripe I have with this, otherwise this is a must for fans of KA. Would love to see this restored at some point.

  • Fear of Fear

    Fear of Fear

    ★★★½

    MoMA, 35mm

    Saw this a long time ago and found it a little too mean-spirited, even by RWF’s standards. Glad I revisited though, as those feelings weren’t as resonant this time around. Margit Carstensen’s Margot has a bit more of a defiant posture than I remembered, though still trapped between playing the role of an efficacious spouse and maintaining her agency.

    Has anyone donned a pair of gloriously bulbous 70’s headphones so gracefully?

    Anecdotally, in terms of scale, it’s often…

  • Chinese Roulette

    Chinese Roulette

    ★★★½

    Film Forum, 35mm

    Been putting this one off for a long time - one of the three or four RWF films I haven't seen.
    A bit of a minor piece, but still plenty of twisted fun to be had here, watching a crippled child torture the parents that wish her dead.
    Wish more had been made of the dueling feminine energies of Anna Karina and Margit Carstensen, but sadly that dynamic never amounts to much. In fact, Karina doesn't really…

  • Man's Castle

    Man's Castle

    ★★★½

    A tender and deceptively simple slice of depression-era life and love in New York city. Tracy’s hustling lunk-with-a-heart-of-gold paints a complicated love interest - his disposition teeters between hot-headed, impulsive oaf and wholly dedicated, passionate lover…it’s a great dualism, but much of his misogyny (and Loretta Young’s submissiveness) won’t play too well for contemporary audiences. But that’s what’s rich about this character - he’s not exactly a great person, but he’s ultimately sympathetic.

    Would like to see a better-preserved version…

  • The Scar

    The Scar

    ★★★½

    MoMA, DCP

  • Io Island

    Io Island

    ★★★½

    Film at Lincoln Center, DCP

    Not quite the enigmatic fever-dream that you'll find in some of Ki-young's other 70's work like PROMISE OF THE FLESH or THE INSECT WOMAN, but pretty damn close. A time-shifting, psychosexual rural folk horror that features necrophilic insemination. WTF else do you want?