Favorite films

  • Nashville
  • Asako I & II
  • Summer with Monika
  • Happy Together

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  • Pride & Prejudice

    ★★★★

  • Compliance

    ★★★½

  • Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

    ★★★

  • Way Out West

    ★★★★

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  • Friendship's Death

    Friendship's Death

    ★★★★

    7.5
    Blu Ray (BFI)

    Taking place in a hyper-specific real-life context- namely, Jordan in 1970 during the Black September riots- Friendship’s Death, written and directed by noted film theorist Peter Wollen, puts together Friendship (Tilda Swinton), a robot emissary from an earthophile planet who has crashlanded far from her targeted landing zone, and Sullivan (Bill Paterson), a sarcastic, somewhat jaded journalist covering the Jordanian Civil War. Having both been captured by the PLO, they end up stuck in the same…

  • Annette

    Annette

    ★½

    2.5
    MUBI

    Expectations were high for Leo Carax and Sparks' Annette, but what I got was a crushing, thundering disappointment, a bloated, turgid rock opera with surface-level weirdness a-plenty but no heart, depth or grit. The film’s surrealness isn’t the issue: in fact, the moments of oddness are arguably Annette’s best feature, from the endearingly meta opening number "So May We Start?" (which happens to be by far the catchiest in the film), to the song set to the rhythm…

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  • Way Out West

    Way Out West

    ★★★★

    7
    IMDB TV

    My first Laurel and Hardy! I had a fun time with Way Out West, although based on this I can’t see them joining Chaplin and Keaton in the upper-echelons of early-cinema comedic geniuses. The story is somewhat thin, the hapless duo bumbling around a series of Old West studio sets in their attempts to deliver an orphan’s inheritance but ending up falling into the schemes of her evil, saloon-owning guardians. In truth, the narrative is just there…

  • Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

    Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

    ★★★

    6
    Blu Ray

    Bleak, disturbing, confrontational: Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is perhaps cinema's ultimate statement about the banality of evil. Michael Rooker's Henry moves through Chicago, murdering as he goes, seemingly feeling nothing as he does so. Henry is not a charismatic Hannibal Lector-type, prone to dramatic speeches and convoluted methods. Henry's utter normality is the whole point. Rooker is fantastic throughout, an intense and commanding screen presence.

    As an audience we are so used to violence on…

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  • Pig

    Pig

    ★★★★★

    9.5
    Amazon Prime Video (Rental)

    * SPOILERS *

    A knowing deconstruction of the revenge thriller, as typified in recent years by the John Wick and Taken franchises (amongst many others), Pig tees up a classic genre scenario: the mysterious loner who has something precious taken from him (in this case, an adorable truffle pig named Apple) and goes on a mission to get it back. The filmmakers then go even further into this territory by casting Nicholas Cage (who as…

  • The Fly

    The Fly

    ★★★★★

    9.5
    Blu Ray
    Rewatch (2nd viewing)

    What does it mean to be human? David Cronenberg's Frankenstein-esque cautionary tale stars Jeff Goldblum as a nerdy scientist who accidentally fuses his DNA with a fly, gradually becoming more and more insectile in nature until he literally falls apart.

    My personal favourite Cronenberg film, this has everything: the purest expression of his obsession with the malleability and spongy, liquidy grossness, but also the beauty, of the human body; a brilliant lead performance from…