Favorite films

  • Cabaret
  • I Confess
  • The Thing
  • Phantom Thread

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  • Mystery Train

    ★★★½

  • Stalag 17

    ★★★½

  • Heaven

    ★★★½

  • Nope

    ★★★

Recent reviews

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  • Heaven

    Heaven

    ★★★½

    Surprising how little seen this seems to be, the first film/only documentary directed by Diane Keaton. She interviews people in a whole array of demographics on their views of the afterlife, filmed against sets that split the difference between German expressionism, a Prince music video, and The Day the Earth Stood Still, while accompanied by some truly demented ephemeral archive.

    This is clearly not a film attempting to understand the motivation behind any single participant's beliefs. Keaton is mostly content…

  • Sabrina

    Sabrina

    ★★½

    Pretty inessential stuff. I get that Wilder was shaking off some of his cynicism around this time, but it barely lets loose its doe-eyed romanticism - even as it briefly flirts with the grim specter of a lower-class girl cast as an upper-class plaything. I like the chemistry of Bogart/Hepburn, but William Holden barely registers here, nor do the half-assed (glass-assed?) attempts at physical comedy.

    Could have been a completely different (and better) film had Bogart's fatalistic company-first ethos reached…

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  • Terrorizers

    Terrorizers

    ★★★★★

    The easy saw on this film is that it's about the unknowable, tenuous nature of reality (famously Frederic Jameson called it "THE postmodern film"), but the more interesting take is that it's about the inscrutability of motivations. Rather than sitting around in existential malaise, its characters act: compulsively, inexplicably, and in the end tragically.

    Certainly not the earliest link in the style that would come to be known as "hyperlink cinema", but feels like the godfather of so many 90s/early…

  • One Road to Quartzsite

    One Road to Quartzsite

    Can't decide how much of the Harmony Korine flavour to this delightful little slice of life doc is from the filmmaker, or those grimy kids, but was still happy to see this take home the top prize at Big Sky - over a lot of other docs that will get far wider distribution.

    And because I'm a completist, here's all the shorts I watched, most of which aren't on Letterboxd. Asterisks beside those which I particularly recommend:

    The American Frontier…