Favorite films

  • Lola Montès
  • Nothing But a Man
  • Deep End
  • Tea and Sympathy

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  • Bowfinger

  • The Laughing Woman

  • The Batman

  • Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands

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  • Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!

    Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!

    ★★★★½

    At LAFCA in 2019, Michael Barker took me by the hand and led me through a crowded hotel auditorium, past J Lo and Bong Joon-ho, shouting “Pedro! Pedro!” so I could meet his longtime collaborator, Pedro Almodovar. I felt like a kid exiting a stadium with his father, except we’d somehow gotten onto the field and were passing hall of famers. Noah Bambauch looked especially upset by this. Anyway, Michael (understandably) assumed I was a big fan of Pedro’s, who…

  • Detour

    Detour

    Watching Tom Neal accidentally kill two people in a way that seems written to relieve him of any real wrongdoing feels silly at first. Like noirish bad luck approaching parody. That's until you learn that, in real life, Neal would go on to kill his actual wife and provide an equally absurd defense that denied any real culpability.

    A part of that defense included painting his deceased wife as a cruel, Ann Savage-like woman, who he had to kill in…

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  • You Can't Take It with You

    You Can't Take It with You

    As someone who grew up in a wacky San Francisco household that featured a revolving door of grizzled journalists, local activists, teen runaways, aging pornstars and Rebecca Solnit -- some of whom would come for dinner and stay for a month -- and where it was seen as perfectly acceptable that my dads longtime ex-girlfriend would be named my godmother and naturally become my moms best friend, Capra-corny's politically naive portrait of a supposedly progressive band of eccentrics is deeply…

  • Elle

    Elle

    ★★★★½

    Verhoeven's magnum opus on the refusal to be a victim.

    Overstuffed, perverse, challenging, funny?, unsettling, and ultimately restorative – they can't make them like this anymore.

    Maybe it's just because I'm deep in writing at the moment, but I think the script is the crowning achievement of this film. Yes, Verhoeven masterfully steers us through fraught, treacherous waters with assured ease, and Huppert grounds every absurd turn in something remarkably human, but Philippe Djian and David Birke's script weaves a…

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  • Red Rocket

    Red Rocket

    The most honest movie I've seen this year. 

    As an audience member, it tapped feelings I hadn't felt in a while — nostalgia for a place I've never been, empathy in corners usually mined for rage cheerleading. As a filmmaker, it feels like a loving dare — what can happen when you push past digestible characters with moralizing arcs and, instead, get closer to something bawdy and uncomfortable and sordid and foul and tender all at once.

    Watched at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Shot on 16 w/ custom lenses made for Soderbergh that he never ended up using. :)

  • Mikey and Nicky

    Mikey and Nicky

    ★★★★★

    Watched w/ Jimmie Fails during quarantine. A very special buddy movie.