• The Parallax View

    The Parallax View

    β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

    Dread, mistrust, malaise, paranoia, disillusionment. The bad days after the good days have all gone away. It's strange to see a movie so obviously of its time in many ways but also surprisingly prescient, relevant, and somehow simultaneously ahead of its time 48 years later. This didn't immediately click for me until that scene, when it picked up steam and built up some more tension. I'd say this most delivers on the promise of Pakula's paranoia trilogy, despite the subsequent and final entry, All the President's Men, being the most grounded in reality. Would make a great double bill with Frankenheimer's Seconds.

  • Roger & Me

    Roger & Me

    β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½

    Shows how an individual can, whether by sheer indifference, greed, or malice, immiserate an entire people without batting an eye, facing any consequences, or being any worse off for it and how this happens all the time and doing it is good business.

  • Barton Fink

    Barton Fink

    β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½

    Not quite sure how I feel about this, actually. I went into this having heard it was the Coens' more comedic take on Eraserhead (not hard to see why; I only learned later that the visual inspiration for Barton was playwright George S. Kaufman and not Jack Nance) so throughout I was thinking to myself "I guess that's sorta like Eraserhead" but the pieces never fully clicked because the Coens never actually cited Eraserhead as a reference on this. I…

  • Beau Travail

    Beau Travail

    β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½

    The absolute most gorgeous desert cinematography I've ever seen, I think. Completely makes up for the languid narrative, which I don't particularly object to anyway. Denis' commentary on western, specifically French, colonialism and its legacy in Africa is also salient and remains so slightly over two decades later. The implication that the most gruelling work can be beautiful if done with and for love, and conversely, that the most liberatory acts can be exhausting is something I also appreciated

  • Gerry

    Gerry

    β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½

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

    Uniquely entrancing and bleak, as well as entrancing in its bleakness. I can't say the mileage other people would get out of this given its reputation as somewhat of a pretentious bore, but the direness and futility of the Gerrys' situation held my attention even as a positive outcome becomes increasingly unlikely. Not a movie I'll soon forget, even though pretty much nothing happens and it's just two guys walking through an endless expanse of desert

  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

    Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

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    Deviation from the norm will be punished unless it is exploitable

  • Fargo

    Fargo

    β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½

    I’m only giving this a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ to give it some room to grow on me with inevitable rewatches but everything about this was executed perfectly. The stark white cinematography where the sky and ground converge to create a shroud of white in spite of the fact that this was shot during the second warmest Minnesota winter in 100 years. Frances McDormand and Steve Buscemi especially knock it out of the park with their acting. The score was excellent and embodied the bleak melancholy loneliness this movie is imbued with.

  • The Flowers of St. Francis

    The Flowers of St. Francis

    β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½

    Wasn't really a fan of how the friars were played like naΓ―fs but the parables were excellent

  • Black Narcissus

    Black Narcissus

    β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½

    My first Powell and Pressburger. This is evidently a masterfully crafted film with breathtaking cinematography, a lot to say about faith through adversity and the silence of God, and probably the best use of matte paintings in a movie I've seen, but the brownface just let all the air out of this for me

  • The Night of the Hunter

    The Night of the Hunter

    β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½

    "it's a hard world for little things"

    The expressionistic style is so menacing! Even the innocuous becomes ominous because of how every shadow could spell doom. Robert Mitchum is supremely sinister. The spiritual and economic critiques stand up to time and still hold up today. How is this the only thing Charles Laughton ever directed?

  • Night and Fog

    Night and Fog

    The frankness of the imagery and matter-of-factness of the narration are truly haunting and are made all the more surreal when juxtaposed with the seeming uniformity and mundanity with which the Nazis went about their crimes. I do feel that this roundly disproves the "Nazi as a passive functionary" myth in a way that many modern sources fail to.

  • High Fidelity

    High Fidelity

    β˜…β˜…Β½

    Falling victim to your own hubris is meaningless if you don't have the self-awareness to know you're an asshole