Favorite films

  • Fanny and Alexander
  • In the Mood for Love
  • Around Orouët
  • Close-Up

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  • The Boys in the Band

    ★★½

  • The Ghost Valley

    ★★★½

  • A Song I Remember

    ★★★½

  • All the Fine Promises

    ★★★½

Recent reviews

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  • The Boys in the Band

    The Boys in the Band

    ★★½

    Shrill and relentlessly unpleasant in a way (I have to confess) I find a lot of post-War American theater; all these exclamatory personalities and loudly threadbare psychologies and rapid-fire quip warfare. If I found Hank and Larry’s couple-at-the-poly-crossroads the most fascinating characters, it’s probably because their storyline ended up being the most muted, so touchingly frank about probing why love has to equal fidelity while all their friends are collapsing into so many histrionics around them. The film’s insistence on…

  • The Ghost Valley

    The Ghost Valley

    ★★★½

    Tanner tries out a bit of apocalyptic thinking; not yet the end of this world, just the end of his own little world of late-twentieth-century, moodily inward-looking, Mitteleuropa filmmaking. “Just another story. There are too many, and for what purpose?” When, to borrow from Wenders (his fellow traveler in many ways), the Yanks have colonized our subconscious, when television’s mode of image-making is emerging triumphant (“A vacuum for anything meaningful!”), and when the idea of some authentic cinema has come…

Popular reviews

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  • Titane

    Titane

    ★★½

    Clearly, I’m in the minority here, but it’s the sort of transgressive provocation I just find incredibly dull, if not flat-out useless. As with Raw before it, the sensationalist genre trappings just become a way for Ducournau to avoid having to try to say anything about any emotional depths she might’ve wandered into. Indeed, literally nothing of either Alexia’s narrative trajectory or Vincent’s emotional awakening would change at all if her baby had been made of flesh and blood instead…

  • Friends and Strangers

    Friends and Strangers

    ★★★★½

    The best new young-people-going-through-vaguely-defined-shit film I’ve seen in years; if Vaughan largely leaves the reasons for Ray and Alice’s stuntedness – professional, romantic, emotional – only hinted at, numerous casual reminders of Australia’s aboriginal and colonial origins point to some more widespread malaise amid all the self-indulgent millennial comfort. Past failures that haven’t been fully reckoned with, future roadmaps not yet drawn, a present dominated by so many forgotten histories, useless digressions, missed cues, and false starts. “We’ll just have…