Favorite films

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • The 400 Blows
  • East of Eden
  • Across the Universe

Recent activity

All
  • Shambala

    ★★★

  • Europa

    ★★★½

  • Titane

    ★★★

  • Compartment No. 6

    ★★★½

Recent reviews

More
  • Europa

    Europa

    ★★★½

    Kamal (Adam Ali) has fled Iraq with other refugees seeking to enter Europe. The film opens at the Turkish-Bulgarian border, a forest where armed vigilantes cooperate with authorities to hunt down or kill the desperate migrants. Kamal barely escapes from the initial encounter with the mostly unseen forces. The entire rest of the film is shot mostly in extreme closeup on the increasingly fraught refugee as he encounters nature and people and relentlessly escalating dangers. The film is only 72…

  • Compartment No. 6

    Compartment No. 6

    ★★★½

    This is a tense and ultimately positive story about a mis-matched couple forced to meet in a small sleeping compartment on a Russian train from Moscow to Murmansk. The young Finnish woman (played by the vivacious Seidi Haarla) encounters an initially surly Russian miner (protean Yurly Borisov)...and sparks fly, not pleasurable ones. I enjoyed their slow process of getting to know each other. But one takeaway for me is that I'll never again harbor the illusion that Russian train travel might make for a diverting holiday excursion.

Popular reviews

More
  • El Topo

    El Topo

    ★★★★★

    The New York Times contacted me today for background about my review of El Topo that was published in the L.A. Free Press on April 23, 1971. They provided me with a scan of the article, and I'm reposting it here. Maybe 43 years later its verbiage is a little embarrassing; but I stand by what I wrote back then. How often do we get an opportunity to view what we thought about films through the prism of the far…

  • Joy

    Joy

    ★½

    David O. Russell's popularity and reputation for enlightened whimsy eludes me. I can't blame the actors in what has become his "stock company" for my dislike of this film. Rather it must be Russell's mechanistic, by-the-numbers script filled with neurotic characters acting nonsensically. I know I'm out of step with audiences here; so forget that I ever tried to review this film.