Favorite films

  • Mulholland Drive
  • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
  • Safe
  • Romy and Michele's High School Reunion

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  • Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

    ★★★★

  • Vegas in Space

    ★★★½

  • Hustlers

    ★★★★

  • Citizen Ruth

    ★★★★

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  • Superstarlet A.D.

    Superstarlet A.D.

    ★★★★

    2021 Queer Film Challenge #38: a musical.

    "The lost city of Femphis has gone nudie-cutie, Armageddon-style."

    Christopher Ishwerwood once said that camp isn't making fun of something, it's making fun out of something. In the ruined world of Superstarlet A.D. the gender binary is extrapolated to a ludicrous extreme, all the men devolved to grunting, club-wielding troglodytes and all the women retro pinups who use lipstick as currency and skillfully navigate the rubble in lingerie, heels and elaborate updos. But…

  • Antibirth

    Antibirth

    ★★★★★

    The lost souls of the exurban strip-mall wasteland drink a beer called Route 666 and use garbage fires to illuminate their punk-rock abandoned-warehouse dance parties. They survive by cleaning motel rooms, or selling drugs, or donning nightmarish mascot costumes at a local Chuck E. Cheese knockoff. The TV shows they watch are a psychedelic mélange of cult programming, vintage foreign cartoons and alien-abduction documentaries. Nothing makes any sense; might as well be blitzed out of your gourd all the time…

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  • Citizen Ruth

    Citizen Ruth

    ★★★★

    You could view Citizen Ruth through the tiresome centrist lens of "both sides do it," but I prefer to see it as a darkly satirical examination of how ordinary people exercise power. Ruth Stoops is lost and chaotic, and everyone who finds her also wants to order her, to discipline her into something more stable and assimilable. No matter whether their preferred order is a religious-right cult, a New Agey lesbian activist collective, or the iron hand of the state,…

  • Night of the Demons

    Night of the Demons

    ★★½

    Note: this film contains multiple scenes of flashing strobe lights.

    I set out to find something goth to watch, and Night of the Demon certainly delivered, from the Halloweeny animated opening credits, to the propulsive industrial synth score, to the infamous scene where a girl dressed like Siouxsie Sioux dances rapturously to Bauhaus's "Stigmata Martyr." In terms of genre, the movie blends the haunted-house setting (though our doomy hostess would remind us that it's actually a possessed house) with the…

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  • By Hook or by Crook

    By Hook or by Crook

    ★★★★

    2021 Queer Film Challenge #17: a film by Silas Howard.

    This is Americana. Not the mom and apple pie kind, not the eagles and guns kind, but an anarchist Americana of outsiders, like a queer John Dos Passos for the 21st century, or Gregg Araki on a budget of Ziploc bags full of quarters. I'm talking punk rock and minimalist country blues, neon signs and surveillance cameras, petty theft and gay bars. Here in the US a car represents freedom,…

  • Laerte-se

    Laerte-se

    ★★★

    2021 Queer Film Challenge #5: a documentary about a queer visual artist.

    In her eye-opening book Whipping Girl, Julia Serano discusses how cis filmmakers implicitly frame trans women's femininity as "fake" by focusing on images of us putting our looks together — getting dressed, applying makeup, etc. Laerte-se does just that with its trans subject, coming back again and again to images of her shaving her legs, painting on her eyebrows, and trying on various outfits. The cis interviewer, Eliane…