Favorite films

  • The Intruder
  • Muriel, or the Time of Return
  • On Dangerous Ground
  • The Wind

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  • There There

    ★★★½

  • Mission: Impossible III

    ★★★

  • The Deep Blue Sea

    ★★★★½

  • TÁR

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  • Song to Song

    Song to Song

    ★★★★★

    My piece for the upcoming volume Life Above the Clouds: Philosophy in the Films of Terrence Malick, on the relevance of Plato to Knight of Cups and Song to Song. I decided to just post it on my blog to make it easier to incorporate pictures. 
    strohltopia.com/2021/08/24/platonic-myths-of-eros-in-knight-of-cups-and-song-to-song/

  • The Intruder

    The Intruder

    ★★★★★

    Most of Denis’ work has an elliptical quality; she forsakes the usual connective tissue of exposition and instead shows us evocative shards of narrative. L’Intrus pushes this tendency to its far extreme. At one point, we see the film’s unsympathetic protagonist, Louis Trebor, go to sleep in Geneva, Switzerland and then we see him wake up in Busan, South Korea. Further confounding the narrative, surreal waking events are juxtaposed with dreams in a way that unsettles the distinction between the…

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  • Mission: Impossible III

    Mission: Impossible III

    ★★★

    I moderately enjoy this, but I wish it were better. It sets itself up as the On Her Majesty’s Secret Service of the series, but ultimately balks on what makes that movie so good. Abrams’ action direction is lackluster and he tries to generate energy through a rapid succession of shakey closeups, which especially stands out against De Palma’s elegant control and Woo’s bombastic fluidity. I do like PSH quite a bit in this, but the denouement doesn’t do him justice. Cruise is pretty good, and the set piece where he skydives out a window is very exciting.

  • The Deep Blue Sea

    The Deep Blue Sea

    ★★★★½

    There is more continuity between this and Benediction than I realized.

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  • Dark Glasses

    Dark Glasses

    ★★★★½

    Connoisseurs of late style: assemble. If Argento’s received classics are grand operas of fear, this is a late-career piano sonata. Zero interest in the bad takes here. I totally understand not liking Argento, but fawning over his 70’s and 80’s stuff and then beating up on this is a horrible opinion, and what’s worse, a boring one. 

    I’ll have more to say about this once I let it marinate and rewatch it. A couple brief remarks: it’s very clear who…

  • Mission: Impossible II

    Mission: Impossible II

    ★★★★½

    4K disc. I like this more every time I watch it. I appreciated Dougray Scott a lot more this time. The edge of his misogyny hits so hard now. He is Claude Rains from Notorious as an incel on a power trip. Scott plays a great sleazebag. The scene where he’s watching her change and we see her cringe as he ogles her from behind makes my skin crawl. I love the way Woo stylizes the everliving shit out of…