Favorite films

  • The Northman
  • Life Is Beautiful
  • Coming Home
  • The Leopard

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  • When a Woman Ascends the Stairs

    ★★★★½

  • Flowing

    ★★★½

  • The Leopard

    ★★★★½

  • The Northman

    ★★★★½

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  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion

    Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion

    ★★★★★

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

    My Favorite Films, "ranked"

    Where to even begin? Coming in at 87 precious minutes, END OF EVANGELION is as dense as antimatter. It not only contains a plethora of thematic and plot-based baggage from the NEON GENESIS EVANGELION TV series, but it also injects the universe with a myriad of new material. So rarely is a piece of art so reflexive, interpersonal, and superior to its progenitor(s). In terms of its significance to cinema and the visual arts in general,…

  • Woman in the Dunes

    Woman in the Dunes

    ★★★★★

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

    My Favorite Films

    “I don't like sand. It's coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere. Not like here. Here everything is soft and smooth.” - Anakin Skywalker AKA Niki Junpei

    The ultimate determinist film. Woman in Dunes not only shows us that life is a series of internments that we must come to terms with, but it also teaches us *how* we are to come to terms with them. To escape society; its overbearing institutions, its constant insistence…

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  • When a Woman Ascends the Stairs

    When a Woman Ascends the Stairs

    ★★★★½

    Mikio Naruse ranked

    Dead husbands, lone women. In many ways, this is typical Naruse affair. However, never has it been so jazzy. A monument to mood and multifaceted cycles of suffering, WHEN A WOMAN ASCENDS THE STAIRS is a testament to Naruse’s quality as a dramatist. Here, Mama’s pain is cyclical like in LIGHTNING, patriarchal like in THE SOUND OF THE MOUNTAIN, and even caused by obsession and vanity ala FLOATING CLOUDS. But, unlike those other works, Naruse injects a…

  • Flowing

    Flowing

    ★★★½

    Mikio Naruse ranked

    FLOWING is a film set in twilight. The twilight of one’s career. The twilight of a dated tradition. The twilight of a successful business. The literal twilight of Ginza. I’m not sure there’s a single frame set in the daytime. This film about the menial struggles of a geisha house is tender, well-performed (with a STAR STUDDED cast!) but also a bit overwrought. Too many characters, too many thematic angles (not sure what Kinuyo Tanaka’s Oharu is…

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  • Drive My Car

    Drive My Car

    ★★★★½

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

    Japanuary 2022

    Part of me wants to keep this short for fear of getting way in over my head in attempting to connect all the dots of this literary behemoth, and part of me wants to dive in head first and claw my way through this viscous, dense forest of a film. Ideally, this review meets somewhere in the middle.

    DRIVE MY CAR is a slow-cooked beauty. Ryusuke Hamaguchi takes a plethora of literary ingredients: Murakami’s excellent short story series…

  • Titane

    Titane

    ★★★★½

    This is one of the most insanely intriguing films I've ever seen. I'm not entirely sure what it's doing, or what the complicated thematic layers of gender, sexuality, trauma, and masculinity / femininity are trying convey, but that's okay. TITANE is an experience. Visceral, shocking, sometimes hilarious, forever thought-provoking. It's captivatingly messy, filled with convoluted and opaque metaphors, nonsensical plot developments, and a general feeling of detachment. But, these contrivances don't harm the film. Rather, they insinuate the audience should…