Favorite films

  • La Région Centrale
  • Sans Soleil
  • Vengeance Is Mine
  • Woodstock

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  • Thieves' Highway

  • The Parallax View

  • Taxi Driver

  • Machorka-Muff

Recent reviews

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  • Not Reconciled

    Not Reconciled

    I didn't hate this movie, but I do have contempt for it. That's a lucky thing, I guess: after all, hatred not only clouds the thought process, it awards its objects a stature and a power that they often don't deserve. To me, Not Reconciled is a feeble work of art--so feeble that even my distaste for it is mild.

    Straub/Huillet's film is based on a novel by Heinrich Böll, which I haven't read, and which, I imagine, many who…

  • The Lineup

    The Lineup

    The film has its dull aspects, most of them connected to the two heroic roles: neither cop has much of a personality, and their actions are strictly mechanical. Nearly every scene with the duo of ruthless crooks is a dark delight; I love the pathologized homoeroticism, the intellectual pretensions of the "teacher," Julian; and the formalized methods of the pair. The notion of crime as a cold, shadowy, intricately orchestrated business marks so many films of the 50s, and here,…

Popular reviews

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  • Manchester by the Sea

    Manchester by the Sea

    Here's a film that, for me, is as fun to talk around as it is to talk about. While watching, and enjoying, it I kept thinking about how so much value in cinephilic discourse is placed on the foregrounding of artifice. Classical Hollywood is loved for its lack of realism, and for the way standardized production served to throw personal style into relief; and with nearly every major auteur besides, what's admired is heavy formal intervention. What we cinephiles seem…

  • Vertigo

    Vertigo

    "Judy, it can't matter to you."

    For someone like myself, who values visual form and style as much as narrative, writing about this movie presents a real challenge. The story and plotting of Vertigo are perhaps the finest in all of movies: there's the slam-bang intro; the languorous first movement, with the development of mystery and the growing romance joined as one; the violent rupture; and then a new love, a new mystery, with us one crucial step ahead of…