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  • Secret Beyond the Door

    Secret Beyond the Door

    The plotting and pacing are a total mess; the psychology is absurdly literal-minded; and the happy ending, with its return to idyllic Mexico, is ridiculous even for Classical Hollywood at its worst. As far as Bennett goes, she was either poorly directed, poorly cut, on some kind of debilitating drug, or some mixture of the above. Not without its pleasures, but at the end of the day it's such a misfire that it sails clean into stinker land. Hey, I…

  • Father and Master

    Father and Master

    My favourite films are the ones I have the most difficulty explaining my love for. I'll leave it at that.

Popular reviews

  • 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…

  • Boogie Nights

    Boogie Nights

    I first saw this during its theatrical run--on my birthday, if I remember right--and today I feel the same way about it as I did then, a lifetime ago. That's rare for me: I've been through so many phases as a cinephile, each one involving much rethinking and visceral rewiring, that very few movies carry the feel of my first viewing of them.

    I imagine that every serious, active, critical movie lover has films that they cherish without ignoring their…