For Letterboxd, I interviewed my all-time favorite director Paul Schrader about lonely men filling out journals in lamp-lit rooms, what makes him cry, the film that almost killed him, that Pickpocket ending and plenty more.
Sound of Metal 2019
I’ve talked before on here about how my autoimmune disease — that still gives me a lot of limitations today, especially during the pandemic — was once so severe that I spent several years more or less unable to get out of bed. But I haven’t talked much, if ever, about the year or so before it got to that point. The time where I was getting sick constantly, but still trying to pretend that everything was normal.
Seen a lot of comparisons made between this and The Assistant, which makes sense to some degree — both place a lot of weight on the shoulders of a sensational leading performance and have a claustrophobic energy — but I think the much clearer sibling film is Craig Zobel’s Compliance, another “based on a true story” thriller that essentially plays out in real-time as one extended conversation and dives into the murky realms of power dynamics and penalization protocols.
Cain & Abel 1982
52 films I will watch in 2023: #36
Dug when this shifted into exploitation revenge thriller in its second half, but it took a little too long to get there for me. Inspired by the Biblical tale of the same name, you know where things are going and once the initial pieces are set up I wish there was a bit more propulsion to get us to where we know we’re going. I struggled to get too invested in either…
Triangle of Sadness 2022
First section is okay, just not particularly fresh or insightful. “Rich people are evil narcissistic idiots” — yeah bro, I know. And?
Second section is just this rinsed and repeated, followed up by an excruciatingly long gross-out comedy sequence that‘s about as sharp and tactful as I had come to expect after the low-hanging fruit we got leading up to it.
Third section is one of the most interminable slogs I’ve seen in a while. A man completely running out…
Don't Look Up 2021
The Other Guys is a sharper, more well-rounded satire than any of McKay’s last three movies. Can’t believe the man who created one of the true comedic masterpieces of the 21st century would turn into maybe the most annoying filmmaker working today. Felt actively angry the entire two and a half hours of this, and certainly not in the way McKay wants you to be. It reeks with that smug "I'm so much smarter than everyone" humor of Vice, similarly…