Favorite films

  • Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
  • Singin' in the Rain
  • GoodFellas

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  • Lust for Gold

    ★★½

  • Crimes of the Future

    ★★★★

  • A Bridge Too Far

    ★★★

  • Psychomania

    ★★★

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  • The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

    The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

    ★★★★

    I’ve been putting this off forever, despite good word-of-mouth (and good word-of-Boxd) from people I respect. I was worried it was going to be a slow-burning, prestige “anti-Western,” or an elegiac exercise in faux-Malick landscape photography, likely accompanied by downtempo acoustic guitar. To anyone who shares the same apprehensions, let me assure you they are misplaced — this is a genuinely mature and novelistic effort. It’s not hard-driving or action-oriented, yet it’s suffused with emotional suspense and the looming threat…

  • Magnet of Doom

    Magnet of Doom

    ★★★½

    Those who cite the inspirations for American Odyssey movies don’t, as far as I know, typically include Magnet of Doom among other criminals-on-the-lam standbys like Gun Crazy, Breathless, They Live By Night (etc.). If I haven’t just missed the memo, I think this movie’s less-heralded position among Jean-Pierre Melville’s filmography might be because it doesn’t feel like a Melville film. Or, rather, it feels the most French New Wavey of his films, a loose-feeling tour of lesser-known America, absent the…

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  • Lust for Gold

    Lust for Gold

    ★★½

    Ida Lupino and Glenn Ford! On the same marquee! Buckle up for a crackling clash of charismatic characters! A rip-roaring race to recover rare riches! Delicious doses of daring dialogue (with extra emphasis on exciting eroticism)! Just joshing: it’s a messy movie of more moderate merit, a staccato string of scenes seemingly salvaged from silent serials. Ford is fine; Lupino is lustful; the narrative is negligible. An Apache attack — albeit an annotative aside — is admirably accomplished. Otherwise, the frequent flashbacks and flash-forwards, a technique tried, sans success, to stretch the story’s significance, is no substitute for substance.

  • Crimes of the Future

    Crimes of the Future

    ★★★★

    The battle is lost. We have mined every corner of ourselves for entertainment and distraction. We have neglected our infrastructure, become indifferent to our surroundings, and even forgotten what physical contact is for. Where once we earned our measure of fame through curiosity, expansiveness, and communication, we now compete to see how far up our own asses we can disappear. Self-absorption is our most valuable currency; self-consumption is the surest way to mine it. 

    In this portrait of the crumbling…

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  • The Amusement Park

    The Amusement Park

    ★★★½

    So this is what happens when you ask George Romero to make a public service industrial about ageism: an allegorical mood piece, a nightmarish critique of capitalism’s inhumanity, an art-house escapee from The Twilight Zone. (Since it’s a PSA we get a prologue and epilogue explaining how the film addresses the plight of elderly Americans; it’s easy to imagine Rod Serling offering more florid, less explicit bookends for our consideration.) 

    This is the pre-Dawn Romero era of Season of The Witch

  • The Servant

    The Servant

    ★★★★½

    “I’ve found a manservant,” says Tony, a wealthy British ne’er-do-well, during foreplay with his fiancee, Susan, as if it’s the most important piece of business he can mention. “A what?” comes her reply, a reasonable reaction for a young Londoner in 1963. The next time they’re rolling around on the floor of Tony’s new bachelor pad — furnished like the stately home of a 19th century viscount, with only a record player to denote an attachment to the present day…