Favorite films

  • North by Northwest
  • Citizen Kane
  • L'Atalante
  • The Selfish Giant

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  • Zola

    ★★★

  • The Velvet Underground

    ★★½

  • Petite Maman

    ★★★★½

  • Eyes Wide Shut

    ★★★

Recent reviews

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  • Zola

    Zola

    ★★★

    Cheerfully amoral in the manner of "Hustlers" or "Spring Breakers"; knowingly ephemeral in the manner of the Twitter thread it's inspired by.

  • The Velvet Underground

    The Velvet Underground

    ★★½

    They're easily a top 5 band of all time for me, so it gives me no pleasure to weigh in and say that this documentary by Todd Haynes is an unexceptional run-through of their basic history. Once you get past the razzle-dazzle of the split screen montages, there's not much there for the kind of deep fans this band inspires, and I certainly ended the 2 hours not feeling I'd learnt anything new. The rush through the last 3 albums is particularly disappointing. Perfectly fine, perfectly watchable, but for such an innovative band, it can't help but feel like a letdown.

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  • Limbo

    Limbo

    The way the climactic scene fades out the live oud playing on the soundtrack - compelling to watch as well as a rare insight into Syrian culture - and starts playing schmaltzy western film music instead, is only the most exasperating example of the many bad choices that dull the impact of what could've been a touching tragicomedy about one of the defining themes of our time, the refugee experience. Very disappointing.

  • Petite Maman

    Petite Maman

    ★★★★½

    What a balm to watch a film so full of kindness and generosity of spirit after having watched Stanley Kubrick's entire chilly oeuvre. In many ways it's a minor offering from director Céline Sciamma after her magnificent previous film "Portrait of a Lady on Fire". But it's also a fugue in a minor key that has a soothing power, that builds to a deeply moving climax, and that has staying power as a magical realist tale of childhood trauma and wonder. So perhaps it's major after all.