• Aucun regret

    Aucun regret

    ★★★★

    I’ve sometimes wondered if it was a terrible mistake to go from writing about movies & doing film programming to spending four years on city council, and to not only serve on city council but to throw myself into it, but then there's Mouret’s lovely short to remind me, “It isn't the directions that matter. But to live fully every detour we take.”

  • Past Lives

    Past Lives

    ★★★★

    “Some interesting semi-flirting. To find someone desirable, to express it, to have it reciprocated, and to go no further. Now that is progress.”

    Brian Eno
    July 7, 1995

  • Black Narcissus

    Black Narcissus

    ★★★★½

    What freedom distance brings, and terror with it.

    You can’t stop the wind from always blowing, on the other side of the world, or the air from being clear. Repression can’t survive at altitude, where lust is a force inextricable from life.

    Desire is what the Sisters find so distracting. “Disturbing.” To them, the wind is a lust that never falters, and every Sister runs from it in her own way; towards her own delphinium, Forget-Me-Not, or Japanese peony. They couldn’t hide the mountain, in Mopu or in life.

  • The Unholy Three

    The Unholy Three

    ★★½

    Give us a Farrelly brothers remake, you cowards.

  • Hotel Room

    Hotel Room

    ★★★★

    Ep. 1, “Tricks” ★★★½

    Ep. 2, “Getting Rid of Robert“ ★★

    Ep. 3, “Blackout” ★★★★½

  • A Simple Story

    A Simple Story

    ★★★★

    Sautet’s invisible style, ignored by cinephiles for how effortlessly it transposed a talky French variant of the Hollywood ideal of dramatic representation onto the lives of upper middle class businessmen, only protrudes from the cab to the curb. He shot cars like no one else, adding the smallest camera movement to destabilize the image, a symbol of lives in flux—the change happens before our eyes in the split second when a passenger becomes a pedestrian, crossing foot traffic to glide…

  • Subway Stories

    Subway Stories

    ★★★★½

    Sax/Cantor by Julie Dash only

  • Happy Hour

    Happy Hour

    ★★★★½

    I wish happy hour was always this long.

  • Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

    Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

    ★★★★½

    Enacting or reenacting the startling fleeting moments of our lives, this time with grace. In both of Hamaguchi's great pictures of 2021, surfaces demarcate planes to refract emotions – a distant music of steps & escalators, windows & doors. Like the comedies of John Cassavetes according to Thom Andersen, the characters in these films face up to tragedy and reject it, and the people in the frame, acting, express wholeness, harmony, and life through their words, movements and arrangement, creating implicate order from a deep geometric reality.

  • Waiter!

    Waiter!

    ★★★★½

    Montand establishes the tenor of a scene with the way he fingers a long stem glass, giving the sense he could act entire movies with just his hands or, better yet, the muscles in his face. What's more winning than his pout-scowl every time he tries to come on to a woman? Judging by his success rate, not much. But everyone loses in the end, at least in Garçon!, and that's what I love about it. It's as beautiful as life but not as long, with more situational comedy and telephoto lenses.

  • The Matrix Resurrections

    The Matrix Resurrections

    ★★★½

    Trying to find yourself in your own story when you’re not the person you used to be, as the suits who bankrolled these fictions threaten to reincarnate them without your consent. Cursed by your own creation and only a little blessed, you refute the choice that was your legacy – “there was no way I was swallowing some symbolic reduction of my life,” says Bugs – and locate power in refusal, a preemptive strike. To go back without going back.

    As someone who drinks cortados, I feel both seen and called out.

  • The Matrix Revolutions

    The Matrix Revolutions

    ★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    And so the trilogy that achieved success & acclaim by flattering its viewers to believe that they would fight for freedom in a world of mindless brainwashed hordes, concludes with a call for viewers to construct their own meaning. This appeal to actually think for oneself – as opposed to being hand held through what it would be like for someone else to, like in the first picture – was unrecognized or completely rejected by audiences and critics, who wanted nothing…