Favorite films

  • Real Life
  • Slacker
  • Friends and Strangers
  • The Girl and the Spider

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  • Accident

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  • Bodies in Dissent

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  • 4 Quarters

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  • Point and Line to Plane

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Pinned reviews

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  • Shared Resources

    Shared Resources

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    With their revelatory debut documentary Shared Resources, Jordan Lord inspired me to reconsider the very ways in which we watch movies; and I appreciate them taking the time to speak about the conceptual process behind the filmโ€”a multifaceted personal and philosophical work about family bonds, debt, shared experience, and accessibility. Microbudget filmmaking at its best and most thought-provoking, really.
    If you're in the Madison area on April 9, you can watch its one-time screening (fully captioned with descriptive audio) atโ€ฆ

  • Retrograde

    Retrograde

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    Earlier this month, I talked with the affable Adrian Murray about his film that has become so dear to me after I caught it at this year's virtual Slamdance. (Thanks to several Letterboxd users, btw.) It's such a screenwriting masterclass. And now the general public in the Madison area has the chance to watch Retrograde in a theater on April 8 as part of the Wisconsin Film Festival. Please don't miss it.

    In our phone interview that I transcribed forโ€ฆ

Recent reviews

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  • Cobra Verde

    Cobra Verde

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    Get thee to Leopold's Books Bar Caffรจ patio for a free outdoor movie night while you can. There's more Herzog/Kinski on the horizon with Woyzeck on Sept 18 and then Nosferatu, The Vampyre on Oct 2. I wrote about owner Sam Brown's recent adventures in movie programming for Tone Madison.

  • Deep Cover

    Deep Cover

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    A magnum opus lost to editing. I have no idea why this was trimmed to 107 minutes when it should've been at least 140, but maybe it had something to do with test audiences.

    Writer Michael Tolkin (who I've been exploring all summer) and director Bill Duke are a formidable team in their cool confrontation of dated noir tropes, but it's really Laurence Fishburne's show as Russell Stevens slipping into the shoes of John Hull. His winding, pulpy voiceover monologuesโ€ฆ

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  • A Dim Valley

    A Dim Valley

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    Colvin's most ambitious project yet with its opening credits enfolded in a botanical-wildlife field guide slideshow. A lovingly illustrated entry into a film that feels like a whimsically ethereal and modern update of a free love film that the late 1960s producedโ€” now dripping in alluringly deadpan dialogue that can skirt between revelatory drama and teasing comedy. A sneaky amount of screen time is actually devoted to song, whether diegetic or not (or somewhere hazily in-between), which heightens A Dimโ€ฆ

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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    Star Wars: A New Cynicism

    The Force Awakens is specifically designed not to surprise any audience. There isn't one risk-taking scene that emphasizes narrative or character over technology and nostalgia. The Blockbuster template that the first Star Wars crafted (still the best one) is exploited here to the utmost degree, feeding upon notions of a universe of 1977 movies perpetuating endlessly... but, of course, with better CGI (or, in the case of Snoke, definitely worse). So, you know, maybe inโ€ฆ