radem

I watch films, I write about them in books and magazines. You know, no big whoop.

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  • The Big Lebowski

    The Big Lebowski

    ★★★

    This is the third or fourth time I’ve seen this film, and every time after the first I’ve gone in hoping to see why so many people love this movie. I still just can’t connect with it. I think it’s because I can’t relate to the Dude and because I think it lacks the emotional core of other Coen brother movies. Donny dies and it just feels like a device—neither sad nor funny. It looks amazing and the performances are…

  • Fargo

    Fargo

    ★★★★★

    What’s left to say about this brilliant film? The very first time I saw it, I felt let down a little after the dizzying stylistic innovations of the previous Coen brothers films. But after my second viewing I could see them grounding themselves and finding ways to work with idiom grounded in region rather than referring back to cinema. 

    I have a new theory that in the scenes in which Macy and MacDormand are talking, the actors aren’t actually together…

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  • Barton Fink

    Barton Fink

    ★★★★★

    Truly one of my favorite movies of all times. Goodman is, to use the cliche, a force of nature, and the film is chock a block with stunning performances by character actors. It blends the tragic and the comic; it critiques Hollywood and also attacks the preciousness of Romantic ideas of writing. It is shot so powerfully—the burning hotel is unspeakably good and reminds us just what “cinematic” means.   This movie won tons of awards, but really tanked at…

  • The Booksellers

    The Booksellers

    ★★★

    I'll be the first to admit that I usually have a bias about documentaries focused on things I really care about (except for movies), so I put this off for a few months, despite the fact that I do collect books and that my beloved is connected to the market (not as dealer, though). To begin with, for some reason the director decided to use only talking heads and not narrator, yet didn't identify the people talking. He uses Fran…