Favorite films

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  • Summer of Soul (...or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

    ★★★½

  • Derek DelGaudio's In & of Itself

    ★★

  • Dune

    ★★★½

  • Good Timing with Jo Firestone

    ★★★½

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  • Summer of Soul (...or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

    Summer of Soul (...or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

    ★★★½

    Five star musical performances throughout, especially Staples Singers, Mahalia, Stevie, David Ruffin, Nina, wait ok pretty much all of them. 

    Found the “cram all of sixties Black history into a doc about a music festival” approach to be rushed, claustrophobic, and a disservice to the greatness of the music. Let the music speak for itself; talking heads telling you the music is great and important over and over ultimately takes the viewer out of the experience. 

    Was reminded, by contrast, of…

  • Derek DelGaudio's In & of Itself

    Derek DelGaudio's In & of Itself

    ★★

    Did I cry? Yes. Was this a terrible film? Yes. Both things can be true.

    There’s a sad sack, self-help thrust to this that ultimately felt manipulative and very eat, pray, love. Either that connects or it doesn’t. Loved the sleight of hand and pretty much everything else had a weighty “message” to it, accompanied by Del Gaudio’s persistent on the verge of tears face. 

    The tricks were really impressive, to be clear! But lord he managed to turn this into the corniest shit.

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  • Taking Off

    Taking Off

    ★★★★½

    All-time great weed movie, for starters. Such a lightness—literally, as the light in this movie floods everything—to such potentially weighty subjects. Child kidnapping, infidelity, weed smoking, addiction. But Forman and his ensemble make it all seem funny, odd. Like a Coen Brothers movie, in that way. 

    The footage of what had to be real female singer-songwriter auditions were amazing. To see a wide cross section of teenage girls (mostly white, but still) in 1971 try their hand at being the…

  • Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story

    Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story

    ★½

    James Woods. I still find him a charming actor,
    despite his MAGA meltdown. Shout out to the green screen, which did a lot of work in this one, and the gratuitous 9-11 footage. Decker clearly drawing inspiration from this one.