Favorite films

  • A Warning to the Curious
  • Ordet
  • The Edge of the World
  • A Canterbury Tale

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  • The Watcher in the Woods

    ★★★

  • L'Argent

    ★★★★½

  • Men of Two Worlds

    ★★★½

  • Time Without Pity

    ★★★½

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  • The Watcher in the Woods

    The Watcher in the Woods

    ★★★

    Something wicked this way came and went (and came back again). 

    Pre-Touchstone, pre-PG13 and very pre-Disney+ (for lack of snark, not the dark). It’s also pre a semi-restorative Mickey’s Christmas Carol, meaning it’s a floundering studio forgetting a drawn heritage and belatedly eyeing up New Hollywood in its death throes and Lucas-Spielberg on the ascendancy.

    Witness this film, Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Black Hole, The Black Cauldron, Dragonslayer, Return to Oz and The Devil and Max Devlin to know we’re…

  • L'Argent

    L'Argent

    ★★★★½

    “Good has left in a police car”. So said Robert Bresson (at a rather testy press conference) concerning the final scene of this film. For something presumed by some to be a summation of an apparently increased cinematic agnosticism on the part of the director, that’s a simple and telling statement (picking up on a previous answer offering that hope can emerge from despair).

    I think there’s a confusion that his increasingly blank observations were somehow a pessimistic take on…

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  • Brideshead Revisited

    Brideshead Revisited

    ★★★★★

    Et in Arcadia Essemus.

    When British television was being deregulated in the early 1990s it was this drama that was most often referenced as evidence for what could soon be lost. Appropriately enough for a serial concerned with decline and fall, it soon was. Brute market forces came to the ugly fore and public service broadcasting has been marginalised ever since.

    It’s not just about an extended duration or a large budget - these things endure to this day -…

  • Dirty Harry

    Dirty Harry

    ★★★★½

    Pragmatism in excelsis; JFDI in practise. A film to reach out to for a periodic tonic, not just for the exhilarating thriller that it undoubtedly is, but for a fantasy manifestation of someone just getting things done in the face of everything. Harry Callaghan: everyday avenging Angel? Almost, but not quite.

    In a world where regulation piles upon regulation, a little reactionary kickback like this can calm material frustration, if not tame the bureaucratic beast from whence the rules spewed.…