Favorite films

  • The Great Dictator
  • Foolish Wives
  • Méditerranée
  • Wife! Be Like a Rose!

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  • Spider

    ★★★½

  • Eastern Promises

    ★★★★

  • A History of Violence

    ★★★★

  • Muriel, or the Time of Return

    ★★★★★

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  • Eternity and a Day

    Eternity and a Day

    ★★★★★

    I love many films and adore many filmmakers but there is no one before whom I feel as humbled as I do when I watch a film by Theodoros Angelopoulos.

  • Journey into Fear

    Journey into Fear

    ★★★½

    Immediately obvious from the opening that Welles' signature on this is purely nominal: the approach to the opening - staging, camera movement, performances, etc. - is entirely in the style Welles set out to destroy in Kane, and it's almost embarrassing seeing the same players from the Mercury Theatre company so stiff and awkward here. On the other hand, if it dissatisfies for simply not being an Orson Welles film - which is hardly a fair measure in the first…

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  • Hidden

    Hidden

    Panahi's films are increasingly only addressed to a very specific metropolitan audience, made now with a certain self-important authority never found in the work of his mentor (who he is nonetheless so eager to emulate). It is hard to regard this turn as anything other than unfortunate, given it is this very audience which is treated with great ambivalence in what remains his single great work, Offside. Since then, his work has taken on the significance of the self-conscious activist…

  • The Forgotten

    The Forgotten

    In the absence of anywhere else to write this, I'll put it here. I've been obsessed in the last three weeks with this painting of Christ and the woman of Samaria, finished sometime before 1504 by Juan de Flandes after the mathematical revolution in perspective by Masaccio and before, or slightly parallel to, the gaudiness of the High Renaissance. This painting sits somewhere between these two points, and is simpler than what was standard for either (in fact it reminds…