Favorite films

  • Morocco
  • Rio Bravo

Recent activity

All
  • Marnie

  • Once More

  • Assault on Precinct 13

  • Isabella

Recent reviews

More
  • Marnie

    Marnie

    Marnie. I still find it very appealing, but these days I feel its problems - especially the magical psychoanalytic cure and the overly literal depiction of Marnie living out her past trauma. (The obvious rear projection, mattes, infusions of color, etc. don’t bother me.) What’s most unusual and compelling is the concept (which is explicit in the script, and not just subtext) of Rutland’s sadism and neuroses being turned to good ends, of his pleasure in domination placed in the…

  • Once More

    Once More

    Once More. The project feels intense right away. Vecchiali sets action on artificial-looking sound-stage sets; introduces nudity and other unusual subject matter casually; and partitions the film’s timeline into discrete units marked by time stamps, which format allows Vecchiali to surprise us with abrupt shifts in the characters’ lives between segments. The acting isn’t broad, but it’s iconic: everyone is cast for distinctive qualities that sometimes do not come into play immediately. The camera is fairly mobile and reframes effectively,…

Popular reviews

More
  • Assault on Precinct 13

    Assault on Precinct 13

    Assault on Precinct 13. Classically and skillfully constructed and shot. It’s pretty much RIO BRAVO fan fiction (with nods to a few other Hawks films), but distinguishes itself by adding a layer of colder, more self-conscious style. Acting is generally not remarkable and the genre-inspired dialogue can be a little forced, but Carpenter is smart about how to introduce horror elements and an impersonal viewpoint without disturbing the heroic action-adventure vibe. The action concepts - or rather the desire to…

  • Back Street

    Back Street

    Back Street. From the beginning, total formal control, with icy tracking shots and closeups, scene transitions suspended in the emptiness of the last completed gesture, crowds, weather, everything one associates with mature Stahl. The story is classic Fannie Hurst, with a huge painful contrived coincidence ruining Dunne's life, and love as an immutable sentence condemning the heroine. Stahl and the writers push all of it to extremes: Boles in the middle section is hatefully selfish, and Stahl gazes at his…