Favorite films

  • A Moment of Innocence
  • Munyurangabo
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
  • Of Gods and Men

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  • Louise by the Shore

    ★★★★

  • Annette

  • Fame

    ★★★½

  • Steamboat Bill, Jr.

    ★★★★½

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  • Children of Heaven

    Children of Heaven

    ★★★★

    Simplicity and complexity.

    I’ve been thinking about those two things and about how much we expect that a film will either be simple or complex. When I suggested to my wife that we watch this film with our children this weekend on movie night, a certain memory of the film formed in my mind. I had seen Children of Heaven several years ago and I remember it being simple and sweet, a snapshot of two children loving each other by…

  • Frisco Jenny

    Frisco Jenny

    ★★★★½

    Truly a film out of time.

    A film made in 1932, yet carrying the harshness of the modern world.

    As harsh as the modern world, yet allowing for justice and mercy of a kind the modern world cannot imagine.

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  • Louise by the Shore

    Louise by the Shore

    ★★★★

    A very delicate, beautifully drawn, and bracingly adult meditation on aging and memory.

    Surely the best film I’ve ever watched just because it was "leaving amazon Prime at the end of this month." I’m happy to see it’s not dropping out of the streaming universe but can now be found streaming on Kanopy.

  • Annette

    Annette

    For all of the ways this film shocks us, surprises us, then shocks us again, what each of us thinks about it likely all comes back to what we think about Annette. The way the film presents its title character as a puppet is a provocation to the audience – a move that begs us to love it, hate it, or be baffled by it. But what if, as with me, our first viewing leaves us with all three of…

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  • Minari

    Minari

    ★★★★½

    Director Lee Isaac Chung has talked about the great novelist Willa Cather and her influence on this film.

    This brings me back to two memories :

    1. I once sat on the banks of the Missouri River in Cather’s home state of Nebraska and read from her novel O Pioneers!

    2. In O Pioneers!, the main character Alexandra receives a mysterious visitor in her sleep :

    “As she lay with her eyes closed, she had again, more vividly than for…

  • Adam's Apples

    Adam's Apples

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Ivan is one of the great holy fools of modern cinema.
    His hope seems the height of foolishness in the face of the exhausting darkness that dogs his every step. Until, at the 11th hour, Ivan's hope has overcome this darkness.