Favorite films

  • Ministry of Fear
  • Monsieur Hulot's Holiday
  • Adua and Her Friends
  • Animal House

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  • Guys and Dolls

    ★★★

  • Criss Cross

    ★★★

  • The Batman

    ★★

  • Betty

    ★★

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  • Criss Cross

    Criss Cross

    ★★★

    I think what keeps Siodmak from being one of the top-tier masters of film noir is that his films are completely humorless, whereas all noir masterpieces are, on some level, pitch-black Kafkian comedies. (In fact, Siodmak’s best film is not even a noir but a horror film.) Still, this one is definitely better than the overrated The Killers.

  • The Batman

    The Batman

    ★★

    The Batman isn’t a terrible film. However, I fear it’s yet another step towards the complete video-game-ification of cinema, in that every character (including Batman) feels like a “non-player character” with no background or depth who is just going through the plot-motions. Batman does Batman-y things because, well, he’s Batman; the cop is generic cop-man; every Mob guy (even the Penguin) is generic Mob guy; the villain does villainous things; &c. There is no unpredictability, which is to say, no…

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  • Under the Silver Lake

    Under the Silver Lake

    ★★★★★

    Somehow both a slow burner and a roller coaster, going from Hitchcock to De Palma to Lynch to the Coens to Shane Black to “Alex Jones explains Evangelion” in 139 minutes. Had it been a bit more emotional, erotic, and operatic (and shot on film), it would have been the most “me” movie ever made.

  • Taxi Driver

    Taxi Driver

    ★★★★★

    Most people who talk about “misogyny” in film have no idea what misogyny is, because they have no understanding of different cultures. Misogyny is not one thing. Catholic “misogyny” and Protestant “misogyny” are completely different. There is a sense in which, for example, both Hitchcock and Carpenter are misogynistic. But a Catholic man hates women because/when his love is unrequited—“they won’t fuck me, therefore I’ll kill and/or rape them.” Catholic misogyny is, so to speak, a purely emotional thing. On…