brian herrera

brian herrera

Favorite films

  • Female Trouble
  • West Side Story
  • Fame
  • Poison

Recent activity

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  • Within Sand

  • Night Courier

  • Rustin

  • Paddington 2

Recent reviews

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  • Within Sand

    Within Sand

    My second chance to see a Saudi film at a multiplex in Saudi Arabia did not disappoint. Within Sand is notable for several reasons, both directly in synch with the "heritage" movement in the KSA, in which rising generations of Saudis seem increasingly interested documenting and preserving the not too distant past of their ancestral culture. Here, filmmaker Moe Alatawi (director/writer) elaborates upon an oft-told Saudi tale that apparently goes roughly like this: a young merchant is beset by bandits…

  • Night Courier

    Night Courier

    My first experience screening a movie in a movie theatre in Saudi Arabia. Was thrilled that this film, which I had read about in US media upon its release in December, was still playing at the Vox cineplex in Jubail when we were there. Experiencing this slow burn of a noir thriller, densely layered with satiric asides and meticulous details about the reality of class disparity among urban Saudis, after being in kingdom for a few days was thrilling. The…

Popular reviews

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  • Saltburn

    Saltburn

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

    True crime told in the style of an ad for a ridiculously expensive perfume. But truly. What a lush and lurid rollick in the deadly perversity of unearned privilege. I did lavish in both the predictability of the narrative structure of this film -- I mean, it was so conspicuously an intentional riff within and on the con-man/hustler genre that I kept thinking of Ripley... and Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder... and Inventing Anna... and Teorema... as well as…

  • The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

    The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

    A creaky movie adaptation of a creakier stage piece. Still, three "tentpole" numbers (the opening, the Aggie song & "Hard Candy Christmas") make me glad this film adaptation exists. And though they don't have much chemistry, Dolly and Burt are at the height of their effortless screen charisma which elevates the otherwise dumb romance between them, and Charles Durning's musical dexterity is worth remembering. (Dom Deluise, unfortunately, infuses a sloppy sourness to the enterprise that serves no one.) But those main ensemble numbers are the reason I return again and again to this otherwise negligible early 1980s-misfire.