Favorite films

  • Vertigo
  • Lost Highway
  • Meshes of the Afternoon
  • Time Bandits

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  • Beneath the Skin

    ★★★½

  • Host

    ★★★½

  • Belfast

    ★★½

  • Squid Game

    ★★★

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  • Beneath the Skin

    Beneath the Skin

    ★★★½

    Condit's first mature short work explores how narrative and storytelling can whittle away at the horror of murder, especially the murder of women, until it can become just gossip or hearsay, and wasn't she mentally ill herself? There's so much packed into 11 minutes, it's intended to lull you into a hypnopompic state I'm sure, until the stories from multiple (?) narrators begins to blur, along with projected film (surely stolen by Talking Heads for Burning Down the House?) on…

  • Host

    Host

    ★★★½

    This is actually very well done, considering its restraints, and restraints are often when the best horror is made. I don't know how I would have reacted to this during the Zoomiest parts of COVID, but it still works. In the filmmaker's favor, all the actors feel like real friends (b/c it turns out they are), but there's also plenty of knowing tech-based humor alongside the genial humor of friends being friends (like doing a shot any time Astral Plane…

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  • La La Land

    La La Land

    ★★½

    Where Whiplash was overheated and silly but I enjoyed on the first viewing, Damien Chazelle's followup overreaches and instead of achieving a romantic puff of a film, is a bit of a mess tonally, wanting to celebrate musicals, Hollywood, and romance, but also wanting to critique it in a shamed faced way. It pulls at itself and instead of a dynamic frisson, it's passionless in the end.

    A few good things:
    1) Cinematographer Linus Sandgren, prod designer David Wasco, and…

  • Interstellar

    Interstellar

    ★★

    Interstellar proves that Nolan is our shallowest "deep" filmmaker of the moment, continuing on from his other plodding original script that was also full of wasted opportunities, Inception. Overly serious, noisy (Zimmer!! Sound effects!!!!), sentimental, yet also filled with confusing plotting and just--I have to say--bad filmmaking (cf. the scenes on the ice planet, where we have no real idea where the main characters are in relation to each other). 200 endings, never ending. Dylan Thomas' poem quoted over and…