Favorite films

  • The New World
  • Cléo from 5 to 7
  • Blow Out
  • Before Sunset

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  • Top Gun

    ★★★

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    ★★★★

  • Men

    ★★

  • Bastards

    ★★★★

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  • The Northman

    The Northman

    ★★★★

    No one is making films like Robert Eggers. On the one hand, the filmmaker’s works are devotedly period-accurate, making use of on-location shooting, meticulously constructed costumes and sets, and authentic accents and dialects that would send most financers running. On the other, Eggers’ commitment to historical realism also encompasses the folkloric, the fantastic, the otherworldly, flirting with genre tropes only to reject most of them in favour of something altogether more unusual.

    Eggers’ first two features have been knockouts: The…

  • Vive L'Amour

    Vive L'Amour

    ★★★★

    In the films of Tsai Ming-liang, as in much of the so-called slow cinema, a single shot is just as likely to be worthy for discussion as an entire scene. In fact, a single shot often is an entire scene. So why not begin a piece on Vive L’Amour, Tsai’s second full-length feature currently on rerelease to coincide with a long-overdue restoration, by considering its opening two shots.

    In the first, a key left in an apartment door dangles tantalizingly…

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  • Top Gun

    Top Gun

    ★★★

    Second the music started I got surprise flashbacks to seeing Mac Demarco play the Forum in 2014, where his encore consisted of a slo-mo version of the Top Gun theme song that went on and on and on with endless chord changes, like no exaggeration it went on for about 20 minutes. Half the audience were stumped, other half were in hysterics. Mac doesn’t have the best rep any more, but that performance was legendary.

    Anyway, Top Gun! Stupid, stupid…

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    ★★★★

    What are multiverse films about? Chance, fates, regrets — anxieties about what might have been otherwise lurk in both MoM and Everything Everywhere. But what this film also confirms is that for Disney the multiverse is above all else a branding exercise; to say, yes, you can try something superficially different (and might have already done so in the past) so long as it can be woven into the moneymaker we’ve already designed. Which I found all the more depressing…

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  • Belle

    Belle

    ★★

    The best I can say for Belle is that the film’s emotional beats are clearly hugely felt by the filmmakers, and in moments this can’t help but be infectious. And there’s a staggering sense of depth to the opening images that crops up in a few other scenes and makes for some spectacular imagery. But this doesn’t cohere into anything resembling a compelling narrative — especially when the film, in a bizarre detour, sets up this mystery around the identity…

  • About Time

    About Time

    Bill Nighy: You see, son, all the men in our family have the ability to time travel.
    Domhnall Gleeson: What? What about the women??
    Bill Nighy: *chuckling softly* oh no son, that would give them narrative agency! Anyway have fun using your powers to get away with being a total arsehole, stalking and manipulating women while you craft yourself a perfect life formed on the basis of exploitation and lies!!