Vadim Rizov

Contact: vadim dot rizov at gmail dot com

Favorite films

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Recent activity

  • Sentimental Education


  • The Crimson Curtain


  • Children Out of Tune


  • Machorka-Muff


Recent reviews

  • How to Save a Dead Friend

    How to Save a Dead Friend


    Marusya Syroechkovskaya’s How to Save a Dead Friend engages directly with the Putin-shaped present. Primarily constructed from footage Syroechkovskaya shot between 2005 and 2016, Friend demonstrates how far we’ve come since Jonathan Caouette assembling of Tarnation exclusively from home movie archives was a breakthrough. Now, any compulsive self-documenter can spend years filming, then decide which life thread to extract for their first film—which is not to diss Syroechkovskaya, a disciplined shooter from her teen years onwards. Friend focuses on her…

  • Top Gun: Maverick

    Top Gun: Maverick


    In some ways the press kit is more interesting than Maverick itself, with just over 30 pages of making-of material covering a lot, all grounded in Cruise. He tells stories about what he learned from Harold Becker on the set of Taps, how Sydney Pollack got him to take flying lessons and, most crucially, positions a large part of his goals for Maverick in capturing flights accurately, particularly G-force strain on pilots’ faces. That meant five months of intensive training…

Popular reviews

  • Frances Ha

    Frances Ha


    This is the kind of movie that causes strongly polarized reactions based on each viewer's capacity to tolerate/recognize/empathize with those on-screen. Some people just can't handle watching 20-/30-something white people undergo minor crises within a basically privileged framework, which is understandable. (That said, I'm not sure why someone with that mindset would ever go watch ANY NOAH BAUMBACH MOVIE and ask afterwards — as some guy did — " if it had any sort of larger social context… besides only…

  • Magic Mike XXL

    Magic Mike XXL


    Magic Mike XXL is a putatively "modest"/"small" film — $14.8 million budget, 28-day shooting schedule, a shambling road movie meant to showcase extended musical numbers and largely excising the first film's recessionary panic. (Business is discussed, specifically the hustle of running a small business, but it's not the dominant throughline motivating everything as in the first, a line of inquiry Soderbergh pursued in Erin Brockovich, Bubble and The Girlfriend Experience, in ways that increasingly played like a meta-text about his…