Favorite films

  • The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
  • Columbus
  • The Tree of Life
  • Calvary

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  • Lamb

    ★★½

  • Undine

    ★★★★

  • No Time to Die

    ★★★

  • Friday the 13th

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  • Another Round

    Another Round

    ★★★★½

    A beautiful film about living fully the life before us, depicting how easily we fall into estrangement with ourselves and our emotions, our days and our loved ones. The film’s quartet yearn to be alive again and free themselves of that which keeps them distracted, dumb, and numb.

    It is an exploration in the freedom of throwing off the inhibitions that keep us from engaging others and life with our whole being. For most of us, callousness grows through only living…

  • Nomadland

    Nomadland

    ★★★★★

    It’s a film of freedom through longing. Freedom in not trying to find a substitute for what is lost, but rather walking the breadth of the earth, tracing the ache in nature's beauty with no attempt to fix anything. In doing so it finds the lives and communities that form in these empty, open places. 

    Full review here: www.hardlythehottest.com/reviews/nomadland

    “First, nothing can make up for the absence of someone whom we love, and it would be wrong to try and…

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  • Lamb

    Lamb

    ★★½

    Unsettling and disquieting, the film is no hurry to take us anywhere, rather placing us in the isolation of the Icelandic farm which is this couple's context. It frequently interrupts scenes to simply give us landscape and portraits of the place where the story takes place, a highlight and strength for it.

    Despite some intriguing Frankenstein riffs and inspirations, the film is so slow that it tends toward aimlessness. Heavily allegorical/metaphorical depending on your reading, there unfortunately isn't enough given…

  • Undine

    Undine

    ★★★★

    Subdued and modest, Petzold once more delves into the refracted identity of the German people through history and imaginative storytelling.

    The use of a fairytale to draw out his ideas here is hit and miss. The film is so grounded that when more surreal moments and elements are drawn out, it feels jarring and a little disjointed, yet still manages to enthrall.

    That said, tying the architecture and historical narrative of the city of Berlin, how it has changed and…

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  • The Alpinist

    The Alpinist

    ★★★★½

    Few elements reflect the two timeless truths of the transcendence of being fully present, immersed in a task that strips away the distractions with which we choke ourselves, and that there are things worse than death in this life. We forget them, and most possess full lives without really being present in a single day of it. But the mountains show this. And those who climb them live a burning witness for us. It is a wonderful, beautiful gift and…

  • No Time to Die

    No Time to Die

    ★★★

    A fitting, flawed end to the Craig era.

    Fukunaga was a strong replacement at the helm following Mendes. I was not a fan of Mendes' direction of the films at all, his shortcomings especially glaring once Deakins wasn't there to bail him out in Spectre with the wonderful shots and light contrasts he employed in Skyfall.

    Fukunaga shines in the action sequences, the set pieces inventive (besides The Incredibles island at the end), and the blows coming fast and furious. That…