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Favorite films

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Recent reviews

  • Splendor in the Grass

    Splendor in the Grass


    This is my grandmother's favorite film from her youth, and I wanted to surprise her by just putting it on one night. I wasn't expecting too much - a sweet little romantic drama, I guessed. How I was wrong!

    It's uncompromising, and pretty daring for Hollywood and its time. It takes place in 1928, but the story is universal in a way - the hypocrisy regarding love and sexuality and the unfairly different standards boys and girls are held to…

  • Smart People

    Smart People


    Insufferably Indie. I mean, come on - starring: two mid-level stars, some actor I've never heard of, and Ellen Page, the story is about a weird, dysfunctional, downright bizarre family (one that's still more relatable than your average Hollywood Family™), the title on the poster is spelled with Scrabble tiles, the soundtrack... it's even directed by a guy called Noam Murro - doesn't he just sound like an indie director? Jokes aside, you can probably guess exactly what kind of…

Popular reviews

  • Main Theme

    Main Theme


    OK, so it's an opinion I've held for a while, but after this film, if anybody seriously throws my way the idiotic notion that the 1980s were a "lost decade" for Japanese cinema, which was probably put forward by one of the critics who think that Japanese cinema began and ended with Ozu™ anyway, I am seriously going to punch something.

    It's just absolutely perfect, Yoshimitsu Morita channeling Obayashi via Kadokawa - can you seriously think of anything better? I…

  • The Elegant Life of Mr. Everyman

    The Elegant Life of Mr. Everyman


    This is a relatively obscure and underseen film, and once you've watched it it's easy to see why: unlike most other critically praised older Japanese comedies, it's actually funny and entertaining and therefore completely uninteresting to critics. Screenplay by Toshiro Ide, one of Naruse's better collaborators (and writer of several interesting films that I want to see) and directed by Kihachi Okamoto, a lesser-known talent appreciated in the West only for his contributions to the boring samurai genre, naturally.