Zach A

Those satisfactions are permanent.

Favorite films

  • Tokyo Twilight
  • News from Home
  • The Travelling Players
  • Life, and Nothing More...

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  • A.I. Artificial Intelligence

    ★★★★

  • Men in War

    ★★★★

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark

    ★★★

  • Fabian: Going to the Dogs

    ★★★½

Recent reviews

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  • Strangers in the Night

    Strangers in the Night

    ★★★

    Anthony Mann's brief trip into gothic territory is intermittently engaging. At their best, Mann and cinematographer Reggie Lanning produce some stunning, ominous images, which present army hospitals and seaside estates as equally foreboding.

    Yet, one cannot help but compare Strangers in the Night to Mann's collaborations with Alton -- a cinematographer who brought a noirish edge and disturbing affect to nearly all settings and modes, including the gothic-infused period piece Reign of Terror. Similarly, unflattering comparisons could be made with…

  • Underworld U.S.A.

    Underworld U.S.A.

    ★★★★½

    I couldn’t be more grateful today that I was so wrong years ago.

    I first encountered Underworld U.S.A. when a professor/friend shared a low-quality DVD that was recorded directly from a TCM broadcast. At the time, I was racing through Fuller's filmography for the first time. Fuller, of course, would soon become one of my all-time favorite directors -- the kind of artist that would consequentially shift my entire understanding of the medium. That kind of unforgettable experience with a…

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  • From the East

    From the East

    ★★★★½

    In From the East, Akerman demonstrates her anti-ethnographic model of filmmaking.

    And this may be the film’s most obvious achievement: it is a journey through various places – explicitly titled From the East – but it never feels exploitative or condescending toward its subjects. There may be ways to trace various elements of Akerman’s style, including the pacing, compositional strategies, camera proxemics, etc., to better determine how such an inviting and un-exploitative aesthetic may be produced. However, I don’t think…

  • Quintet

    Quintet

    ★★★★½

    "Has it occurred to you that what you are doing is disruptive? You will never understand the scheme until you're part of the scheme."

    From its opening shot, hypnotically and slowly tracking across a desolate landscape of snow, Quintet commits to its much-maligned style.

    As our culture becomes more eager to speak about movies as "so bad they're good," ambitious films like Quintet are lost in the shuffle. Those who do take the time to watch this universally panned film…