Favorite films

  • My Darling Clementine
  • The Shop Around the Corner
  • The Strawberry Blonde
  • Holiday

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  • The Tragedy of Macbeth

    ★★★

  • The Wages of Fear

    ★★★½

  • Mr. Klein

    ★★★★½

  • The Wolf Man

    ★★★

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  • Phantom Thread

    Phantom Thread

    ★★★★★

    Broadly speaking, a very “beautiful” movie – but beautiful in quite a specific way, not just in the generic realms of simply looking nice; instead the beauty is holistic, as reflection of a regal sublimity immanent in the couture fabrics of the story and all its world – for once, beauty is not only skin-deep! I like that the film doesn’t concede to clichés: that Reynolds doesn’t have to let go of his craft or his obsessive capacity for creating…

  • Sunset Boulevard

    Sunset Boulevard

    ★★★★★

    Norma Desmond’s final scene, where she recedes back into the unreal reality of “acting” along the winding staircase of her tragically haunted mansion, is a moment of profound self-reflexivity—where the film’s acknowledgement of its own mirror reflection to the real world of Hollywood at once converges and diverges with the unreality of the medium’s artifice—of “Sunset Boulevard”, the containing vessel. The demise of Norma, a spectral avatar of Swanson’s own self, is congruently brought to life as phantasm with the…

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  • Kiss the Blood Off My Hands

    Kiss the Blood Off My Hands

    ★★★★

    Between this and Waterloo Bridge, I think American studio backlot recreations of 40s London are my new favourite niche of film. Smoggy post-war London noir, everything I dream of 😍

  • Yield to the Night

    Yield to the Night

    ★★★

    The purgatory of death row, depicted through the tedious minimalism of prison walls in opposition with the nightmarish flashbacks of what now seems another life - the ideas are better than the treatment which is fairly hit and miss. Nonetheless it captures the atmosphere of Britain in the 50s and the conflicts of its zeitgeist quite strongly, even without ever directly debating the morality of capital punishment on screen. The film is probably best remembered because of its synchronicity with…

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  • Paris, Texas

    Paris, Texas

    ★★★★★

    Oh wow, just finished rewatching Paris Texas and the first thing I read about afterwards is the passing of Harry Dean Stanton. :( How strange and sad. But he lived a great life! We were lucky to have him. I love Travis Henderson so, so much. I found such affinity and affection in every part he played, but never more than here in what he helped make one of the all time great American movies. The tenderness and fragility and pathos just oozed out of Harry Dean. He was a one in a million. A special actor, a special movie. Unrepeatable.

  • Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

    Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

    ★★★★★

    Aka the greatest horror film ever made

    It's beyond heartbreaking how this was treated on release. I think primarily this just an example of Lynch being way ahead of the curve: this is a new kind of film—a synthesis of Blue Velvet's behind-closed-doors-suburbia dream story with a totally uninhibited subjective crux: the life and death of Laura Palmer, a girl whose suffering would be told and relived just the way it happened. For all Lynch's reverential abiding with the 50s'…