Favorite films

  • Cries and Whispers
  • Close-Up
  • Cinema Paradiso
  • Blow Out

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  • The Sword and the Dragon

    ★★★½

  • Only Angels Have Wings

    ★★★½

  • Memories of Murder

    ★★★★★

  • Police Story 2

    ★★★

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  • The Sword and the Dragon

    The Sword and the Dragon

    ★★★½

    While it’s too overwhelmingly campy to call majestic, Ilya Muromets certainly earns its keep as a sweeping spectacle. 

    With a slew of magic and vast, colorful landscapes, the dominate storybook feel is a big draw as months and years and different kingdoms are passed in single dissolves.

    There’s hardly a dull moment but any spare one is spent praising or singing about the glory of the Motherland. Although, it’s neat to see how fantastical heroism was translated at that point in time to politically serve the Soviet Union. Plus, they slay King Ghidorah.

  • Only Angels Have Wings

    Only Angels Have Wings

    ★★★½

    JB’s review: 6/10
    “Kept my interest but wasn’t impressed.”

    It’s like the original Top Gun, down to potential queer subtext and Hawks’ pointed focus on male camaraderie, pride, and craftsmanship. That after all, produces the strongest emotional moments of the film, although Jean Arthur and a low-billed Rita Hayworth are entertaining in their own resolute ways. 

    And while I’m not the biggest Cary Grant fan, he works here as one member of a pack of whom Hawks knows exactly how…

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  • Crimes of the Future

    Crimes of the Future

    ★★★★

    This is something else, even for Cronenberg. Meditative and melancholy with a dark dose of kitsch, story takes a backseat to a weird array of characters discussing Cronenberg’s typical obsessions.

    But even with a danger of coming across too directly, beneath the skin Cronenberg examines himself through Tenser; afraid of the evolution of modern horror, the film regresses, mixing devolving technology with new bodies. (The title is the same as one of his earliest films after all.)

    Crimes of the…

  • The Piano Teacher

    The Piano Teacher

    ★★★★½

    The Piano Teacher, above its obscenity and violence and sexual taboos, is a bitter film. Haneke refuses to answer who has hurt whom more by the cold end credits, and to what degree they enjoyed the pain.

    For all the movie's disgust and discomfort, Berger's static photography and long takes are absolutely hypnotizing. The camera is just as impassive and restrained as Erika, which, thanks to Isabelle Huppert, is the most disturbing (and disturbed) character I've ever encountered, so desperate…