Favorite films

  • Passing Through
  • Shoot the Piano Player
  • Tommy
  • No Home Movie

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  • The Barefoot Contessa

    ★★½

  • Annette

    ★★★★½

  • Cruel Intentions

  • Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro

    ★★★★

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  • The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

    The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

    ★★★★★

    I’ve been working on this Jacques Demy essay going on 6 years. I’m glad it’s now come to fruition in the Fall 2020 Gagosian Quarterly; you can read it on pg. 96 here: gagosian.com/quarterly/issues/fall-2020/

    At the end of the day, beyond these small words, we can console ourselves with proof of the existence of a few grand miracles in the worlds of Lola, La Baie des Anges, Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, Model Shop, Peau d’Âne, Lady…

  • Certain Women

    Certain Women

    "In my favorite of her films, Reichardt teases us with big climaxes, as big as the bomb exploding the dam in Night Moves, but she instead pivots and ends each of her Certain Women stories in sad, dejected puffs. A would-be gunman (Jared Harris) is captured off-screen, and sits glum-faced in the back of a police car in dead-still embarrassment. Auberjonois simply recedes McCabe-style back into his empty house, into the cobwebs of his jigsaw puzzle, as his memory-scarred native…

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  • The Barefoot Contessa

    The Barefoot Contessa

    ★★½

    Well I learned nothing about directing or relationships or the mystery of people, but I learned a lot about what happens when a screenwriter gets lost in the weeds of his words. Rivette was wrong about Minnelli, but totally right about Mankiewicz: the dude prided cleverness and virtuosic words at the expense of a visual style, and as a result much of this feels like an extended info dump with people stuck in starchy place like stick-puppets declaiming without hiding,…

  • Annette

    Annette

    ★★★★½

    “Carax thanks Edgar Allen Poe in the credits, which made me wonder whether he was aiming for his own entry in that long heritage of the grotesque that has gripped the romantic imagination of modernists going back to the 18th-century poetry of Charles Baudelaire. If so, he aimed well. Annette is one of the great disaffected musicals, in the league of It’s Always Fair Weather (1955), New York, New York (1977) and Pennies from Heaven (1978). It has the edge…

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  • It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

    It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

    ★★★★

    I had one of the most exciting encounters at a movie theater EVER yesterday, so bear with me.

    Yesterday, I re-watched It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World (Bland-ley Kramer, 1963) in glorious 70mm at LACMA! It's gotten a lot of hate around these parts for being cataclysmically unfunny. And while I can see why people would think so (Kramer has an awful eye for comedic direction, and the sheer pomposity of his statement that he would make "the comedy…

  • Killer of Sheep

    Killer of Sheep

    ★★★★★

    I grew up in a South Central L.A. ghetto neighborhood--the corner of 59th Street and Slauson Avenue, to be specific. Every new day was as trivial as the last, and yet as a kid I was never aware of the constant danger surrounding me. I didn't even have an inkling of my family's own poverty, though I had my sneaky suspicions that because we crammed 3 to a room (in a cold apartment that only had two bedrooms and one…