• Licorice Pizza

    Licorice Pizza

    ★★★★½

    IN THE SHADE 2022 #2

  • Nightmare Alley

    Nightmare Alley

    ★★★½

    IN THE SHADE 2022 #1

  • The Matrix Resurrections

    The Matrix Resurrections

    ★★★½

    Basically love that this exists, but not entirely convinced it’s successful. 
    The first act is pretty fun and feels exciting because the meta critique and frustration rings true - it begins to question the form and function of a sequel or a reboot but then doesn’t really live up to that promise in the second half. 
    I appreciate how fully committed to the aesthetic of the original this is, but unfortunately what was genuinely cool then comes off more like a pastiche of that coolness now.

  • The Card Counter

    The Card Counter

    ★★★½

    Doesn’t work quite as well as First Reformed, and definitely walks familiar ground for Schrader thematically, but still a much more interesting take on this topic than American films are usually capable of.

  • The French Dispatch

    The French Dispatch

    ★★★★

    Really feels like Wes Anderson just flexing all of his powers - which makes for a pretty entertaining and delightful time, if maybe not quite as satisfying as it could be. Although perhaps this is a side effect of the anthology structure that never really lingers long enough to cut to the core of any particular story.

  • Dune

    Dune

    ★★★★

    I’ve been thinking about how I feel about this film for a few days and I will have more thoughts after I see it again - but my main thought so far is that it’s fascinating the efficiency of the adaptation and what Villeneuve choses to make explicit (when it may have only been suggested in the book). Especially in terms of the way Paul sees himself and his own destiny and introducing the question of his fate rather than the certainty of it.

  • The Hand of God

    The Hand of God

    ★★★★

    I dug this - it doesn’t ever really live up to the intrigue of that opening sequence, but it's an enjoyable ride anyway.
    Filippo Scotti seems to be some kind of midway point between Timothée Chalamet and Louis Garrel - and actually this has more than a little commonality with Call Me By Your Name (although the effect is very different).

  • Titane

    Titane

    ★★★★½

    nziff 2021 #20

    Gnarly as hell!! 
    Despite having read probably slightly too much about the details it still totally took me by surprise, and was way more fucked up than I could have even imagined. It certainly wears its references on its sleeve, but with a confidence that it has earned by also being something completely new. 
    So perfectly paced: we are launched straight into the action before the intensity pulls back and is replaced by anxiety building towards the…

  • Hit the Road

    Hit the Road

    ★★★★

    nziff 2021 #19

    Incredible depth of emotion and insight into family dynamics, wrapped up in almost absurd comedic and cosmic moments. What could be a very serious and intense story never lingers on these themes. Every scene is fresh and unexpected, as is each new landscape they move through. 
    It’s one of those movies that makes you want to describe each scene as an example of its energy, but that would never be able to do it justice - it has something indescribable about it that has to be seen to be believed.

  • Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

    Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

    ★★★★

    nziff 2021 #18

    My second Ryusuke Hamaguchi film of the festival - I actually preferred this to Drive My Car. Each of the three stories ahead an unexpected approach, something mysterious that kept me on my toes. Each of the encounters depicted were poetic in a way, but it was never melodramatic or heavy handed

  • Sweat

    Sweat

    ★★½

    nziff 2021 #17

    Kinda ‘meh’ overall; I think the lead was an engaging presence but it didn’t really fully commit to any of its thoughts about social media or use the aesthetics of fitness influencing to any significant degree.

  • Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché

    Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché

    ★★★½

    nziff 2021 #16

    Didn't really mind that this was the film version of Celeste Bell's book about her mother, although as per usual some of the new non archival footage was unnecessary.
    Could be an interesting documentary double bill with White Riot on the topic of race and identity in punk music in the UK.