Favorite films

  • The Ascent
  • Cléo from 5 to 7
  • Sound of the Mountain
  • Gertrud

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  • Rome, Open City

    ★★★★

  • Encanto

    ★★★

  • Che: Part Two

    ★★★½

  • All Are Human

    ★★★

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  • Rome, Open City

    Rome, Open City

    ★★★★

    I've seen this before, but I must have underestimated it. When you're studying film and told that something is a classic, you can't help but want to react against it, find it a bit boring, especially when you're young. In fact, I've seen it twice and don't recall much about it, but I think I wasn't coming to it in the proper frame of mind. It practically invents the "neo-realist" style of filmmaking, shooting on the streets (in a Nazi-occupied…

  • Encanto

    Encanto

    ★★★

    The most recent Disney animated film, their 60th apparently, and it's a sweet one. They're always broadly sweet, and Mirabel is a likeable protagonist with her big glasses and dorky range of expressions. She's a bit of a pariah in a magical family of overachievers, sidelined and too often forgotten, but it turns out... she might have her own special powers that deserve to be appreciated by her family. That's pretty much the emotional arc of the story, which is…

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  • Urban Rashomon

    Urban Rashomon

    ★★★½

    It seems to me that a lot of photographer/director Khalik Allah's work is about the ethics of documenting poverty. In this short piece we see him capturing images of a street person called Frenchie, while the director reflects in voiceover about his borderline exploitative relationship with his subject. It's a film of beautiful images but also is very upfront about the ways in which representation is manipulation and exploitation, which is refreshing.

  • Vice

    Vice

    ★½

    In some ways, when I watch something like Vice (or indeed, writer/director Adam McKay's last film The Big Short), I think of David O. Russell's American Hustle or even the flashier Martin Scorsese of, say, Wolf of Wall Street, both of which films I broadly liked (although I'm cooling on the Russell over time). I think there's a lot of common ground, as comedic renderings of modern society in all its gaudiness and compromised politics, and perhaps there's a fine…