Favorite films

  • The Cranes Are Flying
  • Life, and Nothing More...
  • Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
  • The Trial

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  • Nightmare Alley

    ★★

  • My Childhood

    ★★★★½

  • Syndromes and a Century

    ★★★★

  • Love at Sea

    ★★★

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  • Nightmare Alley

    Nightmare Alley

    ★★

    Organized in the way of a circus, with so much emphasis on the illusion and so little on what else that illusion might convey. Because the circus is artistry, but less so is it art – Del Toro muses on the craft of mesmerism but ultimately bends back to a cynical profit motive (which seems highly ironic in a film whose motivation seems entirely removed from profit). So the director has pieced together this effusion of period delights, superficially pinioned…

  • My Childhood

    My Childhood

    ★★★★½

    In the British tradition one can draw out several extremes of the childhood film, each of a different aesthetic scent. Ken Loach’s Kes is socially real and expectedly bleak; Lynne Ramsey augments the real with a proclivity to fantasy or dreaming; Terence Davies views the real through remembered poetry, and softly sung lyrics. Bill Douglas exists at an axis of his own: while there is a forlorn documentary to My Childhood, the effect is made emphatic by mnemonic grace notes…

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  • They Shall Not Grow Old

    They Shall Not Grow Old

    ★★★½

    Among the unruly film conservationist community – an elusive and underloved subsection of society at the best of times – there is much discontent afoot. Peter Jackson’s latest project, a commission from the Imperial War Museum to mark the centenary of the First World War’s conclusion, has been considered by some in said community to be an act of barbarity, an unjustifiable marring of historical record for the sake of empty titillation. This project, entitled They Shall Not Grow Old,…

  • The Other Side of the Wind

    The Other Side of the Wind

    ★★★★

    A cynic might suggest The Other Side of the Wind cannot be considered a true Orson Welles picture. After all, the man isn’t around to denigrate it, and hasn’t been for a long time. Isn’t this just a cobbling together by friends and colleagues; the long-dead resurrected, but not quite the same? But then, what Welles film is ‘true’, besides Citizen Kane? His filmography is a sort of grand tragedy, whereby a master at 25 was stifled for the remainder…