Favorite films

  • Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • Easy Rider
  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
  • Valerie and Her Week of Wonders

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  • The Da Vinci Code

  • The Net

    ★★★★½

  • The French Dispatch

    ★★★

  • Misery

    ★★★½

Recent reviews

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  • The Wolf House

    The Wolf House

    ★★★½

    Yes, The Wolf House can be designated as surreal horror; no, we may not leave that designation unqualified. Nothing flaunts art’s recent history more than constantly labeling everything bizarre or dreamlike as surrealist. Likewise, nothing feels more stifling than constantly referring to the corpse of Andre Breton when wondering whether that designation deserves our smug nods of approval. For certain circles solely devoted to cinema, Švankmajer might even be more readily identified with Surrealism (capital S) than Breton himself. Not…

  • Galaxie

    Galaxie

    ★★★★

    When we describe something as “coming into focus,” we’re referring to a transitional state: this thing, which as of now is illegible, will soon, by means of change precipitated by a formal device, be legible. What if there is no destination for us to reach? Can this device of coming-into-focus constitute its own particular legibility? Galaxie suggests that, yes, far from being only a transitional state, there is a state whose defining characteristic is its betweenness, always coming-into but never…

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  • maɬni – towards the ocean, towards the shore

    maɬni – towards the ocean, towards the shore

    ★★★★½

    An age-old conundrum: the experimentalist at feature length. It needs no repeating (yet here I am) that, for the most part, canonical experimental cinema lives in the realm of the short. Mothlight circulates wider than Dog Star Man, Castro Street more than Quick Billy. How does Sky Hopinka — some of whose shorts will likely pan out as contemporary masterpieces — adapt to this form that, both historically and aesthetically, seems less fit for such a filmmaker? He does so…

  • Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father

    Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father

    ★★★★★

    Nobody would deny that the basic story of Dear Zachary is full of emotional power, but equally well few could deny the expressive power of technique that the film achieves in fracturing the cinematic apparatus. By moving outside of singular audiovisual strands, the imperative of consistent video format, the normative modes of narrative address, the film evades the restrictive traditions of a mechanized culture industry and simultaneously mirrors David Bagby’s call for human intervention in an inhuman system. In very few…