Winter Boy 2022
"AIDS is ever present in Christophe Honoré’s 2018 film Sorry Angel. But rather than dictate the choices and emotions of the characters, the disease simply colors their experiences, serving as a filter through which they see the world. In Winter Boy, Honoré approaches grief in a similarly subtle, intriguingly indirect manner. Where many films show grief merely as a crippling hindrance, Winter Boy sees it as an emotional state that constantly rises and recedes, disrupting the flow and morphing the…
Phantom Lady 1944
Incredible. It may lack the inner ethical turmoil (which can usually be boiled down to characters deciding whether to follow their common sense or their crotch, anyway) of most of the quality noirs of the post-Double Indemnity era, but it more than earns its slot in the noir pantheon through force of vibes alone. This is one of the eeriest, most unsettlingly atmospheric films made in 1940s Hollywood (and not by Jacques Tourneur for Val Lewton.)
The story is not so important,…
Karen Dalton: In My Own Time 2020
Picked this out on a whim and I’m glad I did. I love Karen Dalton’s music but for some reason I didn’t expect the story that came out of it. Things are really good for me right now and at the same time really hard. It is so weird to feel like you can’t mentally handle your own life being good and comfortable. It was strange to see that in someone else, seeing her depression creep in at her highest moments,…
Paint Your Wagon 1969
Few directors capture the frequently frustrating divide between form and content like Joshua Logan. His early features, based on William Inge plays, are hardly exacting works of cinematic art but his background as an in demand Broadway director allowed him to really do something with his actors. Kim Novak’s wounded doe in Picnic, Marilyn Monroe’s brassy showgirl in Bus Stop, these are performances that break through the reality of the movies they’re in. Novak was brand new and…
Dial M for Murder 1954
On first viewing this might work solely on its strengths as a mystery but, subsequently, the interest lies only in the way it exists inside the Hitchcock echo chamber, harkening back to ROPE, anticipating REAR WINDOW. Formally the framing, which was largely dictated by the desire to highlight the film's status as a 3-D release, turns this into a giant showcase for bric-a-brac.
I Don't Know 1971
I love love!!!! The world is so crazy sad and also happy. I loved all the silly parts, the bike the dancing the stories
Really wonderful editing which gently guides our focus through the verite-style observational footage of all these comedically flawed, tragically human characters, cuts from scene-to-scene with juxtapositions that suggest the themes of the film long before they crystalize on screen in bursts of humiliation or violence. Very special.
Incidentally, David Byrne's True Stories is like a surreal, comic version of Nashville.
The Sound of Music 1965
really wanted to come into this with a hot take by saying that it's overrated, too schmaltzy, or overproduced, but nah, it's actually good. everything here looks impossibly huge and stunning -- robert wise always knew how to make the environment the real center of the picture -- and the cast is sweet and charming enough. one of those rare musicals where you probably know all the songs by heart before you'd ever watch the film itself.
more thoughts here.
Irma Vep 1996
Taps into the various death-of-cinema pronouncements surrounding the medium’s centenary, and ponders the state of French cinema in particular, as highlighted by the smart casting of Jean-Pierre Léaud. The once-great (or maybe just promising) director Vidal has run out of ideas — his motivation for remaking Les Vampires is literally superficial, extending only to the latex catsuit he envisions clinging to Maggie Cheung as it had to Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman; besides, as an obnoxious critic informs Cheung, his work was…
Pierrot le Fou 1965
godard abandons the high-modernism and hollywood genres of his earlier work and confronts the question of whether cinema allows us to truly know someone, fictional or non-fictional -- and finds only the tension between the word and the image, the explicit and the apparent, the male and female, the literal and the symbolon. belmondo tries to escape the claustrophobic world of global consumerism and pop-culture overload, but his habits draw him back into civilization, and his desire-as-art is channeled into…
Varda is fascinated by geography, organizing her films up and down straight lines: Cléo moves along connecting boulevards in Montparnasse, Mona the vagabond is followed by tracking shots with clear beginnings and end punctuation, and Varda as observer limits herself to 700 meters of one unbending street in Daguerréotypes. Her way of resisting, of keeping Paris small. Old world rhythms butting up with Pompidou's 30-year modernization plan. The connecting subway -- someone makes a reference to a faraway station on…
Little White Dove 1973
One of Ruiz last movies before his exile (I know he finished a movie in France shot previously, but I suspect this one is likely the last one he shot prior to the coup). The political undertones are all over it, but above all is the capture of a place that stands out. Like most early Ruiz it is playful, but not quite as free as he would get by the end of the decade.