kong ayanami @Sundance 2023

kong ayanami @Sundance 2023

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Favorite films

  • BARDO, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths
  • The Whale
  • Blonde
  • Triangle of Sadness

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All
  • Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls

  • Claudio's Song

    ★★½

  • Power Signal

    ★★★

  • The Starling Girl

    ★★★★★

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  • Babylon

    Babylon

    ★★★★

    Damien Chazelle seems to have essentially achieved his goals with Babylon. He made his Boogie Nights. The difference is, while Babylon is often dazzlingly brilliant, it is too flawed to reach the level of PTA's porn epic, nor the other obvious inspirations: Singin' in the Rain, The Day of the Locust and The Wolf of Wall Street. As tremendous as most of Chazelle's film is, it struggles in regards to pacing, narrative structure and a bland lead performance. It is…

  • Paint Drying

    Paint Drying

    PARDON OUR DUST!

    Over however many weeks or months it takes, I'm going to be doing a total revamp of my ratings and rankings, year by year. My goal is to finish with a more accurate set of scores that places a greater value on true cinematic excellence. Given how many films I've seen, it's going to take a moment, so please bear with me.

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  • Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls

    Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls

    Sundance 2023 - Feature No. Whatever. I’ve lost count.

    You can’t force a cult classic. It has to be organic. Like Margot Robbie says in Babylon about stardom, “you either are one or you ain’t.” This movie ain’t. Jeffrey Combs is a horror legend, but Onyx the Very Long Title is no Re-Animator. The humor here is so juvenile I wouldn’t have even thought it was funny when I was 12, which says a lot considering that my sense of humor hasn’t matured much since those days. Huge miss from the Sundance midnight lineup here.

  • The Starling Girl

    The Starling Girl

    ★★★★★

    SUNDANCE 2023 - Feature #8

    “What I wouldn't give to be in church this Sunday
    Listening to the choir, so heartfelt, all singing
    ‘God loves you, but not enough to save you’
    So, baby girl, good luck taking care of yourself”

    - “Sun Bleached Flies,” Ethel Cain

    Has any film ever understood the dark side of small-town evangelicalism as intimately and fully as The Starling Girl? That quiet, hush-hush patriarchal cruelty and injustice is brought to the screen vividly and…

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  • Don't Look Up

    Don't Look Up

    ★★★★½

    Apparently, in the year 2021, satire isn't allowed to be blunt and impactful anymore. The primary criticisms lobbed at Adam McKay's Don't Look Up are that it is allegedly smug and unsubtle. Well, yeah, that's sort of the point, guys. With what is clearly a passion project, McKay appears to have had no interest in calm restraint. Frankly, why the fuck should he? Using a potentially apocalyptic meteor as a stand-in for global warming and the anti-vax crowd, Don't Look…

  • Watcher

    Watcher

    ★★★★½

    What a nasty little surprise for my first film from the 2022 calendar year! Watcher is a fantastic exercise in psychological horror, delivering everything I could have possibly wanted and so much more than I expected. First-time director Chloe Okuno's steady escalation of tension results in a remarkably confident showcase for her cinematic instincts, as the ominous, quietly paranoid atmosphere gives way to full-blown terror. The refusal to subtitle the considerable amount of Romanian dialogue proves to be so clever,…