Favorite films

  • Mulholland Drive
  • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
  • Safe
  • Romy and Michele's High School Reunion

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  • Thanksgiving Prayer

    ★★★★

  • The Discipline of D.E.

    ★★★★

  • Golden Eighties

    ★★★★

  • The Blue Hour

    ★★★★

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  • By Hook or by Crook

    By Hook or by Crook

    ★★★★

    Queer Film Challenge #17: a film by Silas Howard.

    This is Americana. Not the mom and apple pie kind, not the eagles and guns kind, but an anarchist Americana of outsiders, like a queer John Dos Passos for the 21st century, or Gregg Araki on a budget of Ziploc bags full of quarters. I'm talking punk rock and minimalist country blues, neon signs and surveillance cameras, petty theft and gay bars. Here in the US a car represents freedom, so…

  • Antibirth

    Antibirth

    ★★★★★

    The lost souls of the exurban strip-mall wasteland drink a beer called Route 666 and use garbage fires to illuminate their punk-rock abandoned-warehouse dance parties. They survive by cleaning motel rooms, or selling drugs, or donning nightmarish mascot costumes at a local Chuck E. Cheese knockoff. The TV shows they watch are a psychedelic mélange of cult programming, vintage foreign cartoons and alien-abduction documentaries. Nothing makes any sense; might as well be blitzed out of your gourd all the time…

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  • The Discipline of D.E.

    The Discipline of D.E.

    ★★★★

    Queer Film Challenge #7: a film based on a story by, a documentary about, or a film with a cameo by William S. Burroughs.

    I had an odd experience with this one. When I googled the title, I saw both YouTube and Vimeo links, so I clicked the latter, assuming the video quality would be better. After two minutes of listening to a smug narrator shame an obviously depressed man for not having a cleaner apartment, I gave up in…

  • Golden Eighties

    Golden Eighties

    ★★★★

    Queer Film Challenge #37: a film directed by Chantal Akerman.

    It's hard to believe at first that this is by the same director as Jeanne Dielman, even though both movies feature Delphine Seyrig playing a character named Jeanne. Ostensibly a tribute to the classic Hollywood musical, Golden Eighties sparkles with bright colors, synthesizers and fluttering femininity. The songs are a mixed bag, if I'm being honest, but the highlight is the flagrantly infectious "Méli-Mélo," which has something of the chaotic…

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  • Happiest Season

    Happiest Season

    ★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Just once, couldn't we have a lesbian romcom that isn't centered on normative straight people's hangups? Did this family of cold, passive-aggressive, dysfunctional WASPs really deserve to be sprinkled with magic forgiveness dust just because they said "sorry" one time? Come on Abby, forget about this mess, there's an Aubrey Plaza right in front of you!

  • Set It Off

    Set It Off

    ★★★★

    2021 Queer Film Challenge #35: a film starring Queen Latifah.

    "What is robbing a bank compared to founding one?"
    —Brecht/Weill, The Threepenny Opera

    After a two decades of post-9/11 compulsory patriotism, alt-right harassment campaigns, and conservatives and centrists joining hands to wring them about "cancel culture," I feel like we're only just now getting back to the point that a movie like this could be made. First, because of how matter-of-factly it handles the blazingly hot stud/femme relationship between Queen…