Favorite films

  • Like Father, Like Son
  • Drive My Car
  • Burning
  • Millennium Mambo

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  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    ★★★½

  • The Sadness

    ★★½

  • The Worst Person in the World

    ★★★★

  • Nightmare Alley

    ★★★½

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  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    ★★★½

    Interesting to read reviews that this film is a mess or tedious - for me, it bucked the trend of other Marvel films and told a tight, focused story that had a logical momentum and wasn't just a series of cool ideas pinging off. It's also interesting to read others' impressions that Raimi's influence was minimal - to me this was the single most idiosyncratic Marvel film, and (aside from the awkward, obviously reworked intro scene setting up the villain) by far the most delightful all the way through. Overall, a joy.

  • The Sadness

    The Sadness

    ★★½

    Not all films need to be enjoyable experiences, and it's certainly not the task of art to make people feel comfortable - but eventually you do need to ask what the point is. The effects work here is immaculate and the film looks great overall, but underneath the single-ply story the film is uninspired, and ultimately I struggled to understand what it was all getting at. If the goal was just to make a gory zombie film, the Brain Dead route of over-the-top, bordering on slapstick extreme violence is a much better idea - because then at least it's fun.

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  • Parasite

    Parasite

    ★★★★½

    Playful, assured, with just about every step along the way unexpected. As usual Bong positively pirouettes with his film's tone, and at times my face wasn't sure what expression it was supposed to be making. Cho Yeo-jeong, as the angelically gullible mother, stands out among the solid cast. It's interesting that this film won the Palme d'Or in the year after Koreeda's Shoplifters - both capture something in the air of this strange part of history.

  • The Florida Project

    The Florida Project

    ★★★★½

    There's a strange magic to Sean Baker's depiction of desparate lives in budget motels near Disneyland. While the underlying story is undeniably depressing, the film is somehow also brimming with joy: it's bright, charming, and popping with energy and colour - a thick lick of tropical paint glooped over a dismal facade. Just about everything about the film is magnificent, with wonderful performances across the board (including a surprising cameo from Sandy Kane).