Philip Schmidt

Philip Schmidt

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Favorite films reflect my current cinematic passions.

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  • Clash by Night

    Clash by Night

    ★★½

    Back end suffers and I think it's because it's difficult to invest in any of these characters. Morality aside, they're just extremely dull as written. Ryan's Earl is interesting, but only in the runup to the affair. As a smitten man, he's not at all convincing and Ryan and Stanwyck have zero chemistry.

    The screen only comes alive when Monroe pops in. It does seem like a crime to assign one of the most cinema's most stylish directors to a project that feels so much like a stage play.

  • Dazed and Confused

    Dazed and Confused

    ★★★★★

    Worn in, lived in like an old pair of blue jeans. What an incredible cast Linklater found here; a few clearly marked for future stardom. What I love most is how unhurried the film is to get anywhere, to any sort of resolution or catharsis. Both in narrative and theme, all about the present moment.

    I'm really enjoying reading Melissa Maerz' fantastic oral history of the film. Kind of cool to realize that when Pink pulls Mitch under his wing, it's pretty much senior Linklater talking directly to freshman Linklater - one autobiographical character at two different ages.

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  • Her

    Her

    ★★★★★

    I was a little afraid that it wouldn't live up to the hype or that it seemed too much like exactly my type of film (man and technology theme, contemporary intimacy, clean futuristic city, one of my favorite actors, visually striking, etc.). Somehow it managed to exceed my expectations.

    Phoenix completely carries the film, occupying every shot and most of the time acting towards a disembodied voice. Most of his performance is not in his soft-spoken, bashful words, but the…

  • Schindler's List

    Schindler's List

    ★★

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

    I finally got around to it. I was probably too young when it was in theaters and I've put it off for years because of the subject matter. Little did I know that Spielberg had a built-in device to tell this story and still make it an epic Hollywood entertainment: he made the two lead characters both powerful Nazis, existing outside of the group of Jewish victims. This creates the necessary separation that a mass audience requires. Ben Kingsley has…