Favorite films

  • Local Hero
  • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
  • The Lives of Others
  • The Artist

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  • Parasite

    ★★★★½

  • Showgirls

    ★½

  • Eighth Grade

    ★★★½

  • Top Gun: Maverick

    ★★★★

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  • Top Gun: Maverick

    Top Gun: Maverick

    ★★★★

    Like sliding into a decades-old leather jacket that, against all the odds, still fits and still looks great, it is impossible not to be carried along by this mach 10 sonic boom of nostalgia. Thirty-six years have passed and nothing has changed: fighter jets are still being catapulted off aircraft carriers to the dulcet tones of Kenny Loggins, and Maverick shows all the personal and emotional development of a 60-year-old man child who still thinks he’s 24. I would not…

  • Halloween

    Halloween

    ★★★★★

    I foolishly put off watching Halloween for more than 20 years, not out of fear but because Scream, not long after its release, was one of my first introductions to the genre. It did such a fantastic job of exposing the old slasher cliches that I never felt it necessary to actually watch any of the films it parodied. I have still never watched Friday the 13th or A Nightmare on Elm Street.

    I realised the error of my ways…

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  • Parasite

    Parasite

    ★★★★½

    A ghost story of sorts in which two families from opposite ends of the socioeconomic spectrum, living mutually dependent but ultimately separate lives, haunt each other inside a grand, modernist edifice. The ghost is, of course, class and the insurmountable chasm between the haves and have nots. The poor Kim family, like the stink bugs that infest their squalid but lived-in basement dwelling—so different from the spacious but lifeless mansion occupied by the Parks—even carry the smell of their otherness.…

  • Showgirls

    Showgirls

    ★½

    The aspirational story of a former prostitute climbing, and gyrating around, the greasy pole to achieve her dream of becoming the star of a sleazy Las Vegas floor show without the burden of wearing more clothes than strictly necessary. It might sound like A Star is Born with strippers but, in truth, little really changes for Nomi. What prestige she acquires is always at the whim of the male gaze, and Showgirls has the visual flair of a particularly unimaginative…

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  • Dead Ringers

    Dead Ringers

    ★★★★

    There is often a close physical and emotional bond between identical twins, with people sometimes projecting curious notions of almost-telepathic communication and conspiracy on to their easy understanding, so it is unsurprising that this tragic tale of folie à deux, brought about by shared biology and feeling, feels like such a natural fit for David Cronenberg, the father of body horror, even if it is a much more psychological and mostly less visceral affair than his previous work.

    Jeremy Irons…

  • Eighth Grade

    Eighth Grade

    ★★★½

    Like many visually impaired people of my generation, I did not receive a mainstream education, so the social hierarchies and practices of the American school system are completely alien to me and, as with Lady Bird, this lack of life experience probably prevented me from connecting with Eighth Grade as deeply as others clearly have. That said, Bo Burnham and, particularly, Elsie Fisher perfectly capture the feelings of anxiety, awkwardness and acute embarrassment felt by 14-year-olds everywhere, as well as…