Favorite films

  • The Turin Horse
  • Satantango
  • Landscape in the Mist
  • Under the Sun of Satan

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  • The Sting

    ★★

  • Earwig

    ★★★★★

  • Slap Shot

    ★★★★

  • Vampyr

    ★★★★★

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  • The Sting

    The Sting

    ★★

    Another Paul Newman film that I never saw, believe it or not, until now. It is, of course, completely implausible, ludicrous even, but entertaining in a "something to watch with your father-in-law" way.

    As with a number of George Roy Hill films, THE STING is notable for its spare use of music, a sure sign of a filmmaker willing to trust his images. That doesn't make it a great film. Good maybe, but slight nevertheless.

    The ultimate "sting", however, isn't…

  • Earwig

    Earwig

    ★★★★★

    It's funny the way things happen. Less than a week after rewatching Carl Dreyer's sublime VAMPYR, I finally managed to see Lucile Hadžihalilović's equally superb EARWIG, a film that may not have been directly inspired by Dreyer but which undoubtedly owes a debt to him generally, but his 1932 masterwork specifically.

    One could go so far as to say that EARWIG is a 21st-century equivalent of VAMPYR in that both are driven by dream logic, share an unrepentantly cavalier attitude…

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  • Vampyr

    Vampyr

    ★★★★★

    Some films simply defy star ratings, having acquired a canonic or iconic status that places them beyond subjective opinion or evaluation. CITIZEN KANE is one such film. The same could be said, as many have, of TOKYO STORY, VERTIGO, 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY, RULES OF THE GAME, OTTO E MEZZO, etc., but one could just as convincingly cite Welles's THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS, Ozu's AN AUTUMN AFTERNOON, Hitchcock's PSYCHO, Kubrick's BARRY LYNDON, Renoir's LA GRANDE ILLUSION, or Fellini's LA DOLCE VITA,…

  • Hellhole

    Hellhole

    ★★★★★

    Another brilliant piece of work by my new best friend, Bas Devos. Why it took me so long to get around to viewing the three Devos films patiently waiting in my "to watch" pile I'll never know, but the welcome surprise of discovering a contemporary master with a strong cinematic aesthetic and solid thematic preoccupations has been exhilarating.

    Where Devos's 2014 feature debut, VIOLET, appears to be loosely engaged in a dialogue with Gus Van Sant—GERRY (2002), ELEPHANT (2003), PARANOID…