Favorite films

  • The New World
  • Cléo from 5 to 7
  • Blow Out
  • Before Sunset

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  • Inland Empire

    ★★★★

  • We're All Going to the World's Fair

    ★★★★

  • In the Mood for Love

    ★★★★★

  • Batman Forever

    ★★

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  • The Northman

    The Northman

    ★★★★

    No one is making films like Robert Eggers. On the one hand, the filmmaker’s works are devotedly period-accurate, making use of on-location shooting, meticulously constructed costumes and sets, and authentic accents and dialects that would send most financers running. On the other, Eggers’ commitment to historical realism also encompasses the folkloric, the fantastic, the otherworldly, flirting with genre tropes only to reject most of them in favour of something altogether more unusual.

    Eggers’ first two features have been knockouts: The…

  • Vive L'Amour

    Vive L'Amour

    ★★★★

    In the films of Tsai Ming-liang, as in much of the so-called slow cinema, a single shot is just as likely to be worthy for discussion as an entire scene. In fact, a single shot often is an entire scene. So why not begin a piece on Vive L’Amour, Tsai’s second full-length feature currently on rerelease to coincide with a long-overdue restoration, by considering its opening two shots.

    In the first, a key left in an apartment door dangles tantalizingly…

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  • Inland Empire

    Inland Empire

    ★★★★

    Visually, and maybe thematically, all about the affective qualities of the poor image. Adore the look of Lynch’s MiniDV photography — grainy, unstable, and depthless in a way that pushes our look to the surface of the image, forces us to see the video format in its materiality. It’s why that terrifying image of Nikki’s face superimposed onto the Phantom is so uncanny: because it refuses to even attempt a sense of depth, collapsing the illusion of three-dimensional screen space…

  • We're All Going to the World's Fair

    We're All Going to the World's Fair

    ★★★★

    Perfectly captures a very specific internet experience — those lonely connections teens make after hours — I haven’t seen depicted in fiction without going for straightforward horror schlock, which has always felt to me like the adults desperately pretending they “get it.” At its end, a bit of an anti-climax, which is probably more about me secretly hoping for the horror shlock than it is a fair assessment of the film, which has only grown on me since. Impressive how open-ended…

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  • Belle

    Belle

    ★★

    The best I can say for Belle is that the film’s emotional beats are clearly hugely felt by the filmmakers, and in moments this can’t help but be infectious. And there’s a staggering sense of depth to the opening images that crops up in a few other scenes and makes for some spectacular imagery. But this doesn’t cohere into anything resembling a compelling narrative — especially when the film, in a bizarre detour, sets up this mystery around the identity…

  • About Time

    About Time

    Bill Nighy: You see, son, all the men in our family have the ability to time travel.
    Domhnall Gleeson: What? What about the women??
    Bill Nighy: *chuckling softly* oh no son, that would give them narrative agency! Anyway have fun using your powers to get away with being a total arsehole, stalking and manipulating women while you craft yourself a perfect life formed on the basis of exploitation and lies!!