Favorite films

  • Throw Down
  • Good Morning
  • Eega
  • Letter from an Unknown Woman

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  • The Fang in the Hole

    ★★★★

  • Homecoming

    ½

  • Once Upon a Time in America

    ★★★½

  • Lonesome

    ★★★½

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  • Agnus Dei

    Agnus Dei

    ★★★★

    The camera tracing spirograph patterns in the Hungarian plain, capturing figures who move with heavy grace, like shackled dancers, sometimes defining power relations through spatial relations but often not, seemingly too carried away by its own choreographic virtuosity, drunk on the contrapuntal possibilities of tracks, pans and zooms, until fascists on horseback enter the frame against the grain of motion, restoring order, with the shot finally resolving itself into a tableau of persecution or execution. And breasts, lots of breasts. Yep, it's an early 70s Jancsó film all right.

  • The Shop Around the Corner

    The Shop Around the Corner

    ★★★★★

    The Lubitsch touch applied to the "vulgar details of how we earn our daily bread". A delicate pan away from a lonely man's humiliation; an expected point of view shot, discreetly withheld. The sadness of an empty mailbox; the happiness of a full envelope. Two people - slightly pretentious and mildly annoying, just like us - destroying their illusions so that each might find, in the other, someone willing to grow old with them. It's a wonderful life.

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  • The Fang in the Hole

    The Fang in the Hole

    ★★★★

    Sex not Zen, and a bullet in the head, against an absinthe green screen backdrop. All the formal obliquities of the Taisho trilogy films - unbalanced compositions that are layered yet flat, unmotivated camera movements that feel uncannily apt, dislocating cuts, non-sequitur transitions that seem to be punchlines to forgotten jokes - only here they're just about tethered by the fraying strands of narrative and genre. If, like me, you always wanted to appreciate 'Zigeunerweisen' but ended up zoning out, then 'The Fang in the Hole' could become your favourite late Suzuki film.

  • Homecoming

    Homecoming

    Joe Dante stealing valour from Jon Stewart.

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  • Starship Troopers

    Starship Troopers

    ★★★★½

    Because occasionally you have to remind yourself that Paul Verhoeven really did spend $100 million of studio money to make 'Yankee Space Nazis vs the Insect Vagina From Beyond the Stars'. But almost nobody got the joke - at least nobody with a newspaper gig - and it was marketed to teenage boys using that annoying Blur song. And then, within a year, 'Saving Private Ryan' arrived to hoover up acclaim / awards and restore collective reverence for backlit, fluttering…

  • Full Contact

    Full Contact

    ★★★★½

    If you don't like, what you see here . . . then we don't share the same taste in early 90s Hong Kong action movies. But that's fine, different strokes for different folks (as Simon Yam might say).