Will

Tend to watch a lot of film noir these days...

A hundred faves

Favorite films

  • Nashville
  • Ghost World
  • Repo Man
  • White Heat

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  • The House of the Devil

    ★★★★

  • The UFO Incident

    ★½

  • Outrage

    ★★★½

  • The Changeling

    ★★½

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  • Phantom Thread

    Phantom Thread

    ★★★★★

    Broadly speaking, a very “beautiful” movie – but beautiful in quite a specific way, not just in the generic realms of simply looking nice; instead the beauty is holistic, as reflection of a regal sublimity immanent in the couture fabrics of the story and all its world – for once, beauty is not only skin-deep! I like that the film doesn’t concede to clichés: that Reynolds doesn’t have to let go of his craft or his obsessive capacity for creating…

  • Sunset Boulevard

    Sunset Boulevard

    ★★★★★

    Norma Desmond’s final scene, where she recedes back into the unreal reality of “acting” along the winding staircase of her tragically haunted mansion, is a moment of profound self-reflexivity—where the film’s acknowledgement of its own mirror reflection to the real world of Hollywood at once converges and diverges with the unreality of the medium’s artifice—of “Sunset Boulevard”, the containing vessel. The demise of Norma, a spectral avatar of Swanson’s own self, is congruently brought to life as phantasm with the…

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  • Youth Without Youth

    Youth Without Youth

    Wish I liked it more. Few movies have the density of philosophical and metaphysical imagination that this does, nor the complicated intersectionality of literature and politics and history... it’s just not easy to watch. Nevertheless, hard not to look back on the late career trilogy Coppola began here and not to be impressed with his wholesale commitment to pure artistic curiosity - I love that quote of his about filmmaking being a way of posing a question and the finished…

  • Cry Macho

    Cry Macho

    ★★★★

    The 1979 setting sees Eastwood come full circle in a few ways, not just because he’s now of age to play the character as he first conceived it in his unmade 80s film, but because he also ends up portraying a member of the generation that instilled his own sense of nostalgia for the living west and the loss that accompanied the assimilation of its values into twentieth century modernity. (I wish I’d watched Bronco Billy again beforehand.) I thought…

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  • Paris, Texas

    Paris, Texas

    ★★★★★

    Oh wow, just finished rewatching Paris Texas and the first thing I read about afterwards is the passing of Harry Dean Stanton. :( How strange and sad. But he lived a great life! We were lucky to have him. I love Travis Henderson so, so much. I found such affinity and affection in every part he played, but never more than here in what he helped make one of the all time great American movies. The tenderness and fragility and pathos just oozed out of Harry Dean. He was a one in a million. A special actor, a special movie. Unrepeatable.

  • Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

    Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

    ★★★★★

    Aka the greatest horror film ever made

    It's beyond heartbreaking how this was treated on release. I think primarily this just an example of Lynch being way ahead of the curve: this is a new kind of film—a synthesis of Blue Velvet's behind-closed-doors-suburbia dream story with a totally uninhibited subjective crux: the life and death of Laura Palmer, a girl whose suffering would be told and relived just the way it happened. For all Lynch's reverential abiding with the 50s'…