Favorite films

  • Werckmeister Harmonies
  • Pigs
  • Wendy and Lucy
  • The Gleaners and I

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  • On the Bowery

    ★★★½

  • Purple Noon

    ★★★½

  • Candyman

    ★★½

  • The Lie

    ★½

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  • Certified Copy

    Certified Copy

    ★★★★★

    Nothing has changed.
    But you have.

    Six years since I saw this. A lifetime ago. It feels like yesterday. A different film this time. That's part of the point. Its twists less a coup than clues undeciphered. We are beholden to our prejudiced perspectives, in cinema as much as in life. The past behind, the future before. All at a remove, lives glanced in a glass. We want to go back and can't wait to get away. A relationship, a…

  • Stranger by the Lake

    Stranger by the Lake

    ★★★★½

    Review from my VOD column "This Week on Demand"

    What curious creatures we humans are, with the intelligence to understand our animalistic urges yet not the inhibitions to overcome them. Fatty food, we understand, tastes good to trick us into eating it aplenty. So it is with sex, procreation and pleasure inherently intertwined, evolutionary urges linking lust and love under the auspices of attraction. Stranger by the Lake is a microcosmic masterpiece, its streamlined screenplay and sole setting condensing these…

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  • Born in Flames

    Born in Flames

    ★★★★

    Searing sci-fi critique must have played then—certainly plays now—as a kind of social realism. Borden's broad church of feminist intersectionality is energising and illuminating, not to mention lots of fun. Screeched at the sight of the great Irish director Pat Murphy popping up here among Borden's players. With a resistance like this, who could stop them?

  • The Hour of Liberation Has Arrived

    The Hour of Liberation Has Arrived

    ★★★★

    Revolutionary film about a revolutionary movement. Srour's movie is deft to the last, unpacking in an hour more ideas on imperialism and Marxist resistance than most could manage in three. Beautifully structured for all its guerrilla birth—its song would stir the soul.

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  • Enter the Void

    Enter the Void

    ★★★★½

    Certain films you love because they touch you personally. Others you love because they tell a story so gripping you feel part of it yourself. Some you love for their part in shaping you as a cinephile, even as a person. Then there are the handful of films you love simply because you must love: because they represent so bold an authorial vision, so striking a view of the world, so wholly unique a perspective on life through cinema, that…

  • The Big Shave

    The Big Shave

    ★★★★

    Dear Diary,

    Today I showed The Big Shave as part of a presentation on Scorsese, to demonstrate the early emergence of stylistic and visceral tendencies in his direction. A grown man shrieked a bit. Twice. It was the best day ever.