• Faces

    Faces

    ★★★

    “Definition of serious: blah, blah, blah, blah.”

    “Cry, c'mon that’s life honey.”

    The first 40-50 minutes of this reaaally tests (in fact, borderline abuses) the empathy machine in a way that that one long scene from Husbands does, but without the sadism that strung that scene together. Cassavetes’ characters inhabit a heightened and emotionally naked reality so well that it eventually begins to feel like reality itself, because you connect with their honesty. The first half of this rarely ever…

  • Betty Tells Her Story

    Betty Tells Her Story

    ★★★★★

    Y’all, watch this. Wow.

  • Made in Britain

    Made in Britain

    ★★★★

    SPOILERS: 


    What struck me by the end of this were the myriad ways in which Clarke, Leland, and Roth bring Trevor to life with both absolute honesty and purposeful, subtle irony in regards to their thematic goals.

    Trevor is probably the best portrayal of an outright bigot that I've seen in recent memory. This is in large part because there's no mind-boggling arc of redemption to bookend Made In Britain. There's no sick mom or little brother through which we…

  • Carnival of Souls

    Carnival of Souls

    ★★★★½

    SPOILERS:

    Couldn’t stop thinking about this film. Love it even more the second time around. Been reading Thomas Ligotti’s Songs of a Dead Dreamer & Grimscribe and this feels like a perfect companion piece to that collection. The threat of separate realities (the mind, the physical and the metaphysical) intruding upon each other, with the ultimate question of which one is taking full precedent. I loved David Cairns’ video essay on this, Regards from Nowhere, because it opens up what initially…

  • Martin

    Martin

    ★★★½

    Belongs to the upper echelon of incel cinema. Creative premise with its own lore, directing and editing that goes exactly where it wants to go at any moment (continuity and rhythm be damned), and sound design that constantly disrupts your sense of place by pulling you beyond and behind the present. All composed of decomposing societal outliers (aging religious zealots, forgotten suburban housewives, and again, incels) pitted against each other in their own private wars to feel realized. It’s not perfect (some of the ending felt a bit bloated), but it’s depraved and I dig it.

  • Miracle Mile

    Miracle Mile

    ★★★★½

    A PERFECT SATURDAY NIGHT FILM! Seriously, watchlist it if you just need a good time. I don’t even have substantive words. Every single detail of this movie was batshit crazy and chaotic from top to bottom, and that Tangerine Dream score was fantastic (I just started listening to them this past week). Wow, what a fucking ride.

  • Something Useful

    Something Useful

    ★★★

    2nd Pelin Esmer film.

    SPOILERS:

    The first half of this film is incredibly immersive cinema.

    The train crawls across dark suburbs, city nights, and vast country sides; mimicking the flow of time and using the most banal of incidents to inspire the imagination and draw us further in. It's much like Leyla's poetic mind, and like her the story is going nowhere fast as it gently rolls it's central conflict into the fray without so much as disturbing it's rhythm.…

  • The Play

    The Play

    ★★★★

    First Pelin Esmer film!

    Criminally underseen. As a piece to set the tone in terms of intent, I think this would make a great first film for a film class. As dark as the conversation and stories concerning gender got, it was ultimately getting the opportunity to watch these women laugh with each other, understand each other, and express themselves that made this such a great watch. As they break new ground we feel the trepidations behind every word, the…

  • Stories We Tell

    Stories We Tell

    ★★★★★

    Had the benefit of going into this completely blind on a bad day, so if you haven’t seen it I’m offering you the same pleasant surprise (there are many, many surprises here). Collective memory reanimates the many faces of lost loved ones, and myths are genuinely just as integral to understanding an individual as any aspirations to truthfulness. Polley questions all perspectives, and even the pursuit of shaping those perspectives, in an attempt to root herself and the concept of…

  • The White Balloon

    The White Balloon

    ★★★★

    Little Razieh is just too good for this world :’-)

    Kiarostami and Panahi really know how to create an anxiety-inducing situation out of matters of perspective. The world through a child’s eyes is vast in small places, and just as frightening and disheartening as it is wondrous (especially for a little girl). Didn’t even take a note during that snake scene, because it had me ready to punch someone.

  • Judas and the Black Messiah

    Judas and the Black Messiah

    ★½

    Judas and the Black Messiah is not, nor was it intended to be, primarily the story of Fred Hampton and the Black Panthers. Those elements essentially serve as background noise to the story that King & the Lucas Bros are actually trying to tell here: a 'sprawling crime epic' about William O'Neal (the Judas in question), Roy Mitchell (his FBI agent), and the white power structure itself in the form of the FBI.

    If you have any qualms with those statements,…

  • Chinese Roulette

    Chinese Roulette

    ★★★★

    FIRST THING: 

    I downloaded this Google Chrome extension called 'Letterboxd Ratings Remover' and I'd highly recommend it for anyone that occasionally uses this app on their laptop. The experience of going in completely blind, without any preconceived notions given by what my LB friends or people in general thought, was something I didn't know I'd missed for so long. Letterboxd, as well as streaming services, should consider adopting a "blind mode" where we can choose to hide information from ourselves…