• Last Year at Marienbad

    Last Year at Marienbad

    ★★½

    Sort of operates as the inverse of Hiroshima Mon Amour, with the characters and their inner lives operating in service of the form rather than vice versa. As a work of surrealism I think it misses the mark in this regard. Renais’ dream world is an invention so isolated and so impersonal that it neither disrupts nor illuminates anything in the realm of identifiable reality. This is probably my main gripe, as I feel a meditation on subjects as desire-driven…

  • Boy

    Boy

    ★★★★

    Reminiscent of Kore-eda’s Shoplifters (well, technically that film is reminiscent of this one). Gotta head across town, but need to make a note of how Oshima uses the entire frame to explore the emotional depths of a story. Although the actions, consequences, and outbursts of the adults dominate the frame, what really matters here is what lies on the periphery—the voiceless children whose inner lives are affected, and perhaps illustrated, by all of this turmoil. Their only friends are ones…

  • News from Home

    News from Home

    ★★★★½

    Halfway through News From Home, at about 3 AM, my brother called to check in and see how I was doing. I can’t imagine a better or more appropriate interruption for this particular film. What I feel here, principally—in the oceanic depths of every street corner, in a time capsule where perception initiates the process of disappearing, and in her mother’s words, the tide that pulls Chantal back to them—is yearning.

  • Killer of Sheep

    Killer of Sheep

    ★★★★★

    But while a voice within me cries
    I know someone may answer my call
    This bitter earth
    may not be so bitter
    after all

    Beauty in the midst of despair. Despair resting on the edge of beauty. Missing and finding each other beneath the weight of our tightly held personal problems. It all reminds me of Amiri Baraka’s Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note. Now that I have a bit more life behind me, I understand Stan’s Wife on a level I never could before. Such a perfect film to grow through life with.

  • Meantime

    Meantime

    ★★★★★

    "It’s funny, I thought the world was round."

    ”No, it’s flat."

    I can’t even begin with this film tonight. I’ll just have to get into it on a rewatch, because each relationship here is so perfectly explored. I’m left floored by how much of my shared emotional life with my brother is reflected in Mark and Colin’s relationship. There’s a deep amount of understanding—of intent and affect—behind every barb and glance that flourishes to the surface as something beautiful by the end. It’s unparalleled for me in that regard. New favorite.

  • Giving Voice

    Giving Voice

    ★★★

    Me and Pop had a good time with this one. Inspirational stuff watching these kids reach for their dreams :’-)

  • Boat People

    Boat People

    ★★

    Was looking forward to watching an Ann Hui film and I’m pretty disappointed by this one. Flat, functional stock characters thrown to the fire of cheap melodrama and clumsy symbolism. The atmosphere is almost non-existent as well, with musical swells filling in emotions where the flow of images can’t create them. Could only have extra-textual value, and even then it feels more like an assessment of Vietnam’s framework (because that’s ultimately what accents everything here) than a full exploration of the complex human beings who live there (something that isn’t helped by the aggravatingly "noble" outsiders perspective).

  • Minnie and Moskowitz

    Minnie and Moskowitz

    ★★★½

    Fun Fact: The line about Minnie having a mother complex is apparently based on something that Gena Rowlands actually told John Cassavetes when they were getting married. I think that's pretty sweet.

    Aside from some of the dialogue expressing too much of characterization without unearthing character, I loved this. Perfectly captures the batshit crazy, self-unsheathing that comes with falling in love. In that same anecdote from above, Cassavetes mentions his philosophy about love being the great eraser of all that…

  • Night Shifts

    Night Shifts

    Forgot that I watched this $20K YouTube video the other night. I remember thinking I’d just watched somebody launder money right in front of my eyes, and maybe I’m hating (and if I am, fuck it) but a part of me felt a bit depressed afterwards. Less about the absorbent amount of money this "used", but more about this treating gofundme campaigns as just another means to bolster a celebrity’s personal branding—this time as being an "indie" or "grassroots" artist.…

  • The Headless Woman

    The Headless Woman

    ★★★★½

    SPOILERS:

    Children’s hand prints cover a driver’s side window. Undefined shadows wait in blinding lights. A red mark on a mans neck reminds us of an incongruity in ones marital and familial life. Martel brilliantly hijacks our own sense of reality by creating the most subtly placed projections of a woman’s guilt before us, with some so subtle that they almost seem to exist beyond the realm of reality (the child that appears in the old woman’s room when she…

  • Killer of Sheep

    Killer of Sheep

    ★★★★★

    MY FELLOW BLACK CINEPHILES 🗣🗣🗣

    If you didn’t know, Charles Burnett and Haile Gerima are holding a webinar/conversation with UT via Zoom on March 4th at 5:30 PM CT. 

    You can register for the meeting HERE!

    Tell ya friends!! And shoutout to Alec for telling me!

    Also, if you want a link to watch Gerima’s Ashes & Embers beforehand, check my review for it here.

  • The Scenic Route

    The Scenic Route

    ★★★★

    “I remember the silences the most. I think I’m ready for a meaningful affair.”

    You can find this movie here.

    Thanks to Ray Carney for putting me on to Michael Rappaport (in spite of the beef they may have). One of the most interesting films I’ve seen in a while. It expresses the tiniest feelings and observations—one’s that get lost in the shuffle, yet affect us deeply when remembered—and commits to expressing them through mediums and gestures that would only…