Elisha has written 12 reviews for films rated ★★★½ during 2021.

  • Julie Mehretu: Palimpsest

    Julie Mehretu: Palimpsest


    Thanks to The Whitney for putting me on to Julie Mehretu’s incredible and expansive work through their lecture series. You can sign up to watch this brief but insightful look into her creative process here while it’s still playing through June 20th.

  • Daguerréotypes



    One of my favorite things here was watching the butcher carefully prepare meat for his fellow shop keepers. There’s so much intimacy on this little street, but this particular act really reminded me of the things we’ve traded in for the sake of convenience—namely, tenderness and familiarity. Another was the sequence of love stories, and the sequence near the end where the magician imposes sleep upon the audience. Blinking between portraits of each shop keepers family, it slowly begins to feel as if I’ve met all of these people by chance, somewhere in my dreams.

  • One Day Before the Rainy Season

    One Day Before the Rainy Season


    "Possibly, it was the conflict of desires with time. But I can see that time is more powerful because..."


    "Because it doesn’t wait."

    An epic, written in desert tears on time-withered pages.

  • Fucked Like a Star

    Fucked Like a Star



    A beautiful, brief short by a filmmaker I just found out about! Steeps us deep into a sensory experience and leaves us hanging, intermittently, in a realm of awe and reflection. The Toni Morrison passage finds dreams at the crossroads of nature and spirituality, evoking their ability to offer reprieve and nostalgia in the midst of life’s more demanding duties.

  • Minnie and Moskowitz

    Minnie and Moskowitz


    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…

  • Martin



    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.

  • Bottle Rocket

    Bottle Rocket


    “They’ll never catch me man. Cause I’m fuckin’ innocent.”

    Lord knows I needed this laugh. Bottle Rocket is one of my all-time favorite short films, in large part because of how achievable it feels despite being as particular and peculiar as any other Wes Anderson film. The feature length version provides me with much of the same sentiment, but I found myself interested in a lot of it's trepidations as well.

    Bottle Rocket (the feature) features a few rough cuts…

  • Breathless



    Thus ends my 23 year marathon of watching everything besides Breathless.

  • The Pleasure of Being Robbed

    The Pleasure of Being Robbed


    Such a great comfort film. I actually think it’s meant to be watched in bed and enjoyed like company. Makes me miss a few things:

    - IFC around this time
    - my bed from back then 
    - VHS’s with handwriting on them
    - larger DVD collections in bookstores

    I think we should also appreciate the gall of Josh Safdie to make an extended reference to his own short film in his first feature film—itself, kind of a robbery.

  • As Above, So Below

    As Above, So Below


    You can find this film online here.

    Probably the only Larry Clark film I’ll be able to watch for a while, as Passing Through is entirely too elusive to track down. Although my understanding of that film remains speculative, I can already see Clark’s improvisational and musical approach being formed in the editing here. Particularly in the delayed rhythms, cuts through space and repetitions seen in the cutting and intercutting of the church scenes, or in Clark’s willingness to dive directly…

  • Rosetta



    Second Criterion disk I've opened (I should start tagging these).


    I'm able to engage with Rosetta, moreso on an intellectual level than I am on a level of emotional investment. That's an unfortunate statement to make about a Dardenne Brothers film, given that it's what I gravitate to their work for. Their films are magnetic because of their ability to find a bitter hope in the midst of dark circumstances, with "good" and "bad" motives becoming nearly impossible to…

  • Nights of Cabiria

    Nights of Cabiria


    I really only have minor complaints here. Masina’s theatricality left me a bit cold in some of the film’s quieter spots, but as things wore on she found a level of subtlety that I found a lot more affecting. Fellini’s direction only seems to marry the movement in spurts, never quite achieving that kinetic rhythm and dance that I love his films for. It’s ending is great, but I wonder how far it could’ve sunk me without the dialogue—which felt…