Elisha has written 21 reviews for films rated ★★★★½ during 2021.

  • Ways of Seeing

    Ways of Seeing

    ★★★★½

    Been enjoying this one over the week. The last two parts remind me of Capitalist Realism. At one point I stopped just to apply Berger’s observations about women in renaissance paintings to poses and expressions held by Instagram influencers like Lori Harvey and Duckie Thot. The results, the outliers, and the conversations held afterwards were both enlightening and a bit depressing. Berger makes clear just how much of our daily interactions with images stem from the preservation of old, Colonial…

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey

    2001: A Space Odyssey

    ★★★★½

    Stop, Dave. 
    I’m afraid.
    I’m afraid, Dave.

    Finally.

    Double-masked up to go witness this in a theater the way I’d always wanted to. I’ve never seen it in any other capacity. The world was beginning to feel so small and increasingly overwhelming. Movies, days, and all of my work began to feel hampered by air, melting into one another to the point of detachment on my part. I’m sure more is waiting for me, but for now I feel unhinged…

  • Shakedown

    Shakedown

    ★★★★½

    Everything about the filmmaking here feels so in-tune with the emotional world of these women. The cuts and freeze frames that accent breaks in thought or moments of pure expression, the focus and adoration for the communal moments and family that lie beyond the performers & performances, and the time-traveling flyers that carry us back through our own lives. The soundscape evokes, to me, the absence of a traditional bass line in Prince’s When Doves Cry. Rather than trying to constantly push the…

  • Dead Man's Letters

    Dead Man's Letters

    ★★★★½

    "Go while you have the strength. For while a man is on his way, there is still hope for him."

    Jesus. One of those films that makes you put your head in your hand and stare at the floor. This places such a vast amount of sensory, human experience against the wall of damnation. War has no aftermath, ideologies have no home, and our tools are even subject to the threat of inanity. At certain points I felt my body…

  • Millennium Actress

    Millennium Actress

    ★★★★½

    Perfect way to cap off the night. Did not expect this film to have me crying in the club or laughing this hard, but here we are. Kon’s seamless craft and meditations—on memory, desire, and aging—are flawless as usual, with the added bonus of getting to nerd out on the Kurosawa, Honda, and Ozu references scattered throughout. It all reminds me of that one quote from Yi Yi—about cinema giving us the opportunity to live three times as long. Desire gifts Chiyoko both retrospective and subsequent immortality, just as it gifts Genya’s life a sense of completion. Something about that makes me warm inside.

  • Gummo

    Gummo

    ★★★★½

    A few years ago...
    a tornado hit this place.
    lt killed the people,
    left and right.
    Dogs died. Cats died.
    Houses were split open...
    and you could see necklaces
    hanging from branches of trees.
    People's legs and neck bones
    were sticking out.
    Oliver found a leg on his roof.
    A lot of people's fathers
    died...
    and were killed
    by the great tornado.
    l saw a girl
    fly through the sky...
    and l looked up her skirt.
    Her skull was smashed.…

  • The Brown Bunny

    The Brown Bunny

    ★★★★½

    Bud, Violet, Lilly, Rose, and Daisy. 

    Perhaps the most forward concession in Vincent Gallo's most misunderstood film is it's illustration of the way we seek out the past in the people we use to hide from it. The ways in which we try to rectify guilt through hollow, yet seemingly adjacent experiences that are ultimately fleeting. As it's opening shot may suggest, the characters in The Brown Bunny are trapped in closed-circuit realities—the spoils of grief, surroundings, circumstance and mortality.…

  • 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.

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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.

  • The Fiancés

    The Fiancés

    ★★★★½

    Gonna consider this my La Notte. Ermanno Olmi’s evolution as a filmmaker here is incredible, as his masterful ability to forgo situational drama in favor of pure, cinematic longing across space, time and sound goes on full display within the first 13 minutes. Perhaps nowhere is this better, for me, than when three scores blend restlessness, forbidden passion, and tender heartbreak into one cohesive sequence. The bonus interview with Olmi available on the Criterion Channel really opens up the moral sociological context from…