Favorite films

  • Fanny and Alexander
  • In the Mood for Love
  • Du côté d'Orouët
  • Close-Up

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  • Repast

    ★★★★½

  • Poison Ivy

    ★★★½

  • Walking a Tightrope

    ★★★

  • Cold Lazarus

    ★★

Recent reviews

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  • Repast

    Repast

    ★★★★½

    “I love the pathetic tenacity of human beings that carry on living in the infinite vastness of the universe.” Naruse’s opening epigraph hints at the deep wellsprings of compassion informing his characteristically bleak variation on the domestic women’s melodrama, a beatific state of grace to which Michiyo herself might ascend by film’s end. “I had hopes and dreams before. Where have they gone?” A marriage chosen for love rather than her parent’s approval, curdled into five years’ worth of financial…

  • Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy

    ★★★½

    A dreamy, daring whirlwind of teenage angst and unhinged Freudianism, suicide ideation and free-floating sexuality. Shea boldly announces her ambitions with an opening reflection on the meaning of the female gaze. “Maybe I’m a lesbian,” Sylvie muses. “No, definitely not. I wish we could be friends.” Admiring Ivy in a world where girls like her exist to be ogled and adored, Sylvie’s way of seeing her new friend – equal parts wish-fulfillment, curiosity, and compassion – gains a kind of…

Popular reviews

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  • Titane

    Titane

    ★★½

    Clearly, I’m in the minority here, but it’s the sort of transgressive provocation I just find incredibly dull, if not flat-out useless. As with Raw before it, the sensationalist genre trappings just become a way for Ducournau to avoid having to try to say anything about any emotional depths she might’ve wandered into. Indeed, literally nothing of either Alexia’s narrative trajectory or Vincent’s emotional awakening would change at all if her baby had been made of flesh and blood instead…

  • Friends and Strangers

    Friends and Strangers

    ★★★★½

    The best new young-people-going-through-vaguely-defined-shit film I’ve seen in years; if Vaughan largely leaves the reasons for Ray and Alice’s stuntedness – professional, romantic, emotional – only hinted at, numerous casual reminders of Australia’s aboriginal and colonial origins point to some more widespread malaise amid all the self-indulgent millennial comfort. Past failures that haven’t been fully reckoned with, future roadmaps not yet drawn, a present dominated by so many forgotten histories, useless digressions, missed cues, and false starts. “We’ll just have…