• The Piano Teacher

    The Piano Teacher

    Total trash? Haneke gets dogged on way less than Lars Von Trier, but I think a lot of people are missing something — LVT writes from the emotional tenor of a children’s author, which gives his films a gut punch and a religious pathos, even at their grossest. This film is firmly on earth, written with a pop psychology not dissimilar to JOKER. The twists and turns of the protagonists are less surreal than random, particularly with BELLE DE JOUR…

  • Summer of Soul (...or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

    Summer of Soul (...or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

    Summer of Sham: Questlove & Co. Commit Elderly Abuse

    Near the beginning of SUMMER OF SOUL, Stevie Wonder takes the stage. I’m at the Angelika watching this incredible footage. Stevie sits at the drum set and does a mind-bending drum solo. I feel tears form in my eyes. And I remember the last time this happened to me: watching Stevie take the stage with The Rolling Stones partway through the screening of COCKSUCKER BLUES I caught at Film Forum in 2016.…

  • Boogie Nights

    Boogie Nights

    Sat my brother and some friends down with muscle relaxers and a 2-liter of Coca Cola to watch my old high school fav; achieved nirvana. I’d long written BOOGIE NIGHTS off as an over-eager dry run for PTA’s more “mature” work, but in practice he’s almost never been better. Brash and postmodern as fuck. It’s easy to call it an Altman/Tarantino/Scorsese rip-off, but it’s more of a parody — he steals everything but makes it all about a 14-inch cock.…

  • Shiva Baby

    Shiva Baby

    Brought my 80-year old aunt to the Quad to see this, which was a brilliant (thank you very much) meta experiment in experiencing this film’s psychosexual family discomfort.

    She ended up liking it though!

  • 200 Motels

    200 Motels

    A classic where I expected a curiosity. For something that even Zappa fans regard with skepticism, I find it a fundamental catch-all of what makes him appealing: technical wizardry, 4th-wall breaking cuteness, XXX humor (the boobies!), good old fashioned psychedelia, ahead-of-his-time satire. He can often be a crotchety fuck, both in interviews and in music, so I was relieved to find this is a good natured ripper the whole way through. I can’t believe this isn’t talked about more often.

  • Freddy Got Fingered

    Freddy Got Fingered

    I got to interview my hero Tom Green about his masterpiece, which turns 20 today, for the Film Stage. We went in deep.

    “I’m glad I was born when I was. Super happy to be the age that I am, you know? I’m 49 years old. I love being 49. I wouldn’t want to be 20 years old right now. No offense to anyone who’s 20. But I feel great. I’m doing what I love; I’m in control of my life.…

  • French Exit

    French Exit

    Obscure 1986 family dramedy that, though incredibly dated, pedantic, and tone-deaf, is diverting and inoffensive enough.

    Oh, it came out in 2021?

    ———

    Best I can say for this “film,” which I paid $19.45 to see at the Angelika like an idiot, is “reminiscent of 2010s Woody Allen.” Props to Lucas Hedges for scoring a free trip to Paris, hope the composer lives out his dream of scoring Marriage Story 2, if I had the screenwriter’s email address I’d send him a harshly-worded but honestly stated email

  • Bad Trip

    Bad Trip

    Holy shit this is funny. Brilliantly grafts the form of the 2000s buddy comedy onto Eric Andre's man-on-the-street bit in a way that doesn't sacrifice his extremity or charm. It succeeds, ORION logo and SOUL PLANE poster and everything, at feeling like the hokey PG-13 comedies of my youth, while being gross and violent enough to satisfy the modern shock comedy fan. Its use of unstaged bits works because the gags are top-notch and the unsuspecting extras are evocative and…

  • Rock 'n' Roll High School

    Rock 'n' Roll High School

    “Do your parents know you’re Ramones?”

    A gleeful, pure expression of rock & roll ethos, if that kinda sensation gets to you. Skip class, blow up your school. Listen to the Ramones! Has all the stuff of a great cult movie: jiggling boobies, credible real animal abuse, Joey Ramone eating chicken while singing from the back of a moving car. Plus 4 (!) different Brian Eno ambient selections.


    Love this era where gallery art (Mary Woronov of Chelsea Girls) and teensploitation B-movies were made by the same crews. Cuz that’s how it’s supposed to be!

  • Superbad

    Superbad

    Ah, SUPERBAD. Can't tell if it has a whitewashed, slightly sterile TV look, or if I watched it so inhumanely many times on PSP undercover of darkness that my eyes just see it in 480p for life.

    A little baggier than 13-year old me realized! It does that thing some of the less-tidy mid-2000s comedies do where you can see the stitched-together improv; cuts happen kinda indiscriminately to shove in gags and improvised quips, then cuts before the cast members…

  • PVT Chat

    PVT Chat

    “I wanted to show erections in a way that’s not the perfect three-point lighting, airbrushed kind of thing. It’s just there. It’s how it looks in day-to-day life.”

    Was so big on this film that I interviewed writer/director Ben Hozie about it for the Film Stage. #freethepenis

  • Wobble Palace

    Wobble Palace

    Love that the micro-budget movies seen by .0000000000000000001% of the population and hated by 99% of the audience they reach are the ones I relate to the most