Favorite films

  • At Land
  • Picnic at Hanging Rock
  • Variety
  • Ed Wood

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  • The Wise Kids

    ★★★

  • When We Lived in Miami

    ★★★½

  • The Driver

    ★★★★

  • Days of Being Wild

    ★★★

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  • Saint Frances

    Saint Frances

    ★★★½

    In these precarious, protean times, I'm glad I stumbled upon an opportunity to interview writer-actor Kelly O'Sullivan and director Alex Thompson about their first feature film together for Tone Madison.
    I wouldn't call Saint Frances a panacea to our current predicament by any means, but the viewing experience made hopeful in the short term. Its virtual cinema and VOD releases also neatly coincide with another film of kindred spirit—Eliza Hittman's Never Rarely Sometimes Always.

  • My First Film

    My First Film

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    It was particularly unusual to devise questions to something I hadn't yet experienced, but I gave it my best effort based on my prior familiarity with Zia's work. And she was nice enough to elaborate a bit upon the interrelation of her art before bringing My First Film to Madison for a one-time show.

    After experiencing this live with a receptive audience, I can only reiterate the necessity of thriving communal spaces for cinema. My First Film feels both singularly…

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  • The Driver

    The Driver

    ★★★★

    Bruce Dern is seriously on some Nic Cage shit in this movie before Nic even appeared on screen for the first time in '82, lol. The Driver isn't billed as a comedy, but the deranged hard-boiled energy from Dern's detective character is enough to pitch it as such.

    Quite frankly, this has the most electrifying car chases I've ever seen in a movie. Not that I'm an expert. (Guess I've gotta see Vanishing Point and the rest of the '70s…

  • Days of Being Wild

    Days of Being Wild

    ★★★

    Pretty lukewarm on WKW's depictions of masculine bravado in these early films that are caught between ambiguous and adoring. And I suppose I've never fully responded to his mesh of grittiness and sensuality either, which is why I think In The Mood For Love is his best; it's anchored in a tenderness of restraint this film lacks as it arcs across all sorts of aloof tough-guy neo-noir clichés. As Tears Go By is set on a kind of violent resolution…

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  • A Dim Valley

    A Dim Valley

    ★★★★

    Colvin's most ambitious project yet with its opening credits enfolded in a botanical-wildlife field guide slideshow. A lovingly illustrated entry into a film that feels like a whimsically ethereal and modern update of a free love film that the late 1960s produced— now dripping in alluringly deadpan dialogue that can skirt between revelatory drama and teasing comedy. A sneaky amount of screen time is actually devoted to song, whether diegetic or not (or somewhere hazily in-between), which heightens A Dim…

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    ★★½

    Star Wars: A New Cynicism

    The Force Awakens is specifically designed not to surprise any audience. There isn't one risk-taking scene that emphasizes narrative or character over technology and nostalgia. The Blockbuster template that the first Star Wars crafted (still the best one) is exploited here to the utmost degree, feeding upon notions of a universe of 1977 movies perpetuating endlessly... but, of course, with better CGI (or, in the case of Snoke, definitely worse). So, you know, maybe in…