Favorite films

  • Wanda
  • Vagabond
  • Red Desert
  • The Ascent

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  • Un été + 50

  • An Impossible Balancing Feat

  • The Four Troublesome Heads

  • Chronicle of a Summer

    ★★★

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  • The Eyes of Orson Welles

    The Eyes of Orson Welles

    ★★★★

    Irish introvert Mark Cousins continues his series of interviewing absent filmmakers. This one comes after his one-camera Bunuel-in-Mexico travelogue.
    And I'm down for it.
    His halting, question filled narration is still comfortably close to how I watch any film. So any new Cousins is always welcome here.
    This is an incredible sincere bio of Welles the artist, watch it twice for that alone. Three times for the incredible footage.
    Cousins knows faces are a big pull for the human brain,…

  • Sid & Nancy

    Sid & Nancy

    ★★★★★

    Cox's Romeo and Juliet-as-lens device holds up better decade after decade. It's the super-brief (23 months?) dead end romance journey of the most notorious borderline addicts in the 20th century.
    It almost comes off like a memoir journey of their ghosts, reliving and re-ignoring the class warfare landscape around them, what with the inappropriate age of Oldman & Webb, and the haunted interludes and transitions defying time, logic, or likelihood that only increase as they approach their demise.
    But hey .…

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  • Chronicle of a Summer

    Chronicle of a Summer

    ★★★

    Legendary meta-interview doc that works the same territory as Apted's 7 Up! series, but reveals itself as a Godardian version of F for Fake. Half magic show, half provocative think piece on what cinema does to, and with, interviews as topic. If you start to think some of the interview segments seem to be getting impossibly long, or poetic, or dramatic, or too well composed, you're halfway to where this was going.

  • Z

    Z

    ★★★★

    Effortlessly marches through Conspiracy-style star chamber plotting, Friedkinesque assassination thriller and then Pakula procedural so well it practically invents a whole new multi-genre.
    Of course it packs that legendary wallop at the end, that announced the Watergate and post-Watergate era to come.

    The degree of relevance this story has gained across the world in 50+ years is more pounding on your door terrifying than any other from this era I can think of.

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  • Boyhood

    Boyhood

    ★★

    An experiment in filming, where the conceit is the content. This is a 12 year+ chronicle of an american working class family post 9/11. All the usual Linklater elements are strong here. Dumbed down philosophical angst, the shorthand of cliques, walking scenes and talking scenes and walking and talking scenes. Sudden domestic danger to liven the pace. Amateur actors left to tread water in long, long sunny takes to slow it back down.

    It's on 35mm with colors bursting like…

  • The Last Man on Earth

    The Last Man on Earth

    ★★★★★

    Is there any more appropriate film of our times (ca 2019+) than this Matheson story?

    A Europe sourced plague, possibly airborne baffles scientists, divides families, and changes the world with alarming speed.
    The new daily work is dumping the dead, preparing PPE and tools for eradication, and safely isolating. The kids are held back from school. The streets begin to empty. Communication ends. . . .come to think of it you could run this right after L’Eclisse and it kind…