James has written 58 reviews for films during 2017.

  • An Unmarried Woman

    An Unmarried Woman

    ★★★★

    It's hard not to admire this film, as Mazursky is an acutely feeling, emotionally resonant writer - he clearly aims to infuse his characters with as much natural tonality as possible.
    Still, this is a survey of the state of femininity in the 70's (though not much has changed) as written by a man, and as such there are some areas where it feels disingenuous, despite Mazursky's best intentions. Mind you, I don't mean to suggest that men can't write…

  • The Treasure of Abbot Thomas

    The Treasure of Abbot Thomas

    ★★★½

    One of the best of this series

  • Rancho Deluxe

    Rancho Deluxe

    ★★★★★

    Third Man Records, 16mm, television cut

    Stays great no matter how many times I watch it, one of the best films of the 70s.

  • Living

    Living

    ★★★★

    Though I doubt it's Zwartjes' intention that the viewer acknowledges the camera as an active participant in the film, today it's difficult to not interpret this as dually a precursor to selfie culture as well as a prescient criticism of the trappings of it's performative narcissism.

    But then again, there's this quote from Zwartjes:
    "I film about me..me and the world, me and its relationships... For all sorts of reasons it remains a mystery."

    Like looking to the past and seeing the present.

  • Behind Your Walls

    Behind Your Walls

    ★★★★½

    Etherial, elusive - a film about suppressed feminine rage or perceived feminine mystique?

    One of the my favorite recent discoveries.

    Someone MUST tell me what the soundtrack to this is.

  • Women in Love

    Women in Love

    ★★★★

    Metrograph, DCP

  • Stigma

    Stigma

    ★★★½

    A grim straight-shot telling of the provocation of a pagan curse. Economical in its means, effective in its simplicity.

    Always a sucker for dire British folk tales of the old religion!

  • Lady in the Lake

    Lady in the Lake

    ★½

    Payed about 1/4 attention as this first-person Phillip Marlowe yarn played on TCM, which is as much attention as it deserves.

  • On Dangerous Ground

    On Dangerous Ground

    ★★★

    Landmark Loew's Jersey Theater, 35mm

    Film Blanc

  • Basically, Johnny Moped

    Basically, Johnny Moped

    ★★★★

    WOW.
    As an admirer of Moped, I knew I'd enjoy this, but I didn't expect the doc to be as great as it is.
    Brimming with mindblowing vintage 8mm footage that seems impossible would even exist, let alone survive the ages, one is treated to archival delights like seeing mid-70s film (with synch sound!) of the Mopeds playing in a Croydon back yard!

    Can't believe that only 3 other Letterboxd users have seen this - a sad testament to the cursed obscurity of one of the greatest and truly most important bands of the early punk era.

  • Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond

    Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond

    ★★½

    Maybe someday I'll watch Man On The Noon.

  • Throw Away Your Books, Rally in the Streets

    Throw Away Your Books, Rally in the Streets

    ★★★★

    Anthology Film Archives, 35mm

    While PASTORAL may be ST’s artistic zenith, this one is most dear to me - if for no other reason than it being his most rebellious/countercultural effort. The disaffected, drop-out malaise of the futen zoku is centeral to this film/stage play, amped up by the operatic psych rock of JA Cesar. Though it must be said that while THROW AWAY YOUR BOOKS has the most rockin score of any of Terayama’s films, Cesar’s live-captured cast recording of the stage version of TAYBRITS is far superior and my favorite of JA’s releases. Shame it’s so rare...it’s aching for a vinyl reissue.