Josh Martin

"Cinephilia is also a lack of ambition" -Danièle Huillet

Favorite films

  • Café Lumière
  • The Last of the Mohicans
  • Ruggles of Red Gap
  • Tropical Malady

Recent activity

All
  • Flowers of Shanghai

    ★★★★★

  • The Bastards' Fig Tree

    ★★★½

  • The Lady Without Camelias

    ★★★★

  • The Wind and the Lion

    ★★

Recent reviews

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  • The Bastards' Fig Tree

    The Bastards' Fig Tree

    ★★★½

    At the outset, The Bastards' Fig Tree holds its cards close to the chest. Opening in the last days of the Spanish Civil War, the inciting incident is the execution of a Republican by a group of Falangists in the rural Basque Country. One of the executioners, Rogelio, is consumed by the possibility that the slain man's youngest son will eventually seek vengeance, suggesting we might be in for a period revenge thriller.

    Instead the film embraces black comedy, something…

  • Meetin' WA

    Meetin' WA

    ★★★★

    Produced for the 1986 Cannes Film Festival in lieu of a press conference for Hannah and Her Sisters—because Woody Allen doesn't do press conferences, not even on FaceTimeMeetin' WA manages to be funnier than Hannah and every other Woody Allen film I've seen. Partly this is because Godard doesn't even feign interest in the things normally brought up at press conferences, like "how was it working with so-and-so," and it's hilarious to imagine the Cannes press corps watching patiently while…

Popular reviews

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  • Strawman

    Strawman

    At first blush, Strawman seems a quaint kind of comedy, with its rural setting and farmer protagonists. But the passage of years—and the immense changes to Taiwan in the meantime—has obscured its significance. In 1987, Strawman was downright revelatory, treating subjects that had rarely been seen in any Taiwanese movies, comedic or otherwise.

    On some levels, Wang Tung was an unlikely director for such a story. Wang is often bracketed with filmmakers like Edward Yang and Hou Hsiao-hsien, who upended…

  • Gone with the Bullets

    Gone with the Bullets

    ★★★★★

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

    I’m writing this shortly before Gone with the Bullets makes its international debut at the Berlinale. I’m looking forward to that, because a good chunk of the elite film press corps will be going in cold and exposed to what they might well regard as the ravings of a madman. But as the saying goes, there’s a method to the madness, and if the film plays as you'd expect from a movie with nine screenwriters—including a renowned playwright, a renowned…