Favorite films

  • Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle
  • Pandora and the Flying Dutchman
  • Uncle Yanco
  • Housekeeping

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  • Nostos: The Return

    ★★★½

  • Down with Love

    ★★★½

  • Nashville

    ★★★★

  • Lilies

    ★★★

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  • Journey to Italy

    Journey to Italy

    ★★★★★

    Ingrid Bergman exploring the museum is me watching Journey to Italy, astonished by the lively immediacy of art from the past, not at all "ascetic images" but expressive of their time and reaching into my own.

    I know some feel the ending is rushed and unearned, and everyone has a right to their own opinion and all that, but uhhh they're wrong. All the external bitterness, the private revelations and yearnings, the insecurity and discovery of being in a new…

  • Charulata

    Charulata

    ★★★★★

    I'm amazed once again by the elegance and delicate empathy of Satyajit Ray's filmmaking. Take the sequence where Charulata finally summons up the courage to write. First, a dot of ink on an empty page, promising and terrifying. A close-up of Charulata, deep in thought (as played by Madhabi Mukherjee, so wonderful here and in The Big City, it's an electric moment free of any self-consciousness - she fully inhabits Charulata). She scratches out a few titles in Bengali, before…

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  • Nostos: The Return

    Nostos: The Return

    ★★★½

    It's like Franco Piavoli set out to capture the raw experience of Homer's Odyssey, before it was transformed into myth. Odysseus isn't yet the trickster hero, just a frail man driven by survival instinct and longing for home, and haunted by the violence of Troy's fall. Poseidon's wrath is a storm, Hades a sea cave, Circe a mortal woman, the siren's calls are whale song - the elemental beauty and terror of the natural world that inspired the ancient myths…

  • Down with Love

    Down with Love

    ★★★½

    The mod of it all is divine - those sets and costumes! - and every line out of David Hyde Pierce's mouth is gold.

    Ewan McGregor and Renée Zellweger are exactly on this movie's wavelength - he with his uncanny giant smile and effortless smarm, she with her cunning eyes and one long, breathless monologue that is Down with Love's curveball comic highpoint. Weirdly, great as they are apart, I don't think they have much in the way of romantic chemistry together.

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  • Three Wishes for Cinderella

    Three Wishes for Cinderella

    ★★★½

    Something so earthy and charming about Eastern European fairy tales.

    The first thing this Cinderella says to the prince is "when hell freezes over, asshole!" Disney could never!

  • The Servant

    The Servant

    ★★★★½

    Class rebellion and social upheavals of the 60s as bisexual seduction? I'm into it, and was very willingly seduced by the slinkiest camerawork and sneakiest Dirk Bogarde.