Favorite films

  • 3 Women
  • The Killing of a Chinese Bookie
  • I Walk Alone
  • Beauty #2

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  • Zola

    ½

  • New Order

    ★★★★★

  • Army of the Dead

    ★★

  • El Planeta

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  • Zola

    Zola

    A vast abysm of dead air, inert non-moments, and shots of actors peeing. The director, a drama-school kid who one imagines was pulled in by screenwriter and flavor-of-the-month playwright Jeremy O. Harris, spends approximately two of the ninety minutes of this movie showing characters peeing, a device meant to make two of the three peeing characters look like idiots. The picture resembles an abortive college film-class project given a certain amount of hot sauce by some poor overworked editor--Scorsese dissolves,…

  • New Order

    New Order

    ★★★★★

    I adore this movie for many reasons--not least of which is that this absolutely scalding apocalyptic vision does not quite achieve the gravitas of Haneke or Cuaron...There is something slightly grindhouse-esque about the echoes of SALO. Some have even, sacre bleu, likened it to that Bush-era genre, torture porn! If so, I say: Goody gum drop. Franco's picture is a letter-perfect imagining of an income-inequalitous society gone tilt, and if you deem the last shot "heavy-handed," let me assure you: it will live on in my nightmares.

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  • Irma la Douce

    Irma la Douce

    ★★★★★

    I doubt you can find a good review for Billy Wilder's hit follow-up to his Best Picture-winning THE APARTMENT, but IRMA is proof that--in the sixties anyway--Billy's comedies were more haunting than other people's dramas. Jack Lemmon's honest cop, courting Shirley MacLaine's honest whore, discovers that an honest man must play a whoremaster, a gentleman must play a murderer, and many other ruses by which true love is permitted to exist in Wilder's truly unlovely world. Long damned by auteur…

  • The Master

    The Master

    Sinister, cryptic, sidelong, dislikable. The second in a series of PTA films that are like adaptations of imaginary classic American novels. (PTA's There Will Be Blood, while credited as adapted from Upton Sinclair's Oil!, really bears almost no relationship to that novel.) Here, PTA follows up the mythic rise of heroic/antiheroic capitalist Daniel Plainview--a maven of physical goods, a bleeder of the earth--with what PTA pegs as the defining category killer of the modern, meaning postwar, world: one who sells…