• Days of Heaven

    Days of Heaven

    ★★★★½

    A film as lyrical as it is troubling, the fundamental ambiguity of nature and the human tendency towards evil rendered in a way that seems to venerate natural beauty in all its forms. It’s in many ways no different from the run-and-gun plot of Badlands, an initial transgression compounding over space and the karmic answer to that transgression following the protagonists all the way. Malick here adorns that plot of mid-century ennui and simmering violence with an ideological veneer of…

  • Still Life (Betamale)

    Still Life (Betamale)

    ★★★★★

    Roommate put me and this on his Snapchat story right before the central shot of the bunny yiff.

  • Creative Nonfiction

    Creative Nonfiction

    ★★½

    True mumblecore in that I couldn’t hear a lot of this because my roommate would not stop talking over this. Lena Dunham fellow queen of mixing your student film’s volume inconsistently and too low. I like the inserts of the film. Certainly shows promise and a weird sensitivity that would later show up in Tiny Furniture and Girls.

  • Open the Door

    Open the Door

    ★★

    Becomes magnitudes more bearable once you realize that both of her parents are hoity-toity artists the way they appear in Tiny Furniture and she’s turning that same mentality against them. It’s the nepotism case’s Oedipal revenge against her parents using their own tools.

  • Pressure

    Pressure

    ★★

    Just finished Girls and I’m culling through my Tiny Furniture Blu-ray. Sad to report the similarities in this film’s ending stinger to my own short. This isn’t good but maybe I kind of stan Lena Dunham a bit.

  • Hawkeye

    Hawkeye

    ★★★

    Fine. One of the better MCU television experiments, reminiscent of the better moments of the earlier Netflix series to which this ends up connecting itself. Much of this comes down to a localized, finite setting of one city (it’s almost hard to conceive of the more comic-accurate depictions of heroes like Spider-Man who just seem to have a beat in a certain part of New York and only occasionally find themselves in larger, world-threatening crossovers; small-potatoes stories work much better…

  • Drive My Car

    Drive My Car

    ★★★★★

    Said more about the film’s narrative components in my first review, but what I appreciate on a rewatch is its intricate planning and use of rhymes or doublings, using the edit and excerpts from Uncle Vanya either on tape or acted out as direct commentaries on the narrative events occurring prior. Vanya acts as a kind of outsourcing of interiority, emotional shorthand that elevates a reference or narrative pretense into something integral to character development, always dialectically positioned against the film’s own…

  • Lucky Star

    Lucky Star

    ★★★★½

    I owe these anime girls my life. Nearly perfect. A great reminder to take your time and find a sense of happiness in the most quotidian moments.

  • Dance, Girl, Dance

    Dance, Girl, Dance

    ★★★½

    Profoundly weird film, one of those times like the original Imitation of Life where Hollywood’s deviations prove fruitful and puzzling. Resonates with Twin Peaks in its image of a disembodied arm extending by billowing curtains, Jennifer’s Body in its complication of the madonna/whore split at its center, Black Swan in its dual personalities and ballet, and Guadagnino’s Suspiria in the Art Deco architecture and certain dance sequences.

  • Portrait of a Lazy Woman

    Portrait of a Lazy Woman

    ★★★½

    If there’s one thing Chantal Akerman is going to do it’s photograph a bedroom. Not as haunting as her deeply weird and alien photography and negative space in Hotel Monterey, but it’s funny, sympathetic, and upfront about the idea of work, a great reflexive irony in both its editing and its nature as a finished short film about not wanting to get up and finish your short film.

  • This Changes Everything

    This Changes Everything

    ★★½

    An anodyne bit of liberal feminism and corporate congratulations, Netflix patting itself on the back in a similar way to its documentary on trans reputation, Disclosure. There are bright spots, though, with the broad history of women in silent Hollywood and early film coupled with sad stories of scrappy women in New Hollywood finding themselves stalled by studios. Its ending heel-turn is the real nail in the coffin, a suite of segments on #MeToo, the Women’s March, and #Resist sloganeering,…

  • Dark Waters

    Dark Waters

    ★★★½

    Todd Slaynes. Anne Hathaway as a religious housewife crying outside of a Benihana. Bill Pullman. No one makes sickly-looking films like Todd. Really elevates the ripped-from-the-headlines narrative by making everything seem toxic, an uncanny spatial horror fashioned out of middle-America.