• The Passion of Joan of Arc

    The Passion of Joan of Arc

    ★★★★★

    Watch with the loudest sound system you can find, turned all the way up. The score is phenomenal. Top 10 of all time. The close-ups are perfection. Maria Falconetti is an experience to witness. Continually impressed with how wonderfully contemporary this feels. Absolutely incredible across the board.

    100% 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

  • The Sword of Doom

    The Sword of Doom

    ★★★

    This is a film about a man who kills without honor, without remorse, and without a code. A trained and gifted swordsman, a sociopath, and a wholly immoral samurai, this is a film centered around the antagonist, probing what it means to be a samurai in a changing world.

    Or at least, I think that's what it's trying to be about. Unfortunately, it's overly long and convoluted, and misses out on both action and nuance. There are some really great…

  • The Ascent

    The Ascent

    ★★★★★

    The Ascent is an uncompromising film on war, homeland, and the human condition. As beautiful a portrayal of humanity as it is a stark one, Shepitko has directed a film that endures long after the credits roll.

    This is a difficult film to discuss for many reasons, but the one that rings true to me is that it is difficult to discuss because it is so honest and so straightforward. It is a film that sets the scales against each…

  • The Devil

    The Devil

    ★★★★½

    A chaotic film capturing the struggle between salvation and damnation, Andrzej Żuławski’s Diabeł delivers a hard-hitting political allegory of great weight and substance.

    Not for the faint of heart, Żuławski imbues this film with so much violent energy that it is physically exhausting. He creates a kind of frenetic tension by incorporating spasm-like dance into each actors performance, we feel each scene as much as we view it. Lines are delivered physically and emotionally in a way that immediately sets…

  • Lost Highway

    Lost Highway

    ★★★★★

    David Lynch’s Lost Highway is one of those Lynchian Rubik's cube’s that only the man himself could both design and solve. An acid-trip noir and a true labyrinth of a film, I ended very much where I began but was thrilled by the experience and the journey.

    We dive, nose first, into the depths of this nightmarish landscape, filled with deep hues, detectives, mysterious apparitions, stalkers and murder. I think we have a case study here that is one part…

  • Spencer

    Spencer

    ★★

    Pablo Larraín's Spencer is a beautiful, hollow affair.

    Larraín captures the opulence of the gilded cage and creates a film that feels both sweeping and claustrophobic, and this is something that centers the film. Some of the shots of the grounds are mesmerizing. Kristen Stewart performs a breathy, dislocated performance that works, the photography and score are exceptional, and the costume design is solid - though not as solid as I'd have hoped. Everything is here to make this something…

  • Wild Tales

    Wild Tales

    ★★

    Can six short stories on revenge come together to make some grand statement on society and retribution? Perhaps, but unfortunately, not in Damián Szifron's Wild Tales.

    Here, our shorts are well produced (nod to Pedro Almodovar), well shot, and well acted, but the final product comes across as a petty, disjointed affair that does not delve into its themes beyond surface level, and tends to wrap things up nicely with a bow (perhaps a bloodied bow) in order to move…

  • Last Night in Soho

    Last Night in Soho

    ★★

    What began as a tense, joyous romp through Soho quickly takes a wrong turn to become, much to my dismay, a disappointing cliche.

    Choosing to turn this fantastical fashion nostalgia thriller into a very, very, literal murder mystery is a choice that baffles me. Any of the fun had in the first half of the film was subjugated by a Nightmare on Elm Street somniphobia that was lead-like in its heavy-handedness.

    The first half was brilliant and had so much…

  • Shiva Baby

    Shiva Baby

    ★★★

    2020’s Shiva Baby is the film equivalent to slapping your hands to your face and dragging them down slowly in cringing anguish – and for the most part, that’s a good thing. Emma Seligman’s directorial debut is a confident, tightly wound, social horror wrapped in family dramedy that is, on the whole, laughably charming.
     
    I feel the writing in this film begs me to analyze it through the lens of our protagonist struggling with the concepts of death, life,…

  • The Alphabet

    The Alphabet

    Lynch does horror - fun to see his student submission - weird and weirdly engrossing - difficult animation to execute (esp. for the late 60s) - at 4mins, worth a watch.

    👍

  • Wild at Heart

    Wild at Heart

    ★★★★★

    "... this film is about finding love in hell /.../ and this particular hell is modern life." - David Lynch

    A passionate and chaotic road movie that takes us to the edge of a cliff and keeps us there, unsure of whether we'll slip off. It's as ugly as it is beautiful and is currently my favorite from Lynch.

    This film strikes me as a film about modern-day America and feels wholly American in a way that is distinctly Lynchian.…

  • The Elephant Man

    The Elephant Man

    ★★★★

    Lynch's second feature film is a tour of kindness and brutality, of acceptance and rejection, and of a humanity reflected in all its various shades. Among Lynch's most heartfelt, accessible films, The Elephant Man is expertly directed, evenly paced, and bound to shed a tear or two.

    Fresh from Eraserhead Lynch keeps us in a similarly industrialistic, unkind world, that he regularly references to showcase the underbelly of the film and the violence of the machine. A costume drama that…