Moonlight – 2016 Barry Jenkins

A loud proclamation of a new voice in cinema- Jenkins’ debut, 2008’s Medicine For Melancholy is a C+ ugly (not his fault—it cost like nothing to make) version of Linklater’s Before Sunrise- but Moonlight is

Inside Out – 2015 Docter and Del Carmen

Wondrously candy-colored—a complex world and narrative with rich detail uncovering the complexity of the mind One of animation, sci-fi and Pixar’s go to composers- Michael Giacchino—a great one here- not on the level of Up

Red Desert – 1964 Antonioni

Antonioni’s first color film and his best film overallAntonioni- like Fellini, Kurosawa, Ozu and the other early masters who started in b/w uses color like a weapon- expressive-- he actually painted part of the landscape

Closer – 2004 Mike Nichols

I love the Mike Nichols-ness of the telephoto lens crossing the street (utilized to great effect in Nichols’ The Graduate) opening and closing bookends--- also—this is clearly a 4-person chamber piece with roots in the

L’Eclisse – 1962 Antonioni

Magnificent finale to Antonioni’s “incommunicability trilogy” with L’Avventura and La Notte. I’m sorry but it’s much stronger than Linklater’s “Before” trilogy and Antonioni did them in consecutive yearsAntonioni’s last film in B/WHaneke named it one

La Notte – 1961 Antonioni

Second part of the unofficial "Incommunicability Trilogy" also including L'Avventura (1960) and L'Eclisse (1962). It’s ridiculously epic run for Antonioni. It’s there with Fellini, Godard and Truffaut during this stretchThe film is a favorite film

L’Avventura – 1960 Antonioni

A triumph of mise-en-scene compositions Opaque, lyrical and ambiguousLocation shooting off of Sicily- the rocky Aeolian islandIt was a landmark in 1960 and stands as one today (somewhat- we have the works of Ozu and

The Other Side of the Wind – 1976 Welles

It is a hazy work- uneven with some strong highpoints- famously the “greatest unreleased” or “unfinished film” with tremendous production, post-production issuesLargely it’s a departure from Welles black and white, gorgeously (and creatively) framed mise-en-scene

The Big City – 1963 Satyajit Ray

A step down from the Apu trilogy and The Music Room but still true to form for Ray’s oeuvre Observationally nuanced and best appreciated and recognized Ray’s already established great strand of work in the

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – 2018 Coen

It's no Llewyn Davis but stronger than Hail, Caesar if we're tracking the Coen's work this decade. It's their 17th archiveable film- unreal. I have no doubt it'll reward multiple rewatches and at no point in their six-part anthology

The Mark of Zorro – 1940 Mamoulian

Tyrone power very strong as both the arrogant cad and the sword-fighting heroHe’s not on Fairbanks level as an acrobat but it’s a different film, silent vs. talkie—the strengths here are mainly the climactic duel

Vice – 2018 McKay

It's flawed, and didactic (something I use as description more than a criticism) but it’s definitely of the same unique and ambitious style of the big short -- a film I greatly admire. Vice is in the archives for me. 

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