Seven – 1995 Fincher

Seven is formal and visual magnificence. The precision in the execution more than makes up for whatever creativity the common and often repeated plotline looks like on paper. The results are one of the best

Mountains May Depart – 2015 Zhangke Jia

It’s the story of Tao (Tao Zhao) and her love choices and family—but also, because it’s Zhangke Jia- it’s about China and modernization. He tells it in 3 acts set in 1999, 2014 and 2025

A Day at the Races – 1937 Sam Wood

Wood also directed probably the 2nd best Marx Brothers movie, with a similar name, A Night at the Opera (1935) 111 minutes which is long for a Marx Brothers movie- there’s a long musical interim


best film: David Lynch’s Mullholland Drive is the Hollywood nightmare-- just like Blue Velvet is for the suburbs fifteen years prior. It’s abstract and mesmerizing. It’s a wholly unique world filled with small-town naiveté (Watts,

Platform – 2000 Zhangke Jia

One of the leading names in 6th generation Chinese cinema—5th generation is Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaigie. 5th generation films tended to be set historically or mythical but the 6th generation, Zhangke Jia included tend

Horse Feathers – 1932 McLeod

Right there for the Marx Brothers behind Duck Soup and A Night at the Opera- I think it’s pretty clear 1933 is their peak with Duck and you move your circle around that by a

Die Hard – 1988 McTiernan

Like McTiernan’s 1987 entry, Predator, Die Hard is an updated (and modified) western. Instead of The Magnificent Seven (seven samurai) it’s Shane here in many ways Clichés are clichés for a reason and Die Hard

Golden Boy – 1939 Mamoulian

Very fringy archives—it’s in mainly because the cast is superb- particularly Barbara Stanwyck It helped made William Holden a start- it becomes his first archiveable film as well as the first one for Lee J.

Looper – 2012 Rian Johnson

It’s a sci-fi, and action film but it has roots in noir as well just like Johnson’s brilliant debut Brick from 2005. The voice-over flashback (yeah that’s tough in a time bender) has roots in

White Christmas – 1954 Curtiz

It’s a gorgeous film—the first “Vistavision” film with opulent trademark Crane tracking shots by Curtiz, Costumes from Edith Head and a talented cast Love the opening crane shot in the War—ends with another one of

The War of the Roses – 1989 DeVito

Reteams the 3 principal actors of 1984’s romancing the stone- though this is not directed by Zemeckis but DeVito it has much more in common with DeVito’s similarly pitch black comedy throw momma from the

Thunder Bay – 1953 Anthony Mann

It’s second tier Anthony Mann and Jimmy Stewart collaboration but still solid Casting is sensational. I’ll get to Stewart in a second but Joanne Dru is perfect as the jaded and spirited beauty who is

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