best film:  Our Hospitality from Buster Keaton (his second feature). Our Hospitality isn’t Keaton’s best work but in a down year coming off of 1922—it is the best film of the year. A brilliant premise- a


Kagemusha – 1980 Kurosawa


Kurosawa’s first film in five years since 1975’s Dersu Uzala – a three hour war epic Kurosawa audaciously paints the sky red Set in 16th century feudal Japan—this is not from Shakespeare (though

Kagemusha – 1980 Kurosawa2020-08-31T13:07:45+00:00

Richard Jewell – 2019 Eastwood


It is a far cry from Eastwood’s magnificent run in the early to mid-2000’s (he hasn’t had a Highly Recommend top-10 of the year level film or better since 2006) but it is an engaging

Richard Jewell – 2019 Eastwood2020-08-30T15:50:41+00:00

Serpico – 1973 Lumet


Sidney Lumet’s Serpico is a superb crime procedural and a rich character study—the achievement here may be even greater for Pacino than it is for Lumet Pacino is just in the middle of one of

Serpico – 1973 Lumet2020-08-28T20:39:49+00:00



best film:  Nosferatu from Murnau. Nosferatu is an essential masterpiece- a landmark in horror cinema, German expressionism, and Murnau’s wonderful body of work as an auteur. It is an unauthorized adaptation (much like Ossessione from Visconti




best film:  Destiny from Lang Fritz Lang’s Destiny takes narrative elements from Griffith’s Intolerance (three clear and distinct narrative strands- Mideast story line, Spanish, and Chinese) and mise-en-scene elements from Caligari (see décor detail) to make a brilliant early film for


Dersu Uzala – 1975 Kurosawa


Kurosawa worked in the USSR (shot on location in Taiga) for Dersu Uzala- his first film in five years, his second in color, first on the larger Sovoscope 70mm canvas Shot almost entirely in exteriors

Dersu Uzala – 1975 Kurosawa2020-08-26T20:17:02+00:00

Across the Pacific – 1942 Huston


Across the Pacific gets the gang back together from 1941’s The Maltese Falcon- Warners, John Huston, Bogart, Mary Aster, Sydney Greenstreet—this is actually Huston’s third film (a film between debut Falcon and this is a

Across the Pacific – 1942 Huston2020-08-26T19:33:38+00:00

Ossessione – 1943 Visconti


An important film in the history of film noir, Italian neorealism (even if it doesn’t fit most of the characteristics of the movement), and Italian cinema in general The beginning of Luchino Visconti’s distinguished career

Ossessione – 1943 Visconti2020-08-24T19:44:25+00:00



best film:  The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari from Wiene is by far the best film from 1920. It’s the birth of German expressionism, and, largely, mise-en-scene (or at least set design) in feature film (though of


Intermezzo – 1936 Molander


You’ll leave impressed by the young Ingrid Bergman (age 21 here) as you probably expect to be given the film’s reputation as her start—but the big takeaway from the film is Gustaf Molander’s dedication to

Intermezzo – 1936 Molander2020-08-23T12:34:32+00:00



best film: Intolerance from Griffith – It’s easily the greatest example of cinema as art to date in 1916 and wouldn’t be topped throughout the rest of the decade. It is one of cinemas historically great achievements

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