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Taxi – 1932 Del Ruth

It may be an outwardly bad film without Cagney. He’s a dynamo. This is his “dirty rat” film, another rough and tumble Warners film from the early 1930’s. One year after his breakout The Public

Gangs of New York – 2002 Scorsese

A film with very high highs—but also one that has multiple 15-20 minute stretches where we are watching a really nondescript (but handsome) epic. The ultimate result is a very strong film that would be

The Lady and the Duke – 2001 Rohmer

A very unique film- on one hand it is a period piece set in the 18th century—almost Masterpiece theater shot on crude video with Rohmer’s typical captivating male and female moral debate/discussion. On the other

The 108th Best Director of All-Time: William Friedkin

Friedkin. Five achievable films total is a low number and that hurts- but clearly some great visuals (the shots below are an alarming reminder that I’m long overdue for a rewatch of Sorcerer and To

Monos – 2019 Landes

City of God meets Werner Herzog in Monos- a superb film from Brazilian director Alejandro LandesOne hell of a location find- the ethereal mystic mountains with a big structure that almost looks like Denis Villeneve’s

The Piano – 1993 Campion

The high-water mark from auteur Jane Campion (her third film- Sweetie and Angel At My Table) thus far—an almost bafflingly original love story shot with stark beauty off the coast in New Zealand. The most

The 107th Best Director of All-Time: Milos Forman

Forman.  I’m no slave to the Academy Awards by any stretch- but it’s a little crazy that an important figure in 1960’s international cinema (Czech) and a permissible two-time winner of the Academy Award for

The 106th Best Director of All-Time: G.W. Pabst

Pabst. Pabst is here because of the distinct visual stamp he put on his work. The filmography is strong but with only six films in the archives and only one top 500 film—it’s the distinct

Bringing Out the Dead – 1999 Scorsese

Even if it’s the 15th best film of the year (approximation-- absolutely no insult in a year this strong)—it feels like a bit of a changing of the guard after such a strong 1990’s for

Dark Command – 1940 Walsh

Raoul Walsh provides the pace and crisp editing (94 minutes with some nice montages) and Walter Pidgeon and John Wayne make for worthy tall-statured foes (Pidgeon has a big booming deep voice like Gregory Peck

Joker – 2019 Phillips

A very notable artistic accomplishment by both Todd Phillips and Joaquin PhoenixPhoenix’s work is easier to tackle but I still feel like you could easily write 2000 words on it alone. The physical transformation (he

Casino – 1995 Scorsese

Casino is often viewed through the lens of Goodfellas. My reaction is normally to reject this—no, this isn’t one of the best 20-25 films of all-time—but it’s better than almost anything else and should be

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