Kundun – 1997 Scorsese

As just a film, it’s a fine effort, certainly in the archives, handsomely mounted with some nice photography and soft elliptical editing that matches material. However, as a Scorsese film—it’s a disappointment. It seems aggressively

The Lighthouse – 2019 Eggers

A confirmation of Eggers’ prodigious gifts and his auteur standing after the 2015 debut- The WitchHypnotically beautiful to look at (and listen to) but more than that really: distinctive, meticulous – I called The Witch

Force of Evil – 1948 Polonsky

Part film noir, part political allegory buried in a crime genre movie --- Abraham Polonsky’s debut film (background as a screenwriter- Body and Soul with Garfield in 1947) has strong performances, visuals and writing79 perfectly

Unrelated – 2007 Hogg

It’s a rough sketch, Joanna Hogg’s first feature film, and just a faint indicator of her future brilliance (notably in her follow-up sophomore effort the 2010 film Archipelago)Being transparent—I saw this before Archipelago and didn’t

Archipelago – 2010 Hogg

An announcement of a burgeoning auteur- Joanna Hogg- it is her second film after 2007’s Unrelated Archipelago is much prettier than the crassly shot debut—much more attractive in its photography and decidedly more poised in

Loro – 2018 Sorrentino

Is there an auteur that makes a better first 15 minutes of his/her films? Il Divo, The Great Beauty-- both explode out of the gates. Loro is no exception, the spectacle (both in gaudy content

The Witch – 2015 Eggers

A debut brimming with self-assurance and specificityThe specificity is two-fold-- the detail in the production design (Eggers background) and the vernacular. The corn stalks are real. The dialect is clearly authentic- the “thee’s” and “thou’s”.

The Aviator – 2004 Scorsese

Scorsese’s The Aviator is stunning to look at, it moves with an incredible speed (it’s an easy a 170-minute watch as there is), and it features DiCaprio giving us a tour-de-force lead performance (debatably his

Farewell My Concubine – 1993 Kaige Chen

A handsomely-mounted, classically told biopic/drama epic with political backdrop the opening- magnificently beautiful use of lighting from Kaige Chen Apparently Miramax mangled it a bit and there’s a shorter cut out there but I was

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

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