Velvet Buzzsaw – 2019 Dan Gilroy

A very flawed film—it won’t sniff my top 10 of 2019 and I may move it out of the archives with a rewatch but for now I’m putting it in by the skin of its

My Summer of Love – 2004 Pawlikowski

Pawlikowski before he was Pawlikowski- this is a fine film but he hasn’t yet found his voice and this doesn’t transcendAbsolutely a relative to Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures from a decade earlierShot in 16mm The

Spider Baby or, the Maddest Story Ever Told – 1967 Jack Hill

A true cult film- a supposed lost film until the 1990’s—hints (and pre-dates) of David Lynch’s Eraserhead and Tobe Hopper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (both films have odd family dining sequences that make it hard

What Price Hollywood? – 1932 Cukor

Most famous now for being the first unofficial of the A Star is Born filmsStars Constance Bennett who is very good, another Cukor and Selznick picture—and it’s pre-code so some of the high Hollywood living

The Thing – 1982 Carpenter

A masterful thriller—a remake of course- superior to the 1951 Howard Hawks film of the same name#296 at this time on the all-time TSPDT list—the top-rated Carpenter film- above Halloween- I have them neck and

Julius Caesar – 1953 Mankiewicz

It’s a Shakespeare adaptation of course but it’s in-line with Mankiewicz’s work- multiple characters perspective driving the narrative, dialogue on fire, and top-notch acting—not that different than All About EveThe third nom in 4 years

All About Eve – 1950 Mankiewicz

On the very short list for the best screenplays of all-timeNominated for a record breaking (and still tied) 14 oscar noms (titanic and la la land the others with 14 noms)Like most of Mankiewicz’s work

A Letter to Three Wives – 1949 Mankiewicz

Markings of Mankiewicz’s auteur voice and narrative style (it’s almost all narrative) are coming through—like All About Eve (Mankiewicz’s best work which comes the year after) we’re getting multiple narrators through voice-overMankiewicz won the best

The Woman in the Fifth – 2011 Pawlikowski

The narrative is intentionally opaque and that must have dissuaded most critics but they missed out here—closest relative would be to Cronenberg’s underrated (and impenetrable to most Spider from 2002). But the visual aplomb is

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir– 1947 Mankiewicz

Mankiewicz is my next auteur/director study after Antonioni- this is actually his fourth film behind the camera but sadly the first available for studyIt’s oddly random that I’m seeing this so closely tied to David

The Passenger – 1975 Antonioni

I reserve the right to change my mind (I haven’t seen the Mystery of Oberwald- I can’t find it- and have only seen Identification of a Woman once) but The Passenger is last great work

Annihilation – 2018 Garland

1.0 Feb 2018 Shows that Garland’s directorial debut, Ex Machina, was no fluke The film is filled with many of the same preoccupations as Garland’s debut—heavy stuff—metaphysical and existential with a dark outlook in the

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