January 1st Every year it seems, there’s a documentary that a number of critics go gaga for and which inevitably disappoints me. In 2018 it was Minding the Gap, in 2019 it was Collective, in 2020 Time, 2021 Flee, and this past year Fire of Love. “Disappoints” is a purposefully vague term meant to cover… Read More 2023 Movie Diary (1/1-1/5): India Songs
For each movie in the top 100, I’ve written a question to answer. (It would get very, very boring for me to have to write some variation on “boy howdy, you’ll never believe how good this movie is” one hundred more times.) There’s no exact sentence or word count I’m holding myself to here, but… Read More Top 250 American Movies: 91-100
Steven Hyden introduced his five-albums test more than a decade ago as a third way to judge a band, short of its popularity or its critical acclaim. While this one is not meant to stand on its own—for example, he’s not sure that either Bob Dylan nor the Rolling Stones had made five great albums… Read More The Five-Movies Test or: Which Director Has Had the Best Stretch of Consecutive Feature-Length Films in English?
One of the Grantland legacies I’m fond of, although I’m sure the idea didn’t start there, is the championship belt (RIP Grantland, long live Barnwell and Hyden). The purpose is to go year by year and create a list of who’s at the top of some field, which is a deceptively simple task, and one… Read More Anglophone Director Championship Belt, 1918-2018
Dir. David Cronenberg. Starring James Spader, Deborah Kara Unger, Elias Koteas This is a review of an NC-17 film and as such contains discussion of some topics which are better suited to mature readers. There’s a scene a little more than halfway through the movie which defines Crash for me, one which sticks the film’s… Read More Crash (1996)
Dir. David Cronenberg. Starring Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, Ed Harris It’s almost too bad that A History of Violence isn’t a French movie about a reformed mobster from the tough streets of Marseille who escapes to the Massif Central and starts a family, because then the title would make a little more sense. In English, the term… Read More A History of Violence (2005)
Before going into straight review territory on this blog, I used to spend a lot more of my time making lists; I blame Buzzfeed for taking the joy out of the format. But recently, while I was reading Ben Lindbergh’s recent post at The Ringer about whether or not a movie should be remade, I… Read More Remakes I’m Asking For
Dir. David Cronenberg. Starring Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen In love and psychoanalysis, where one rests relative to one’s partner is of vital importance. Throughout the film, Jung (Fassbender) and Spielrein (Knightley) switch places relative to one another befitting just those concepts. In the beginning, while Jung is still her doctor and not her… Read More A Dangerous Method (2011)