Category A- Reviews

Two Lovers (James Gray, 2008)

Admittedly, there is not a single explicit reference to Eric Rohmer’s Six Moral Tales in Two Lovers, but I could not help but see James Gray’s film as a sort of update and revision of Rohmer’s largely internal stories of men who fall for a woman, are tempted by a different woman, and ultimately return […]

Boogie Nights (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1997)

Boogie Nights may borrow generously from Scorsese, Altman, Kalatozov, and others, but when borrowing is done this well, and touched up to fulfill the borrower’s own unique sensibilities, it’s hard to care. The first shot, which tracks from an exterior into a nightclub and then circles the room, briefly acquainting us with many of the […]

La Haine (Mathieu Kappovitz, 1995)

It is almost appropriate that the June 8th and 9th riots in Noisy-le-Grand, a cité East of Paris, were blamed on La Haine, because the film, barely a week old at the time, comes dangerously close to implicating movies as the reason for violence in the French projects. The film’s protagonist and most foolhardy character, […]

The Player (Robert Altman, 1992)

There is a scene near the end of The Player’s first act in which Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins) calls June Gudmundsdottir (Greta Scacchi) from his cell phone just outside her house to get in touch with her boyfriend, David Kahane (Vincent D’Onofrio), who Griffin believes to be threatening him. Never mind the purpose of the […]

Blue Is The Warmest Color (Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013)

It’s impossible to watch Blue is the Warmest Color for the first time without it being the “lesbian coming of age film.” That’s not because it actually is that film, of course, but because months of controversy centered on the application of gaze theory and interviews with director Abdellatif Kechiche and actresses Adèle Exarchopoulos and […]

Diamonds of the Night (Jan Němec, 1964)

There’s a hallucinatory weirdness to Jan Němec’s debut feature, Diamonds of the Night, which is matched only by Luis Buñuel’s Un Chien Andalou, the cinema’s flagship entry for “hallucinatory weirdness.” Němec doesn’t pile the surrealism on quite as heavily (how could he?), but he sees no issue with putting flashbacks, hallucinations, reality, and fantasy altogether, […]

The Missing Picture (Rithy Panh, 2013)

Rithy Panh has been making films about the Khmer Rouge and the aftermath of their rule for over two decades now, but until his most recent film, The Missing Picture, won the top prize of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard section, I had never heard of him or any of his previous […]