Film

Anticipating IFFR 2018

My first attempt at navigating a path through Rotterdam’s 590-film schedule.

“A Dance of Her Whole Life”: Zhao Tao on Mountains May Depart

This interview was originally published at Mubi.

Philippe Garrel in Conversation

Originally published at Filmmaker, Mubi, and Reverse Shot.

Best Films of 2015

Favorite Theatrical Releases Favorite films that had a one-week run in NYC during 2015. In order of preference. Carol (Todd Haynes) Horse Money (Pedro Costa) The Mend (John Magary) Phoenix (Christian Petzold) The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-hsien) Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako) Li’l Quinquin (Bruno Dumont) Amour Fou (Jessica Hausner) Beloved Sisters (Dominik Graf) Tu dors Nicole (Stéphane […]

Claire Denis

Originally published at tobecontd.com.

Best Films of 2014

Favorite Theatrical Releases Favorite films that had a one-week run in NYC during 2014. In order of preference. (The complete list can be found at Letterboxd.) The Immigrant (James Gray) The Strange Little Cat (Ramon Zurcher) Jealousy (Philippe Garrel) What Now? Remind Me (Joaquim Pinto) Norte, The End of History (Lav Diaz) Goodbye to Language […]

Horse Money (2014)

In 2007, soon after a screening of Pedro Costa’s Colossal Youth at the San Francisco International Film Festival, I went for a long walk through Golden Gate Park and decided on a whim to explore the de Young Museum. I don’t remember much about the visit except for the 20 minutes I spent standing in […]

“Something, Anything”: A Conversation with Paul Harrill

Originally Published at Mubi.

Bastards (2013)

This was originally published in the 2013 Muriels countdown.

Laurence Anyways (2013)

This was originally published in the 2013 Muriels countdown.

IFFR 2014

I plan to post an overview of the fest. Until then . . . Short Films A rough breakdown of all films with a running time of less than 60 minutes, listed alphabetically. PRO D’Annunzios Hohle [Heinz Emigholz] Creme 21 [Eve Heller] Deorbit [Makino Takashi & Telcosystems] Dot Matrix [Richard Tuohy] Glistening Thrills [Jodie Mack] […]

Anticipating Rotterdam

After making ten trips to TIFF, I thought I’d gotten pretty good at navigating a massive film program, but International Film Festival Rotterdam is something else entirely.

2014 Film Diary

A day-by-day viewing log of my filmwatching habits in 2014, beginning with John Ford’s The Whole Town’s Talking and ending with . . .

Blue is the Warmest Color (2013)

I’m interested, primarily, in one aspect of this film.

The Strange Little Cat (2013)

This article was originally published at 2013 AFI Fest.

Frederick Wiseman: Reasoned Arguments

Originally published at Senses of Cinema.

Jia Zhangke: Confronting the Darkness

Originally published at Mubi.

Catherine Breillat: Material Desires

Originally published at Mubi.

Grading Movies

I’ve never written for a publication that required grades, and I’ve always been firmly opposed to the idea on principle. Art shouldn’t be so casually and arbitrarily measured, obviously. But I’m beginning to have a change of heart.

2013 Film Diary

A day-by-day viewing log of my filmwatching habits in 2013, beginning with David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis (2012) and ending with . . .

To the Wonder (Malick, 2012)

This essay was originally published at Mubi.

Because every kid needs a . . .

The Sweet Hereafter play set.

Three Sisters (2012)

Wang introduced Three Sisters as “a simple film” that “might be too long.” I appreciate his humility (a hallmark of his filmmaking, too), but I think he’s wrong on both counts. There’s nothing simple about this precise assemblage of footage collected during several visits to the girls’ remote farming village, and the length of the film is, in fact, essential to its success.

Favorite Films of the ’90s

Thanks to the AV Club, film nerds everywhere are declaring their favorite films of the 1990s. I spent all of five minutes on mine, which is why they’re alphabetized.

TIFF 2012 – Day 6

Dormant Beauty (Bellocchio), Something in the Air (Assayas), Berberian Sound Studio (Strickland), Nights with Theodore (Betbeder), and The Last Time I Saw Macao (Rodrigues and Guerra da Mata).

TIFF 2012 – Day 5

The Master (Anderson), Once Upon a Time Was I, Veronica (Gomes), Birds (Abrantes), and Viola (Piñeiro).

Nicolas Rey: differently, molussia

Originally published at Senses of Cinema.

TIFF 2012 – Day 4

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami), Far from Vietnam, Tower (Radwanski), and August and After (Dorsky).

TIFF 2012 – Day 3

Gebo and the Shadow (de Oliveira), differently, Molussia (Rey), and Night Across the Street (Ruiz).

TIFF 2012 – Day 2

Barbara (Petzold), Mekong Hotel (Apitchatpong), Big in Vietnam (Diop), Sightseers (Wheatley), Student (Omirbayev), and Wavelengths 1.

TIFF 2012 – Day 1

In Another Country (Hong), Laurence Anyways (Dolan), Argo (Affleck), and Tabu (Gomes).

Anticipating TIFF 2012

My goal in Toronto each year is pretty simple. I typically see about 30 films at the fest, and if I choose the right 30 then for the next twelve months I get to participate in the larger critical conversation about contemporary world cinema, despite living in a midsized city in East Tennessee.

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2012)

I expected Ceylan to fill 150 minutes with stunning images; I didn’t expect him to deliver what might be my favorite script of the past decade.

Best Films of 2012

With the latest redesign and relaunch of Long Pauses, I’ve decided to take a different approach. Rather than wait until December, I’m going to rank films as I see them. This is a work in progress.

2012 Film Diary

A day-by-day viewing log of my filmwatching habits in 2012, beginning with Alex Ross Perry’s The Color Wheel (1967) and ending with episode 15 of Mark Cousins’s The Story of Film (2011).

Nostalgia, Chaos, and Moments of Ecstasy: The 36th Toronto International Film Festival

This essay was originally published at Senses of Cinema.

Chantal Akerman: Madwomen (and Men) in the Jungle

Originally published at Mubi.

James Benning: Naked Repose

Originally published at Mubi.

Best Films of 2011

With the latest redesign and relaunch of Long Pauses, I’ve decided to take a different approach. Rather than wait until December, I’m going to rank films as I see them.

2011 Film Diary

A day-by-day viewing log of my filmwatching habits in 2011, beginning with Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Samouria (1967) and ending with Raul Ruiz’s The Mysteries of Lisbon (2011).

Best Films of 2010

This year, to determine eligibility I’ve decided to follow the “New York commercial release” rule, which means that this list has been culled from the 40 or so films I saw. Honestly, this Top 10 could be shuffled randomly and I’d probably be as satisfied with the results.

Jose Luis Guerin: Rediscovering the Quotidian

Originally published at Mubi.

2010 TIFF Schedule

Because seeing 30+ films in a week is a perfectly sensible thing to do. List includes highly-anticipated new films by Apichatpong, Gallo, Breillat, Reichardt, Hong, Wiseman, and Godard.

By Brakhage

Another capsule review for the Arts & Faith Top 100. Writing a brief introduction to Brakhage for an audience that might not even be aware of the existence of a-g cinema proved to be a really fun challenge. “When film subverts our absorption in the temporal and reveals the depths of our own reality, it […]

Les rendez-vous d’Anna (1978)

This essay was originally published at Mubi.

The Apu Trilogy (1955, 1956, 1959)

Dir. by Satyajit Ray Another capsule review for the Arts & Faith Top 100. Between 1955 and 1991, Indian director Satyajit Ray made more than thirty feature films, but he’s best remembered in the West for the “Apu trilogy,” which launched his career. Pather Panchali (1955), Aparajito (1956), and Apur Sansar (1959) are based on […]

Vivre sa vie (1961)

Dir. by Jean-luc Godard I’ve been an occasional participant in the Arts & Faith discussion forum for nearly a decade. They recently polled members to determine a Top 100 film list, and the results are notable. In previous incarnations, we used the vague criterion, “spiritually significant,” to determine what did and did not belong on […]

Lucky Life (2010)

Dir. by Lee Isaac Chung There’s a sequence about 25 minutes into Lee Isaac Chung’s new film Lucky Life that I’ve watched countless times over the past few months. In an earlier scene, the film’s four main characters — old college friends who reunite each year at a beach house on the Outer Banks — […]

2010 Film Diary

A day-by-day viewing log of my filmwatching habits in 2010, beginning with Arnaud Desplechin’s Kings and Queen (2004) and ending with James Whale’s Frankenstein (1931).

Best Films of 2009

I’ve now seen about 40 of the point-earning films from the 2009 IndieWire Critics Survey, which seems a reasonable enough number. I’ve taken the coward’s route and included eleven films because I just couldn’t decide which one to leave off.