Category Archives: Movies

Jafar Panahi’s Taxi (2015): Another Defiance of the Ban

The movie I am most looking forward to, coming soon to the New York Film Festival, with a release afterwards, is hounded/oppressed/gifted Iranian director Jafar Panahi’s Taxi. Jafar Panahi, who directed angry funny award-winning films such as The White Balloon, … Continue reading

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August 2015 Viewing Diary

Smell of Camphor, Scent of Jasmine (2000; d. Bahman Farmanara). A profound and touching (and very funny) film from Iran, written and directed by and starring Farmanara. It tells the story of a death-obsessed film director who hasn’t made a … Continue reading

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Straight Outta Compton (2015)

Man, this has been a great year for music biopics (a genre that tends to follow the predictable old “and then this happened and then this happened and then this happened” structure). Love & Mercy and Straight Outta Compton? In … Continue reading

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Phoenix (2015); dir. Christian Petzold

The collaboration of director Christian Petzold and Nina Hoss is one of the pleasurable partnerships of our day and age. It’s exciting that these two have “found” one another, and that they continue to make films together, the latest being … Continue reading

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Digging for Fire (2015); dir. Joe Swanberg

I’ve been iffy on Joe Swanberg’s stuff. I loved Digging for Fire. It also features a host of awesome indie-stars strolling in and out of the action: Ron Livingston, Rosemarie DeWitt, Melanie Lewensky, Sam Rockwell, Chris Messina, Orlando Bloom, Brie … Continue reading

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Love Me Tender, 1956: “And Introducing Elvis Presley”

This article was originally published in Bright Wall/Dark Room‘s issue devoted to Hollywood musicals. I prefer to celebrate Elvis’ life rather than mourn his death. So here’s an essay about Elvis’ much-anticipated film debut in “Love Me Tender” in 1956. … Continue reading

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Tom at the Farm (2015); dir. Xavier Dolan

Love him or hate him (and the camps are pretty divided), Xavier Dolan is a phenom. His latest, Tom at the Farm, doesn’t quite work though, although there are some weird undercurrents I liked. Also it looks fantastic. My review … Continue reading

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10,000 Saints (2015)

A coming-of-age drama set in 1988 East Village NYC. I really liked it. My review of 10,000 Saints is now up at

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Ricki and the Flash (2015); dir. Jonathan Demme

Preamble: The trailers have been everywhere. For months. With minor tweaks here and there, the trailers give the impression that 1. they are telling the entire story of the movie and 2. the movie is probably not any good. Whoever … Continue reading

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The Gift (2015)

Actor Joel Edgerton (whom I have had a crush on since Zero Dark Thirty) steps into the director’s chair with The Gift, also acting, and he also wrote the script. It’s terrific! Great psychological thriller, with excellent performances from Edgerton, … Continue reading

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