Columbus (2017; d. Kogonada)
I loved this movie so much. One of the best of the year so far. My review.
Dunkirk (2017; d. Christopher Nolan)
Overwhelming. Saw it in IMAX 70 mm so I can’t compare to others’ experiences but seeing it that way made the dogfight sequences particularly vivid. Vertigo. Old-fashioned everyday heroism, the story of Dunkirk, Dunkirk which resulted in one of the most famous speeches of the 20th century.
Ingrid Goes West (2017; d. Matt Spicer)
Adored it. My review.
Jailhouse Rock (1957; d. Richard Thorpe)
It was an Elvis-heavy month because I was working on the essay for Film Comment. Always a fun thing.
Spinout (1966; d. Norman Taurog)
If you have not seen this nutso Elvis movie, all I can say is: Do yourself a favor … If you want to see the absurdity of the Elvis Formula, operating at peak Mode – Spinout is a great example. Especially the last scene, where – one by one – he kisses each bride – standing there with her groom-to-be – three women in all – and the grooms of course do not protest because it’s ELVIS kissing their women, for ELVIS normal rules of jealousy do not apply … and it ends with him looking right at the camera saying, “I’m still single.” My GOD it’s glorious lunacy.
Viva Las Vegas (1964; d. George Sidney)
Fantastic movie. Pure pleasure.
Live a Little Love a Little (1968; d. Norman Taurog)
In my Elvis piece, I made a strong case for this forgotten film. Years ago, I wrote a whole essay about it.
The Sopranos Season 6 (2006-2007)
Cut to black. I finished up my Sopranos re-watch. God, I had forgotten how depressing it was to watch Meadow and AJ subtly get pulled back into the family system. Meadow devoting herself to the bullshit “oppression” that “her people” apparently face, and AJ being given a job with a porn-director’s bullshit mob-run company. It’s brutal. Those kids cannot be allowed to get away.
Lemon (2017; d. Janicza Bravo)
The film wore on my nerves. My review.
This Gun for Hire (1942; d. Frank Tuttle)
Twin Peaks, episode 13 (2017; d. David Lynch)
Oh, Big Ed!
Icarus (2017; d. Bryan Fogel)
This documentary was streaming on Netflix and I highly recommend it. Russian doping scandal.
Lawrence of Arabia (1962; d. David Lean)
My nephew Cashel and I went to see it at the Museum of the Moving Image. 70 mm. Overwhelming. If you’ve only seen this on your television at home, then you haven’t really seen it. I only saw it “large” when it was re-released theatrically in 2012 for its anniversary. I had seen it many times before then, and had loved it, enjoyed it, etc. But seeing it on a huge screen was an entirely different experience. I texted Cashel, asking if he wanted to come. His response? “Always up for Larry.” Me too.
Ball of Fire (1941; d. Howard Hawks)
Twin Peaks, episode 14 (2017; d. David Lynch)
Monica Bellucci dream. Because of course.
Polina (2016; d. Valérie Müller, Angelin Preljocaj)
Lots of amazing dance scenes. My review.
Beach Rats (2017; d. Eliza Hittman)
Hittman’s second feature. I love her work. My review. This past Sunday, I did a QA with Hittman following a screening of Beach Rats at Lincoln Center. It was great talking with her about her process.
Daisy Kenyon (1947; d. Otto Preminger)
God, I love this movie. It’s a movie for grown-ups. One of Crawford’s best. One of Dana Andrews’ best. One of Henry Fonda’s best. I wrote about it almost 10 years ago for Slant.
42nd Street (1933; d. Lloyd Bacon)
Pre-Code musicals – like 42nd Street, Gold Diggers of 1933, Footlight Parade – helped form me. I saw them on afternoon TV, fizzy black-and-white images, when I was 8, 9, 10. It was a whole world of Show Biz that called to me. When I was 12, 13, I wrote a whole NOVEL about a troupe of teenage chorus girls, informed by all these movies. The movies still work their magic.
Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939; d. William Dieterle)
Charles Laughton’s performance is one of the greatest performances in cinema.
The Dark Mirror (1946; d. Robert Siodmak)
What a fun movie. Olivia de Havilland plays twins, one bad, one good. ONE of them has murdered somebody. It is up to homicide detective Thomas Mitchell to untangle it. De Havilland is brilliant in this. You can totally tell which twin is speaking, because she has made such specific choices about the INNER lives of each woman. She’s not stalking about “showing off” her range. It’s more subtle than that.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939; d. Frank Capra)
Well, I’ve been working on a big project. Insightful people will figure out the connecting thread but I will not confirm or deny. It’s been a while since I’ve seen this. It’s extremely upsetting to watch this right now. The big thing that Mr. Smith goes up against, is graft, and using political office to line your pockets. It’s such an enormous accusation that an entire career is at stake. It’s devastating to watch this now, in a time when people are defending the indefensible.
Moontide (1942; d. Archie Mayo – Fritz Lang, uncredited)
I love this movie so much. I’ve seen it a couple of times. It’s rare the movie that makes you want to live in a one-roomed barge stinking of fish, but Moontide does it.
Twin Peaks, episode 15 (2017; d. David Lynch)
There were a couple of pure heart explosions in this episode. I was a wreck.
High Barbaree (1947; d. Jack Conway)
Van Johnson is so attractive. One of the issues with this movie is that the belief in coincidences and signs is so strong that it obliterates tension. If everyone goes around having “feelings” about things, that then come true … then where is the tension? There’s also something humorous about Van Johnson telling his fellow downed pilot his whole life story as they lie there floating in the middle of the Pacific. If I were that guy I’d be like, “Dude, have you ever thought I might have something to say? You have been talking for THREE HOURS now.” No, I’m just kidding. It’s a sweet movie.
The Lost Horizon (1937; d. Frank Capra)
This movie is NUTS.
The Lost City of Z (2017; d. James Gray)
I finally settled myself down for the 3-hour running time. It was worth it. I was not as over the moon about The Immigrant as so many other critics were. My favorite of Gray’s thus far was Two Lovers. He kicks it up a notch in Lost City of Z, a movie so bold and audacious – and uncompromising – that I almost can’t believe it exists in its present form. You should definitely see it.
A Boy Called Po (2016; d. John Asher)
Reviewed for Ebert.
It Felt Like Love (2013; d. Eliza Hittman)
Watched in preparation for my QA with the director at Lincoln Center. This is her first film. See it, if you haven’t.
Twin Peaks, episode 16 (2017; d. David Lynch)
How can this already be almost over? I have RELIED on this to help me through the current administration. What am I supposed to do now?
The Apartment (1960; d. Billy Wilder)
A brutal masterpiece. Still stunning. Breath-taking.
Death of a Scoundrel (1956; d. Charles Martin)
George Sanders at his amoral best.
Logan Lucky (2017; d. Steven Soderbergh)
I do not understand why regular audiences are not going to see this. Maybe because people don’t go to the movie theatre anymore? Hopefully once it moves to VOD platforms, it will find its audience because it deserves it. I am always up for a good old-fashioned heist movie. With Channing Tatum and Adam Driver as brothers? YES PLEASE. It’s so good! See it!
Only Angels Have Wings (1939; d. Howard Hawks)
Watched last night. Titles shift about in my “Top 5 Movies Ever Made” list, but this one always has a spot.