The Red Shoes

1948, Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger

23 Sep 2020

amazing!! captivating, could not take my eyes away .. it's like the film medium itself was an expressionistic ballet, or perhaps the ballet was a film?? idk ... the red shoes also a haunting/chilling metaphor for the ballet production itself..obsession, cold-heartedness of lermontov, "the music is the only thing that matters"
ballet x surrealism x film
the ballet itself was a surreal expressionist masterpiece of film
Lermontov IS the red shoes!!!!!
in sum: like one of the best dance films ever, and probably on my list of all-time favs
'art worth dying for'

The Setup


18 Sep 2020

strangely engrossing and beautifully shot! boxing in black & white!
i liked this film, it was simple, focused on 1 event, took its time, yet emotionally suspenseful and quite rich, understated
liked how it focused on the audience too, so many background in these sports events everyone joins together for an isolated Moment. it's pretty modern, almost like scientific in the way the film is "studying" this event
and the romantic aspect was pure, uncomplicated, not central to the plot but central to the character, more about caring about someone truly than about falling in love

To Have and Have Not


20 Sep 2020

I'll mention this film maybe only so I can highlight this scene with Hoagy Carmichael (great guy) and Lauren Bacall ('s deep amazing voice):

I'm Thinking of Ending Things

2020, Charlie Kaufman

6 Sep 2020

in my notes I have written:
"Frightening social cues / conversations
Surreal nightmarish"

watched this with A ... plot kind of incomprehensible / indecipherable to me without reading more about it, but the film conveyed the emotional state of confusion, discomfort, memory loss(?/aging) really well!! it was at times strange and funny, at times surreal and nightmarish, and overall very well-written. I could tell every weird tick or turn of dialogue (and often monologue) was intentional, and made more sense (in its strangeness) as as I got a better grip on the plot. I've appreciated Kaufman's ability to make normal conversations weird in his previous movies, and so it's cool to see him push that style even further here. Even though we so desparately wanted to piece apart and think about this film, I think it's one that should rather be felt.


1931, Fritz Lang

? 2020


1945, Hitchcock

8 July 2020

really cool surrealist dream sequences...and a WOMAN DOCTOR????? (even though pretty much every other plot point and dialogue was not good for women). Gregory Peck i know what a tall drink of water is

"The human being very often doesn't want to know the truth about himself because he thinks it will make him sick. So, he makes himself sicker--trying to forget."

even though freud by now is debunked, i think the essence of this story is pretty interesting: a psychiatrist who falls in love with an amnesiac, and they figure out together that lost past.

The Lost Weekend


24 June 2020

woah this was good... rock bottom and self-destruction ..sad bender, good acting and great score


1979, Ridley Scott

13 June 2020

todo: fill in from notes // i finally watched it!!

The 39 Steps

1935, Alfred Hitchcock

10 June 2020

good...interesting plot structure - there are many characters we're introduced to briefly and then move on from, kind of like an adventure story. I can see how Orson Welles was influenced by this, especially the improvised, crazed speech the main character gives when he's mistaken for a political speaker. I also liked the moody landscape shots of the Scottish countryside.

Bicycle Thieves

Ladri di biciclette

1948, Vittorio De Sica

8 June 2020

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. wow - italian neo-realism. this film really captured the desparation that can underly mundane events, like getting your bicycle stolen, for someone who is struggling - specifically in post-war rome: everyone is poor and jobless. The son was such a moving part of the film, as an emotional mirror to the father and also an amplification: because he looks up to the father, and also hopes and believes in a better future - more purely, and thus more tragically. The tether between the father and son was so heart wrenching. The bicycle and the thief come to represent so much more by the end, which makes this story so essential and about the human struggle - the lengths we will go to, the cycles of hope and despair, the people we become when we're desparate. This film is something of a master work.


1940, Alfred Hitchcock

6 June 2020

good; i can get on with this, kinda dig young laurence olivier more than i thought i would, this also exposes me more to daphne du maurier's writing, and feels like an invitation to read more of her stories. the casting choice really made this movie: judith anderson sufficiently creepy, joan fontaine nervous, and laurence olivier unreadable.

In a Lonely Place

1950, Nicholar Ray

3 June 2020

oooh a tragedy of character

here's a nice scene featuring musician Hadda Brooks:

The Philadelphia Story

1940, George Cukor

27 May 2020

excellent, got a bunch of chuckles. katharine hepburn! and they all lived happily ever after


2018, Lee Chang-dong

24 May 2020

at this point analyzed near to death by me and A, and still i havent figured it all out - which i think may speak to the flaws in all the material : faulkner, murakami, lee. but this story was still interesting, riveting, and this movie was beautifully shot. I loved seeing the light change in the scene outside Jong su's house. Steven yeun was perhaps too creepy / obviously an unfeeling psychopath.

The Big Sleep

1946, Howard Hawks

19 May 2020

tbh did not really follow the plot, but Lauren! Bacall!'s outfits! and magical voice!

The Third Man

1949, Carol Reed

18 May 2020

was okay, the tone was off (score too bright for a noir). the best part by far was the tunnel chase at the end: interesting echo-y soundscape and amazing high-contrast lighting

Mildred Pierce

1945, Michael Curtiz

1 May 2020

This story has so many layers of complexity that I'm too lazy to parse out, but most of the complexity derives wholely from the Mildred/Veda dynamic, and could be outlined as: the toxic mother-daughter relationship between Mildred and Veda; the impossible push/pull between needing to be upscale mother (i.e. not working, being high-society, being wealthy) and working hard to sustain such a lifestyle; the tragedy that the parent's sacrifice pushes the child away (ultimately to win the child, the parent must give up everything they've worked to create); possibilities of analyzing Mildred as the "father" of the house--missing life while working and trying to buy children's love--and this, perhaps, as the root (according to the film) of Mildred's struggles: attempting to be both mother and father; and, the obvious parasitic nature of money and "lifestyle". The last lines spoke by Mildred, "Darling, I'm sorry. I did the best I could" cap off the film so well. Mildred somehow still loves her rotten daughter--which is sadly (or heroically) how it goes with parents. Also, this is my first Joan Crawford experience!

Singin' in the Rain

Stanley Donnen, Gene Kelly, 1952

29 April 2020

This film was genuinely hilarious with A++++ smiles and some truly beloved crazy cats and amazing nigh-psychadelic dance montages that I wished would never end

also the first time Jean Hagen (who plays Lina Lamont) speaks has got to be the funniest moment in cinematic history


George Cukor, 1944

28 April 2020

hands down the most frightening, uncomfortable movie i've ever seen


Alfred Hitchcock, 1948

27 April 2020

second Hitchcock film in a week in which a doe-eyed Farley Granger has gotten somehow involved with a murder-happy psychopath. I appreciated the weird camera "transitions" (I put this in quotes because these didn't always change scenes) in this one in which we zoom into someone's back. I also noticed how the film was like an Aristotelian play: unity of time, place, and action. The plot is clearly someone's sadistic nightmare of a dinner party...

Strangers on a Train

Alfred Hitchcock, 1951

24 April 2020

loved the tennis match as an element of suspense. Camera mvmts during this scene were great, and got increasingly erratic which really drove the movie toward its climax at the crazy carousel scene: a mirroring of the first scene of the film with the fast moving train, but like a twisted psychotic version, with the spinning.

Gone with the Wind

Victor Fleming, 1939

22 April 2020

After all, tomorrow is another day!!!!

- I can't believe this was in made in color??
- Clark Gable is not handsome at all, and all of his character's love scenes made me uncomfortable, they were so aggressive and almost all non-consensual. Leslie Howard as Ashley Wilkes though was alright--overall, a darling.
- I appreciate the outright selfishness of Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh), and how slight her character growth was LOL
- Melly Hamilton (Olivia de Havlland) was definitely the best
- This is the 1940's interpretation of the 1860's, what does this even mean for me watching in 2020? It's impossible to say.
- Icky racial politics in this one, but has come some ways from The Birth of a Nation
- Too long, clearly, but still entertaining. I was engaged the whole time, and by the time it was over it felt definitely deserving of the term "epic"

It's a Wonderful Life

Frank Capra, 1946

17 April 2020

Cleo from 5 to 7

Cléo de 5 à 7

Agnès Varda, 1962

12 April 2020

I love the walking, car, and bus scenes in this film. They take their time. As the audience we get to see how the figures in and around Cléo's life seem increasingly to turn on her, what it's like to be a woman, to be a celebrity, to beautiful, to be looked at, to be ignored; we also get Cléo's voice and we get to walk with her--see her day darken and brighten and so forth; meet some old friends, some new ones. It's a special experience. Loved Michel Legrand's cameo character.


Michael Curtiz, 1942

10 April 2020

Ingrid Bergman! It's refreshing to see an old film with a main woman character who's not flat, shrilly, and melodramatic; Bergman was nuanced, multi-faceted, elusive, intense. I was impressed by this film...I liked that the romantic element of the plot was focused on a love affair that was entirely in the past--and so it looked backward, involved lingering emotions, and the aftermath of something that already happened. Humphrey Bogart's character was unpredictable, and Paul Henreid was charming as Victor Laszlo. Bergman is the real show-stealer though...I see the magic in her; will watch more of her films.

Sunset Boulevard

Billy Wilder, 1950

9 April 2020

My Life as a Zucchini

Claude Barras, 2017

8 April 2020

Wow, this was so nuanced..filled with the innocent darkness and sadness of children who've gone through trauma, and ultimately about love and the meaning of home, family. The animation was really cute and strange.

Also, this is the second French movie I've seen that has used Sophie Hunger's "Le vent nous portera" as end's so good! (The other movie was Cafe de Flore (2011).) Sophie Hunger also wrote the rest of the music for this movie -- which did an excellent job creating rich emotional tones.

Lovely & Amazing

Nicole Holofcener, 2001

7 April 2020

pretty funny
...and a surprise bb jakey g!

The Talented Mr. Ripley

1999, dir. Anthony Minghella, based on Patricia Highsmith's 1955 novel

30 March 2020

so many young beauties, very thrilling and psychotically alluring. somehow matt damon succeeded in being eery and strange by being smiley and baby-faced

The Master

Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012

29 March 2020

Joaquin Phoenix was such a golden boy in this.


Bong Joon Ho, 2019

2 March 2020

Ohhhhhhhh my goshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh this is a must watch, this movie was so deserving of every reward. It speaks of life like Shoplifters but with of course added twisted layers like The Handmaiden and some class-based thrill/horror like Get Out. Plus it's absolutely hilarious!

Uncut Gems

Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie, 2019

19 January 2020

A nonstop rollercoaster ride that made me think ... why am I on this rollercoaster

Lost Highway

David Lynch, 1997

8 February 2020

I watched this so that I could read David Foster Wallace's essay on Lynch, "David Lynch Keeps His Head," where DFW does a good job analyzing just why exactly Lynch makes you feel the way you do after watching any of his movies, which is, to be preciese: irrationally frightened out of your mind. Lost Highway was no exception to the Lynch directorial phenomenon for me. It was fascinating and alluring, but I don't think I can take another Lynch movie for a few months.


Denis Villeneuve, 2013

4 January 2020

Just...unexpected. A lot of Jakey G content lately.

The King's Speech

Tom Hooper, 2010

1 January 2020