Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

I should not speak ill of Yann Martel’s humongously popular 2001 novel Life of Pi, because I couldn’t bring myself to finish it. Got a third of the way through, decided that one day, I was going to die, and on my deathbed, I didn’t want to find myself reflecting on the time I wasted […]

When I dove headlong into the films of Jane Campion just a few weeks ago (a few weeks! surely it’s been longer than that?), I knew very little about what was going to happen to me. One of the few things I did know was that her two most recent films were generally, perhaps even […]

“You may talk o’ gin and beer When you’re quartered safe out ‘ere, An’ you’re sent to penny-fights an’ Aldershot it; But when it comes to slaughter You will do your work on water, An’ you’ll lick the bloomin’ boots of ‘im that’s got it. Now in Injia’s sunny clime, Where I used to spend […]

Author’s note: I have strong suspicions that I no longer agree with much of any of this review, but I haven’t seen the film since it was new in theaters – one of these days I really must revisit it and find out. The career of Danny Boyle has gone more places than just about […]

Saying, “time has been kind to X work of art,” is supremely lazy, in addition to trafficking in a cliché, but that doesn’t change the fact that time has been inordinately kind to Fritz Lang’s diptych from the late ’50s, a serial pair of epic adventures set in a mythical India titled The Tiger of […]

The Antagony & Ecstasy John Ford Marathon continues as promised with a foray into a pair of the director’s stranger exercises. In this case, the pairing of one of Hollywood’s hottest directors, who had in March of 1936 won his first Best Director Oscar for The Informer, with the biggest star at 20th Century Fox. […]

On the one hand, I had one of those great film festival moments with Scream of the Ants, where the print of the movie was caught in the mail and so we had to watch a screener DVD. On the other hand, a screener DVD was self-evidently not the best way to see the film, […]

Anyone who is paying attention knows what to expect from a Wes Anderson film: quirky, hyperstylised characters speaking quirky, hyperstylised dialogue as the move on straight lines through aggressively precise compositions filled with highly detailed and deliberately artificial set design, variations of the Futura sans serif font plastered on every surface that a font can […]

Thanks be to Criterion’s “Eclipse” line, and its stated mission of bringing lost films back to light! For without it, I would never have heard of, let alone seen, Phantom India, Louis Malle’s six-hour French television documentary from 1969. Yes, I mean this in a positive way. The backstory: in 1967, Malle was sent by […]