Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Author’s note: I was obliged to see the Swiss-French film in its English-language dub. And a perfectly fine dub it was, but some of the language choices screamed “this flowed better in French”, and I never quite bought the casting choices for two of the most important child characters. So, grain of salt. To look […]

Clouds of Sils Maria is essentially three different films, and each one in order is a little bit less interesting. But for a while there, for maybe the first 25 minutes or so, it seems that Olivier Assayas has done it again, knocking out a fascinating character study of life in a constantly plugged-in, celebrity-addicted […]

It is easy to first focus on how Goodbye to Language is yet another film in Jean-Luc Godard’s late career collection of essay films describing morality, culture, the state of modern Europe, how cinematic images produce and limit meaning, because that’s what it is. It’s not at all unlike a remake of his last feature, […]

The caveat first: throughout this Hollywood Century project, I’ve been using a definition of “Hollywood’ that limits us to films produced solely on money contributed by Los Angeles-based movie sturdios, or by independents working in the shadow of Hollywood. I’m now making a big exception for the first time, to accommodate 1948’s The Search, a […]

Screens at CIFF: 10/21 & 10/23World premiere: 19 May, 2013, Cannes International Film Festival The documentary Stop-Over begins with what’s far too swift and deadly to call it a sucker punch: more like a stiletto darted into the heart. Kaveh Bakhtiari’s first feature-length project starts with a filmed conversation about the rough life of an […]

Screens at CIFF: 10/7 & 10/10 World premiere: 13 February, 2011, Berlin Film Festival For many years, Thomas Imbach filmed the city of Zurich from the vantage point of his apartment balcony with an old 35mm camera, capturing over the course of a decade or better footage of people going back and forth in the […]