Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Just explaining the concept of Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets potentially constitutes a spoiler to the sufficiently way reader, so I guess the best way to start is to say: if you are a lover of human beings, this is a film for you. And if there is any shred of justice in this world, filmmaking […]

Probably the simplest way to start explaining what the living hell we have in front of us with The Twentieth Century, the first feature-length film by avant-garde director Matthew Rankin (who had some fairly substantial attention, by the standards of such things, with the shorts Mynarski Death Plummet in 2014 and The Tesla World Light […]

In 1909, during the final ten years of his short life, Jack London published a novel called Martin Eden. The story of a young man attempting to make his way in the world by becoming a successful writer, the film was, and was understood to be, London’s attempt to showcase all of the maddening problems […]

Part of the appeal of animation is that it can depict anything that can be imagined outside of the bounds of physical reality, but in practice there tend to be limits on just how creative any given film can be: the hard limits of labor and money mean that, in general, the boldest, most radical […]

To have made one of the most sublimely beautiful urban-set movies of a decade is a sign of talent. To have made two of them – maybe literally the two best-looking movies about cities of the whole of the 2010s – is a sign of outright genius. And that’s the place where director Diao Yi’nan […]

At the dawn of the third decade of the 21st Century, I for one am ready to anoint Cartoon Saloon the finest animation studio in the world outside of Japan. The studio’s wonderful first three features – 2009’s The Secret of Kells, 2014’s Song of the Sea, 2017’s The Breadwinner – might have been enough […]

Since erupting into the world with the exquisite Oscar-nominated 2000 short Rejected, animator/director Don Hertzfeldt literally hasn’t made anything that isn’t at least great, and in that time span he has produced multiple candidates for the title of the most important, medium-redefining piece of animation made by an American in the 21st Century. But the […]

Kelly Reichardt has never felt like a director who was forcing her career to go in a certain direction, or build to any kind of definitive statement. Her first six features, dating back to 1994’s River of Grass, share a good number of characteristics, but one of the most important is that they’re resolutely small […]

By this point, I think that no more evidence is necessary that Yuasa Masaaki is the most important animation director working in the world right now. But his fourth feature, Ride Your Wave, provides that evidence anyway. It’s not that it’s his best work: I would, in fact, rank it third among those four features, […]

Depending on how you count the intermissions that are baked right into the print – there are five of them, all about 15 minutes in length – La Flor is anywhere from about 13.5 hours long to a bit less than 15 hours long. This is, of course The Big Fact about the film that […]

It is occasionally the case that a film has such a perfect first shot that, the moment it appears before your eyes, you already know that you’re about to see a masterpiece. Atlantics has such a first shot: a sleek new skyscraper rising in the background above a street in Dakar, capitol city of Senegal. […]

Before I go anywhere with A Hidden Life, the tenth film directed by Terrence Malick in 46 years, and also the sixth in just the last eight years, I must remind you all that I am a fanboy incapable of anything like the proper objective distance from this director and his work. When the critical […]