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Ronin (1998), John Frankenheimer [3/5]

If Heat (1995) and Mission Impossible (1996) had a baby that took itself too seriously, hired a weirdly melodramatic composer that uses...

Z (1969), Costa-Gavras [4.5/5]

A Ballad of Liberal Democracy & the Tendrils of Glass Tyrants... In the port city of Thessaloniki in 1963, a high profile political...

Ambulance (2022), Michael Bay [3/5]

Commercial Auteurism... I grew up in the early 2000s and my first memory of a summer blockbuster on the big screen is Michael Bay's...

The Square (2017), Ruben Östlund [3/5]

An Unwieldy Satire of the Art World... In a couple of scenes in The Square, Ruben Östlund's supposed satire of the art world, we witness...

Barbarian (2022), Zach Cregger [4/5]

It's an exhilarating trap of the horror genre that it can exploit fears and paranoias unique to a specific time to weaponize an...

Perfect Blue (1997), Satoshi Kon [4.5/5]

Born during the Disney Renaissance, I grew up on mostly American animation yet every now and then an episode of late 90s Pokémon would...

film critic: Blog2

my taste in movies

I love the moody vérité style of Cassavetes, the minimalist noir of Jean-Pierre Melville, the epic scope of Lean, and that mix of post-60s hippie auteurs and film school movie brats that formed New Hollywood. For directors working today, I like Claire Denis, the Safdie Brothers, Paolo Sorrentino, Emma Seligman, David Cronenberg, Cristian Mungiu, Nicolas Winding Refn, Hong Sang-soo.

At Columbia I took up media studies and cultural criticism. Here I was exposed to the great 20th C. cultural critics: Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael, Paul Schrader, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Robert B. Ray. Although I disagree with many of their takes, Sontag’s "Against Interpretation" formalism and Kael’s rejection of sappy moralism and eye for creative "trash" became the bedrock of my critical lens for movies.

In 2022, I watched and reviewed a new movie every single day. I'm a writer and producer in TV now but log new movies + reviews often. The posts below fall into three categories: my quick takes, full film reviews, and essays. Read more on my Letterboxd: @msxviii

film critic: About Me
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