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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 reviews: About Me
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Mad God (2021), Phil Tippett [3.5/5]

Mad God follows a gas-masked protagonist as he descends into a psychotic nightmare in search of an object on his map. It's hard to...

Come and See (1985), Elem Klimov [5/5]

Simply put, Come And See is the best war movie I’ve seen. It has displaced my previous favorites of Cimino's The Deer Hunter and...

Fitzcarraldo (1982), Werner Herzog [5/5]

The major set piece in Herzog's Fitzcarraldo — hauling a 320-ton steamship over a jungle mountain with 19th Century tech and indigenous...

film reviews: Blog2
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