The Rule of Three

When did liberals on Twitter start bashing the New York Times on a daily basis? Maybe since Trump got elected?

Because I’m including fewer reviews than I used to, I’m now lowering the threshold for RSS festival updates from four reviews to three. And just in the time for the Berlinale, which continues through the 25th.

My ability to commit to updating film festivals pages, especially for Toronto and the Berlinale, is declining. I’m only interested in keeping track of two Berlinale sections: the competition and Forum (and Out of Competition, since there’s only a small handful of those), so that’s all you’ll see in the index. Additionally, festival pages will still be grouped by section but within that they’ll be alphabetized by the English-language title (or whatever title is used most frequently by the English-language press). In other words, I’m no longer arranging them in the order they screened. It takes a lot more time to figure out the screening sequence than you might think.

Berlinale 2018
Isle of Dogs (Wes Anderson, United States, 6 reviews)

New Releases
Western (Valeska Grisebach, Germany/Bulgaria, 2017, 21 reviews)
Black Panther (Ryan Coogler, United States, 2018, 7 reviews)
Loveless (Andrei Zvyagintsev, Russia, 2017, 22 reviews)
The Party (Sally Potter, United Kingdom, 2017, 13 reviews)
Double Lover (François Ozon, France, 2017, 8 reviews)

Cinema of the Past
The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, United States, 1991, 17 reviews)
Life Is a Dream (Raúl Ruiz, Chile, 1987, 3 reviews)
Love Me Tonight (Rouben Mamoulian, United States, 1932, 5 reviews)

New Pages This Week (12)
Be My Star (Valeska Grisebach, Germany, 2001)
Longing (Valeska Grisebach, Germany, 2006)
Locks (Ryan Coogler, United States, 2009)
The Iceman Cometh (John Frankenheimer, United States, 1969)
The Island of Dr. Moreau (John Frankenheimer, United States, 1996)
Billy Liar (John Schlesinger, United Kingdom, 1963)
Isle of Dogs (Wes Anderson, United States, 2018)
Grass (Hong Sang-soo, South Korea, 2018)
The Doll (Ernst Lubitsch, Germany, 1919)
Rosita (Ernst Lubitsch, United States, 1923)
The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow, United States, 2008)
Georgy Girl (Silvio Narizzano, United Kingdom, 1966)

Images: Isle of Dogs, Western, The Silence of the Lambs.

DeKalb Elementary, which is in the New Pages This Week section, might be of extra interest because it was nominated for this year’s Oscar for Best Live Action Short.

The 2017 Catch-Up section is one-time only.

New Releases
Golden Exits (Alex Ross Perry, United States, 2017, 20 reviews)
The Student (Kirill Serebrennikov, Russia, 2016, 6 reviews)
The 15:17 to Paris (Clint Eastwood, United States, 2018, 5 reviews)

2017 Catch-Up
Frantz (François Ozon, Germany/France, 2016, 7 reviews)
Jane (Brett Morgen, United States, 2017, 4 reviews)
Ingrid Goes West (Matt Spicer, United States, 2017, 5 reviews)

Cinema of the Past
Time Regained (Raúl Ruiz, France, 1999, 14 reviews)
Summer with Monika (Ingmar Bergman, Sweden, 1953, 12 reviews)
Frantic (Roman Polanski, United States/France, 1988, 3 reviews)

New Pages This Week (14)
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (Clint Eastwood, United States, 1997)
Mystic River (Clint Eastwood, United States, 2003)
Gran Torino (Clint Eastwood, United States, 2008)
The Emperor Waltz (Billy Wilder, United States, 1948)
The Seven Year Itch (Billy Wilder, United States, 1955)
Torrents of Spring (Jerzy Skolimowski, United Kingdom, 1989)
Black Panther (Ryan Coogler, United States, 2018)
Frantic (Roman Polanski, United States/France, 1988)
The 15:17 to Paris (Clint Eastwood, United States, 2018)
The Great Buddha+ (Huang Hsin-yao, Taiwan, 2017)
Fanny and Alexander (The TV Version) (Ingmar Bergman, Sweden, 1983)
DeKalb Elementary (Reed Van Dyk, United States, 2017)
Seven Days in May (John Frankenheimer, United States, 1964)
The Gypsy Moths (John Frankenheimer, United States, 1969)

Images: Golden Exits, Time Regained.

I’m just gonna go for it. People who use the word “infer” as if it means the same thing as “imply” are never smart. In this case, the popular usage cannot be taken seriously.

A Fantastic Woman is technically a 2017 release in the U.S., but since many websites are treating it like a 2018 release, I will too.

New Releases
24 Frames (Abbas Kiarostami, Iran, 2017, 16 reviews)
A Fantastic Woman (Sebastián Lelio, Chile, 2017, 10 reviews)
Before We Vanish (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan, 2017, 8 reviews)

Sundance 2018
Hale County This Morning, This Evening (RaMell Ross, United States, 4 reviews)

Cinema of the Past
Legend of the Mountain (King Hu, Taiwan, 1979, 4 reviews)
Westfront 1918 (G. W. Pabst, Germany, 1930, 6 reviews)
Kameradschaft (G. W. Pabst, Germany/France, 1931, 6 reviews)
Basic Instinct (Paul Verhoeven, United States, 1992, 8 reviews)
Douce (Claude Autant-Lara, France, 1943, 3 reviews)

New Pages This Week (8)
Madeline’s Madeline (Josephine Decker, United States, 2018)
Jane (Brett Morgen, United States, 2017)
Ingrid Goes West (Matt Spicer, United States, 2017)
Frantz (François Ozon, France, 2016)
Legend of the Mountain (King Hu, Taiwan, 1979)
Summer Holiday (Rouben Mamoulian, United States, 1948)
The Shout (Jerzy Skolimowski, United Kingdom, 1978)
Moonlighting (Jerzy Skolimowski, United Kingdom, 1982)

Images: 24 Frames, Legend of the Mountain.

I’m trying a media log again, this time in a much more compressed format. The entries are grouped by medium, which was inspired by the log Keith Uhlich has restarted recently.

My movie log is on Letterboxd, so it would be redundant to post about movies here. Instead, this log will focus only on TV and books. My New Year’s resolution was to start reading books again, which I hadn’t done regularly since 2014. So far I’ve been able to commit to that without any trouble.

Big Little Lies (Season 1, Episode 1) (David E. Kelley and Jean-Marc Vallée, 2017) (Quit) [1]

Easy (Season 2, Episodes 2-8) (of 8) (Joe Swanberg, 2017) [7]

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Season 1, Episodes 2-5) (Amy Sherman-Palladino, 2017) (Quit) [6]

High Maintenance (Season 2, Episodes 1-2) (Katja Blichfeld & Ben Sinclair, 2018) (Quit) [5]

Mosaic (Season 1, Episodes 1-6) (of 6) (Steven Soderbergh, 2018) [8]


Zama (Antonio di Benedetto, 1956) [7]

“Cat Person” (Kristen Roupenian, 2017) [8]


Image: Mosaic.

On the second-to-last day of Sundance, the 2018 index now has only three film page links on it. Sorry to disappoint. The Locarno rule applies here: that page is going to get a lot bigger in the next few weeks and months as more reviews and dispatches get published.

I, Tonya opened in December and Wet Woman in the Wind was from November.

New Releases
Have a Nice Day (Liu Jian, China, 2017, 7 reviews)
A Ciambra (Jonas Carpignano, Italy, 2017, 6 reviews)
I, Tonya (Craig Gillespie, United States, 2017, 7 reviews)
Wet Woman in the Wind (Akihiko Shiota, Japan, 2016, 6 reviews)

Sundance 2018
Our New President (Maxim Pozdorovkin, Russia)

Cinema of the Past
A Hard Day’s Night (Richard Lester, United Kingdom, 1964, 19 reviews)
Artists and Models (Frank Tashlin, United States, 1955, 7 reviews)

New Pages This Week (14)
Hale County This Morning, This Evening (RaMell Ross, United States, 2018)
A Ciambra (Jonas Carpignano, Italy, 2017)
I, Tonya (Craig Gillespie, United States, 2017)
God’s Country (Louis Malle, United States, 1985)
And the Pursuit of Happiness (Louis Malle, United States, 1986)
Gunn (Blake Edwards, United States, 1967)
10 (Blake Edwards, United States, 1979)
Caprice (Frank Tashlin, United States, 1967)
Eighth Grade (Bo Burnham, United States, 2018)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (James Gunn, United States, 2017)
Take Me Home (Abbas Kiarostami, Iran, 2016)
Sodom and Gomorrah (Robert Aldrich, United States, 1962)
June Night (Per Lindberg, Sweden, 1940)
Deep End (Jerzy Skolimowski, United Kingdom, 1970)

Images: Have a Nice Day, A Hard Day’s Night.

Sundance has started, so here’s our index for the festival. For now, the only link on that page is for Our New President, so check later for more.

Three out of four of these new releases were not exactly new this week; Paddington 2 and The Insult opened last week while Darkest Hour was a November release.

New Releases
Pow Wow (Robinson Devor, United States, 2016, 6 reviews)
Darkest Hour (Joe Wright, United Kingdom, 2017, 8 reviews)
Paddington 2 (Paul King, United Kingdom, 2017, 7 reviews)
The Insult (Ziad Doueiri, Lebanon, 2017, 5 reviews)

Cinema of the Past

New Pages This Week (22)
Darkest Hour (Joe Wright, United Kingdom, 2017)
Paddington 2 (Paul King, United Kingdom, 2017)
Wajib (Annemarie Jacir, Palestine, 2017)
Cathy Come Home (Ken Loach, United Kingdom, 1966)
Raining Stones (Ken Loach, United Kingdom, 1993)
My Name Is Joe (Ken Loach, United Kingdom, 1998)
Head-On (Fatih Akin, Germany, 2004)
The Soloist (Joe Wright, United States, 2009)
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Richard Lester, United States, 1966)
Robin and Marian (Richard Lester, United Kingdom, 1976)
Diary of a Lost Girl (G. W. Pabst, Germany, 1929)
Kameradschaft (G. W. Pabst, Germany/France, 1931)
Moi, un noir (Jean Rouch, France, 1958)
Shy People (Andrei Konchalovsky, United States, 1987)
The Wandering Soap Opera (Raúl Ruiz & Valeria Sarmiento, Chile, 2017)
The Inner Circle (Andrei Konchalovsky, United States, 1991)
House of Fools (Andrei Konchalovsky, Russia, 2002)
Phantom India (Louis Malle, France/India, 1969)
Black Moon (Louis Malle, France/West Germany, 1975)
Atlantic City (Louis Malle, Canada, 1980)
The Insult (Ziad Doueiri, Lebanon, 2017)
Our New President (Maxim Pozdorovkin, Russia, 2018)

Images: Pow Wow.

Oh, you think “the period costumes look great, but…”? No, I don’t believe you. I don’t think you actually care about clothes at all.

Lately I’ve started to realize that it’s not healthy to focus your energy all on one interest, which in my case has been film. I want to get out of my comfort zone, so in addition to listening to more music and keeping tabs on smaller film festivals, I’m trying to commit to book-reading every week, something I’ve taken a break from for too long. I’m even attempting to sample the academic journals recommended by Catherine Grant that David Hudson relays on his blog. I’ve been exploring academic writing for only a few days, but so far I’ve found some worthwhile Kubrick essays from Dijana Metlić, Elisa Pezzotta, Graham Allen, all published by Cinergie.

New Releases
Lover for a Day (Philippe Garrel, France, 2017, 14 reviews)
The Commuter (Jaume Collet-Serra, United States, 2018, 10 reviews)
Bitter Money (Wang Bing, China, 2016, 4 reviews)

Cinema of the Past
Memories of Underdevelopment (Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, Cuba, 1968, 12 reviews)
Chung Kuo – China (Michelangelo Antonioni, Italy, 1972, 7 reviews)
The Breakfast Club (John Hughes, United States, 1985, 4 reviews)
Shadow of a Doubt (Alfred Hitchcock, United States, 1943, 9 reviews)

New Pages This Week (12)
Taste of Cement (Ziad Kalthoum, Syria, 2017)
The Virgin’s Bed (Philippe Garrel, France, 1969)
Liberté, la nuit (Philippe Garrel, France, 1984)
She Spent So Many Hours Under the Sunlamps (Philippe Garrel, France, 1985)
Bucking Broadway (John Ford, United States, 1917)
Upstream (John Ford, United States, 1927)
The Brat (John Ford, United States, 1931)
Wrong Again (Leo McCarey, United States, 1929)
Going My Way (Leo McCarey, United States, 1944)
The Bells of St. Mary’s (Leo McCarey, United States, 1945)
Satan Never Sleeps (Leo McCarey, United States, 1962)
A Nest of Gentry (Andrei Konchalovsky, Soviet Union, 1969)

Images: Lover for a Day, Memories of Underdevelopment.

The first week of January is reliably one of the slowest times of the year for new releases, but below this intro there are at least two movies that are of interest. (The third film, In the Fade, opened last week.)

This week also brings the first CRU page for a VR project. And although I admit I’m an Iñárritu fan, I do wish the first VR work we’ve covered here wasn’t created by someone whose reputation is in the toilet within hardcore cinephile culture. A complete unknown would’ve been preferable.

New Releases
In Between (Maysaloun Hamoud, Israel, 2016, 7 reviews)
The Green Fog (Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson & Galen Johnson, United States, 2017, 2 reviews)
In the Fade (Fatih Akin, Germany, 2017, 8 reviews)

Cinema of the Past
Holiday (George Cukor, United States, 1938, 8 reviews)
The Reckless Moment (Max Ophüls, United Sates, 1949, 7 reviews)
Bob le flambeur (Jean-Pierre Melville, France, 1956, 9 reviews)

New Pages This Week (6)
In Between (Maysaloun Hamoud, Israel, 2016)
Carne y arena (Alejandro G. Iñárritu, United States, 2017)
The Commuter (Jaume Collet-Serra, United States, 2018)
Lovin’ Molly (Sidney Lumet, United States, 1974)
Deathtrap (Sidney Lumet, United States, 1982)
Gloria (Sidney Lumet, United States, 1999)

Images: In Between, Holiday.

The assertion that Twin Peaks: The Return doesn’t belong on year-end film lists is not going to age well. We’re in a period of expanding the boundaries of media. Recent examples include the blending fiction and documentary filmmaking, alternative comics cartoonists showing their work at art exhibitions, and Bob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016. Insisting that TV must only be TV is a myopic and closed-minded opinion.

This is my personal list of favorites from the year that’s about to end. The list that ranks movies based on their CRU Rating can be found here. Everything I saw in the year 2017 that basically feels new or new-ish was eligible for my new films list. Older movies I really liked this year were placed on a separate list.

I did a pretty great job of catching up with most of what I wanted to see from this year, except my viewing got very spotty beginning with movies released in the U.S. from October through now. Faces Places, The Florida Project, BPM, Lady Bird, Call Me by Your Name, and Phantom Thread. I didn’t see any of those, and if I like them enough later, I’ll put them on my 2018 list.

I’ll end my intro with this: for my money, the best new podcast of the year is Jessa Crispin’s Public Intellectual.

1. Twin Peaks: The Return (David Lynch, United States, 2017)
2. Dunkirk (Christopher Nolan, United Kingdom, 2017)
3. The Illinois Parables (Deborah Stratman, United States, 2016)
4. Silence (Martin Scorsese, United States, 2016)
5. Three Sisters (Wang Bing, Hong Kong/France, 2012)
6. Logan Lucky (Steven Soderbergh, United States, 2017)
7. A Quiet Passion (Terence Davies, United Kingdom, 2016)
8. Sieranevada (Cristi Puiu, Romania, 2016)
9. Nocturama (Bertrand Bonello, France, 2016)
10. By the Time It Gets Dark (Anocha Suwichakornpong, Thailand, 2016)
11. John from (João Nicolau, Portugal, 2015)
12. A Ghost Story (David Lowery, United States, 2017)
13. Kendrick Lamar Music Videos for HUMBLE. and LOVE. (Dave Meyers & The Little Homies, United States, 2017)
14. Brawl in Cell Block 99 (S. Craig Zahler, United States, 2017)
15. Paterson (Jim Jarmusch, United States, 2016)
16. Behemoth (Zhao Liang, China, 2015)
17. Mrs. Fang (Wang Bing, China, 2017)
18. The Death of Louis XIV (Albert Serra, France, 2016)
19. The Future Perfect (Nele Wohlatz, Argentina, 2016)
20. Hermia & Helena (Matías Piñeiro, United States/Argentina, 2016)
21. Wasteland No. 1 – Ardent, Verdant (Jodie Mack, United States, 2017)
22. Nathan for You Season 4 (Nathan Fielder, United States, 2017)
23. The Lost City of Z (James Gray, United States, 2016)
24. I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck, United States, 2016)
25. Slack Bay (Bruno Dumont, France, 2016)
26. The Untamed (Amat Escalante, Mexico, 2016)
27. The Graduation (Claire Simon, France, 2016)
28. Columbus (Kogonada, United States, 2017)
29. My Journey Through French Cinema (Bertrand Tavernier, France, 2016)
30. The Edge of Seventeen (Kelly Fremon Craig, United States, 2016)

Old Movies (a top ten followed by an honor roll)
1. Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, Soviet Union, 1979)
2. Le Trou (Jacques Becker, France, 1960)
3. Suspiria (Dario Argento, Italy, 1977)
4. Meet Me in St. Louis (Vincente Minnelli, United States, 1944)
5. Solaris (Andrei Tarkovsky, Soviet Union, 1972)
6. Red Desert (Michelangelo Antonioni, Italy, 1964)
7. The Bowery (Raoul Walsh, United States, 1933)
8. Elephant (Alan Clarke, United Kingdom, 1989)
9. Ici et ailleurs (Jean-Luc Godard, Anne-Marie Miéville & Jean-Pierre Gorin, France, 1976)
10. Chameleon Street (Wendell B. Harris Jr., United States, 1989)

More Euphoria
2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1967)
The Age of Innocence (Martin Scorsese, United States, 1993)
An Affair to Remember (Leo McCarey, United States, 1957)
Baby Doll (Elia Kazan, United States, 1956)
The Beguiled (Don Siegel, United States, 1971)
Being There (Hal Ashby, United States, 1979)
Beloved (Jonathan Demme, United States, 1998)
La Chinoise (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1967)
Early Summer (Yasujirō Ozu, Japan, 1951)
Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle (Éric Rohmer, France, 1987)
Gun Crazy (Joseph H. Lewis, United States, 1950)
Hi, Mom! (Brian De Palma, United States, 1970)
The Innocents (Jack Clayton, United Kingdom, 1961)
The Ladies Man (Jerry Lewis, United States, 1961)
The Last Detail (Hal Ashby, United States, 1973)
Lifeforce (Tobe Hooper, United Kingdom, 1985)
La luna (Bernardo Bertolucci, Italy/United States, 1979)
The Lusty Men (Nicholas Ray, United States, 1952)
The Man Who Envied Women (Yvonne Rainer, United States, 1985)
Meantime (Mike Leigh, United Kingdom, 1983)
Night of the Living Dead (George A. Romero, United States, 1968)
The Old Dark House (James Whale, United States, 1932)
Out of the Blue (Dennis Hopper, United States, 1980)
The Passenger (Michelangelo Antonioni, Italy/Spain/France, 1975)
La Poison (Sacha Guitry, France, 1951)
The Scarlet Empress (Josef von Sternberg, United States, 1930)
Scum (Alan Clarke, United Kingdom, 1979)
The Set-Up (Robert Wise, United States, 1949)
Strange Days (Kathryn Bigelow, United States, 1995)
Two English Girls (François Truffaut, France, 1971)
White Dog (Samuel Fuller, United States, 1982)
White Men Can’t Jump (Ron Shelton, United States, 1992)
White Zombie (Victor Halperin, United States, 1932)

I’m publishing my Best Films of 2017 list tomorrow, right before the year ends. Come back for that if you’d like.

New Releases
All the Money in the World (Ridley Scott, United States, 2017, 8 reviews)
Foxtrot (Samuel Maoz, Israel, 2017, 6 reviews)
Molly’s Game (Aaron Sorkin, United States, 2017, 7 reviews)

Cinema of the Past
Nothing again

New Pages This Week (18)
All the Money in the World (Ridley Scott, United States, 2017)
Everything Goes Wrong (Seijun Suzuki, Japan, 1960)
Kagero-za (Seijun Suzuki, Japan, 1981)
The Book of Mary (Anne-Marie Miéville, Switzerland, 1985)
Grandeur and Decadence of a Small-Time Filmmaker (Jean-Luc Godard, Switzerland, 1986)
My Dear Subject (Anne-Marie Miéville, Switzerland, 1988)
Ava (Sadaf Foroughi, Iran, 2017)
Waru (Briar Grace-Smith, Ainsley Gardiner, Renae Maihi, Casey Kaa, Awanui Simich-Pene, Chelsea Cohen, Katie Wolfe and Paula Jones, New Zealand, 2017)
Life and Nothing More (Antonio Méndez Esparza, United States, 2017)
The Lady Without Camelias (Michelangelo Antonioni, Italy, 1953)
We’re Still Here (Anne-Marie Miéville, Switzerland, 1997)
After the Reconciliation (Anne-Marie Miéville, Switzerland, 2000)
The Green Fog (Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson & Galen Johnson, United States, 2017)
Tales from the Gimli Hospital (Guy Maddin, Canada, 1988)
Mysteries (Jonas Mekas, United States, 1966)
Liberty and Homeland (Jean-Luc Godard & Anne-Marie Miéville, Switzerland, 2002)
The Sea Gull (Sidney Lumet, United States, 1968)
Serpico (Sidney Lumet, United States, 1973)

Images: All the Money in the World.