The Single Most Beautiful Moment: Isle of Dogs

There’s lots of good you can say about Isle of Dogs: great animation, fantastic soundtrack, funny moments, anti animal experimentation sentiment, but is there a moment that sums up the effort? The talent? The attention to detail? Yes. The single most beautiful moments happens somewhere in the third act. It’s when Chief, the rough, anti-social […]

Zombie Call

  There was a time when I wouldn’t be caught dead watching a zombie flick. (dead —Ha!) Things have changed because Train to Busan has come into my life. No idea how it got into my Netflix queue, but I’m glad it did. Have you seen it? You need to. It’s hilarious. It’s the most […]

Long Live the Monologue

I’m a novelist and a short story writer. I also do essays and newspaper columns. In other words, I’m into words. Phrases, text, dialogue: the art of expression via talking. Films with a well-placed monologue knock me out. I’ve written about this before, mostly referring to Spike Lee’s use of the form. Recently I realized […]

The Aesthetics of Water

Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape of Water is set in Baltimore, 1962. It’s about an amphibious humanoid and a woman who can’t speak. There’s very little humor. Why does it remind me of Delicatessen and City of Lost Children? Delicatessen came to us from France in ‘91. City of Lost Children came in ‘95. They’re […]

Hair as a Rite of Passage

I’ve watched two movies lately that make me think about hair. Length specifically, at least in men. In both movies, a character’s spiritual growth was marked by extreme change in hair length. The first film, This Must Be The Place, came out in 2011 and features Sean Penn in perhaps the strangest role he’s ever […]

Movies to Get You Through the Flu

Films that are thought provoking get your mind off the fever. And if there’s something unexpected about them, even better. Here’s a couple that helped me through my last bout. First up: The Tribe. It’s a Ukrainian film from 2014. This excellent film comes with a problem: no dialog. Well, actually there is a dialog, […]