• There Is No Evil

    There Is No Evil

    ★★★★

    AFI 2020: film #8

    “your power is in saying no”

    had to wait for the right mood to attempt this, and that decision really paid off. every one of the four short stories here are told slowly, but fiercely. after the first reveal (a particularly brutal - but brilliant - choice of editing) i was hanging on every word. each tale has stronger storytelling than most feature films i encounter, and the themes that weave them together are chilling and universal

  • Jumbo

    Jumbo

    ★★★½

    AFI 2020: film #7

    “he just makes me happy. that’s all”

    a film about the brunette from portrait falling in love with a fun fair ride is the first of the fest to make me cry. beautifully shot and convincingly emotional, sometimes this runs a little off the rails but i stayed with it. and viewing it as a metaphor for homosexuality makes it even better

  • Pink Skies Ahead

    Pink Skies Ahead

    ★½

    AFI 2020: film #6

    "oh my god, i haven’t seen you since 12th grade, how are you?"
    "well i’m in this panic disorder group so... not good"

    it brings me no joy to write these words, but this was distractingly bad. every other line of dialogue is jarring and out of place as it lunges awkwardly back and forth from a slapstick comedy to a melodramatic personal piece. the lead character is a mix between lady bird and enid from…

  • Sound of Metal

    Sound of Metal

    ★★★★½

    AFI 2020: film #5

    "today is not a good day

    one of the most devastating parts of life is not being able to get back to a happiness you once had, especially if it involves people you love. feeling that joy slipping through your fingers, time cannot rewind and only moves forward, and without your consent. relentlessly, painfully. adapt or die. this is a crushing look at that fight against time and change, but it's also hopeful, and eventually peaceful. the sound design was incredible and the hardcoded subtitles were such a smart move. one of the most essential and fitting movies of 2020

  • 76 Days

    76 Days

    ★★★½

    AFI 2020: film #4

    “let’s not panic, ok?”

    perhaps too potent a viewing in 2020, but expertly made and often so emotional. the bare essence of this is people taking care of people, and that sole theme makes this feel almost comforting despite all the trauma

  • The Intruder

    The Intruder

    ★★½

    AFI 2020: film #3

    “there’s room for both of us”

    this would be at its most effective during some kind of midnight festival screening, but without that fun boost of energy it falls flat. i appreciate the artful horror ingenuity but... this just didn’t work for me by the end

  • Whirlybird

    Whirlybird

    ★★★★

    AFI 2020: film #2

    “people are voyeurs. they are fascinated with violence”

    both a large scale whirlwind action piece about breaking news coverage in LA, and an intimate look at family, identity and even abuse. this finds an interesting balance between the worlds and blends them together seamlessly, but the outcome might be a little darker than i anticipated

  • Nine Days

    Nine Days

    ★★½

    AFI 2020: film #1

    “don’t be sorry. you’re good”

    cerebral in a way that doesn’t always land but still manages to feel authentic. the premise is overlong for how simplistic it really is, and unfortunately didn’t do anything for me emotionally (which is a lot of what it hinges on)

  • Black Mirror: San Junipero

    Black Mirror: San Junipero

    ★★★★★

    i was just about to start bly manor but then decided to exercise some self care instead ❤️

  • The Haunting of Hill House

    The Haunting of Hill House

    ★★★½

    my very scientific ranking of the siblings:

    1. theo: such a baddie with her little gloves. yes queen. ★★★★★ stars
    2. nell: has done nothing wrong ever in her life. ★★★★½ stars
    3. luke: baby. the glasses! ★★★★ stars
    4. shirley: i wouldn’t take the blood money either girl. ★★★★ stars 
    5. steve: crain. ★ star

  • Stick It

    Stick It

    ★★★★½

    holds the bronze 🥉 metal in my Movies That Made Me Gay list

  • World of Tomorrow Episode Three: The Absent Destinations of David Prime

    World of Tomorrow Episode Three: The Absent Destinations of David Prime

    ★★★★★

    “perhaps there is still hope somewhere in the ocean of time for david and emily”