2020 Reading Log

1. Zama (1956, Antonio Di Benedetto): 11/19/19-2/8/20 (on-off):
Comparing this with the film is practically unavoidable, seeing as how close to my mind Martel’s work has been during the past few end-of-decade obsessed months, whether while reading this book or not. But what Di Benedetto seems to emphasis above all else is, if not strictly atmosphere in the way that the film would have it, than the impossibility of fully comprehending or understanding it. The odd slips in quotidian time, the overwhelming horniness that possesses Zama, the way in which characters fade in and out of focus, all of this feels explicitly designed to displace the reader, to inhabit the total uncertainty that the main character lives in. All of this is tremendously successful, and the three-part structure serves to highlight the writer’s dexterity: when looked at in pure narrative terms, the three couldn’t be more removed, and yet when placed side-by-side and examined minutely, they proceed with the same purpose.

2. Black Wings Has My Angel (1953, Elliott Chaze): 2/9/20-3/14/20:
Like the best films noir, Black Wings Has My Angel rests upon its strange, resigned fatalism, all in the backwards glance of a man condemned to his vague yet inescapable fate. At the same time, it never feels so irreducibly simple: the details are so exacting that they imprint themselves in the reader’s head; Virginia is a combination of femme fatale tropes that becomes an impossible being, coquettish and proper one moment and ruthless the next; the past of Tim Sunblade/Kenneth is ironclad and thus makes it feel as though anything is possible for him. The result is something that both valorizes and warns against crime, a beautiful set of contradictions that adds up to something even greater than the sum of its parts; in other words, it has the ideal, horrible American spirit at every moment.

A Top 100 of the 2010s

Compiled for the run-up to the end-of-the-decade, will be updated until the end of the 2019 list-making season.

  1. La Flor (2018, Mariano Llinás)
  2. Stray Dogs (2013, Tsai Ming-liang)
  3. Twin Peaks: The Return (2017, David Lynch)
  4. Yourself and Yours (2016, Hong Sang-soo)
  5. Mysteries of Lisbon (2010, Raúl Ruiz)
  6. Like Someone in Love (2012, Abbas Kiarostami)
  7. Asako I & II (2018, Ryusuke Hamaguchi)
  8. Mountains May Depart (2015, Jia Zhangke)
  9. Carol (2015, Todd Haynes)
  10. The Assassin (2015, Hou Hsiao-hsien)
  11. Transit (2018, Christian Petzold)
  12. Cemetery of Splendour (2015, Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
  13. Silence (2016, Martin Scorsese)
  14. Long Day’s Journey Into Night (2018, Bi Gan)
  15. Martin Eden (2019, Pietro Marcello)
  16. The Day He Arrives (2011, Hong Sang-soo)
  17. Blackhat (2015, Michael Mann)
  18. Phoenix (2014, Christian Petzold)
  19. The Tree of Life (2011, Terrence Malick)
  20. Certified Copy (2010, Abbas Kiarostami)
  21. Meek’s Cutoff (2010, Kelly Reichardt)
  22. I Heard You Paint Houses (2019, Martin Scorsese)
  23. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010, Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
  24. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (2011, Johnnie To)
  25. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2 (2014, Johnnie To)
  26. Passion (2012, Brian De Palma)
  27. Horse Money (2014, Pedro Costa)
  28. Margaret (2011, Kenneth Lonergan)
  29. Inherent Vice (2014, Paul Thomas Anderson)
  30. Manakamana (2013, Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez)
  31. To the Ends of the Earth (2019, Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
  32. Mistress America (2015, Noah Baumbach)
  33. Cameraperson (2016, Kirsten Johnson)
  34. The Grandmaster (2013, Wong Kar-wai)
  35. Goodbye to Language (2014, Jean-Luc Godard)
  36. Drug War (2012, Johnnie To)
  37. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014, Wes Anderson)
  38. The Wind Rises (2013, Hayao Miyazaki)
  39. Happy Hour (2015, Ryusuke Hamaguchi)
  40. Romancing in Thin Air (2012, Johnnie To)
  41. Before Midnight (2013, Richard Linklater)
  42. Ash Is Purest White (2018, Jia Zhangke)
  43. Grass (2018, Hong Sang-soo)
  44. Right Now, Wrong Then (2015, Hong Sang-soo)
  45. Manchester by the Sea (2016, Kenneth Lonergan)
  46. Frances Ha (2012, Noah Baumbach)
  47. Gone Girl (2014, David Fincher)
  48. Toni Erdmann (2016, Maren Ade)
  49. First Reformed (2017, Paul Schrader)
  50. The Princess of France (2014, Matías Piñeiro)
  51. Tabu (2012, Miguel Gomes)
  52. Parasite (2019, Bong Joon-ho)
  53. On the Beach at Night Alone (2017, Hong Sang-soo)
  54. High Life (2018, Claire Denis)
  55. Hill of Freedom (2014, Hong Sang-soo)
  56. Jauja (2014, Lisandro Alonso)
  57. Moonrise Kingdom (2012, Wes Anderson)
  58. Hanagatami (2017, Nobuhiko Obayashi)
  59. The Other Side of the Wind (2018, Orson Welles)
  60. Listen Up Philip (2014, Alex Ross Perry)
  61. This Is Not a Film (2011, Jafar Panahi & Mojtaba Mirtahmasb)
  62. No No Sleep (2015, Tsai Ming-liang)
  63. Bastards (2013, Claire Denis)
  64. Hahaha (2010, Hong Sang-soo)
  65. Arboretum Cycle (2017, Nathaniel Dorsky)
  66. Uncut Gems (2019, Josh & Benny Safdie)
  67. SPL II: A Time for Consequences (2015, Soi Cheang)
  68. In My Room (2018, Ulrich Köhler)
  69. I Was at Home, But… (2019, Angela Schanelec)
  70. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013, Isao Takahata)
  71. Oki’s Movie (2010, Hong Sang-soo)
  72. Shakti (2019, Martín Rejtman)
  73. The Day After (2017, Hong Sang-soo)
  74. Her Smell (2018, Alex Ross Perry)
  75. An Elephant Sitting Still (2018, Hu Bo)
  76. differently, Molussia (2012, Nicolas Rey)
  77. List (2011, Hong Sang-soo)
  78. Nobody’s Daughter Haewon (2013, Hong Sang-soo)
  79. Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood (2019, Quentin Tarantino)
  80. My Golden Days (2015, Arnaud Desplechin)
  81. The Traitor (2019, Marco Bellocchio)
  82. The Image Book (2018, Jean-Luc Godard)
  83. Kaili Blues (2015, Bi Gan)
  84. You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet (2012, Alain Resnais)
  85. Boyhood (2014, Richard Linklater)
  86. The Handmaiden (2016, Park Chan-wook)
  87. Two Days, One Night (2014, Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne)
  88. Two Shots Fired (2014, Martín Rejtman)
  89. The Unspeakable Act (2012, Dan Sallitt)
  90. To the Wonder (2012, Terrence Malick)
  91. Sieranevada (2016, Cristi Puiu)
  92. The Color Wheel (2011, Alex Ross Perry)
  93. The Work (2017, Jairus McLeary and Gethin Aldous)
  94. The Grand Bizarre (2018, Jodie Mack)
  95. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018, Christopher McQuarrie)
  96. The Hedonists (2016, Jia Zhangke)
  97. Faces Places (2017, Agnès Varda & JR)
  98. In Another Country (2012, Hong Sang-soo)
  99. Kate Plays Christine (2016, Robert Greene)
  100. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018, Joel & Ethan Coen)

Top 25 Performances

  1. Kyle MacLachlan, Twin Peaks: The Return
  2. Laura Paredes, La Flor
  3. Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
  4. Rooney Mara, Carol
  5. Zhao Tao, Mountains May Depart
  6. Joaquin Phoenix, Inherent Vice
  7. Luca Marinelli, Martin Eden
  8. Peter Simonischek, Toni Erdmann
  9. Ethan Hawke, First Reformed
  10. Franz Rogowski, Transit
  11. Hong Chau, Downsizing
  12. Patrick d’Assumçao, Stranger by the Lake
  13. John Huston, The Other Side of the Wind
  14. Lee Yoo-young, Yourself and Yours
  15. Shu Qi, The Assassin
  16. Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
  17. Kim Min-hee, On the Beach at Night Alone
  18. Nina Hoss, Phoenix
  19. Lee Kang-sheng, Stray Dogs
  20. Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha
  21. Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel
  22. Anna Paquin, Margaret
  23. Rin Takanashi, Like Someone in Love
  24. Kate Lyn Sheil, Kate Plays Christine
  25. Louis Koo, Romancing in Thin Air

Honorable Mentions (not strict runners-up but rather films that have stuck with me)

  • Aloha (2015, Cameron Crowe)
  • Another Movie (2018, Morgan Fisher)
  • Aquarius (2016, Kleber Mendonça Filho)
  • Bad at Dancing (2015, Joanna Arnow)
  • Belonging (2019, Burak Çevik)
  • Brouillard: Passage #14 (Alexandre Larose)
  • Burning (2018, Lee Chang-dong)
  • By the Time It Gets Dark (2016, Anocha Suwichakornpong)
  • Camera falls from airplane and lands in pig pen–MUST WATCH END!! (2014, Mia Munselle)
  • Classical Period (2018, Ted Fendt)
  • Clouds of Sils Maria (2014, Olivier Assayas
  • Coherence (2013, James Ward Byrkit)
  • Downsizing (2018, Alexander Payne)
  • Elle (2016, Paul Verhoeven)
  • Garoto (2015, Júlio Bressane)
  • The Ghost Writer (2010, Roman Polanski)
  • Heaven Knows What (2014, Josh & Benny Safdie)
  • Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party (2015, Stephen Cone)
  • The Human Surge (2016, Eduardo Williams)
  • I Am Not Madame Bovary (2016, Feng Xiaogang)
  • “I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians” (2018, Radu Jude)
  • Journey to the West (2014, Tsai Ming-liang)
  • L for Leisure (2014, Lev Kalman & Whitney Horn)
  • Let Your Light Shine (2013, Jodie Mack)
  • The Lost City of Z (2016, James Gray)
  • The Mend (2014, John Magary)
  • The Midnight After (2014, Fruit Chan)
  • Mrs. Hyde (2017, Serge Bozon)
  • Night Without Distance (2015, Lois Patiño)
  • Nocturama (2016, Eduardo Williams)
  • Non-Fiction (2018, Olivier Assayas)
  • P’tit Quinquin (2014, Bruno Dumont)
  • Personal Shopper (2016, Olivier Assayas)
  • Princess Cyd (2018, Stephen Cone)
  • Resident Evil: Retribution (2012, Paul W.S. Anderson)
  • Six Cents in the Pocket (2015, Ricky D’Ambrose)
  • The Strange Little Cat (2013, Ramon Zürcher)
  • The Social Network (2010, David Fincher)
  • The Son of Joseph (2016, Eugène Green)
  • Stranger by the Lake (2013, Alain Guiraudie)
  • A Touch of Sin (2013, Jia Zhangke)
  • 20th Century Women (2016, Mike Mills)
  • Unfriended: Dark Web (2018, Stephen Susco)
  • Western (2017, Valeska Grisebach)
  • Zama (2017, Lucrecia Martel)

The Chinese Cinema

As inspired by Sean Gilman’s essential list ranking the Chinese-language films he’s seen, I’ve decided to make my own paltry list. Rankings are inexact, but will be regularly updated.

  1. Yi Yi (2000, Edward Yang)
  2. A Touch of Zen (1971, King Hu)
  3. In the Mood for Love (2000, Wong Kar-wai)
  4. A Brighter Summer Day (1991, Edward Yang)
  5. Goodbye, Dragon Inn (2003, Tsai Ming-liang)
  6. Platform (2000, Jia Zhangke)
  7. Dragon Inn (1967, King Hu)
  8. Chungking Express (1994, Wong Kar-wai)
  9. Stray Dogs (2013, Tsai Ming-liang)
  10. The Hole (1998, Tsai Ming-liang)
  11. Mahjong (1996, Edward Yang)
  12. A City of Sadness (1989, Hou Hsiao-hsien)
  13. Days of Being Wild (1990, Wong Kar-wai)
  14. Ashes of Time (1994, Wong Kar-wai)
  15. The Love Eterne (1963, Li Han-hsiang)
  16. The Terrorizers (1986, Edward Yang)
  17. Mountains May Depart (2015, Jia Zhangke)
  18. The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978, Lau Kar-leung)
  19. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000, Ang Lee)
  20. A Confucian Confusion (1994, Edward Yang)
  21. The Assassin (2015, Hou Hsiao-hsien)
  22. Long Day’s Journey Into Night (2018, Bi Gan)
  23. Taipei Story (1985, Edward Yang)
  24. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (2011, Johnnie To)
  25. That Day, on the Beach (1983, Edward Yang)
  26. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2 (2014, Johnnie To)
  27. 2046 (2004, Wong Kar-wai)
  28. Hard-Boiled (1992, John Woo)
  29. The Fate of Lee Khan (1973, King Hu)
  30. Bullet in the Head (1990, John Woo)
  31. The River (1997, Tsai Ming-liang)
  32. The Grandmaster (2013, Wong Kar-wai)
  33. Millennium Mambo (2001, Hou Hsiao-hsien)
  34. Still Life (2006, Jia Zhangke)
  35. Drug War (2012, Johnnie To)
  36. Fallen Angels (1995, Wong Kar-wai)
  37. Romancing in Thin Air (2012, Johnnie To)
  38. Happy Together (1997, Wong Kar-wai)
  39. What Time Is It There? (2001, Tsai Ming-liang)
  40. Police Story (1985, Jackie Chan)
  41. Nomad (1982, Patrick Tam)
  42. Vive L’Amour (1994, Tsai Ming-liang)
  43. Ash Is Purest White (2018, Jia Zhangke)
  44. Legend of the Mountain (1979, King Hu)
  45. Oxhide II (2009, Liu Jiayin)
  46. Dangerous Encounters – First Kind (1980, Tsui Hark)
  47. No No Sleep (2015, Tsai Ming-liang)
  48. Raining in the Mountain (1979, King Hu)
  49. SPL II: A Time for Consequences (2015, Soi Cheang)
  50. The Killer (1989, John Woo)
  51. The World (2004, Jia Zhangke)
  52. Hero (2002, Zhang Yimou)
  53. An Elephant Sitting Still (2018, Hu Bo)
  54. 24 City (2008, Jia Zhangke)
  55. School on Fire (1988, Ringo Lam)
  56. As Tears Go By (1988, Wong Kar-wai)
  57. Kaili Blues (2015, Bi Gan)
  58. The Hedonists (2016, Jia Zhangke)
  59. I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone (2006, Tsai Ming-liang)
  60. A Touch of Sin (2013, Jia Zhangke)
  61. Kung Fu Hustle (2004, Stephen Chow)
  62. Green Snake (1993, Tsui Hark)
  63. One-Armed Swordsman (1967, Chang Cheh)
  64. The Goddess (1934, Wu Yonggang)
  65. Goodbye South, Goodbye (1996, Hou Hsiao-hsien)
  66. Journey to the West (2014, Tsai Ming-liang)
  67. Exiled (2006, Johnnie To)
  68. To Live (1994, Zhang Yimou)
  69. Oxhide (2005, Liu Jiayin)
  70. Blind Detective (2013, Johnnie To)
  71. Unknown Pleasures (2002, Jia Zhangke)
  72. Face (2009, Tsai Ming-liang)
  73. The Odd One Dies (1997, Patrick Yau and Johnnie To)
  74. Come Drink With Me (1966, King Hu)
  75. The Wayward Cloud (2005, Tsai Ming-liang)
  76. Daughter of the Nile (1987, Hou Hsiao-hsien)
  77. City on Fire (1987, Ringo Lam)
  78. Rebels of the Neon God (1992, Tsai Ming-liang)
  79. Expectations (1982, Edward Yang)
  80. My Blueberry Nights (2007, Wong Kar-wai)
  81. Xiao Wu (1997, Jia Zhangke)
  82. The Midnight After (2014, Fruit Chan)
  83. Raise the Red Lantern (1991, Zhang Yimou)
  84. The Mission (1999, Johnnie To)
  85. A Better Tomorrow (1986, John Woo)
  86. House of Flying Daggers (2004, Zhang Yimou)
  87. Secret Goldfish (2016, Bi Gan)
  88. Office (2015, Johnnie To)
  89. Useless (2007, Jia Zhangke)
  90. I Am Not Madame Bovary (2016, Feng Xiaogong)
  91. Cry Me a River (2008, Jia Zhangke)
  92. In the Heat of the Sun (1994, Jiang Wen)
  93. I Wish I Knew (2010, Jia Zhangke)
  94. Ju Dou (1990, Zhang Yimou)
  95. A Family Tour (2018, Ying Liang)
  96. Another Year (2016, Shengze Zhu)
  97. In Our Time (1982, Tao Te-chen/Edward Yang/Ko I-chen/Chang Yi)
  98. The White Storm 2: Drug Lords (2019, Herman Yau)
  99. A Chinese Ghost Story (1987, Ching Siu-tung)
  100. The Great Buddha+ (2017, Huang Hsin-yao)
  101. Police Story 2 (1988, Jackie Chan)
  102. The Poet and Singer (2012, Bi Gan)
  103. Dong (2006, Jia Zhangke)
  104. Three (2016, Johnnie To)
  105. The Mermaid (2016, Stephen Chow)
  106. Xiao Shan Going Home (1995, Jia Zhangke)
  107. Mission: Impossible II (2000, John Woo)
  108. Life Without Principle (2011, Johnnie To)
  109. Red Sorghum (1987, Zhang Yimou)
  110. The Wedding Banquet (1993, Ang Lee)
  111. Turn Left, Turn Right (2003, Johnnie To & Wai Ka-fai)
  112. Red Cliff (2008, John Woo)
  113. Red Cliff Part II (2009, John Woo)
  114. The Great Wall (2016, Zhang Yimou)
  115. Curse of the Golden Flower (2006, Zhang Yimou)
  116. The Story of Qiu Ju (1992, Zhang Yimou)
  117. A Taste of Killing and Romance (1994, Veronica Chan)
  118. Pushing Hands (1991, Ang Lee)
  119. Ip Man (2008, Wilson Yip)
  120. Shower (1997, Zhang Yang)
  121. Ip Man 2 (2010, Wilson Yip)
  122. Cape No. 7 (2008, Wei Te-Sheng)
  123. Secret (2007, Jay Chou)
  124. Happy Times (2000, Zhang Yimou)
  125. The Road Home (1999, Zhang Yimou)
  126. Shadow (2018, Zhang Yimou)
  127. A City Called Macau (2019, Li Shaohong)
  128. People’s Republic of Desire (2018, Hao Wu)
  129. Forever Young (2018, Li Fangfang)
  130. The Bucket (2019, Jia Zhangke)
  131. Game of Death (1978, Robert Clouse)

2020 First Watches

Renewed Appreciation: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Cemetery of Splendour, What Time Is It There?, Transit, Phoenix, SPL II: A Time for Consequences, The Matrix, There Will Be Blood, Vive L’Amour, Nothing But a Man, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Meek’s Cutoff

Shorts: “No No Sleep,” “Asparagus,” “Night Without Distance,” “Joy Street,” “Cry When It Happens,” “The Sky Is Clear and Blue Today,” “Fainting Spells,” “Pinball,” “Temple of Torment,” “What Did Jack Do?,” “Cattle Mutilations,” “El Doctor,” “The Stranger in Apartment 9F,” “Visitations,” “Fit Model,” “Jefferson Circus Songs,” “Nightwalk”

  1. High and Low (1963, Akira Kurosawa) [March]
  2. Mysteries of Lisbon (2010, Raúl Ruiz) [January]
  3. His Girl Friday (1940, Howard Hawks) [March]
  4. Like Someone in Love (2012, Abbas Kiarostami) [January]
  5. The Love Eterne (1963, Li Han-hsiang) [March]
  6. Fantômas (1913, Louis Feuillade) [March]
  7. The Clock (1945, Vincente Minnelli) [March]
  8. The Wind Rises (2013, Hayao Miyazaki) [January]
  9. Drug War (2012, Johnnie To) [January]
  10. Romancing in Thin Air (2012, Johnnie To) [January]
  11. Safe (1995, Todd Haynes) [February]
  12. Dawn of the Dead (1978, George A. Romero) [February]
  13. Tabu (2012, Miguel Gomes) [January]
  14. Simone Barbès or Virtue (1980, Marie-Claude Treilhou) [March]
  15. Hanagatami (2017, Nobuhiko Obayashi) [January]
  16. Starship Troopers (1997, Paul Verhoeven) [March]
  17. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013, Isao Takahata) [January]
  18. Double messieurs (1986, Jean-François Stévenin) [February]
  19. A Voluntary Year (2019, Ulrich Köhler & Henner Winckler) [February]
  20. Pauline at the Beach (1983, Eric Rohmer) [March]
  21. Journey to the West (2014, Tsai Ming-liang) [January]
  22. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013, Martin Scorsese) [January]
  23. Metropolis (1927, Fritz Lang) [March]
  24. That Obscure Object of Desire (1977, Luis Buñuel) [January]
  25. 36 Fillette (1988, Catherine Breillat) [February]
  26. differently, Molussia (2012, Nicolas Rey) [January]
  27. Synonyms (2019, Nadav Lapid) [January]
  28. Garoto (2015, Júlio Bressane) [January]
  29. Noroît (une vengeance) (1976, Jacques Rivette) [March]
  30. Day of the Dead (1985, George A. Romero) [February]
  31. The Blue Angel (1930, Josef von Sternberg) [March]
  32. West Side Story (1961, Robert Wise & Jerome Robbins) [February]
  33. Blind Detective (2013, Johnnie To) [January]
  34. Shadows (1959, John Cassavetes) [January]
  35. Vitalina Varela (2019, Pedro Costa) [February]
  36. Unstoppable (2010, Tony Scott) [January]
  37. A Hidden Life (2019, Terrence Malick) [January]
  38. The Cool World (1963, Shirley Clarke) [January]
  39. McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971, Robert Altman) [February]
  40. Grand Illusion (1937, Jean Renoir) [March]
  41. The Arbor (2010, Clio Barnard) [January]
  42. Zombi Child (2019, Bertrand Bonello) [February]
  43. Sentimental Education (2013, Júlio Bressane) [January]
  44. The World Is Full of Secrets (2018, Graham Swon) [January]
  45. Atlantics (2019, Mati Diop) [January]
  46. A Girl Missing (2019, Koji Fukada) [February]
  47. Under the Skin (2013, Jonathan Glazer) [January]
  48. Meeting a Milestone (1989, Goutam Ghose) [March]
  49. Fear of Fear (1975, Rainer Werner Fassbinder) [March]
  50. Ham on Rye (2019, Tyler Taormina) [February]
  51. A Faithful Man (2018, Louis Garrel) [February]
  52. Life Without Principle (2011, Johnnie To) [January]
  53. The Human Condition I: No Greater Love (1959, Masaki Kobayashi) [February]
  54. The American Sector (2020, Courtney Stephens & Pacho Velez) [February]
  55. Candyman (1992, Bernard Rose) [March]
  56. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019, J.J. Abrams) [January]
  57. Oroslan (2019, Matjaz Ivanisin) [February]
  58. Mekong Hotel (2012, Apichatpong Weerasthakul) [January]
  59. Batang West Side (2001, Lav Diaz) [March]
  60. Locke (2013, Steven Knight) [March]
  61. Daisies (1966, Vera Chytilová) [February]
  62. Gamer (2009, Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor) [March]
  63. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018, Susan Johnson) [February]

2020 Omnibus Log

r001. India Song (1975, Marguerite Duras) 01 Jan – 8.9 [up from 8.6]
001. That Obscure Object of Desire (1977, Luis Buñuel$) Monitor, File 01 Jan – 7.4 [parts]
002. Life Without Principle (2011, Johnnie To) Monitor, File 04 Jan – 6.3
003. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019, J.J. Abrams) Regal L.A. Live, DCP 07 Jan – 6.2
004. A Hidden Life (2019, Terrence Malick) The Landmark, DCP 09 Jan – 7.2 [slight]
005. +What Time Is It There (2001, Tsai Ming-liang) UCLA Bridges Theater, 35mm (Date, Friends) 09 Jan – 7.9 [up from 7.5]
006. Synonyms (2019, Nadav Lapid^) Monitor, Screener 10 Jan – 7.4
007. Atlantics (2019, Mati Diop^) Monitor, Netflix 11 Jan – 6.6 [parts]
008. +Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood (2019, Quentin Tarantino) New Beverly, 35mm 11 Jan – 7.5 [up from 7.3]
t001. The Pilot (1994, Friends) Norris Cinema Theatre, DVD (TA Lecture) 13 Jan
t002. The One With the East German Laundry Detergent (1994, Friends) Norris Cinema Theatre, DVD (TA Lecture) 13 Jan
t003. The One Where Ross Finds Out (1995, Friends) Norris Cinema Theatre, DVD (TA Lecture) 13 Jan
009. Mekong Hotel (2012, Apichatpong Weerasethakul*) Monitor, File 14 Jan – 5.8
010. +Apocalypse Now (1979, Francis Ford Coppola) Norris Cinema Theatre, Blu-ray (TA Lecture) 14 Jan – 7.9 [intermittent; down from ~8.1]
011. Mysteries of Lisbon (2010, Raúl Ruiz) Monitor, File 15 Jan – 8.9
012. +Feast of the Epiphany (2018, Michael Koresky & Jeff Reichert & Farihah Zaman) Lumiere Music Hall, DCP (Friends, Directors Q&A) 15 Jan – 6.4 [same]
s001. +Something Between Us (2015, Jodie Mack) Monitor, Vimeo 17 Jan – 7.1 [up from 6.6]
013. Sentimental Education (2013, Júlio Bressane^) Monitor, MUBI 17 Jan – 6.7
014. Romancing in Thin Air (2012, Johnnie To) Monitor, File 18 Jan – 8.0
015. The Arbor (2010, Clio Barnard^) Monitor, Criterion Channel 18 Jan – 7.0
016. The Cool World (1963, Shirley Clarke) UCLA Wilder Theater, 35mm (Friend) 18 Jan – 7.1
017. +Nothing But a Man (1964, Michael Roemer) UCLA Wilder Theater, 35mm (Friend, Screenwriter Q&A) 18 Jan – 7.6 [up from 7.1]
018. Drug War (2012, Johnnie To) Monitor, File 19 Jan – 8.1
019. +Rear Window (1954, Alfred Hitchcock) Egyptian Theatre, 35mm IB Technicolor 19 Jan – 8.9 [same]
s002. What Did Jack Do? (2017, David Lynch) Monitor, Netflix 20 Jan – 6.6
020. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013, Martin Scorsese) Laptop, Amazon 20 Jan – 7.5 [drunk]
s003. Jefferson Circus Songs (1973, Suzan Pitt) REDCAT, DCP 20 Jan – 6.2
s004. Asparagus (1979, Suzan Pitt) REDCAT, 35mm 20 Jan – 7.5
s005. Clay Woman Smoking (1975, Suzan Pitt) REDCAT, DCP 20 Jan – 5.6
s006. Joy Street (1995, Suzan Pitt) REDCAT, 35mm 20 Jan – 7.0
s007. Visitations (2011, Suzan Pitt) REDCAT, DCP 20 Jan – 6.4
s008. El Doctor (2006, Suzan Pitt) REDCAT, 35mm 20 Jan – 6.5
s009. Pinball (2013, Suzan Pitt) REDCAT, DCP 20 Jan – 6.7
p001. ®Garoto (2015, Júlio Bressane) Monitor, File 21 Jan
t004. Betty, Girl Engineer (1956, Father Knows Best) USC Screening Room, Amazon (Lecture) 21 Jan
021. +There Will Be Blood (2007, Paul Thomas Anderson) USC Norris Cinema Theatre, Blu-ray (TA Lecture) 21 Jan – 7.6 [up from 7.4]
022. +Cemetery of Splendour (2015, Apichatpong Weerasethakul*) Monitor, Blu-ray 22 Jan – 8.7 [up from 7.4]
023. differently, Molussia (2012, Nicolas Rey^) Monitor, File 23 Jan – 7.4 [6, 3, 9, 8, 4, 5, 7, 2, 1]
024. Garoto (2015, Júlio Bressane) Monitor, File 24 Jan – 7.4
025. Blind Detective (2013, Johnnie To) Monitor, Netflix 24 Jan – 7.4
026. Shadows (1959, John Cassavetes) UCLA Wilder Theater, 35mm (Friends) 25 Jan – 7.3
027. The Wind Rises (2013, Hayao Miyazaki) Monitor, File 26 Jan – 8.1
t005. My Favorite Shapes (2019, Julio Torres) USC Norris Cinema Theatre, HBO (TA Lecture) 27 Jan
028. Unstoppable (2010, Tony Scott) Monitor, File 27 Jan – 7.3
029. Journey to the West (2014, Tsai Ming-liang*) Monitor, Blu-ray 27 Jan – 7.5
s010. Nightwalk (2013, Scott Barley) Monitor, Vimeo 28 Jan – 6.0
s011. Night Without Distance (2015, Lois Patiño) Monitor, Vimeo 28 Jan – 7.4
t006. Family Photograph (1949, The Goldbergs) USC Screening Room, Website 28 Jan
t007. Gracie’s Checking Account (1950, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show) USC Screening Room, Archive 28 Jan
030. +Gook (2017, Justin Chon) USC Norris Cinema Theatre, Blu-ray (TA Lecture, Director Q&A) 28 Jan – 4.6 [down from 5.7]
s012. Fainting Spells (2018, Sky Hopinka) Monitor, MUBI 29 Jan – 6.8
031. Hanagatami (2017, Nobuhiko Obayashi) Monitor, File 29 Jan – 7.7 [slight]
032. +Phoenix (2014, Christian Petzold) Monitor, File 29 Jan – 8.6 [up from 8.2]
033. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013, Isao Takahata) Monitor, File 30 Jan – 7.6
034. Under the Skin (2013, Jonathan Glazer) Monitor, Kanopy 31 Jan – 6.6
035. Tabu (2012, Miguel Gomes^) Monitor, Kanopy 31 Jan – 7.8
s013. No No Sleep (2015, Tsai Ming-liang) Monitor, File 31 Jan – 7.7
036. Like Someone in Love (2012, Abbas Kiarostami) Monitor, Blu-ray 31 Jan – 8.8
037. +SPL II: A Time for Consequences (2015, Soi Cheang) Monitor, Blu-ray 31 Jan – 7.7 [up from 7.1]
038. +Transit (2018, Christian Petzold) Monitor, Blu-ray 31 Jan – 8.7 [up from 8.0]
039. The World Is Full of Secrets (2018, Graham Swon^) Echo Park Film Center/Acropolis Cinema DCP (Friends, Director/Actress Q&A) 31 Jan – 6.7 [technical]
040. Double messieurs (1986, Jean-François Stévenin^) Monitor, File 02 Feb – 7.6
t008. Do You Know How to Dispose of a Body? (2019, Killing Eve) USC Norris Cinema Theatre, Amazon Prime (TA Lecture) 03 Feb
s014. Meltdown (2012, Mike Kuchar) REDCAT, DCP (Friend, Director Q&A) 03 Feb – 5.7
s015. The Stranger in Apartment 9F (1998, Mike Kuchar) REDCAT, DCP (Friend, Director Q&A) 03 Feb – 6.2
s016. Fallen Angels (2013, Mike Kuchar) REDCAT, DCP (Friend, Director Q&A) 03 Feb – 5.9
s017. I Was a Teenage Rumpot (1960, George & Mike Kuchar) REDCAT, 16mm (Friend, Director Q&A) 03 Feb – 6.0
s018. Sylvia’s Promise (1962, George & Mike Kuchar) REDCAT, 16mm (Friend, Director Q&A) 03 Feb – 6.1
s019. Cattle Mutilations (1983, George Kuchar) REDCAT, 16mm (Friend, Director Q&A) 03 Feb – 6.3
s020. Temple of Torment (2006, George Kuchar) REDCAT, DCP (Friend, Director Q&A) 03 Feb – 6.6
041. +Meek’s Cutoff (2010, Kelly Reichardt) USC Norris Cinema Theatre, Blu-ray (TA Lecture) 04 Feb – 8.6 [up from 8.3]
042. The Human Condition I: No Greater Love (1959, Masaki Kobayashi) Aero Theatre, 35mm 08 Feb – 6.3
t009. Pilot (1951, I Love Lucy) USC Norris Cinema Theatre, DVD (TA Lecture) 10 Feb
t010. The Ballet (1952, I Love Lucy) USC Norris Cinema Theatre, DVD (TA Lecture) 10 Feb
t011. Halloween Party (1952, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet) USC Norris Cinema Theatre, DVD (TA Lecture) 10 Feb
043. Daisies (1966, Vera Chytilová^) Laptop, Criterion Channel 11 Feb – 5.7 [slight]
044. West Side Story (1961, Robert Wise & Jerome Robbins^) New Beverly, 35mm 12 Feb – 7.4
s021. I’m Cold (1954, Tex Avery) New Beverly, 35mm (Friend) 12 Feb – 5.8
045. McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971, Robert Altman) New Beverly, 35mm (Friend) 12 Feb – 7.1
046. Ham on Rye (2019, Tyler Taormina^) Downtown Independent, DCP (Friend, Director/Cinematographer Q&A) [Locarno in Los Angeles] 13 Feb – 6.3
047. Oroslan (2019, Matjaz Ivanisin^) Downtown Independent, DCP [Locarno in Los Angeles] 14 Feb – 5.9 [slight]
048. A Girl Missing (2019, Koji Fukada) Downtown Independent, DCP [Locarno in Los Angeles] 14 Feb – 6.6
049. A Voluntary Year (2019, Ulrich Köhler & Henner Winckler^) Downtown Independent, DCP (Friend) [Locarno in Los Angeles] 15 Feb – 7.5
050. Vitalina Varela (2019, Pedro Costa) Downtown Independent, DCP (Friends, Director Q&A) [Locarno in Los Angeles] 15 Feb – 7.3 [slight]
t012. Lemons (2017, Black-ish) USC Screening Room, Amazon (Lecture) 18 Feb
t013. So Chineez (2015, Fresh Off the Boat) USC Screening Room, Amazon (Lecture) 18 Feb
051. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982, Steven Spielberg) USC Norris Cinema Theatre, Blu-ray (TA Lecture) 18 Feb – 7.9 [up from ~7.4]
052. The American Sector (2020, Courtney Stephens^ & Pacho Velez†) Sunset Screening Room, DCP 19 Feb – 6.2
053. 36 Fillette (1988, Catherine Breillat^) UCLA Bridges Theater, 35mm (Friends) 20 Feb – 7.4
054. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018, Susan Johnson^) Television, Netflix (Friends) 22 Feb – 4.7 [technical]
p002. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (2011, Johnnie To) Monitor, Netflix 23 Feb
t014. College (1999, The Sopranos) USC Norris Cinema Theatre, DVD (TA Lecture) 24 Feb
t015. Made in America (2007, The Sopranos) USC Norris Cinema Theatre, DVD (TA Lecture) 24 Feb
055. Safe (1995, Todd Haynes) Laptop, File (TA Class) 25 Feb – 8.0 [slight]
056. +Blue Velvet (1986, David Lynch) USC Norris Cinema Theatre, Blu-ray [TA Lecture] 25 Feb – 9.0 [same]
057. Zombi Child (2019, Bertrand Bonello) Landmark Nuart, DCP 26 Feb – 6.8
058. Dawn of the Dead (1978, George A. Romero@) Monitor, File 26 Feb – 7.9
059. Day of the Dead (1985, George A. Romero@) Egyptian Theatre, 35mm (Friends) 27 Feb – 7.4
060. A Faithful Man (2018, Louis Garrel^) Monitor, MUBI 29 Feb – 6.3
061. The Clock (1945, Vincente Minnelli) Egyptian Theatre, 35mm (Friends) 01 Mar – 8.2
062. Batang West Side (2001, Lav Diaz) Egyptian Theatre, 35mm (Director Q&A) 01 Mar – 5.7 [slight]
t016. 1:23:45 (2019, Chernobyl) USC Norris Cinema Theatre, Blu-ray (TA Lecture) 02 Mar
063. Fear of Fear (1975, Rainer Werner Fassbinder$) Monitor, File 02 Mar – 6.5 [parts]
064. +The Matrix (1999, Lana & Lilly Wachowski) USC Norris Cinema Theatre, Blu-ray (TA Lecture) 03 Mar – 7.5 [up from ~6.8]
065. +Vive L’Amour (1994, Tsai Ming-liang) Monitor, File 04 Mar – 7.8 [up from 7.5]
s022. +Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century (1953, Chuck Jones) New Beverly, 35mm 06 Mar – 7.5 [up from 7.3]
066. Starship Troopers (1997, Paul Verhoeven) New Beverly, 35mm 06 Mar – 7.6
s023. Cry When It Happens (2010, Laida Lertxundi) Monitor, File 08 Mar – 7.1
t017. +Traces to Nowhere (1990, Twin Peaks) USC Norris Cinema Theatre, Blu-ray (TA Lecture) 09 Mar
t018. +Part 4 (2017, Twin Peaks: The Return) USC Norris Cinema Theatre, Blu-ray (TA Lecture) 09 Mar
067. Candyman (1992, Bernard Rose^) Monitor, Netflix (TA Class) 09 Mar – 6.3 [intermittent]
068. High and Low (1963, Akira Kurosawa) Aero Theatre, 35mm 11 Mar – 9.0
069. Noroît (une vengeance) (1976, Jacques Rivette) Monitor, Blu-ray 12 Mar – 7.4
070. Gamer (2009, Mark Neveldine^ & Brian Taylor^) Monitor, HBO Go 13 Mar – 4.9
071. Grand Illusion (1937, Jean Renoir) Monitor, File 13 Mar – 7.0 [intermittent]
072. His Girl Friday (1940, Howard Hawks) Monitor, Kanopy 13 Mar – 8.9
073. Metropolis (1927, Fritz Lang) Monitor/Laptop, Kanopy/Criterion Channel 14 Mar – 7.5 [parts]
074. Fantômas (1913, Louis Feuillade) Monitor, Blu-ray 16 Mar – 8.4 [serial]
075. Meeting a Milestone (1989, Goutam Ghose^) Monitor, File 17 Mar – 6.5
076. +Vivre sa vie (1962, Jean-Luc Godard) Monitor, Blu-ray 18 Mar – 7.0 [down from ~8.5]
r002. La Dolce Vita (1960, Federico Fellini) 18 Mar – ~6.8 [down from ~8.1]
r003. 8½ (1963, Federico Fellini) 18 Mar – ~6.8 [down from ~7.8]
077. The Blue Angel (1930, Josef von Sternberg@) Monitor, Kanopy 19 Mar – 7.4
078. +La Notte (1961, Michelangelo Antonioni) Monitor, Kanopy 20 Mar – 7.1 [slight; same]
079. Pauline at the Beach (1983, Eric Rohmer) 21 Mar – 7.5 [slight]
s024. Fit Model (2019, Myna Joseph) Monitor, Le CiNéMa Club 21 Mar – 6.2
t019. Please Remain Calm (2019, Chernobyl) Monitor, HBO Go (TA Class) 23 Mar
t020. Open Wide, O Earth (2019, Chernobyl) Monitor, HBO Go (TA Class) 23 Mar
t021. The Happiness of All Mankind (2019, Chernobyl) Monitor, HBO Go (TA Class) 23 Mar
t022. Vichnaya Pamyat (2019, Chernobyl) Monitor, HBO Go (TA Class) 24 Mar
080. Simone Barbès or Virtue (1980, Marie-Claude Treilhou^) Monitor, File 24 Mar – 7.8
081. The Love Eterne (1963, Li Han-hsiang^) Monitor, File 25 Mar – 8.8
082. +Blackhat [Approximate Cut] (2015, Michael Mann) Monitor, File 26 Mar – 8.7 [up from 8.6]
s025. The Sky Is Clear and Blue Today (2019, Ricky D’Ambrose) Monitor, Vimeo 27 Mar – 7.1
s026. B-ROLL With Andre (2015, James N. Kienitz Wilkins) Monitor, Le CiNéMa Club 27 Mar – 5.8
s027. +Indefinite Pitch (2016, James N. Kienitz Wilkins) Monitor, File 28 Mar – 6.6 [up from 5.8]
083. Locke (2013, Steven Knight^) Monitor, Netflix Party 29 Mar – 5.7

2020 Viewing Log

January
That Obscure Object of Desire (1977, Luis Buñuel) – 7.4
Life Without Principle (2011, Johnnie To) – 6.3
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019, J.J. Abrams) DP – 6.2
A Hidden Life (2019, Terrence Malick) DP – 7.2
+What Time Is It There? (2001, Tsai Ming-liang) 35mm – 7.9 [up from 7.5]
Synonyms (2019, Nadav Lapid) – 7.4
Atlantics (2019, Mati Diop) – 6.6
+Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood (2019, Quentin Tarantino) 35mm – 7.5 [up from 7.3]
Mekong Hotel (2012, Apichatpong Weerasethakul) – 5.8
+Apocalypse Now (1979, Francis Ford Coppola) DP – 7.9 [down from ~8.1]
Mysteries of Lisbon (2010, Raúl Ruiz) – 8.9
+Feast of the Epiphany (2018, Michael Koresky & Jeff Reichert & Farihah Zaman) DP – 6.4 [same]
+Something Between Us (2015, Jodie Mack)
Sentimental Education (2013, Júlio Bressane) – 6.7
Romancing in Thin Air (2012, Johnnie To) – 8.0
The Arbor (2010, Clio Barnard) – 7.0
The Cool World (1963, Shirley Clarke) 35mm – 7.1
+Nothing But a Man (1964, Michael Roemer) 35mm – 7.6 [up from 7.1]
Drug War (2012, Johnnie To) – 8.1
+Rear Window (1954, Alfred Hitchcock) 35mm – 8.9 [same]
What Did Jack Do? (2017, David Lynch)
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013, Martin Scorsese) – 7.5
Jefferson Circus Songs (1973, Suzan Pitt) DP
Asparagus (1979, Suzan Pitt) 35mm
Clay Woman Smoking (1975, Suzan Pitt) DP
Joy Street (1995, Suzan Pitt) 35mm
Visitation (2011, Suzan Pitt) DP
El Doctor (2006, Suzan Pitt) 35mm
Pinball (2013, Suzan Pitt) DP
+There Will Be Blood (2007, Paul Thomas Anderson) DP – 7.6 [up from 7.4]
+Cemetery of Splendour (2015, Apichatpong Weerasethakul) – 8.7 [up from 7.4]
differently, Molussia (2012, Nicolas Rey) – 7.4
Garoto (2015, Júlio Bressane) – 7.4
Blind Detective (2013, Johnnie To) – 7.4
Shadows (1959, John Cassavetes) 35mm – 7.3
The Wind Rises (2013, Hayao Miyazaki) – 8.1
Unstoppable (2010, Tony Scott) – 7.3
Journey to the West (2014, Tsai Ming-liang) – 7.5
Nightwalk (2013, Scott Barley)
Night Without Distance (2015, Lois Patiño)
+Gook (2017, Justin Chon) DP – 4.6 [down from 5.7]
Fainting Spells (2018, Sky Hopinka)
Hanagatami (2017, Nobuhiko Obayashi) – 7.7
+Phoenix (2014, Christian Petzold) – 8.6 [up from 8.2]
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013, Isao Takahata) – 7.6
Under the Skin (2013, Jonathan Glazer) – 6.6
Tabu (2012, Miguel Gomes) – 7.8
No No Sleep (2015, Tsai Ming-liang)
Like Someone in Love (2012, Abbas Kiarostami) – 8.8
+SPL II: A Time for Consequences (2015, Soi Cheang) – 7.7 [up from 7.1]
+Transit (2018, Christian Petzold) – 8.7 [up from 8.0]
The World Is Full of Secrets (2018, Graham Swon) DP – 6.7

February
Double messieurs (1986, Jean-François Stévenin) – 7.6
Meltdown (2012, Mike Kuchar) DP
The Stranger in Apartment 9F (1998, Mike Kuchar) DP
Fallen Angels (2013, Mike Kuchar) DP
I Was a Teenage Rumpot (1960, George & Mike Kuchar) 16mm
Sylvia’s Promise (1962, George & Mike Kuchar) 16mm
Cattle Mutilations (1983, George Kuchar) 16mm
Temple of Torment (2006, George Kuchar) DP
+Meek’s Cutoff (2010, Kelly Reichardt) DP – 8.6 [up from 8.3]
The Human Condition I: No Greater Love (1959, Masaki Kobayashi) 35mm – 6.3
Daisies (1966, Vera Chytilová) – 5.7
West Side Story (1961, Robert Wise & Jerome Robbins) 35mm – 7.4
I’m Cold (1954, Tex Avery) 35mm
McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971, Robert Altman) 35mm – 7.0
Ham on Rye (2019, Tyler Taormina) Locarno in Los Angeles, DP – 6.3
Oroslan (2019, Matjaz Ivanisin) Locarno in Los Angeles, DP – 5.9
A Girl Missing (2019, Koji Fukada) Locarno in Los Angeles, DP – 6.6
A Voluntary Year (2019, Ulrich Köhler & Henner Winckler) Locarno in Los Angeles, DP – 7.5
Vitalina Varela (2019, Pedro Costa) Locarno in Los Angeles, DP – 7.3
+E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982, Steven Spielberg) DP – 7.9 [up from ~7.4]
The American Sector (2020, Courtney Stephens & Pacho Velez) DP – 6.2
36 Fillette (1988, Catherine Breillat) 35mm – 7.4
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018, Susan Johnson) – 4.7
Safe (1995, Todd Haynes) – 8.0
+Blue Velvet (1986, David Lynch) DP – 9.0 [same]
Zombi Child (2019, Bertrand Bonello) DP – 6.8
Dawn of the Dead (1978, George A. Romero) – 7.9
Day of the Dead (1985, George A. Romero) 35mm – 7.4
A Faithful Man (2018, Louis Garrel) – 6.3

March
The Clock (1945, Vincente Minnelli) 35mm – 8.2
Batang West Side (2001, Lav Diaz) 35mm – 5.7
Fear of Fear (1975, Rainer Werner Fassbinder) – 6.5
+The Matrix (1999, Lana & Lilly Wachowski) DP – 7.5 [up from ~6.8]
+Vive L’Amour (1994, Tsai Ming-liang) – 7.8 [up from 7.5]
+Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century (1953, Chuck Jones) 35mm
Starship Troopers (1997, Paul Verhoeven) – 7.6
Cry When It Happens (2010, Laida Lertxundi)
Candyman (1992, Bernard Rose) – 6.2
High and Low (1963, Akira Kurosawa) 35mm – 9.0
Noroît (une vengeance) (1976, Jacques Rivette) – 7.4
Gamer (2009, Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor) – 4.9
Grand Illusion (1937, Jean Renoir) – 7.0
His Girl Friday (1940, Howard Hawks) – 8.9
Metropolis (1927, Fritz Lang) – 7.5
Fantômas (1913, Louis Feuillade) – 8.4
Meeting a Milestone (1989, Goutam Ghose) – 6.5
+Vivre sa vie (1962, Jean-Luc Godard) – 7.3 [down from ~8.5]
The Blue Angel (1930, Josef von Sternberg) – 7.4
+La Notte (1961, Michelangelo Antonioni) – 7.1 [same]
Pauline at the Beach (1983, Eric Rohmer) – 7.5
Fit Model (2019, Myna Joseph)
Simone Barbès or Virtue (1980, Marie-Claude Treilhou) – 7.8
The Love Eterne (1963, Li Han-hsiang) – 8.8
+Blackhat [Approximate Cut] (2015, Michael Mann) – 8.7 [up from 8.6]
The Sky Is Clear and Blue Today (2019, Ricky D’Ambrose)
B-ROLL With Andre (2015, James N. Kienitz Wilkins)
+Indefinite Pitch (2016, James N. Kienitz Wilkins)
Locke (2013, Steven Knight) – 5.7
Fight Club (1999, David Fincher) –
In Transit (2015, Albert Maysles & Lynn True & David Usui & Nelson Walker & Ben Wu) –
American Psycho (2000, Mary Harron) –
At This Late Date, the Charleston (1981, Kihachi Okamoto) –

2019 Reading Log

1. Augustus (1972, John Williams): 12/23/18-4/21/19 (on-off)
In a certain sense I don’t know if I’m entirely fit to form any coherent thoughts on this monumental work, considering my prolonged and very scattered engagement with it. But it seems fitting, in a certain way: it is a book of transience, looking backwards at memories only mostly remembered, even as those who bear witness to history pass before their time. The years pass, only highlighted truly by the denotations in the headings, and the voices thin one by one until the subject himself speaks, and his own voice is as distinguished yet as fundamentally poetic as the rest. A fitting final work, then, encompassing a life and a nation with unimaginable grace.

2. The Savage Detectives (1998, Roberto Bolaño): 4/22/19-6/23/19
It’s an understatement to say that this permeated and swirled around in my consciousness for the two months I read it, and probably will for a good long while after. Finishing it at around the same time as my experience with La Flor, a work of comparable scope and artistic lineage, if not ultimate intention, does certainly color it, but in many ways this colossal work seems even more mysterious than when I first started it. The structure certainly points to a fundamental aimlessness, when a person becomes further unmoored from an already rootless existence, as the regimented structure of the days disappear and a testimony can be split into many parts and take place over the course of a single night or decades. In a sense, this almost combines the intentions of the previous two books I’ve read (Invisible Cities and Augustus) and transforms them, anchoring itself in a time, space, and movement simultaneously real and imaginary. But the anxieties, the raucousness, the desperation are all too real; what truly punctures is not just the two (or three) lost souls at its center, but the fates of so many characters that feel just as key as the rest. Whether ending up dead or cocooned within a life far less radical (for good or ill), no one can escape the progression of time, the march of the decades. When your goal is unexpectedly fulfilled with little fanfare, where can you go, what can you do?

3. Three to Kill (1976, Jean-Patrick Manchette): 6/23/19-6/24/19
Didn’t necessarily expect the political edge to this, which becomes an inflection through the course of the narrative but rears its head at unexpected moments, but it pairs perfectly with the ruthless cool of this, the loving detail given to the process by which men engage in vicious exchanges. Like many of the great artists, and like his central character, Manchette’s facility with time is extremely adaptable, and his chapter structure bears this out: the longest chapters both feature spans of long months and the course of a night, and sometimes they last less than two pages, all the better to convey the clipped yet melodic nature of his prose. Calling this bloodless wouldn’t be correct, but a steeliness emanates off of every sentence, a total confidence that thrills.

4. Transit (1944, Anna Seghers): 6/25/19-8/8/19
Can’t help but ultimately compare this to Christian Petzold’s masterful film, which pares down and refines the surprising multitude of elements to this sobering and deeply involved book. Its greatness is of a sort very different (and not quite as appealing) from the film, delving deep into its nameless protagonist’s mindset, which veers from callous to obsessed in a manner that ultimately feels consistent and deeply revealing of the very whims that govern the murmuring masses whose fates are decided by scraps of paper. The emotions may be somewhat more tricky to get into, particularly in terms of the circling nature of this book, with Seghers seeming as interested in the disparate side characters as in her central dynamics, but as little moments emerge, as more and more is spoken and unspoken, something of no small power does ultimately emerge.

5. Cathedral (1983, Raymond Carver): 8/9/19-8/17/19
Can’t speak to how this compares to the average short story collection, but there’s such an immense unity to these, each existing in their own orbit but sharing a careful and rigorous attention to suburban anxieties. Without sacrificing the overall air of memory and recollection, Carver’s mode always shifts, especially in when he chooses when to narrate from his main character’s point of view or not; “A Small, Good Thing” is the natural pinnacle and centerpiece of this, fluidly shifting between husband and wife before reorienting suddenly in the last few pages. And of course, the title story is a perfect capper, an immense tribute to art and empathy as prickly and complex as it is moving.

6. The Unknown Masterpiece (1831, Honoré de Balzac): 8/18/19-9/6/19
Though the title story is the greater of the two, the significant presence of “Gambara”, both physically (taking up two-thirds of the NYRB book) and aesthetically, certainly shouldn’t be discounted. The two are both concerned with the undoing or misapprehension of genius, and in a way act as foils for each other. Both share in common what appears to be Balzac’s penchant for long monologues, frequently filled with extensive technical discussions of art, and the actual narratives are relatively brief. However, “The Unknown Masterpiece” feels far more deliberately spare in a way that suits it: taking place over no more than three days (though perhaps separated by a longer span), only involving a few characters, and surrounding a single deliberately withheld artwork; furthermore, all of these characters are (as per the introduction) master painters in their own right at different stages in their careers, and thus share a certain commonality. On the other hand, “Gambara” is almost maximal in comparison; the cast of characters is only slightly larger, but the eponymous character is deliberately isolated, with Balzac frequently negotiating a strange balance in depicting him that never fully coheres, and the logorrheic stretches of musical discourse and description both act as a brilliant replication of time and an only partially successful substitute for the actual experience of listening. Both are perhaps overly invested in a sense of aesthetic purity, but in a way this is fitting; without it, the notion of mastery found and lost would be even harder to evoke.

7. The Mad and the Bad (1972, Jean-Patrick Manchette): 9/7/19-9/14/19
Moves incredibly easily from the carefully manicured and managed world of comfortable living — punctuated by Peter’s violent outburst — to stretches of ultraviolence. Like in Three to Kill, Manchette emphasizes the transformation of the main character into something close to a hardened killer, but it’s complicated here by her past in the asylum, which makes her a less easily readable character (largely) for the better. It seems only fitting that a department store and a labyrinth complete with a room for a giant form the spaces for the grand setpieces of this book: the specter of capitalism and greed looms over this, something which the ending note only throws into stark, gleefully cynical relief.

8. Notes on the Cinematograph (1975, Robert Bresson): 9/15/19
Though the specific qualities that make this such a staggering work are by no means absent from the realm of film writing or criticism, there’s something that feels firmly literary about Bresson’s extensive (yet slim) series of aphorisms. Like in his films, there exists a delicate balance between words, between phrases (and the ideas they suggest), between the arrangement of phrases that gives this its power, continually emphasizing his central filmmaking edicts while suggesting much more. Unnamed films, many composers and thinkers, and the occasional direct command tantalize and set the mind ablaze, all while the central integrity of the book remains steadfast. Amazing because of its stark brevity, not in spite of it.

9. A Signal Victory (1960, David Stacton): 9/16/19-11/14/19
There’s almost an alchemical relationship between Stacton’s prose and his narrative/thematic concerns, relating both deep philosophical ruminations and an intimate but unpredictably shifting approach to the massive civilization-wide change through a quietly despairing lens. The emphasis is above all on Guerrero, who remains a largely stoic figure throughout, but his perspective never feels overtly tethered: it moves lightly to and from his hero, setting out to understand friend and foe alike, seemingly staying close to the historical fact while never shortchanging or discounting the Mayan perspective. Stacton possesses such a deep level of respect and love for the Spanish defector, recognizing all of his newfound conviction as emblematic of something even grander than a lost way of life: the drive to find a home, to find one’s place in the world, and the devastation that comes with that world’s destruction. Each leap in time, each decisive act carries its own strange and beautiful charge.

10. The Mirror Crack’d From Side to Side (1962, Agatha Christie): 11/15/19-11/19/19
It’s been a long while since I’ve read a true whodunit, but I feel like that only accounts for a small part of my strong reaction to the reveal, which is truly masterful and more than a little moving. Granted, there are some slightly niggling elements: the Development, Miss Knight, all of which add a certain atmosphere to St. Mary Mead that in turn butts up against the (much more pleasurable) world of film that this largely engages with. But the procedure’s the thing, and Christie provides it in spades, constantly circling with each repeated question (conveyed not through Miss Marple but through Chief-Inspector Craddock), in a way that ultimately proves to be the key: it’s all about perception and psychology, and it’s conveyed in clear and firm terms, rooted in actions, which prove to be quite pleasing.

A Top 100 Films of All-Time

The original incarnation of this list, which is now updated regularly, can be found here.

A text-only version of this list can be found here.

100. My Neighbor Totoro (1988, Hayao Miyazaki)

99. Night and Fog (1956, Alain Resnais)

98. Cemetery of Splendour (2015, Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

97. Transit (2018, Christian Petzold)

96. The Assassin (2015, Hou Hsiao-hsien)

95. Before Sunset (2004, Richard Linklater)

94. Lost in Translation (2003, Sofia Coppola)

93. A Confucian Confusion (1994, Edward Yang)

92. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000, Ang Lee)

91. Carol (2015, Todd Haynes)

90. Nashville (1975, Robert Altman)

89. The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978, Lau Kar-leung)

88. Mountains May Depart (2015, Jia Zhangke)

87. Stop Making Sense (1984, Jonathan Demme)

86. Cure (1997, Kiyoshi Kurosawa)

85. Taipei Story (1985, Edward Yang)

84. Manhunter (1986, Michael Mann)

83. Persona (1966, Ingmar Bergman)

82. Blade Runner (1982, Ridley Scott)

81. Notorious (1946, Alfred Hitchcock)

80. 2046 (2004, Wong Kar-wai)

79. Neon Genesis Evangelion: Do you love me? (1996, Hideaki Anno)

78. Paris, Texas (1984, Wim Wenders)

77. The Terrorizers (1986, Edward Yang)

76. A New Leaf (1971, Elaine May)

75. Rio Bravo (1959, Howard Hawks)

74. A Star Is Born (1954, George Cukor)

73. Miami Vice (2006, Michael Mann)

72. Out 1: Spectre (1972, Jacques Rivette)

71. Inland Empire (2006, David Lynch)

70. Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975, Chantal Akerman)

69. The End of Evangelion (1997, Hideaki Anno)

68. The Love Eterne (1963, Li Han-hsiang)

67. Asako I & II (2018, Ryusuke Hamaguchi)

66. Like Someone in Love (2012, Abbas Kiarostami)

65. Syndromes and a Century (2006, Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

64. Ashes of Time (1994, Wong Kar-wai)

63. Pierrot le fou (1965, Jean-Luc Godard)

62. Rear Window (1954, Alfred Hitchcock)

61. Days of Being Wild (1990, Wong Kar-wai)

60. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964, Jacques Demy)

59. His Girl Friday (1940, Howard Hawks)

58. (nostalgia) (1971, Hollis Frampton)

57. Close-Up (1990, Abbas Kiarostami)

56. Tokyo Story (1953, Yasujiro Ozu)

55. A City of Sadness (1989, Hou Hsiao-hsien)

54. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001, Steven Spielberg)

53. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928, Carl Theodor Dreyer)

52. M (1931, Fritz Lang)

51. Mahjong (1996, Edward Yang)

50. Mysteries of Lisbon (2010, Raúl Ruiz)

49. India Song (1975, Marguerite Duras)

48. Blue Velvet (1986, David Lynch)

47. High and Low (1963, Akira Kurosawa)

46. Yourself and Yours (2016, Hong Sang-soo)

45. Wavelength (1967, Michael Snow)

44. Trust (1990, Hal Hartley)

43. Sansho the Bailiff (1954, Kenji Mizoguchi)

42. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992, David Lynch)

41. The Awful Truth (1937, Leo McCarey)

40. Napoléon (1927, Abel Gance)

39. Neon Genesis Evangelion: Take care of yourself. (1996, Hideaki Anno)

38. Sunrise (1927, F.W. Murnau)

37. Citizen Kane (1941, Orson Welles)

36. Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory in Lyon (1895, Louis & Auguste Lumière)

35. Gertrud (1964, Carl Theodor Dreyer)

34. The Hole (1998, Tsai Ming-liang)

33. Eraserhead (1977, David Lynch)

32. Heat (1995, Michael Mann)

31. Muriel, or the Time of Return (1963, Alain Resnais)

30. The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933, Fritz Lang)

29. Twin Peaks: The Return (2017, David Lynch)

28. The Mother and the Whore (1973, Jean Eustache)

27. Stray Dogs (2013, Tsai Ming-liang)

26. Duck Amuck (1953, Chuck Jones)

25. Les Vampires (1915, Louis Feuillade)

24. Late Spring (1949, Yasujiro Ozu)

23. Chungking Express (1994, Wong Kar-wai)

22. Dragon Inn (1966, King Hu)

21. Platform (2000, Jia Zhangke)

20. Goodbye, Dragon Inn (2003, Tsai Ming-liang)

19. Last Year at Marienbad (1961, Alain Resnais)

18. La Flor (2018, Mariano Llinás)

17. The Rules of the Game (1939, Jean Renoir)

16. A Brighter Summer Day (1991, Edward Yang)

15. La jetée (1962, Chris Marker)

14. Out 1: Noli me tangere (1971, Jacques Rivette)

13. Only Angels Have Wings (1939, Howard Hawks)

12. Seven Samurai (1954, Akira Kurosawa)

11. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944, Vincente Minnelli)

10. Céline and Julie Go Boating (1974, Jacques Rivette)

9. Vertigo (1958, Alfred Hitchcock)

8. The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967, Jacques Demy)

7. The Night of the Hunter (1954, Charles Laughton)

6. In the Mood for Love (2000, Wong Kar-wai)

5. A Touch of Zen (1971, King Hu)

4. The Magnificent Ambersons (1942, Orson Welles)

3. Sans soleil (1983, Chris Marker)

2. Yi Yi (2000, Edward Yang)

1. Mulholland Dr. (2001, David Lynch)

All-Time Favorites

Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory in Lyon (Lumières)
Fantômas (Feuillade)
Les Vampires (Feuillade)
Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler (Lang)
Napoléon (Gance)
Sunrise (Murnau)
The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer)
M (Lang)
The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (Lang)
The Awful Truth (McCarey)
Only Angels Have Wings (Hawks)
The Rules of the Game (Renoir)
His Girl Friday (Hawks)
Citizen Kane (Welles)
The Magnificent Ambersons (Welles)
Meet Me in St. Louis (Minnelli)
Notorious (Hitchcock)
Fort Apache (Ford)
Late Spring (Ozu)
Duck Amuck (Jones)
Tokyo Story (Ozu)
Rear Window (Hitchcock)
Sansho the Bailiff (Mizoguchi)
Seven Samurai (A. Kurosawa)
A Star Is Born (Cukor)
The Night of the Hunter (Laughton)
Night and Fog (Resnais)
Vertigo (Hitchcock)
The 400 Blows (Truffaut)
Rio Bravo (Hawks)
Breathless (Godard)
Last Year at Marienbad (Resnais)
La jetée (Marker)
The Birds (Hitchcock)
High and Low (A. Kurosawa)
The Love Eterne (Li)
Muriel, or the Time of Return (Resnais)
Gertrud (Dreyer)
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Demy)
Pierrot le fou (Godard)
The Battle of Algiers (Pontecorvo)
Persona (Bergman)
La Collectionneuse (Rohmer)
Dragon Inn (Hu)
Wavelength (Snow)
Weekend (Godard)
The Young Girls of Rochefort (Demy)
Zorns Lemma (Frampton)
The Devils (Russell)
A New Leaf (May)
(nostalgia) (Frampton)
Out 1: Noli me tangere (Rivette)
A Touch of Zen (Hu)
Out 1: Spectre (Rivette)
The Mother and the Whore (Eustache)
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Fassbinder)
Céline and Julie Go Boating (Rivette)
Lancelot du Lac (Bresson)
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Hooper)
Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Akerman)
India Song (Duras)
Moses und Aron (Straub & Huillet)
Nashville (Altman)
Eraserhead (Lynch)
Days of Heaven (Malick)
The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (Lau)
Blade Runner (Scott)
Sans soleil (Marker)
That Day, on the Beach (Yang)
Paris, Texas (Wenders)
Stop Making Sense (Demme)
Taipei Story (Yang)
Blue Velvet (Lynch)
Manhunter (Mann)
The Terrorizers (Yang)
My Neighbor Totoro (Miyazaki)
A City of Sadness (Hou)
Do the Right Thing (S. Lee)
Close-Up (Kiarostami)
Days of Being Wild (Wong)
Trust (Hartley)
A Brighter Summer Day (Yang)
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (Lynch)
Ashes of Time (Wong)
Chungking Express (Wong)
A Confucian Confusion (Yang)
Heat (Mann)
Mahjong (Yang)
Neon Genesis Evangelion: Do you love me? (Anno)
Neon Genesis Evangelion: Take care of yourself. (Anno)
Cure (K. Kurosawa)
The End of Evangelion (Anno)
The Hole (Tsai)
Eyes Wide Shut (Kubrick)
Outer Space (Tscherkassky)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (A. Lee)
In the Mood for Love (Wong)
Platform (Jia)
Yi Yi (Yang)
A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (Spielberg)
Mulholland Dr. (Lynch)
Pulse (K. Kurosawa)
Goodbye, Dragon Inn (Tsai)
Lost in Translation (Coppola)
Before Sunset (Linklater)
2046 (Wong)
Inland Empire (Lynch)
Miami Vice (Mann)
Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong)
Night and Day (Hong)
Certified Copy (Kiarostami)
Meek’s Cutoff (Reichardt)
Mysteries of Lisbon (Ruiz)
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong)
The Day He Arrives (Hong)
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (To)
The Tree of Life (Malick)
Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami)
Passion (De Palma)
Stray Dogs (Tsai)
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2 (To)
Horse Money (Costa)
Phoenix (Petzold)
The Assassin (Hou)
Blackhat (Mann)
Carol (Haynes)
Cemetery of Splendour (Apichatpong)
Mountains May Depart (Jia)
Silence (Scorsese)
Yourself and Yours (Hong)
Twin Peaks: The Return (Lynch)
Asako I & II (Hamaguchi)
La Flor (Llinás)
Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Bi)
Transit (Petzold)
I Heard You Paint Houses (Scorsese)
Martin Eden (Marcello)

Auteurs with multiple entries include: Feuillade, Lang (3), Dreyer, Hawks (3), Welles, Hitchcock (4), Ozu, A. Kurosawa, Resnais (3), Marker, Demy, Godard (3), Hu, Frampton, Rivette (3), Lynch (6), Malick, Yang (7), Mann (4), Hou, Kiarostami (3), Wong (5), Anno (3), K. Kurosawa, Tsai (3), Jia, Apichatpong (3), Hong (3), To, Petzold, Scorsese

Favorite Shots

If I’m being honest this should technically be called “Favorite Frames”; after all, the majority of these are chosen for pictorial value, though certainly all draw much of their power from the way they develop in motion. And while I certainly wouldn’t claim that these are definitely my ten favorite shots, nor the ones that rise to the surface of my brain most frequently, these are among the ones that continually come back to me, often out of thin air. While there are many worthy contenders, these are dearest to me at this moment. The first is first, the rest are unranked.

chungking

Chungking Express (1994, Wong Kar-wai)

night

The Night of the Hunter (1955, Charles Laughton)

north

North by Northwest (1955, Alfred Hitchcock)

pierrot

Pierrot le fou (1965, Jean-Luc Godard)

odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, Stanley Kubrick)

touch

A Touch of Zen (1971, King Hu)

terrorizers

The Terrorizers (1986, Edward Yang)

close-up

Close-Up (1990, Abbas Kiarostami)

mulholland

Mulholland Dr. (2001, David Lynch)

miami

Miami Vice (2006, Michael Mann)

And a few more…

napoleon

Napoléon (1927, Abel Gance)

spione

Spione (1928, Fritz Lang)

ambersons

The Magnificent Ambersons (1942, Orson Welles)

meet

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944, Vincente Minnelli)

breathless

Breathless (1960, Jean-Luc Godard)

rochefort

The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967, Jacques Demy)

ashes

Ashes of Time (1994, Wong Kar-wai)

evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995, Hideaki Anno)

yi yi

Yi Yi (2000, Edward Yang) [the shot that changed my life]