- Bend Of The River (Anthony Mann)
- The Far Country (Anthony Mann)
- The Wizard of Lies (Barry Levinson)
- Strangers on a Train (Alfred Hitchcock)
- David and Lisa (Frank Perry)
- The Marrying Kind (George Cukor)
- The Shop Around The Corner (Ernst Lubitsch)
- Record of a Tenant Gentleman (Yasujiro Ozu)
- Julieta (Pedro Almodóvar)
- Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children (Tim Burton)
1- I am a great devotee of the Westerns of John Ford, as every think person should be. Lately I have discovered his runner-up. The Western of Anthony Mann are as morally interesting as the best of Ford. His use of James Stewart is as satisfying and varied as Ford’s use of John Wayne.
2- I remember David and Lisa from my childhood days watching The Million Dollar Movie on WOR in New York. That show would screen the same movie every night for a week, allowing nerds like me practically to memorize films that intrigued me. I haven’t seen this film in over 40 years, but that repeated viewing helped me to remember it well. What I remembered most was my feeling as a kid that this was an ‘adult’ movie. Not a risque movie, but a movie for which you would need an adult sensibility to properly appreciate. I was wondering what passes for ‘adult’ now. I couldn’t think of many examples.
3- I guess that Pedro Almodovar is the greatest genius making films today. Julieta is so emotionally powerful, so cinematically interesting, so engaging. I need to read the Alice Munro stories it is based on to see how he put his own mark on the work
4- Guilty Pleasure: the films of Tim Burton. There is a great sweetness behind the jocular creepiness that really appeals to me. Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children I found delightful. I could have done without the extended CGI battle scene at the end, but I concede that such scenes are de rigeur nowadays.
5- I had always thought of Strangers On A Train as way up there in the Hitchcock pantheon. But this time around, I was aware of how he kind of lost his grip on the whole project towards the end. Don’t get me wrong. It is still amazingly good. Just not The Birds
6- I had heard that Record of a Tenant Gentleman was minor Ozu. Bosh. It is as subtle and affecting as anything in his oeuvre.