I’m drawn to Clue and In the Mood for Love, two movies that probably couldn’t be more different, because in both, characters use storytelling to investigate their cratered lives.
In my personal canon of films used to scope out how far a new friend is willing to indulge my rotted taste, Adore sits comfortably in the top five.
Grosse Pointe Blank, to me, is the definition of a desert island film: a foundational text, a perennial source of comfort, a go-to reference that lives, in the parlance of today’s youth and the adults who want to be like them, rent-free in one’s brain.
The History of the Seattle Mariners is the first cultural object I’ve encountered that painstakingly constructs a specific, relatable history—that of a single baseball team—only to use that construct to then gesture towards the futility of completion and the locks storytelling puts on our collective subconscious.
I carry Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again with me the way I do band-aids or Excedrin or a spare pen. I know it’s there in case of an emergency.
Almost Famous is not just a story about falling in love with life’s possibilities, nor is it just a story about falling in love with music; at its heart, Almost Famous is a film about falling in love with writing about music. It’s the story of how a boy became a critic.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a great animated film, a great superhero film, a great coming-of-age film, a great family film, a great action film, a great comedy, political without being preachy, innovative while honoring classical conventions, intellectually stimulating while also being wholly accessible—it’s the rare instance of an absolutely perfect film.
Like many of its 1980s sci-fi contemporaries, the threat in Earth Girls Are Easy is humans, specifically those driven by greed and narrow-mindedness. But there’s also a lesson to be learned about our collective perception of the Valley—a place widely regarded as America’s vortex of vapidness.
Stop Making Sense is a beautiful magic trick: show the stage for the hard concrete reality it is, then transform it into an island of motion and movement that’s unreal and exaggerated.