Author Archives: Max West

Ménilmontant (1926)

SCORE: 4/5 This 38 min avant-garde silent film by French-Russian director Dimitri Kirsanoff displays early modernist techniques far ahead of its time (e.g., superimpositions, dissolves, unexpected juxtapositions). There are no intertitles, the film relying (successfully) on pure visual narration and … Continue reading

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Dream Scenario (2023)

SCORE: 4/5 SPOILERS BELOW — In the style of Charlie Kaufman’s screenplays (e.g., Being John Malkovich (1999), Adaptation (2002), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)), Norwegian writer/director Kristoffer Borgli’s Dream Scenario (his first English-language feature film) is a smart … Continue reading

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The Hired Hand (1971)

SCORE: 4/5 A flop when it was first released, Peter Fonda’s directorial debut The Hired Hand (1971) is now widely considered a minor classic in the then-burgeoning anti-Western subgenre (otherwise known as ‘revisionist Westerns’ , e.g., Little Big Man, McCabe … Continue reading

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The Pentaverate (2022)

SCORE: 1/5 I used to love Mike Myers’ movies: the Austin Powers franchise, So I Married an Axe Murderer, etc. But something happened to him after the critical panning of his last comedic film The Love Guru (2008), which was … Continue reading

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Slow Horses (2022)

When I learned that this new 6-episode spy series on Apple TV – of which the first two episodes have aired — starred Gary Oldman, as well as Jonathan Pryce and Kristin Scott Thomas, I was in. Based on the … Continue reading

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Vanishing Point (1971)

SCORE: 5/5 This movie is a f*cking revelation. A cult fave, I was expecting a more conventional muscle car movie, but this is so much more. Directed by the underrated Richard Sarafian, with stunning cinematography by John Alonzo. A mythopoetic … Continue reading

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Normism: The Philosophy of Norm Macdonald

Normism: The Philosophy of Norm Macdonald, a short book I wrote about a great comedian, is now available on Amazon. *** Norm Macdonald’s philosophy of life, comedy, and death is sketched out thematically from his original material, as well as … Continue reading

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Avanti! (1972)

SCORE: 4.5/5 This vastly underrated comedy directed by Billy Wilder stars Jack Lemmon, Juliet Mills, and the criminally underrated British actor Clive Revill, who is a comic revelation (his comic timing is absolutely perfect) as Italian hotel manager Carlo Carlucci. … Continue reading

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Rifkin’s Festival (2020)

SCORE: 3/5 Woody Allen has had an incredibly prolific output of films – an average of one per year over the past 45 years – and I, as a big fan of his work, have seen them all. With that … Continue reading

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Cleopatra (1963)

SCORE: 4/5 At 4+ hours in length, I’d been putting this one off for years, but I’m glad I finally got around to it, as this sometimes maligned, big budget film — skillfully directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz — is … Continue reading

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