Battle of Algiers (Day 41)

My Opinion: 8.3 || Harrowing, unique, and deeply insightful. Gets into the marrow of a political and military conflict like no other film I’ve seen. Gripping documentary-style realism and admirable evenhanded in depicting both… Continue reading

King of Devil’s Island (Day 40)

  MY OPINION: 6.1 || A story of resistance to institutionalized cruelty that’s engaging but also very familiar. We’ve seen this storyline before, from Cool Hand Luke to Papillon to every film that’s ever been… Continue reading

Rusty Knife (Day 39)

 My Opinion: 4.2 || And I chose this because? I can’t remember. It kicks off well, but the story becomes increasingly hokey and reliant on cantilevered coincidences. By the last third, it’s very difficult… Continue reading

Le Havre (Day 38)

 My Opinion: 7.1 || A great feel-good movie that achieves a nearly perfect balance of sentiment and intelligence. The characters’ nearly uniform compassion and generosity may too good to be true, but Kaurismäki has… Continue reading

Run Lola Run (Day 37)

 My Opinion: 6.5 || A fun, quick adrenaline-rush of a movie. There’s nothing brilliant about the folding-back-on-itself storyline, but the uninhibited energy and brazen strangeness is delightful. On the downside, though, it’s a little… Continue reading

Footnote (Day 36)

My Opinion: 5.9 || It could have been so much better. There are interesting ideas and a couple great scenes, but the director makes a string of bad decisions that undercut the film’s potential.… Continue reading

The Passion of Joan of Arc (Day 35)

My Opinion: 8.0 || Not perfect, but nevertheless astonishing. The last third is particularly impressive, with a succession of brilliantly crafted images: easily among the best directed sequences I’ve ever seen. Thre are some… Continue reading

Rust and Bone (Day 34)

My Opinion: 6.1 || Several fine pieces, but it doesn’t quite cohere as a story. The director manages texture and mood well, but he grabs too much from the same bag of visual flourishes… Continue reading

Yojimbo (Day 33)

My Opinion: 6.3 || A Japanese “western” directed with all the skill you’d expect from Kurosawa. Toshirô Mifune carries the movie as the samurai Sanjuro, and he needs to because several of the other… Continue reading

Wrong Rosary (Day 32)

My Opinion: 7.5 || Very nice, quiet movie — sweet but not sappy, quiet but not sleepy, gentle but not soft. At every point when it seems we might be heading into familiar dramatic… Continue reading

  • About Me


    I'm an author and consultant in Portland, Oregon. My novel 'Beheld' will be published this June.

  • The Mission

    To watch and write about one new foreign film a day for 100 days. It's a cinematic world tour -- with an emphasis on diversity of language, era, and style.

    In addition to the daily commentaries, I'll post weekly and monthly wrap-ups. And explore cool ways of graphing the films and my responses to them.

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