Reading Time: 4 minutes “I would always like to be near craters, drunk with fire, gas, my face burned by the heat…there is the pleasure of approaching the beast, not knowing if it will catch you.” Had Katia (who spoke these words) and Maurice Krafft lived another decade or two past 1991, they would’ve been called adrenaline junkies. It’s […]
Movies have been a lifelong consuming passion, with vivid childhood memories of staying up late for James Bond on TV and standing in line for the original Star Wars movie. I still watch the occasional multiplex blockbuster, but nowadays, my enthusiasm tends towards arthouse fare and thoughtful documentaries. Happiness is an audience Q&A at a film festival.
I strive to look at cinema through a secular humanist lens, with an eye towards social justice, equality, and life without a religious crutch. As a practicing psychiatrist for a quarter-century, I also love to explore psychological themes in movies.
‘Benediction’ offers no ‘good word’ about war
Reading Time: 3 minutes Combat ruins good character. So wrote Jonathan Shay in Achilles in Vietnam. In this psychological classic, he synthesized state of the art PTSD knowledge with a deep dive into Homer’s epics. In Benediction, writer/director Terence Davies reaches the same conclusion with his portrait of Siegfried Sassoon, British poet of the Great War. Davies also reminds […]
Review: The top 12 films by AAPI directors
Reading Time: 9 minutes To celebrate AAPI month, we honor the Asian-American filmmakers who have changed the landscape of cinema. The Curse of Quon Gwon (1917) -dir. Marian E. Wong Only two of an estimated seven or eight reels (approximately 35 minutes) survive of the earliest known Asian American produced feature, and any copies of the screenplay or production […]
“The Green Knight”: The hero with a thousand revisions
Reading Time: 4 minutes Writer/director David Lowery post-modernizes the Arthurian legend, with fabulous results.
“The Card Counter” Continues Paul Schrader’s Exposé of American Moral Poverty
Reading Time: 3 minutes The Card Counter may not be the 9/11 movie we want, but it’s the 9/11 film we deserve. We’d love to think firefighters rushing into the Twin Towers are the best representation of the American spirit, but sorry, an MP from Abu Ghraib and a private military profiteer carrying on with impunity are far more […]
Bo Burnham’s “Inside” nails the pandemic lockdown experience
Reading Time: 4 minutes The standup comic veers from hilarious to dark in this brilliant, claustrophobic capture of a COVID year.
Gripping history and activist wisdom abound in “How to Survive a Plague”
Reading Time: 4 minutes A superb overview of the AIDS crisis awaits perusers of the book and documentary of the same title, both brainchildren of journalist David France.
“Riders of Justice” and “The Dry”: An appealing action/mystery double feature
Reading Time: 3 minutes Two new films – a dark comedy and a conventional whodunit – reflect our efforts to find meaning in the face of violence.
“I Care a Lot” succeeds as a darkly comedic thriller on an unlikely subject
Reading Time: 2 minutes Rosamund Pike and Peter Dinklage are delightful sparring partners over a high-stakes legal guardianship scam.
“Saint Maud”: The Permeable Barrier Between Faith and Madness
Reading Time: 3 minutes The latest horror film from A24 will resonate uncomfortably with those who were once zealous young converts.