Film

Small Town in a Big City

Architecture
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Small places present the film­mak­er with a dilem­ma: Shooting a film is an act of rev­e­la­tion, of uncov­er­ing secrets, yet the essence of a small place is often its shy­ness, its ambi­gu­i­ty, the fact that it refus­es to reveal itself.

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The Godfather

Film
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From start to fin­ish, The Godfather (1972) is a mas­ter­piece of pac­ing and mood, and an excel­lent exam­ple of how the estab­lished rela­tion­ship between cin­e­ma and archi­tec­ture can be upheld while being used in com­plete­ly fresh and excit­ing ways.

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Taxi Driver

Film
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Martin Scorsese is wide­ly con­sid­ered the most influ­en­tial American film­mak­er of the last thir­ty years, and this is due in large part to his abil­i­ty to cap­ture the hec­tic ener­gy of the city in which he grew up. In many ways, Taxi Driver (1976) is his most effec­tive movie: an unre­lent­ing por­trait of angst, nihilism, and the debil­i­tat­ing effects of urban life on the psy­che.

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How to Train Your Dragon

Film
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As I walked out of the cin­e­ma, some­one asked me why I thought How to Train Your Dragon (2010) is ten times bet­ter than Avatar (which I reviewed here). I said because I don’t feel cheat­ed. Now that I’ve had time to think about it, I can give a bet­ter answer. What the heck, I’ll give ten bet­ter answers.

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The Ghost Writer

Film
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Whatever hap­pened to the Roman Polanski of such mind-blow­ing mas­ter­pieces as Repulsion, Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown?

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Avatar

Film
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Avatar is yet anoth­er movie in the vein of Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi, The Last of the Mohicans and Apocalyto about the “fact” that white peo­ple are tech­nol­o­gy-dri­ven gold­dig­gers and indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties are pure-spir­it­ed naturelovers.

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