Top Ten Movies of 2014 — Number Three

Coherence takes place almost entirely within a single house, and yet it truly resides in an incredibly expansive existence. A group of friends gathers for a dinner party. The scene is filled with the sort of easygoing banter that carries with it a complicated shared history, include a few passing hints of resentments and conflicts previously addressed and bypassed but not quite forgiven. In the midst of all this chatter arises curious, largely unworried conversation about news stories about a comet passing through the night sky. Then the power goes out. From there, James Ward Byrkit’s feature directorial debut spins off … Continue reading Top Ten Movies of 2014 — Number Three

Arzner, Byrkit, Hitchcock, Pakula, Tartakovsky

Shadow of a Doubt (Alfred Hitchcock, 1943). Though he would sometimes demure at the question, this was typically the title Hitchcock offered up as his default answer when asked about his personal favorite among his hefty, dazzling oeuvre. I can’t really back him up on that, even though I can completely understand how this one would loom large for the Master. He’d made great films before this (The Lady Vanishes, Rebecca, and Suspicion among them), but there’s something about this one that feels like the Hitchcock cinematic voice locked in for good. The film follows Charlie Newton (Joseph Cotten), a … Continue reading Arzner, Byrkit, Hitchcock, Pakula, Tartakovsky