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Zoe Rogan


About Me

Autumn Afternoon was the first Ozu movie I ever saw, and it opened me up to his beautiful and unique filmmaking style. The perfect watch for a cozy fall day.
Your mileage may vary on Lina Wertmüller's work, but I like her bold approach to difficult subjects like classism, sexism, and sexual violence. Swept Away is not my favorite from Wertmüller but its infamy and notoriety is well earned, and it is worth a watch if you're curious.
Although The Creatures has been mostly forgotten in Agnes Varda's catalogue and was considered an artistic failure by Varda herself, it's a fantastic underseen gem and a bizarre, sensual, and humorous portrait of marital conflict.
A very funny black comedy that also works as a satire of British aristocracy. Director Ninian Doff's background as a music video director is apparent, but this is not a bad thing. The scenes set to music are not only visually appealing but also well incorporated into the narrative.
An anarchic and hilariously bleak critique of Britain's punk movement, featuring many of the icons of the movement itself. Toyah Willcox is a standout as a violent and quick tempered woman aptly named Mad, and Adam Ant sings a great song called Plastic Surgery that I wish was available on Apple Music.
A fantastic, tightly plotted noir. Just as sordid as any American noir, but its pulpiness is bolstered by incisive social commentary on class and gender.
This movie starts a bit rough, with the unlikable protagonist of Dave being difficult to connect with, but once Lupita Nyong'o shows up, Little Monsters gets better and better. The dark humor is effective and Diesel La Torraca gives an adorable standout performance as Dave's five year old nephew.
Certainly won't be for everyone, with its incestuous subject matter and histrionic style, but I loved the absolute heights of bizarre and ridiculous melodrama that Phaedra reached, all of which is sold wholeheartedly by its impressive cast.
An extremely enjoyable early entry from the master of suspense himself, Alfred Hitchcock. Features many charming British actors, including the fabulous Margaret Lockwood and Dame May Whitty, and Michael Redgrave is extremely likable as the roguish scamp who teams up with Lockwood to solve the film's central mystery.
One of the best of the best in all of film noir, and film in general. The twists and turns of the story are enough to keep the viewer enthralled, but the amazing ambience created by the set design, cinematography, and score brings this movie to the level of an absolute masterpiece.
This enjoyable courtroom drama is anchored by an extremely impressive lead performance from Dirk Bogarde, a standout in his career which is saying something, considering the caliber of the work he brought to the big screen as one of the very best British actors of his generation.
A great thriller filled with intrigue, sensuality, and disturbing but beautiful imagery.
One of Fassbinder's best works, an incredible melodrama that harkens back to the Golden Age of Hollywood classics he is referencing, such as the work of Douglas Sirk, while still pushing the boundaries and telling a new, vital, and at times shocking story.
An impeccable biopic miniseries from Los Javis. Though the pair is known for their excellent comedic work, Veneno proves they are just as adept with more dramatic material. You'll laugh, you'll cry, but most of all you'll fall in love with La Veneno.
A fantastic deconstruction and examination of the flawed and romanticized concepts of soulmates and 'the love of one's life'. The Worst Person in the World has amazing, well rounded characters that feel like real people, and through this great characterization it is able to comment on the reality of relationships, that no one is 'perfect' for each other, and that commitment takes work.
A delightful adaptation of EM Forster's romantic novel, improving on the source material in a multitude of ways, especially by making several characters more sympathetic. Helena Bonham Carter is extremely charming in her film debut, but this really is an ensemble movie, with many impressive performances and famous faces popping up.
The Man With No Name trilogy isn't a trilogy that is my cup of tea, but The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly does stand out thanks to that iconic score from Ennio Morricone and Eli Wallach's chaotically delightful performance as "the ugly", also known as Tuco. If only Gian Maria Volonté was in all three Man With No Name movies instead of Clint Eastwood.
Extremely enjoyable gender bending comedy! Renate Müller is adorable and charming as the titular Victor (or Victoria), and Anton Walbrook, who later emigrated to Britain and starred in many Powell and Pressburger classics, makes for a debonair romantic lead.
One of those movies I think about all the time. Equal parts gut wrenching and gut busting, this is one of those movies that just sticks with you after you watch it. Alberto Sordi is, in my opinion, at his best when he's balancing drama and comedy in equal measure, instead of only relying on silliness and slapstick, and along with his work with Fellini, Mafioso has to be one of the prime examples of his mastery of the balance of humor with tragedy. This also functions excellently as a send up and critique of macho Sicilian culture, adding yet another level to this remarkable film.
Bong Joon-ho's filmography beyond the Best Picture winning Parasite is teeming with great movies ready to be seen by a wider audience, and Mother is one such film. Intriguing, surprising, and full of twists, this noir-esque story of a mother turned unlikely detective is anchored by a great performance by Kim Hye-ja.
This is a darker take on the story of Pinocchio, though looking back at the original Disney animated movie, it's a pretty dark story to start. Setting the story in fascist Italy allows for some very interesting political commentary, an unexpected but very welcome surprise in a children's fairy tale.
Way too long, and, bizarrely, the story of the fall of the Gucci brand is emphasized more than the cold blooded murder of a real life person, but Lady Gaga is very fun, the only campy part of this surprisingly dour film.
Really fascinating story about social media and influencer culture, one of the first movies to actually capture the new phenomenon of the Instagram celebrity with depth and consideration.
Martin McDonagh is back on form with this black comedy about friendship, aging, and artistic legacy. Channeling Samuel Beckett, The Banshees of Inisherin is absurd like Waiting for Godot, but with effective tragedy emphasized towards the film's end.
One of the best films of the year. Leyla Bouzid is proving to be one of the best filmmakers working right now, with her great debut As I Open My Eyes being followed up by the even better Tale of Love and Desire. Romantic, sensual, and sexy, this deserves to be a new classic of sexual exploration and discovery.
Luis Buñuel's filmography is filled with masterworks, but for my money Belle de Jour is his very best. Containing thoughtful Marxist themes and feminist critique and analysis, along with surreal images and a thrilly and sexy story, this character study encapsulates what made Buñuel so special.
Unsurprisingly, the legendary Jeanne Moreau gives the standout performance in Elevator to the Gallows as the surprisingly sympathetic femme fatale, but everyone and everything is in top form in Louis Malle's impressive feature film debut. Like his French New Wave contemporaries, Malle knew exactly what made American film noir so great, and he impeccably replicates that magic while bringing his own movement's innovations and style.
Ripped my heart out and stomped on it, then gently placed it back in my chest. Truly an astounding work of adaptation, also particularly compelling having just read Lady Chatterley's Lover, an infamous novel that was inspired by the E.M. Forster's manuscript for Maurice, which was unpublished for decades. One of Merchant-Ivory's finest achievements, cementing their status as icons of queer cinema.
Kerry Fox, Christopher Eccleston, and Ewan McGregor (in his first leading role!) all give excellent performances, especially Eccleston, as his mild-mannered accountant descends into violent madness, but the film overall never seems to completely find its footing. Lots of good ideas, but half-baked and shoddily executed.
Wow! An epic and ornate story of Beijing opera and Chinese history during the 20th century. Queer cinema icon Leslie Cheung is fabulous as the tragic hero of the film, and it's devastating and magnetic to watch the rise and fall of Cheung's character, along with his stage brother and unrequited love.
It's interesting to see where Miloš Forman's career went after he left Czechoslovakia for the United States, because his most famous works, like Amadeus and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, have such a different style than his earlier work, being much more bombastic. Personally, I love his earlier threadbare 60s style, and the excruciatingly relatable characters of Black Peter, a film that forcibly transports oneself back to the awkwardness of high school and the accompanying difficulty of entering adulthood.
My favorite Buñuel movie, part of an impeccable run of films he made in the 1960s and 1970s. Diary of a Chambermaid is an excellent adaptation of an equally delightfully subversive and radical novel, bringing Buñuel's own spin to the story, focusing on some of the darker parts of the novel. Jeanne Moreau is radiant as ever, and Michel Piccoli makes for a great bumbling and ridiculous aristocratic lecher.
Peter Lorre gives one of the most iconic performances in all of cinema, in one of the very best films in all of cinema. It's a film that, even if its deeply impressive reputation, still astonishes on each rewatch, getting better and better. It's also especially interesting when looking at Fritz Lang's later career as a pioneer of noir, as M is the ultimate proto-noir.