2020 Griefbinging

For the first time in a decade of film journalism, I don’t have a year-end best of list. The short explanation is that I didn’t watch enough movies for an informed slate. The longer one is that in September of 2019, my mother- and father-in-law welcomed me into their family. Less than a year later, in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were saying goodbye.

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Russian Guild of Film Critics 100 | 1940-1949 (and honorable mentions)

My entry into professional writing was reviewing the American Film Institute’s “100 Years…100 Movies” list for DigBoston. Now I’m doing the same with the Russian Guild of Film Critics’ equivalent list found here. Rather than review each film, I’ll be recapping each decade.

I’ll also include the burrito I ate while collecting my thoughts. Welcome to BurritoAndAMovie.com.

RGFC films:
Mashenka (Машенька) 1942, dir. Yuli Raizman (YouTube)
Dream (Мечта) 1943, dir. Mikhail Romm (YouTube)
Ivan the Terrible (Иван Грозный) 1944 (Part I) & 1958 (Part II), dir. Sergei Eisenstein (Criterion Channel [subscription required])
Cinderella (Золушка) 1947, dir. Nadezhda Kosheverova, Mikhail Shapiro (YouTube)

Non-RGFC films:
The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks (Необычайные приключения мистера Веста в стране Большевиков) 1924, dir. Lev Kuleshov (Kanopy)
Man with a Movie Camera (Человек с кино-аппаратом) 1935, dir. Dziga Vertov (Kanopy)
By the Bluest of Seas (У самого синего моря) 1936, dir. Boris Barnet (Kanopy)


First burrito of lockdown: steak burrito grande from Tenoch. I started this draft in March but some stuff’s been happening since then, y’know?

Continue reading “Russian Guild of Film Critics 100 | 1940-1949 (and honorable mentions)”

The Burrito Theory of Film

Some of my favorite Boston movie memories are intrinsically tied to the warm comfort of a great burrito. To wash down the weirdness of the Boston Underground Film Festival at Brattle Theatre, pop over to Felipe’s. For endurance food during Independent Film Festival Boston at Somerville Theatre, stop by Tenoch. To revive yourself after the Coolidge Corner Theatre Halloween marathon, there’s no better choice than Anna’s – either of them!

Which is the more remarkable thing: that there are so many great theaters in town, that our burrito spots are consistently top-notch, or that the two always seem to be right next to each other?

Editors aren’t usually interested in what you ate after you watch a movie, but dammit I really want to share that experience too. So here’s the basic idea of the site:

  • I watch a movie
  • I eat a burrito during or after
  • I write about the movie
  • I show and describe the burrito

Movies Are Burritos

There is nothing in a burrito that you can’t find in dozens of other dishes. But wrapping them all up in a single tortilla, forcing them to coexist and work as one unit transforms it into more than the some of its parts. So it is with film: there are wholly distinct modes of art that work exclusively with visual, sound, and story, but creating a film means harnessing all three in a coherent way that makes sense to the viewer. The projector is the tortilla and the screen is the mouth. The audience’s eyes are the mouths, the screen is the tortilla, the projector is the tin foil, the film is the ingredients. Yeah, we’ll go with that.

Anyway, enjoy.