is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Principal Designer at Adobe, Design Chair at Wildcard and co-founder of Kidpost. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired by Etsy, Inc.), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children. Refer to the advertising and sponsorship page for inquiries.+
Each time I get to see a movie at the theaters I try to make it count. In March, I made a calculated bet by going to see a little-noticed but highly praised indie flick called “Thoroughbreds” from playwright and first-time filmmaker Corey Finley. It tells the tale of two teenage girls in wealthy New England, portrayed with a pitch-perfect mix of angst, insouciance and privilege by Olivia Cooke and Anya Taylor-Joy. Together they contemplate a vicious murder and in doing so ensnare a hapless local loser played, with nuanced care and unintentional sadness, by Anton Yelchin in his very last role. This movie’s inward-gazing air of dread is so effectively realized and its camerawork and pacing are so confidently executed that you wouldn’t know Finley had never been behind the camera before. It’s very, very good and is still playing in some theaters so go see it if you can.
Actually, I did get out to theaters two other times, once for “Game Night,” because there was literally nothing else worthwhile playing and I had a free night. It’s an absurd farce that is maybe as good a definition as any of a low-stakes good time at the movies. I also saw “The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales,” an animated import from France. That was an outing with my kids; we went to see it as part of The New York International Children’s Film Festival, so it feels like it doesn’t really count as a theatrical outing of my choice. However, I won’t deny that it was thoroughly delightful.
I also watched seventeen other movies last month, all on video. Here is the full list:
- “Seven Days in May” From a time when movies weren’t embarrassed to read like airport paperback novels.
- “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women” No better or worse than any other biopic.
- “The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales” Demonstrates that not every kids’ movie has to be birthed from the loins of a 3D rendering application.
- “Get Carter” Unremittingly brutal in a refreshing way.
- “Game Night” No one told the filmmakers this movie wasn’t supposed to be good.
- “Rififi” Copied endlessly but still totally novel.
- “The Florida Project” Very, very good.
- “Young Adult” At first it seems just poorly written. By the end you realize it’s poorly directed, too.
- “I, Tonya” Pretty much as good as a biopic can be.
- “72 Hours: A Brooklyn Love Story?” “American Graffiti” for the new century.
- “The Sting” Still pretty much perfect.
- “Ride the Pink Horse” Serviceable noir.
- “The Lego Movie” Doesn’t seem like that big a deal now.
- “The Death of Stalin” Terrific.
- “Edge of Tomorrow” Pretty sure this is Doug Liman’s masterpiece.
- “Graphic Means: A History of Graphic Design Production” I learned a lot!
- “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” Horrifying reminder that parents are helpless and have only bad choices to make in life.
- “Miss Sloane” Even knock-off Sorkin-ese can be surprisingly entertaining.
- “Smokey and the Bandit” Ridiculously dumb fun.