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Carlos Valladares
Carlos Valladares is a senior double-majoring in Film and American Studies. He loves the Beatles and jazz, dogs and dance. Were he stranded on a desert island, he'd be sure to take some food— and also, copies of "A Hard Day's Night," "The Young Girls of Rochefort," "Nashville," "Killer of Sheep," and anything by Studio Ghibli. You can follow his film writings at http://letterboxd.com/cvall96/. He was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles.

Valladares: In a sentimental mood

Today — Saturday, June 9, 2018 — I cried on the basement floor of the Stanford Bookstore. I was there to pick up my cap and gown. At the cash register, a sudden realization flashed through my head: I was standing in the exact same spot where I met my first Stanford friend back in 2013.

Carlos Valladares’ favorite movies

It’s a question I get all the time: “So what are your favorite movies?” Here, finally, is an answer. My idea was that the list could be some neat number, like 100. Turns out that, for me, such a reduction is nigh-impossible. Instead, I’ve opted to go through my film diary and pick out which films have pierced me the most. These are…

Carlos Valladares’ Oscar Picks 2018

Even though the Oscars treats movies like a gambling bracket, I can’t resist the effortless urge to predict which middlebrow white elephant flick will win over the Academy this year, which unexpectedly nominated film should win and which masterpieces weren’t even considered. (And once again, a reiteration that the most magnificent moving-picture work from last…

Marilyn Monroe’s final film screens on campus

John Huston’s quietly devastating 1961 drama “The Misfits,” starring Marilyn Monroe in her final film, plays at McMurtry Building, Rm. 115, on Thursday, Jan. 11 at 5:30 p.m. This is one hell of a bleak film; you don’t want to miss it. The cult over only the indexical sign of Marilyn Monroe (the blonde hair, the sexpot…

Carlos Valladares’ favorite movies of 2017

Another year, another batch of great films. Some are pop gems (“Baby Driver,”) some weren’t as heavily pushed as they should have been (“Dawson City,” “A Quiet Passion”). All of them are absolutely worth your time. My favorite films list is presented in alphabetical order, except #1—which was my absolute favorite. No. 1 is technically a 2016…

Greta Gerwig’s ‘Lady Bird’ is a miracle of people-watching

The richly observed “Lady Bird” by Greta Gerwig is not a filmmaker’s debut. Gerwig has been honing her skills for years through her Noah Baumbach work (“Mistress America,” “Frances Ha”), about spunky twenty-somethings with nowhere to go. Now, she has made a film (her official solo directorial debut) which is stabler and less fancy-free than Baumbach’s screwballs —…

Frances McDormand shines in the flawed ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’

The people I feel closest to in “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri” are the people who don’t talk. The extras. The supernumerary actors, or “supers.” This diverse crew of background players (black, white, Mexican, cameramen, school moms) often don’t have lines or names. But they’re our way into this intriguing film, Martin McDonagh’s sometimes-annoyingly-2017 update on the…

A scan of J-pop

I stood next to the Palo Alto Station, waiting in the sweltering heat for the next Marguerite. A man behind me was conversing rather loudly with a woman: “You know, if you’ve never been to Japan, their music is kind of….” He trailed off. I wanted to turn around. Music from Japan is kind of…

100 films to watch at Stanford

A friend once sent me a picture that said, “Watching one great movie is equivalent to the lessons learned from one entire year of living life.” Movies are the great connector where the spectacle of theater’s human drama merges with the rhythm of dance, crispness of photography and melody of music to create tapestries scrawling…

“Edvard Munch,” Warner Bros at the Stanford

“Edvard Munch” (Peter Watkins, 1974) SFMOMA’s exhibition of Edvard Munch paintings is set to close on Monday, Oct. 9. Check it out — then check out, as a supplement, Peter Watkins’ astonishing 1974 film portrait of the Norwegian proto-Expressionist artist, “Edvard Munch.” This freeform 211 minute saga comes in two parts, both two hours long. It casts amateur Norwegian non-actors in the…

At the Stanford: Michael Curtiz’ ‘The Breaking Point’ is a more brutally honest ‘Casablanca’

You may know Michael Curtiz and Warner Bros. as the minds behind that perennial classic, “Casablanca.” But there’s an even fresher movie — same director, same studio, similar themes and characters — playing tonight at the Stanford Theatre. Do not miss Michael Curtiz’ devastating romance-noir “The Breaking Point,” playing at the Stanford on Sept. 20, at 7:30 p.m.…

Pop thrills: Edgar Wright’s ‘Baby Driver’ is a smart, sexy musical for the age of Spotify

I’m digging the recent resurrection of the film musical for postmodern times. Whit Stillman’s “Damsels in Distress” (2012) ended with a ludicrous dance combo across Stanford-like fountains of a preppy university, where sorority sisters and their thick-skulled Roman frat bros joined forces to spark the latest dance craze. (Do the Sambola!) Damien Chazelle’s “La La…
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