2010-06-30

Not another Epic movie... John Woo's Redcliff

Redcliff (John Woo, 2008) Review


This two piece epic by one of the best director of the Asian continent is a wonderful visual achievement. The epic genre, if it can be considered as a genre, has been redefined many times and mostly because of the CGI effects and because of the popularity of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Well, epic movies are costly to the studios and they must bring many $$ to the box office and they must please their crowds. A grand majority of those films have good scripts, that could get positive reviews and broad stories with clear intentions to be appreciated by the regular moviegoer. For example, once again the Lord of the Rings...

Here on the topic of John Woo's Redcliff, the filmmaker hits the spot for a good and efficient epic film. The many characters demonstrate important values, courageous sacrifices, loyalty, etc. The qualities of Redcliff are indeniable. But, it may just the writer of this review here, epic films have become so widely that it kinda fell : not another epic film... And yes that was what your host thaught all along Redcliff!

Moreover, the wire-fu/samurai/asian epic film genre kinda bore me those days, the momentum has passed and even with all the great films it has given us it's like George A. Romero that can't quit doing zombie films. A genre must evolve or stop and pass to something else because except some diehard fans the other cinephiles will let the train pass and wait for the next emerging movie genre...

Redcliff is worth the look especially if the viewer likes grand entertainment and classic stories. It has its many qualities and John Woo still got it but I prefered his Hard Boiled and The Killer way better than this epic film.


A review by Michaël Parent

2010-06-29

A Classic Comedy Happened One Night

TSPDT Greatest Films #194 It Happened One Night (Frank Capra, 1934)


As far as I am concerned, the best comedies ever written are the ones the 1930's offered to us. An excellent example of this is the Academy Award winner of 1934's for Best Director, Best Film, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay; It Happened One Night.

For those who often read this Blog you should have note that his author is a big fan of the films of the 1930's mostly dominated by Ernst Lubitsch's masterpieces. A Frank Capra film has some of the best qualities a Lubitsch film has. For some cinephiles, Capra's crowd success are overrated (It's A Wonderful Life for example). But, your host here thinks it's an excellent filmmaker who mastered many comedic elements and who knew how to please his crowd and in the same time make a film that stands as good as it was back in the days.

The story is quite typical, a young woman wants to marry a man her rich father doesn't like. She escapes her golden cage to catch up her fiancée in New York. While travelling by bus to be incognito, she fells onto a unemployed journalist who recognize her and help her to escape in exchange of her story. Well, the rest has been done a hundred times after and is yours to discover.

A good slapstick comedy that meets the road movie genre and gets better and funnier. It's not all the films who won the Oscar for Best Film that are still watchable and entertaining. This one sticks to its statuette: it's entertaining and very efficient! A true classic!



A Film reviewed by Michaël Parent

2010-06-28

Lumière sur le brouillard... A reflexion on Alain Resnais' Nuit et brouillard

TSPDT Greatest Films #284 Nuit et brouillard (Alain Resnais, 1955)


The 32 minutes documentary on the jew's mass extermination by the troops of the Third Reich, directed by the French master Alain Resnais with the music of George Delerue is one of the most powerful films ever made.

A simplistic narration tells how those camps were organized and how they worked so well on their duty. Some images were shoot in 1955, ten years after the camps were closed we see the desolation of those mass murder barracks. The other images are mostly photographies and German films showing the conditions and the "life" of these microsocieties.

In 1955, Night and Fog shocked and touched its public. It was still hot in the memories of those who survived the war and the camps. Today, in 2010, these images are still touching and still means that the ghosts of totalitarism won't ever disappear.

Back when the film was made the holocaust was all about victimization of the jews and the cruelty and barbarism of the camps. 55 years later our vision must change, yes this was horrible and unforgettable. But, our perception of the holocaust should change, we have to try to understand how a nation could endorse mass murders and immorality like taking a race or a religion and trying to get rid of it by its extermination... It's ok to have compassion for the millions of lifes wasted, but I think one of the major problem of humanity is to always wanting to be right about something. There's never an absolute answer to anything and history is there to remind it to us.

As for religion, it's one of the many deep problems of humanity. I won't get onto that subject but without religious conflicts we would be in a world much more peaceful today...

Well, it's obvious that Night and Fog is a film that within only 32 munites makes us think and get onto more broader subjects than only what it brings. A must see.


A Review by Michaël Parent

2010-06-26

#2 Orson Welles



Cinephiles who voted for Orson Welles:
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Phil Concannon
Ed Howard
Jonathan Nadeau
Michaël Parent

Lists:
The Cinematheque
Digital Dreamdoor
Entertainment Weekly
FilmJournal
MovieMaker
nighthawknews
Sight & Sound 2002 Poll (critics)
Sight & Sound 2002 Poll (directors)
They Shoot Pictures Don't They?
Total Film

#1 Alfred Hitchcock



Cinephiles who voted for Alfred Hitchcock:
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Phil Concannon
Ed Howard
Jonathan Nadeau
Michaël Parent

Lists:
The Cinematheque
Digital Dreamdoor
Entertainment Weekly
FilmJournal
MovieMaker
nighthawknews
Sight & Sound 2002 Poll (critics)
Sight & Sound 2002 Poll (directors)
They Shoot Pictures Don't They?
Total Film

#5 Ingmar Bergman



Cinephiles who voted for Ingmar Bergman:
Phil Concannon
Ed Howard
Jonathan Nadeau
Michaël Parent
Iain Stott

Lists:
The Cinematheque
Digital Dreamdoor
Entertainment Weekly
FilmJournal
MovieMaker
nighthawknews
Sight & Sound 2002 Poll (directors)
They Shoot Pictures Don't They?
Total Film

#6 John Ford



Cinephiles who voted for John Ford:
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Phil Concannon
Ed Howard
Michaël Parent

Lists:
The Cinematheque
Digital Dreamdoor
Entertainment Weekly
FilmJournal
MovieMaker
nighthawknews
Sight & Sound 2002 Poll (critics)
They Shoot Pictures Don't They?
Total Film

#7 Martin Scorsese



Cinephiles who voted for Martin Scorsese:
Phil Concannon
Ed Howard
Jonathan Nadeau
Michaël Parent

Lists:
The Cinematheque
Digital Dreamdoor
Entertainment Weekly
FilmJournal
MovieMaker
nighthawknews
Sight & Sound 2002 Poll (directors)
They Shoot Pictures Don't They?
Total Film

#8 Federico Fellini



Cinephiles who voted for Federico Fellini:
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Phil Concannon
Jonathan Nadeau
Michaël Parent

Lists:
The Cinematheque
Digital Dreamdoor
Entertainment Weekly
MovieMaker
Sight & Sound 2002 Poll (critics)
Sight & Sound 2002 Poll (directors)
They Shoot Pictures Don't They?

#4 Stanley Kubrick



Cinephiles who voted for Stanley Kubrick:
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Phil Concannon
Ed Howard
Jonathan Nadeau
Michaël Parent

Lists:
The Cinematheque
Digital Dreamdoor
Entertainment Weekly
FilmJournal
MovieMaker
nighthawknews
Sight & Sound 2002 Poll (critics)
Sight & Sound 2002 Poll (directors)
They Shoot Pictures Don't They?
Total Film

#25 Carl Theodor Dreyer



Cinephiles who voted for Carl Th. Dreyer:


Lists:
The Cinematheque
Film Journal
They Shoot Pictures Don't They?

#24 Fritz Lang



Cinephiles who voted for Fritz Lang:
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Phil Concannon
Jonathan Nadeau

Lists:
FilmJournal
MovieMaker
They Shoot Pictures Don't They?

#23 David Lean



Cinephiles who voted for David Lean:
Phil Concannon

Lists:
Digital Dreamdoor
nighthawknews
Sight & Sound 2002 Poll (critics)

#22 Robert Bresson



Cinephiles who voted for Robert Bresson:
Michaël Parent


Lists:
The Cinematheque
FilmJournal
They Shoot Pictures Don't They?

#21 Woody Allen



Cinephiles who voted for Woody Allen:
Phil Concannon
Michaël Parent
Iain Stott

Lists:
The Cinematheque
Entertainment Weekly
MovieMaker
nighthawknews
Total Film

#20 David Wark Griffith



Cinephiles who voted for D.W. Griffith:
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Ed Howard
Michaël Parent

Lists:
Digital Dreamdoor
Entertainment Weekly
MovieMaker

#19 F.W. Murnau



Cinephiles who voted for F.W. Murnau:
Ed Howard
Michaël Parent

Lists:
The Cinematheque
FilmJournal
They Shoot Pictures Don't They?

#18 Sergei M. Eisenstein



Cinephiles who voted for Sergei M. Eisenstein:
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Phil Concannon
Michaël Parent

Lists:
The Cinematheque
MovieMaker
Sight & Sound 2002 Poll (critics)

#17 Yasujiro Ozu



Cinephiles who voted for Yasujiro Ozu:
Ed Howard
Iain Stott

Lists:
The Cinematheque
FilmJournal
Sight & Sound 2002 Poll (critics)
They Shoot Pictures Don't They?

#16 Luis Bunuel



Cinephiles who voted for Luis Bunuel:
Ed Howard
Jonathan Nadeau
Michaël Parent
Iain Stott

Lists:
The Cinematheque
Digital Dreamdoor
Entertainment Weekly
FilmJournal
MovieMaker
They Shoot Pictures Don't They?

#15 Charles Chaplin



Cinephiles who voted for Charles Chaplin:
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Phil Concannon
Jonathan Nadeau
Michaël Parent

Lists:
The Cinematheque
Digital Dreamdoor
MovieMaker
nighthawknews
They Shoot Pictures Don't They?

#14 Francis Ford Coppola



Cinephiles who voted for Francis Ford Coppola:
Jonathan Nadeau
Michaël Parent

Lists:
The Cinematheque
Digital Dreamdoor
MovieMaker
nighthawknews
Sight & Sound 2002 Poll (critics)
Sight & Sound 2002 Poll (directors)
Total Film

#12 Billy Wilder


Cinephiles who voted for Billy Wilder:

Michaël Parent
Iain Stott

Lists:
The Cinematheque
Digital Dreamdoor
Entertainment Weekly
MovieMaker
nighthawknews
Sight & Sound 2002 Poll (directors)
They Shoot Pictures Don't They?
Total Film

#12 Steven Spielberg

Cinephiles who voted for Steven Spielberg:
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Phil Concannon
Jonathan Nadeau

Lists:
The Cinematheque
Digital Dreamdoor
Entertainment Weekly
MovieMaker
nighthawknews
Total Film

#11Howard Hawks

Cinephiles who voted for Howard Hawks:
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Phil Concannon
Ed Howard
Michaël Parent

Lists:
The Cinematheque
Entertainment Weekly
FilmJournal
MovieMaker
They Shoot Pictures Don't They?
Total Film

#10 Jean-Luc Godard

Cinephiles who voted for Jean-Luc Godard:
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Ed Howard
Jonathan Nadeau
Michaël Parent

Lists:
The Cinematheque
FilmJournal
MovieMaker
Sight & Sound 2002 Poll (critics)
They Shoot Pictures Don't They?

#3 Akira Kurosawa

Cinephiles who voted for Akira Kurosawa:
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Phil Concannon
Ed Howard
Jonathan Nadeau
Michaël Parent
Iain Stott

Lists:
The Cinematheque
Digital Dreamdoor
Entertainment Weekly
FilmJournal
MovieMaker
nighthawknews
Sight & Sound 2002 Poll (critics)
Sight & Sound 2002 Poll (directors)
They Shoot Pictures Don't They?
Total Film

#9 Jean Renoir

Cinephiles who voted for Jean Renoir:
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Phil Concannon
Ed Howard
Michaël Parent
Iain Stott

Lists:
The Cinematheque
Entertainment Weekly
FilmJournal
MovieMaker
Sight & Sound 2002 Poll (critics)
Sight & Sound 2002 Poll (directors)
They Shoot Pictures Don't They?
Total Film

#25 John Cassavetes



Cinephiles who voted for John Cassavetes:
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Phil Concannon
Iain Stott

Lists:
FilmJournal
MovieMaker

2010-06-25

The 25 most influential directors of All-time: the Results


As promised, here are the results of the six lists submitted and the compilation of many lists established by many references in Cinema.

Without any surprise the top 2 entries are Hitch and Welles, It comes interesting with the third place; Kurosawa, who is the only filmmaker that stands on every list and reference.

There are only two ties, on the twelfth place, Spielberg and Wilder and on the last position, Cassavetes and Dreyer.

This is a nice melting pot of the most recognized directors of all time and it sould be regarded as a good starting list of directors to check up to learn about films.

1. Alfred Hitchcock 361 pts
2. Orson Welles 347 pts
3. Akira Kurosawa 325 pts
4. Stanley Kubrick 278 pts
5. Ingmar Bergman 265 pts
6. John Ford 223 pts
7. Martin Scorsese 214 pts
8. Federico Fellini 194 pts
9. Jean Renoir 189 pts
10. Jean-Luc Godard 188 pts
11. Howard Hawks 149 pts
12. (tie) Steven Spielberg 138 pts
- (tie) Billy Wilder 138 pts
14. Francis Ford Coppola 126 pts
15. Charles Chaplin 119 pts
16. Luis Bunuel 111 pts
17. Yasujiro Ozu 89 pts
18. Sergei Eisenstein 87 pts
19. F.W. Murnau 82 pts
20. David Wark Griffith 75 pts
21. Woody Allen 73 pts
22. Robert Bresson 72 pts
23. David Lean 64 pts
24. Fritz Lang 60 pts
25. (tie) John Cassavetes 58 pts
(tie)Carl Theodor Dreyer 58 pts

Thanks again for your contributions!


The voters were:


Jeffrey M. Anderson
Phil Concannon
Ed Howard
Jonathan Nadeau
Michaël Parent
Iain Stott

The lists:

The Cinematheque
Digital Dreamdoor
Entertainment Weekly
FilmJournal
MovieMaker
nighthawknews
Sight & Sound 2002 Poll (critics)
Sight & Sound 2002 Poll (directors)
They Shoot Pictures Don't They?
Total Film

2010-06-24

Top 25 - Michael Parent


Michaël Parent

Le Mot du Cinephiliaque

http://cinephiliaque.blogspot.com/

1. Alfred Hitchcock
2. Orson Welles
3. John Ford
4. Jean Renoir

5. F.W. Murnau

6. Stanley Kubrick

7. Akira Kurosawa

8. Jean-Luc Godard

9. David Wark Griffith

10. Charles Chaplin

11. Ingmar Bergman

12. Billy Wilder

13. Federico Fellini

14. John Huston

15. Howard Hawks

16. Luis Bunuel

17. Martin Scorsese

18. Francis Ford Coppola
19. Woody Allen
20. Sergei Eisenstein
21. Michelangelo Antonioni
22. Robert Bresson

23. Werner Herzog

24. Terence Malick

25. Andrei Tarkovsky

Top 25 - Ed Howard

Ed Howard

Only the Cinema

http://seul-le-cinema.blogspot.com/


1. Jean-Luc Godard
2. Alfred Hitchcock
3. Howard Hawks
4. Orson Welles
5. Jean Renoir
6. Stan Brakhage
7. Robert Altman
8. Jean Vigo
9. Eric Rohmer
10. Ingmar Bergman
11. Werner Herzog
12. Stanley Kubrick
13. Akira Kurosawa
14. F.W. Murnau
15. Rainer Werner Fassbinder
16. David Lynch
17. Michael Powell
18. Yasujiro Ozu
19. Luis Bunuel
20. Jacques Rivette
21. John Ford
22. Martin Scorsese
23. Douglas Sirk
24. D.W. Griffith
25. Terence Malick

Top 25 - Phil Concannon



Here's my contribution to your "most influential directors" poll. It's a great idea and I can't wait to see how the final list comes out.

Philip Concannon
Phil on Film
www.philonfilm.blogspot.com

1 - Alfred Hitchcock
2 - Akira Kurosawa
3 - Sergei Eisenstein
4 - John Ford
5 - Walt Disney
6 - Stanley Kubrick
7 - Fritz Lang
8 - Preston Sturges
9 - Orson Welles
10 - Ingmar Bergman
11 - Martin Scorsese
12 - David Lean
13 - Steven Spielberg
14 - Andrei Tarkovsky
15 - Howard Hawks
16 - Frank Capra
17 - Woody Allen
18 - Charlie Chaplin
19 - Federico Fellini
20 - Jean Renoir
21 - Robert Altman
22 - John Cassavetes
23 - Leni Riefenstahl
24 - Quentin Tarantino
25 - Hayao Miyazaki

Top 25 - Jeffrey M. Anderson


Jeffrey M. Anderson

Combustible Celluloid

http://www.combustiblecelluloid.com/


1. Orson Welles
2. Alfred Hitchcock
3. John Ford
4. John Cassavetes
5. Ernst Lubitsch
6. Akira Kurosawa
7. D.W. Griffith
8. Sergio Leone
9. Jean Renoir
10. Charlie Chaplin
11. Nicholas Ray
12. Howard Hawks
13. Sergei Eisenstein
14. Stanley Kubrick
15. Sam Peckinpah
16. Jean-Luc Godard
17. Frank Capra
18. Federico Fellini
19. Buster Keaton
20. George Lucas
21. Fritz Lang
22. Quentin Tarantino
23. Steven Spielberg
24. Roger Corman
25. Jerry Lewis

Top 25 - Jonathan Nadeau




Jonathan Nadeau


1. Charles Chaplin
2. Alfred Hitchcock
3. Akira Kurosawa
4. Orson Welles
5. Ingmar Bergman
6. Jean-Luc Godard
7. Steven Spielberg
8. Fritz Lang
9. Stanley Kubrick
10. Martin Scorcese
11. Francis Ford Coppola
12. Federico Felini
13. Sergio Leone
14. Alejandro Jodorowsky
15. George A. Romero
16. Dario Argento
17. David Lynch
18. Roger Corman
19. Luis Bunuel
20. Ridley Scott
21. George Lucas
22. Joel & Ethan Coen
23. Lloyd Kaufman
24. Quentin Tarantino
25. Terry Gilliam

Top 25 - Iain Stott


Iain Stott

The One-Line Review

http://1linereview.blogspot.com/



Without apology, I present a decidedly subjective but nevertheless reverent list of great film-makers whose influence can be seen in the best of today's art house cinema.


1. Ozu Yasujiro
2. Ingmar Bergman
3. Terence Davies
4. Mike Leigh
5. Abbas Kiarostami
6. Billy Wilder
7. Michael Powell
8. Nicolas Roeg
9. Rainer Werner Fassbinder
10. Kurosawa Akira
11. Woody Allen
12. Tarr Béla
13. Robert Altman
14. Krzysztof Kieslowski
15. Eric Rohmer
16. Tsai Ming-liang
17. Luis Buñuel
18. John Cassavetes
19. Terrence Malick
20. Jean Renoir
21. Louis Malle
22. Joseph Losey
23. Lindsay Anderson
24. Alexander Mackendrick
25. Roy Andersson

Working on the lists of the 25 Most Influential Directors of All-Time...

I am currently compiling all your entries!

I'd like to thank everyone who sent a list! It was really appreciated and it's always very interesting to see all of your picks!

Wonder who's in first place? Throwdown your predictions!

Michaël

2010-06-20

Here they are The Beatles!

TSPDT Greatest Films #422 A Hard Day's Night (Richard Lester, 1964) - Retrospective/1001 Movies You Must See

Does this film really needs a presentation? I don't think so, but just for the context let's do it anyway.

The Beatles; the greatest band in the history of music, four of the most prolific musicians of their time. Every member brought something unique to the sound of the band form George to Ringo and passing by John and Paul. Four names, that will always be related with The Beatles. The band lasted only a decade, the 1960's but they redefined the face of it. Their sound from rockabilly to experimental Indian sounds has done so much for the Rock that today thousands and thousands of bands are still inspired by them.

A Hard Day's Night was like a promotionnal video that showed "a day in the life" of The Beatles... Unlike the videos of today that feels forced and only made to sell albums, A Hard Day's Night has that feeling that The Beatles wanted to do Cinema and not just get onto the wave... The plot of the film is pretty simple. It's the gags and the creation around it that makes it more than just a promotionnal movie for an album. We feel a Chaplin vibe watching Ringo getting into trouble and going to jail for loitering. Well, the whole movie feels very cinematic and with the liberation of the 1960's it has a very artistic touch that completely feels right with the music of the Beatles.

For the fans of The Beatles, this is a must see and to any other music lover this is an interesting piece of music history. Finally, for the cinephile this is one of the best film of The Beatles and it's on every list of films to see.

A Review by Michaël Parent

An attempt to see all Hitchcock's films - Part 1


Rich and Strange (Alfred Hitchcock, 1931) - Retrospective

The films of the thrities all have a light and happy feeling to them, especially the films of Ernst Lubitsch. Alfred Hitchcock's Rich and Strange feels like an attempt to make a Lubitsch film with Hitchcock themes.

But, he doesn't have the touch of Lubitsch it feels more like a film Hitchcock had to do to form his particular style and mise en forme. The double theme is exploited here as the two couples that embarks appart on the cruise. The couples are mixed all along the movie.

This is far from a central major work of Alfred Hitchcock but for the man's enthusiasts it's an interesting movie to understand his way through his first masterpieces like The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) and The 39 Steps (1935).

P.S.: Please note that this film is under East of Shanghai on IMdB, Rich and Strange is the original UK title.


A Review by Michaël Parent

2010-06-17

Help Finance the Indie Film Up Country


This is the new project of the young Filmmaker Lucas McNelly. He needs to raise money to produce his next film. So please feel free to donate as much as you can.

The goal is 4000$. Donate here!

Here is McNelly message:

After my last film, BLANC DE BLANC (www.blancdeblancfilm.com) had a short theatrical run in Maine last month, I've found myself in Maine for the summer with a desire to shoot a variant of an idea I've had in my head for awhile now. But finances are low, so we need your help.

The film is a feature-length thriller/drama about a couple of friends who hire a guide to take them on a fishing trip in a remote part of northern Maine--farther north, even, than the towns they don't bother to name. But, when the guide leaves them stranded in a river and takes their gear, they're stuck in the middle of nowhere with no resources and some locals who aren't too happy that these people are in their woods.

We'll be shooting the film this summer on location at my family's fishing camp Nok-a-Buck III, which was built in 1938. There's no electricity and you have to carry water up from the river in 5 gallon buckets. But it's a beautiful, remote area that's perfect for a film like this. We're on a slightly shorter turnaround than I expected because I've just found out that the family is doing much-needed repairs to the camp when I was planning to film. So we need to be out of there by then.

We're raising money to, well, get the cast, crew, and equipment into Maine, and then up in the woods. Basically, we'll be camping as we make the film, which means we may need to rent a generator and lots of batteries, because there's nowhere to plug things in.

As you might imagine, there aren't a lot of places to rent equipment up there.

Oh, and there's a pretty good chance the title of the film is going to change, as I usually find the titles of my films in editing.

So, please consider helping us get this film made way up in the middle of nowhere. All our backers will get updates throughout the entire process, plus the rewards on the right.

Thanks,
Lucas McNelly

2010-06-16

Keep your friends closer - Entourage Season 1


Entourage Season 1 (2004)

The story: The emerging Hollywood young star Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) from New York lives with his brother Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon) an unemployed actor, his best friend/career advisor Eric Murphy (Kevin Connlly) and Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) the guy that takes care of details like driving the car and buying things for the guys.

This quatuor couldn't be complete without Vincent's agent, Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) and the many girls the guys meet.

In the first place, the main idea of the show is to bring four guys next door into the Hollywood parties and business. They discover how fame is easy/sleazy and how it's also difficult to do want you really want to do. This is not a series with big dramatic issues but we quickly fell into the family and it's a fun ride.

HBO doesn't censors its shows and it's something that keeps the integrity of its productions. It's fun to know that Executive producer Mark Walhberg gave meat to the bone of the show by basing the story on his personal career.

The Season 1 of the show has only 8 episodes and sets the many characters into places. The best scenes are when Ari is present. Piven gives performances that may seems overacted but when you became acquainted with him you become to understand what kind of unpredictable character he is.

I'm finishing the Season 2 and I can say that with time the characters tend to become deeper as the story goes. However, they keep their smart mouth and the locker room talk never stops!

2010-06-09

Les films de sa vie...


Les films de ma vie by François Truffaut is a recollection of many film reviews he has written during his years at Les Cahiers du Cinéma and during his career as a "cinéaste" of the "Nouvelle Vague" (French New Wave). Of the many filmmakers the French New Wave put light on, Truffaut is the one I have seen the most of his films. For a long time, he was and still probably is my favorite of this "group" (it was not a group of artists like the surrealists).

When someone watches Jules et Jim or L'amour en fuite one can sense how Truffaut loved his medium. It's the same thing I felt when I read Les films de ma vie, he writes about classic films like Rear Window or Lola Montès with so much passion that I will have to watch these films again because he brought so much new light to their understanding and their qualities that it's like I will see these films for the first time again!

His writings are more than just reviews or criticisms. They are love letters to the seventh Art! At some point in your life someone/a questionary/ a job interview or whatever context it is will ask you: Who in the History of the world would you ressucite to discuss with? I think I will have to answer François Truffaut!

So writing that he is an inspiration for this blogger here won't surprise you I guess...

Just in case you wondered this post is in the Suggested readings of this Blog.

2010-06-08

150th Post on this Blog!


Besides the celebration around the 150th post of this blog I would like to mention the death of an important movie Blog: The Oldest Established Really Important Movie Club. R.I.P.

On the happier side I remind you that there is still time to vote for the 25 Most Influential Directors of all Time!

You just have to copy and paste the items below, fill it, and send it to me at dark_666_throne@hotmail.com with Top25 in the subject.

Your Name:

Your Blog/Website Name:

Your Blog/Website URL:

Your List:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.

*The points will be awarded as Spot number 1 will receive 25 points and spot number 25 will have 1 point.

Last entry will be received June 23rd 23h59 UTC-05(Eastern Standard Time).

Here are some banners you can add to your website or blog to spread the list:






Thanks to everyone who will participate in this poll!

The General

The General (Clyde Bruckman & Buster Keaton, 1927)


In the 1920's there was a big opposition between moviegoers: the Chaplin side against the Keaton side. Chaplin's tramp was more emotionnal and had more sensivity in his adventures. While on his side, Buster Keaton was more of a mime, the same sad face of a "white clown" - Fellini. Chaplin used many emotionnal lever to make us care about his little tramp, many faces and so much misery. Meanwhile, Keaton used with his sad expressions the fact that he was made of "rubber" to make us laugh.

Near a century later, this opposition between those two greats is more like a conjunction. The competition they delivered to each other helped to keep better and better quality in their performances for the public. And someone who likes Chaplin nowadays will surely like Keaton. I think Chaplin was a better storyteller: he understood the world around him better than most of the people of his time. Keaton was more a stuntman than Chaplin was, he could do scenes with a high level of danger and never hurt himself.

The danger is palpable in The General, some scenes are total madness: Buster Keaton is in the front of a steam engine for much of the lenght of the film! I was very young when I understood that a train doesn't stop like a bike...and even just a bike you could seriously hurt yourself when you fall from it! So the steam engine can kill the stuntman! The General is like watching extreme sports for the 1920's! It's crazy, it's dangerous, the adrenaline is in the top and the guy could be seriously hurt and he possibly could die if something goes wrong!

For the modern day moviegoers that discovers The General, they may find some gags cartoonesque. Well, they couldn't be more right! When at Warner Bros. they were doing Bugs Bunny cartoons, they openly declared that they were truly inspired by Buster Keaton's films. The cartoons gave more opportunities to the animators that could emphasized some of the gags and stunts Keaton did in his films. His influence is even palpable in Spongebob Squarepants cartoons!

As you have probably wondered, I'm not gonna write a synopsis or an analysis on The General, I love this movie too much to find its weaknesses and I prefered to let you my personal impressions of it. The General deserves its spot on the Top 5 of the greatest Silent films of all time!


A Retrospective by Michaël Parent

2010-06-07

My journey through the 1000 Greatest Films of TSPDT

This is my journey through the 1000 greatest films of the website They Shoot Pictures Don't They?. This is a compilation of thousands of lists from critics, cinephiles and specialists of Cinema.
The 1000 Greatest films list is updated once a year in December.
Then I have 1000-491 = 509 films to watch!

491. Passion (Jean-Luc Godard, 1983) Pos.565
490. Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich, 1955) Pos.302
489. Madame de (Max Ophüls, 1953) Pos.85
488. Duel (Steven Spielberg, 1971) Pos.876
487. La marquise d’O (Eric Rohmer, 1978) Pos.839
486. Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly, 2001) Pos.717
485. Husbands (John Cassavetes, 1970) Pos.504
484. The Last Picture Show (Peter Bogdanovich, 1971) Pos.270
483. To Be Or Not To Be (Ernst Lubitsch, 1941) Pos.73
482. October (Sergei M. Eisenstein, 1928) Pos.345
481. Crash (David Cronenberg, 1996) Pos.775
480. The Man Who Would Be King (John Huston, 1975) Pos.429
479. The Hustler (Robert Rossen, 1961) Pos.324
478. Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch, 1995) Pos.505
477. Boogie Nights (P.T. Anderson, 1997) Pos.536
476. The American Friend (Wim Wenders, 1977) Pos.908
475. The Navigator (Buster Keaton & Donald Crisp, 1924) Pos.375
474. The Silence (Ingmar Bergman, 1963) Pos.452
473. Apur Sansar (Satyajit Ray, 1959) Pos.180
472. Fort Apache (John Ford, 1948) Pos.920
471. Le signe du lion (Eric Rohmer, 1959) Pos.936
470. La terra trema (Luchino Visconti, 1948) Pos.458
469. Aparajito (Satyajit Ray, 1956) Pos.295
468. They Were Expendable (John Ford, 1945) Pos.451
467. She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (John Ford, 1949) Pos.437
466. L’amour l’après-midi (Eric Rohmer, 1972) Pos.972
465. Le genou de Claire (Eric Rohmer, 1970) Pos.385
464. El Dorado (Howard Hawks, 1966) Pos.841
463. Sherlock Jr. (Buster Keaton, 1924) Pos.115
462. Bend of the River (Anthony Mann, 1952) Pos.912
461. La collectionneuse (Eric Rohmer, 1967) Pos.836
460. The Far Country (Anthony Mann, 1954) Pos.907
459. Éloge de l’amour (Jean-Luc Godard, 2001) Pos.974
458. Dead Ringers (David Cronenberg, 1988) Pos.474
457. My Neighbor Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki, 1988) Pos.419
456. Aliens (James Cameron, 1986) Pos.303
455. King Kong (Meriam C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedasck, 1933) Pos.110
454. High and Low (Akira Kurosawa, 1963) Pos.327
453. Five Easy Pieces (Bob Rafelson, 1970) Pos.344
452. West Side Story (Jerome Robbins & Robert Wise, 1961) Pos.275
451. Le rayon vert (Eric Rohmer, 1986) Pos.679
450. High and Low (Akira Kurosawa, 1963) Pos.327
449. Tout va bien (Jean-Luc Godard & Jean-Pierre Gorin, 1972) Pos.975
448. Five Easy Pieces (Bob Rafelson, 1970) Pos.344
447. West Side Story (Jerome Robbins & Robert Wise, 1961) Pos.275
446. The Best Years of Our Lives (William Wyler, 1946) Pos.141
445. 2 ou 3 choses que je sais d'elle (Jean-Luc Godard, 1966) Pos.252
444. Masculin féminin (Jean-Luc Godard, 1966) Pos.443
443. Listen to Britain (Humphrey Jennings, 1941) Pos.380
442.
Le ballon rouge (Albert Lamorisse, 1956) Pos.432
441.
Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux (Jean-Luc Godard, 1962) Pos.125
440.
Une femme est une femme (Jean-Luc Godard, 1961) Pos.840
439.
Scenes From A Marriage (Ingmar Bergman, 1973)
438.
Laura (Otto Preminger, 1944)
437.
Winter Light (Ingmar Bergman, 1962) Pos.504
436.
The Phantom of Liberty (Luis Bunuel, 1974) Pos.584
435.
Scarlet Street (Fritz Lang, 1945) Pos.940
434.
Viaggio in Italia (Roberto Rossellini, 1954) Pos.86
433.
Dracula (Tod Browning, 1931) Pos.835
432.
Requiem For A Dream (Darren Aronofsky, 2000) Pos.812
431.
Dracula (Tod Browning, 1931) Pos.835
430.
The Thief of Bagdad (Michael Powell, Ludwig Berger, Tim Whelan, 1940) Pos.335
429.
Stromboli (Roberto Rossellini, 1950) Pos.520
428.
I Know Where I'm Going! (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1945) Pos.400
427.
Germany Year Zero (Roberto Rossellini, 1948) Pos.251
426.
Night and Fog (Alain Resnais, 1955) Pos.284
425.
It Happened One Night (Frank Capra, 1934) Pos.194
424.
All the President's Men (Alan J. Pakula, 1976) Pos.496
423.
Zero de Conduite (Jean Vigo, 1933) Pos.247
422.
Make Way For Tomorrow (Leo McCarey, 1937) Pos.286
421.
The Straight Story (David Lynch, 1999) Pos.995
420.
Gandhi (Richard Attenborough, 1982) Pos.671
419.
Cabaret (Bob Fosse, 1972) Pos.281
418.
The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974) Pos.166
417.
A Time to Love and A Time to Die (Douglas Sirk, 1958) Pos.986
416.
Mothlight (Stan Brakhage, 1963) Pos.981
415.
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Stanley Donen, 1954) Pos.954
414.
Il gattopardo (Luchino Visconti, 1963) Pos.65
413.
Network (Sidney Lumet, 1976) Pos.324
412.
Salo: or the 120 Days of Sodom (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1975) Pos.253
411.
The Virgin Spring (Ingmar Bergman, 1960) Pos.707
410.
La Ronde (Max Ophüls, 1950) Pos.636
409.
The Scarlet Empress (Josef von Sternberg, 1934) Pos.299
408.
Fantasia (Ben Sharpsteen, 1940) Pos.264
407.
Aguirre: The Wrath of God (Werner Herzog, 1972) Pos.85
406.
Boudu sauvé des eaux (Jean Renoir, 1932) Pos.634
405.
On The Town (Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly, 1949) Pos.515
404.
Sullivan's Travels (Preston Sturges, 1941) Pos.128
403.
Ma Nuit chez Maude (Eric Rohmer, 1969) Pos.282
402.
Sansho Dayu (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954)
Update jan. 2010.
----------------

395. La Nuit Américaine (François Truffaut, 1973)
394. The Philadelphia Story (George Cukor, 1940)
393. The Shop Around the Corner (Ernst Lubitsch, 1940)
392. Tootsie (Sydney Pollack, 1982)
391. Mon oncle d'Amérique (Alain Resnais, 1980)
390. Z (Costa-Grava, 1969)
389. 12 Angry Men (Sidney Lumet, 1957)
388. Chimes at Midnight (Orson Welles, 1965)
387. Novecento (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1976)
386. Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2002)
385. The Shawshank Redemption (Frank Darabont, 1994)
384. Cidade de Deus (Fernando Meirelles, 2002)
383. Punch-Drunk Love (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2002)
382. American Beauty (Sam Mendes, 1999)
381. Bande à part (Jean-Luc Godard, 1964)
380. Design for Living (Ernst Lubitsch, 1933)
379. Only Angels Have Wings (Howard Hawks, 1939)
378. Scarface (Howard Hawks, 1932)
377. The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks, 1946)
376. Two-Lane Blacktop (Monte Hellmann, 1971)
375. Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks, 1938)
374. Black Sunday (Mario Bava, 1960)
373. Samson And Delilah (Cecil B. Demille, 1949)
372. Trouble In Paradise (Ernst Lubitsch, 1932)
371. Hatari! (Howard Hawks, 1962)
370. Freaks (Tod Browning, 1932)
369. Zemlya (Alesandr Dovzhenko, 1930)
368. The Unknown (Tod Browning, 1927)
367. Man With The Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929)
366. Greed (Erich von Stroheim, 1924)
365. Ivan The Terrible - Part II (Sergei M. Eisenstein, 1946)
364. Ivan The Terrible - Part I (Sergei M. Eisenstein, 1945)
363. How Green Was My Valley (John Ford, 1941)
362. Alphaville (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965)
361. Breakfast at Tiffany's (Blake Edwards, 1961)
360. Braveheart (Mel Gibson, 1995)
359. The Pilgrim (Charles Chaplin, 1923)
358. Lucifer Rising (Kenneth Anger, 1973)
357. Scorpio Rising (Kenneth Anger, 1964)
356. Duck Soup (Leo McCarey, 1933)
355. The Lady from Shanghai (Orson Welles, 1948)
354. The Maltese Falcon (John Huston, 1941)
353. The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles, 1942)
352. Funny Face (Stanley Donen, 1957)
351. Le Million (René Clair, 1931)
350. Le Crime de Monsieur Lange (Jean Renoir, 1936)
349. In a Lonely Place (Nicholas Ray, 1950)
348. Letter From an Unknown Woman (Max Ophüls, 1948)
347. Henry V (Laurence Olivier, 1944)
346. Taste of Cherry (Abbas Kiarostami, 1997)
345. Brief Encounter (David Lean, 1945)
344. The Lady Eve (Preston Sturges, 1941)
343. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1943)
342. Toni (Jean Renoir, 1935)
341. La Jetée (Chris Marker, 1962)
340. French Cancan (Jean Renoir, 1955)
339. I Vitelloni (Federico Fellini, 1953)
338. Nights of Cabiria (Federico Fellini, 1957)
337. The Cranes Are Flying (Mikhail Kalatozov, 1957)
336. The Testament of Dr.Mabuse (Fritz Lang, 1933)
335. The River (Jean Renoir, 1951)
334. Las Hurdes (Luis Bunuel, 1933)
333. Le Voyage Dans la Lune (Georges Méliès, 1902)
332. Unsere Afrikareise (Peter Kubelka, 1966)
331. King-Size Canary (Tex Avery, 1947)
330. Meshes of the Afternoon (Maya Deren, 1943)
329. A Streetcar Named Desire (Elia Kazan, 1954)
328. Being There (Hal Ashby, 1979)
327. The Band Wagon (Vincente Minnelli, 1953)
326. Blood Simple (Joel Coen, 1983)
325. Shane (George Stevens, 1953)
324. Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (Jacques Demy, 1964)
323. East of Eden (Elia Kazan, 1954)
322. Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis, 1993)
321. Hiroshima Mon Amour (Alain Resnais, 1959)
320. Se7en (David Fincher, 1995)
319. Rebel Without A Cause (Nicholas Ray, 1955)
318. Fight Club (David Fincher, 1999)
317. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
316. Short Cuts (Robert Altman, 1993)
315. An American In Paris (Vincente Minnelli, 1951)
314. Gone With The Wind (Victor Fleming, 1939)
313. The Killer (John Woo, 1989)
312. Do The Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989)
311. The Evil Dead (Sam Raimi, 1982)
310. Ninotchka (Ernst Lubitsch, 1939)
309. The Day The Earth Stood Still (Robert Wise, 1951)

- - - - -
Mise à jour de décembre 2008! ! !
- - - - -

289. The Apartment (Billy Wilder, 1960)
288. Pickpocket (Robert Bresson, 1959)
287. Black Narcissus (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1943)
286. Week-end (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967)
285. Playtime (Jacques Tati, 1967)
284. New York, New York (Martin Scorsese, 1978)
283. Anatomy of A Murder (Otto Preminger, 195 )
282. Pierrot Le Fou (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965)
281. Gertrud (Carl Th. Dreyer, 1964)
280. Belle de Jour (Luis Bunuel, 1967)
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