2010-12-31

1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die


Italic= Films seen
Link leads you to the review of the film
* films removed from the book
  1. A Trip to the Moon (1902)
  2. The Great Train Robbery (1903)
  3. The Birth of a Nation (1915)
  4. Les Vampires (1915)
  5. Intolerance (1916)
  6. Broken Blossoms (1919)
  7. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
  8. Way Down East (1920)
  9. Within Our Gates (1920)
  10. The Phantom Carriage (1921)
  11. Orphans of the Storm (1921)
  12. La Souriante Madame Beudet (1922)
  13. Dr. Mabuse Parts 1 and 2 (1922)
  14. Nanook of the North (1922)
  15. Nosferatu (1922)
  16. Haxan (1923)
  17. Foolish Wives (1922)
  18. Our Hospitality (1923)
  19. The Wheel (1923)
  20. The Thief of Bagdad (1924)
  21. Strike (1924)
  22. Greed (1924)
  23. Sherlock, Jr. (1924)
  24. The Last Laugh (1924)
  25. Seven Chances (1925)
  26. The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
  27. Battleship Potemkin (1925)
  28. The Gold Rush (1925)
  29. The Big Parade (1925)
  30. Metropolis (1927)
  31. Sunrise (1927)
  32. The General (1927)
  33. The Unknown (1927)
  34. October (1927)
  35. The Jazz Singer (1927)
  36. Napoleon (1927)
  37. The Kid Brother (1927)
  38. The Crowd (1928)
  39. The Docks of New York (1928)
  40. An Andalusian Dog (1928)
  41. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
  42. Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)
  43. Storm over Asia (1928)
  44. Blackmail (1929)
  45. The Man with the Movie Camera (1929)
  46. Pandora's Box (1929)
  47. The Blue Angel (1930)
  48. L'Age D'Or (1930)
  49. Earth (1930)
  50. Little Caesar (1930)
  51. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
  52. À Nous la Liberté (1931)
  53. Le Million (1931)
  54. Tabu (1931)
  55. Dracula (1931)
  56. Frankenstein (1931)
  57. City Lights (1931)
  58. The Public Enemy (1931)
  59. M (1931)
  60. La Chienne (1931)
  61. Vampyr (1932)
  62. Love Me Tonight (1932)
  63. Boudu Saved from Drowning (1932)
  64. I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)
  65. Trouble in Paradise (1932)
  66. Scarface (1932)
  67. Shanghai Express (1932)
  68. Freaks (1932)
  69. Me and My Gal (1932)
  70. Zero for Conduct (1933)
  71. 42nd Street (1933)
  72. Footlight Parade (1933)
  73. Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)
  74. She Done Him Wrong (1933)
  75. Duck Soup (1933)
  76. Queen Christina (1933)
  77. Las Hurdes (1933)
  78. King Kong (1933)
  79. The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933)
  80. Sons of the Desert (1933)
  81. It's a Gift (1934)
  82. Triumph of the Will (1934)
  83. L'Atalante (1934)
  84. The Black Cat (1934)
  85. Judge Priest (1934)
  86. It Happened One Night (1934)
  87. The Thin Man (1934)
  88. Captain Blood (1935)
  89. Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
  90. A Night at the Opera (1935)
  91. The 39 Steps (1935)
  92. Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
  93. Top Hat (1935)
  94. A Day in the Country (1936)
  95. Modern Times (1936)
  96. Swing Time (1936)
  97. My Man Godfrey (1936)
  98. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)
  99. Camille (1936)
  100. Sabotage (1936)
  101. Dodsworth (1936)
  102. Things to Come (1936)
  103. The Story of a Cheat (1936)
  104. Captains Courageous (1937)
  105. Song At Midnight (1937)
  106. Grand Illusion (1937)
  107. Stella Dallas (1937)
  108. The Life of Emile Zola (1937)
  109. Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)
  110. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
  111. The Awful Truth (1937)
  112. Pepe Le Moko (1937)
  113. Jezebel (1938)
  114. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
  115. Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)
  116. Olympia (1938)
  117. The Baker's Wife (1938)
  118. Bringing Up Baby (1938)
  119. Stagecoach (1939)
  120. The Story of the Late Chrysanthemums (1939)
  121. Babes in Arms (1939)
  122. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
  123. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  124. Destry Rides Again (1939)
  125. Only Angels Have Wings (1939)
  126. Gone With the Wind (1939)
  127. Daybreak (1939)
  128. Gunga Din (1939)
  129. Ninotchka (1939)
  130. The Rules of the Game (1939)
  131. Wuthering Heights (1939)
  132. His Girl Friday (1940)
  133. Rebecca (1940)
  134. Fantasia (1940)
  135. The Philadelphia Story (1940)
  136. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
  137. Dance, Girl, Dance (1940)
  138. Pinocchio (1940)
  139. The Mortal Storm (1940)
  140. The Bank Dick (1940)
  141. Citizen Kane (1941)
  142. The Lady Eve (1941)
  143. The Wolf Man (1941)
  144. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
  145. Sergeant York (1941)
  146. Dumbo (1941)
  147. High Sierra (1941)
  148. Sullivan's Travels (1941)
  149. How Green Was My Valley (1941)
  150. The Palm Beach Story (1942)
  151. Now, Voyager (1942)
  152. Casablanca (1942)
  153. To Be or Not to Be (1942)
  154. Cat People (1942)
  155. The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
  156. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
  157. Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)
  158. Fires Were Started (1943)
  159. The Man in Grey (1943)
  160. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
  161. I Walked with a Zombie (1943)
  162. The Seventh Victim (1943)
  163. The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)
  164. Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
  165. Ossessione (1943)
  166. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
  167. To Have and Have Not (1944)
  168. Laura (1944)
  169. Gaslight (1944)
  170. Henry V (1944)
  171. Ivan the Terrible (1944) Parts 1 and 2
  172. Double Indemnity (1944)
  173. Murder, My Sweet (1944)
  174. The Battle of San Pietro (1945)
  175. Spellbound (1945)
  176. Mildred Pierce (1945)
  177. Children of Paradise (1945)
  178. Open City (1945)
  179. The Lost Weekend (1945)
  180. Detour (1945)
  181. I Know Where I'm Going! (1945)
  182. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
  183. Brief Encounter (1946)
  184. Paisan (1946)
  185. The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)
  186. My Darling Clementine (1946)
  187. The Stranger (1946)
  188. Beauty and the Beast (1946)
  189. The Big Sleep (1946)
  190. The Killers (1946)
  191. A Matter of Life and Death (1946)
  192. Great Expectations (1946)
  193. Notorious (1946)
  194. Black Narcissus (1946)
  195. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
  196. Gilda (1946)
  197. Monsieur Verdoux (1947)
  198. Out of the Past (1947)
  199. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)
  200. Odd Man Out (1947)
  201. The Bicycle Thief (1948)
  202. Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948)
  203. Secret Beyond the Door (1948)
  204. Force of Evil (1948)
  205. Spring in a Small Town (1948)
  206. Red River (1948)
  207. Rope (1948)
  208. The Snake Pit (1948)
  209. The Lady from Shanghai (1948)
  210. Paleface (1948)
  211. The Red Shoes (1948)
  212. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
  213. Louisiana Story (1948)
  214. The Heiress (1949)
  215. Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
  216. Gun Crazy (1949)
  217. Adam's Rib (1949)
  218. Whiskey Galore! (1949)
  219. White Heat (1949)
  220. The Reckless Moment (1949)
  221. The Third Man (1949)
  222. On the Town (1949)
  223. Orpheus (1949)
  224. The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
  225. Rashomon (1950)
  226. Winchester '73 (1950)
  227. Rio Grande (1950)
  228. All About Eve (1950)
  229. Sunset Blvd. (1950)
  230. Los Olvidados (1950)
  231. In a Lonely Place (1950)
  232. The Big Carnival (1951)
  233. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
  234. Strangers on a Train (1951)
  235. The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)
  236. Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951)
  237. The African Queen (1951)
  238. Diary of a Country Priest (1951)
  239. An American in Paris (1951)
  240. A Place in the Sun (1951)
  241. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
  242. The Quiet Man (1952)
  243. Forbidden Games (1952)
  244. Angel Face (1952)
  245. Singin' in the Rain (1952)
  246. Ikiru (1952)
  247. Europa '51 (1952)
  248. The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)
  249. The Big Sky (1952)
  250. High Noon (1952)
  251. Umberto D (1952)
  252. The Golden Coach (1952)
  253. The Bigamist (1953)
  254. The Band Wagon (1953)
  255. Madame De… (1953)
  256. From Here to Eternity (1953)
  257. Tokyo Story (1953)
  258. Roman Holiday (1953)
  259. Wages of Fear (1953)
  260. The Naked Spur (1953)
  261. Pickup on South Street (1953)
  262. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
  263. The Big Heat (1953)
  264. M. Hulot's Holiday (1953)
  265. Voyage in Italy (1953)
  266. Ugetsu (1953)
  267. Shane (1953)
  268. Beat the Devil (1953)
  269. Johnny Guitar (1954)
  270. On the Waterfront (1954)
  271. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)
  272. Les Diaboliques (1954)
  273. Animal Farm (1954)
  274. Rear Window (1954)
  275. A Star Is Born (1954)
  276. The Barefoot Contessa (1954)
  277. La Strada (1954)
  278. Seven Samurai (1954)
  279. Senso (1954)
  280. Silver Lode (1954)
  281. Carmen Jones (1954)
  282. Sansho the Bailiff (1954)
  283. Salt of the Earth (1954)
  284. Artists and Models (1955)
  285. Guys and Dolls (1955)
  286. Pather Panchali (1955)
  287. Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)
  288. The Mad Masters (1955)
  289. Hill 24 Doesn't Answer (1955)
  290. The Ladykillers (1955)
  291. Marty (1955)
  292. Ordet (1955)
  293. Bob Le Flambeur (1955)
  294. Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
  295. The Man from Laramie (1955)
  296. Rebel without a Cause (1955)
  297. The Phenix City Story (1955)
  298. Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)
  299. Night and Fog (1955)
  300. The Night of the Hunter (1955)
  301. Lola Montes (1955)
  302. Forbidden Planet (1956)
  303. The Burmese Harp (1956)
  304. The Searchers (1956)
  305. A Man Escaped (1956)
  306. Written on the Wind (1956)
  307. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
  308. Giant (1956)
  309. All That Heaven Allows (1956)
  310. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
  311. The Wrong Man (1956)
  312. Bigger Than Life (1956)
  313. High Society (1956)
  314. The Ten Commandments (1956)
  315. 12 Angry Men (1957)
  316. The Seventh Seal (1957)
  317. An Affair to Remember (1957)
  318. Wild Strawberries (1957)
  319. The Nights of Cabiria (1957)
  320. Throne of Blood (1957)
  321. The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)
  322. Aparajito (1957)
  323. Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)
  324. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
  325. Mother India (1957)
  326. The Cranes Are Flying (1957)
  327. Paths of Glory (1957)
  328. Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
  329. Man of the West (1958)
  330. Touch of Evil (1958)
  331. Cairo Station (1958)
  332. Gigi (1958)
  333. The Defiant Ones (1958)
  334. Vertigo (1958)
  335. Ashes and Diamonds (1958)
  336. Horror of Dracula (1958)
  337. Mon Oncle (1958)
  338. The Music Room (1958)
  339. The 400 Blows (1959)
  340. North by Northwest (1959)
  341. Some Like It Hot (1959)
  342. Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
  343. Eyes without a Face (1959)
  344. Ride Lonesome (1959)
  345. Black Orpheus (1959)
  346. Shadows (1959)
  347. The World of Apu (1959)
  348. Breathless (1959)
  349. Ben-Hur (1959)
  350. Pickpocket (1959)
  351. Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)
  352. Rio Bravo (1959)
  353. The Hole (1959)
  354. Floating Weeds (1959)
  355. Rocco and His Brothers (1960)
  356. La Dolce Vita (1960)
  357. Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960)
  358. Shoot the Piano Player (1960)
  359. L'Avventura (1960)
  360. La Joven (1960)
  361. The Cloud-Capped Star (1960)
  362. The Housemaid (1960)
  363. Psycho (1960)
  364. Black Sunday (1960)
  365. Peeping Tom (1960)
  366. The Apartment (1960)
  367. Spartacus (1960)
  368. Splendor in the Grass (1961)
  369. Last Year at Marienbad (1961)
  370. La Jetee (1961)
  371. One-Eyed Jacks (1961)
  372. Lola (1961)
  373. Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
  374. La Notte (1961)
  375. Jules and Jim (1961)
  376. Viridiana (1961)
  377. The Ladies Man (1961)
  378. Through a Glass Darkly (1961)
  379. Chronicle of a Summer (1961)
  380. The Hustler (1961)
  381. West Side Story (1961)
  382. Mondo Cane (1962)
  383. Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962)
  384. Dog Star Man (1962)
  385. An Autumn Afternoon (1962)
  386. L'Eclisse (1962)
  387. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
  388. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
  389. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
  390. Lolita (1962)
  391. Keeper of Promises (1962)
  392. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
  393. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
  394. My Life to Live (1962)
  395. Heaven and Earth Magic (1962)
  396. The Birds (1963)
  397. The Nutty Professor (1963)
  398. Blonde Cobra (1963)
  399. The Cool World (1963)
  400. 8 1/2 (1963)
  401. Passenger (1963)
  402. Contempt (1963)
  403. Hud (1963)
  404. Winter Light (1963)
  405. Flaming Creatures (1963)
  406. The Great Escape (1963)
  407. Shock Corridor (1963)
  408. The Leopard (1963)
  409. Barren Lives (1963)
  410. Mediteranee (1963)
  411. The House is Black (1963)
  412. The Haunting (1963)
  413. An Actor's Revenge (1963)
  414. The Servant (1963)
  415. Goldfinger (1964)
  416. Scorpio Rising (1964)
  417. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)
  418. Marnie (1964)
  419. My Fair Lady (1964)
  420. Woman in the Dunes (1964)
  421. Dr. Strangelove (1964)
  422. A Hard Day's Night (1964)
  423. The Red Desert (1964)
  424. Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1964)
  425. The Masque of the Red Death (1964)
  426. Before the Revolution (1964)
  427. Gertrud (1964)
  428. The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964)
  429. Black God, White Devil (1964)
  430. The Demon (1964)
  431. Vinyl (1965)
  432. The Shop on Main Street (1965)
  433. Doctor Zhivago (1965)
  434. The War Game (1965)
  435. Tokyo Olympiad (1965)
  436. The Battle of Algiers (1965)
  437. The Sound of Music (1965)
  438. The Sargossa Manuscript (1965)
  439. Alphaville (1965)
  440. Chimes at Midnight (1965)
  441. Repulsion (1965)
  442. Juliet of the Spirits (1965)
  443. Pierrot Le Fou (1965)
  444. Faster, Pussy Cat! Kill! Kill! (1965)
  445. Golden River (1965)
  446. The Man Who Had His Hair Cut Short (1965)
  447. Hold Me While I'm Naked (1966)
  448. Blow-Up (1966)
  449. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
  450. Daisies (1966)
  451. Come Drink with Me (1966)
  452. Seconds (1966)
  453. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
  454. Persona (1966)
  455. Masculin-Feminin (1966)
  456. Au Hazard Balthazar (1966)
  457. In the Heat of the Night (1967)
  458. Two or Three Things I Know About Her (1967)
  459. The Graduate (1967)
  460. Playtime (1967)
  461. Report (1967)
  462. Hombre (1967)
  463. Belle de Jour (1967)
  464. The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967)
  465. Week End (1967)
  466. The Godson (1967)
  467. Cool Hand Luke (1967)
  468. Point Blank (1967)
  469. Wavelength (1967)
  470. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
  471. The Red and the White (1967)
  472. Marketta Lazarova (1967)
  473. The Jungle Book (1967)
  474. The Fireman's Ball (1967)
  475. Earth Entranced (1967)
  476. Closely Watched Trains (1967)
  477. Vij (1967)
  478. The Cow (1968)
  479. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
  480. Planet of the Apes (1968)
  481. Faces (1968)
  482. Rosemary's Baby (1968)
  483. If... (1968)
  484. Memories of Underdevelopment (1968)
  485. The Producers (1968)
  486. David Holzman's Diary (1968)
  487. Shame (1968)
  488. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  489. Hour of the Wolf (1968)
  490. Targets (1968)
  491. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
  492. My Night at Maud's (1969)
  493. Lucia (1969)
  494. A Touch of Zen (1969)
  495. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
  496. Midnight Cowboy (1969)
  497. Satyricon (1969)
  498. Z (1969)
  499. The Conformist (1969)
  500. Easy Rider (1969)
  501. High School (1969)
  502. In the Year of the Pig (1969)
  503. The Wild Bunch (1969)
  504. Andrei Rublev (1969)
  505. Le Boucher (1969)
  506. The Color of Pomegranates (1969)
  507. Kes (1969)
  508. Tristana (1970)
  509. Five Easy Pieces (1970)
  510. El Topo (1970)
  511. Woodstock (1970)
  512. Deep End (1970)
  513. The Spider's Stratagem (1970)
  514. Little Big Man (1970)
  515. The Ear (1970)
  516. Patton (1970)
  517. M*A*S*H (1970)
  518. Performance (1970)
  519. Gimme Shelter (1970)
  520. Zabriskie Point (1970)
  521. The Bird with The Crystal Plumage (1970)
  522. The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970)
  523. Wanda (1971)
  524. W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism (1971)
  525. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
  526. The Sorrow and the Pity (1971)
  527. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
  528. McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971)
  529. Walkabout (1971)
  530. Klute (1971)
  531. Harold and Maude (1971)
  532. Red Psalm (1971)
  533. Get Carter (1971)
  534. The French Connection (1971)
  535. Shaft (1971)
  536. Dirty Harry (1971)
  537. Murmur of the Heart (1971)
  538. Sweet Sweetback's Baadassss Song (1971)
  539. The Last Picture Show (1971)
  540. Straw Dogs (1971)
  541. Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
  542. The Heartbreak Kid (1972)
  543. Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)
  544. Cabaret (1972)
  545. Last Tango in Paris (1972)
  546. High Plains Drifter (1972)
  547. Sleuth (1972)
  548. Deliverance (1972)
  549. Solaris (1972)
  550. The Godfather (1972)
  551. Cries and Whispers (1972)
  552. Fat City (1972)
  553. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)
  554. The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (1972)
  555. Frenzy (1972)
  556. Pink Flamingos (1972)
  557. Superfly (1972)
  558. The Sting (1973)
  559. The Mother and the Whore (1973)
  560. Badlands (1973)
  561. American Graffiti (1973)
  562. Papillon (1973)
  563. Enter the Dragon (1973)
  564. Mean Streets (1973)
  565. The Long Goodbye (1973)
  566. The Wicker Man (1973)
  567. Day for Night (1973)
  568. Don't Look Now (1973)
  569. Sleeper (1973)
  570. Serpico (1973)
  571. The Exorcist (1973)
  572. Turkish Delight (1973)
  573. The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)
  574. Fantastic Planet (1973)
  575. Amarcord (1973)
  576. The Harder They Come (1973)
  577. Pat Garret and Billy the Kid (1973)
  578. Dersu Uzala (1974)
  579. The Conversation (1974)
  580. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
  581. Mirror (1974)
  582. A Woman under the Influence (1974)
  583. Young Frankenstein (1974)
  584. Chinatown (1974)
  585. Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974)
  586. Blazing Saddles (1974)
  587. The Godfather Part II (1974)
  588. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974)
  589. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)
  590. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
  591. One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
  592. Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai Du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975)
  593. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
  594. The Wall (1975)
  595. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
  596. Barry Lyndon (1975)
  597. Fox and His Friends (1975)
  598. India Song (1975)
  599. Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
  600. Manila in the Claws of Brightness (1975)
  601. Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)
  602. Nashville (1975)
  603. Cria! (1975)
  604. The Traveling Players (1975)
  605. Jaws (1975)
  606. The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)
  607. Carrie (1976)
  608. The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
  609. All the President's Men (1976)
  610. Rocky (1976)
  611. Taxi Driver (1976)
  612. Network (1976)
  613. Ascent (1976)
  614. In the Realm of the Senses (1976)
  615. 1900 (1976)
  616. The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)
  617. Star Wars (1977)
  618. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
  619. The Last Wave (1977)
  620. Annie Hall (1977)
  621. Last Chants for a Slow Dance (1977)
  622. Storszek (1977)
  623. Man of Marble (1977)
  624. Saturday Night Fever (1977)
  625. Killer of Sheep (1977)
  626. Eraserhead (1977)
  627. Ceddo (1977)
  628. The American Friend (1977)
  629. The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
  630. Soldier of Orange (1977)
  631. Suspiria (1977)
  632. The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978)
  633. Five Deadly Venoms (1978)
  634. The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978)
  635. The Deer Hunter (1978)
  636. Grease (1978)
  637. Days of Heaven (1978)
  638. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
  639. Shaolin Master Killer (1978)
  640. Up in Smoke (1978)
  641. Halloween (1978)
  642. The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979)
  643. Real Life (1979)
  644. My Brilliant Career (1979)
  645. Stalker (1979)
  646. Alien (1979)
  647. Breaking Away (1979)
  648. The Tin Drum (1979)
  649. All That Jazz (1979)
  650. Being There (1979)
  651. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
  652. Life of Brian (1979)
  653. Apocalypse Now (1979)
  654. The Jerk (1979)
  655. The Muppet Movie (1979)
  656. Manhattan (1979)
  657. Mad Max (1979)
  658. Nosferatu The Vampyre (1979)
  659. Ordinary People (1980)
  660. Atlantic City (1980)
  661. The Last Metro (1980)
  662. The Shining (1980)
  663. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  664. The Elephant Man (1980)
  665. The Big Red One (1980)
  666. Loulou (1980)
  667. Airplane! (1980)
  668. Raging Bull (1980)
  669. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  670. Das Boot (1981)
  671. Gallipoli (1981)
  672. Chariots of Fire (1981)
  673. Body Heat (1981)
  674. Reds (1981)
  675. An American Werewolf in London (1981)
  676. Three Brothers (1981)
  677. Man of Iron (1981)
  678. Too Early, Too Late (1981)
  679. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1981)
  680. E.T. The Extra-Terestrial (1982)
  681. The Thing (1982)
  682. Poltergeist (1982)
  683. Blade Runner (1982)
  684. The Evil Dead (1982)
  685. Tootsie (1982)
  686. Yol (1982)
  687. Diner (1982)
  688. Fitzcarraldo (1982)
  689. Gandhi (1982)
  690. The Night of the Shooting Stars (1982)
  691. A Question of Silence (1982)
  692. Fanny and Alexander (1982)*
  693. A Christmas Story (1983)
  694. El Norte (1983)
  695. Videodrome (1983)
  696. Return of the Jedi (1983)
  697. The Big Chill (1983)
  698. Sans Soleil (1983)
  699. The Last Battle (1983)
  700. L'Argent (1983)
  701. Utu (1983)
  702. Terms of Endearment (1983)
  703. The Fourth Man (1983)
  704. The King of Comedy (1983)
  705. The Right Stuff (1983)
  706. Koyaanisqatsi (1983)
  707. Once Upon a Time in America (1983)
  708. Scarface (1983)
  709. The Battle of Narayama (1983)
  710. Amadeus (1984)
  711. The Terminator (1984)
  712. Paris, Texas (1984)
  713. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
  714. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
  715. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
  716. Ghostbusters (1984)
  717. A Passage to India (1984)
  718. Stranger Than Paradise (1984)
  719. The Killing Fields (1984)
  720. The Natural (1984)
  721. The Breakfast Club (1985)
  722. Ran (1985)
  723. Come and See (1985)
  724. The Official Story (1985)
  725. Out of Africa (1985)
  726. The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
  727. Back to the Future (1985)
  728. The Time to Live and the Time to Die (1985)
  729. Brazil (1985)
  730. Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)
  731. The Quiet Earth (1985)
  732. Mishima (1985)
  733. Prizzi's Honor (1985)
  734. Vagabond (1985)
  735. Shoah (1985)
  736. The Color Purple (1985)
  737. Manhunter (1986)
  738. Stand By Me (1986)
  739. Blue Velvet (1986)
  740. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
  741. She's Gotta Have It (1986)
  742. The Decline of the American Empire (1986)
  743. The Fly (1986)
  744. Aliens (1986)
  745. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
  746. Down by Law (1986)
  747. A Room with a View (1986)
  748. Children Of A Lesser God (1986)
  749. Platoon (1986)
  750. Caravaggio (1986)
  751. Tampopo (1986)
  752. Peking Opera Blues (1986)
  753. Salvador (1986)
  754. Top Gun (1986)
  755. Sherman's March (1986)
  756. The Horse Thief (1986)
  757. Yeelen (1987)
  758. Wings of Desire (1987)
  759. Project A, Part II (1987)
  760. Babette's Feast (1987)
  761. Raising Arizona (1987)
  762. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
  763. Withnail and I (1987)
  764. Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
  765. Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987)
  766. Broadcast News (1987)
  767. Housekeeping (1987)
  768. The Princess Bride (1987)
  769. Moonstruck (1987)
  770. The Untouchables (1987)
  771. Red Sorghum (1987)
  772. The Dead (1987)
  773. Fatal Attraction (1987)
  774. A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)
  775. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988)
  776. The Vanishing (1988)
  777. Bull Durham (1988)
  778. Ariel (1988)
  779. The Thin Blue Line (1988)
  780. Akira (1988)
  781. Cinema Paradiso (1988)
  782. Hotel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie (1988)
  783. A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
  784. The Naked Gun (1988)
  785. Big (1988)
  786. Dangerous Liaisons (1988)
  787. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
  788. Landscape in the Mist (1988)
  789. The Decalogue (1988)
  790. Die Hard (1988)
  791. A Tale of the Wind (1988)
  792. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
  793. Rain Man (1988)
  794. The Story of Women (1988)
  795. The Accidental Tourist (1988)*
  796. Alice (1988)
  797. Drowning by Numbers (1988)
  798. Batman (1989)
  799. When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
  800. Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
  801. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1989)
  802. Drugstore Cowboy (1989)
  803. My Left Foot (1989)
  804. The Killer (1989)
  805. Do the Right Thing (1989)
  806. Roger & Me (1989)
  807. Glory (1989)
  808. The Asthenic Syndrome (1989)
  809. Sex, Lies & Videotape (1989)
  810. Say Anything... (1989)
  811. The Unbelievable Truth (1989)
  812. A City of Sadness (1989)
  813. No Fear, No Die (1990)
  814. Reversal of Fortune (1990)
  815. Goodfellas (1990)
  816. Jacob's Ladder (1990)
  817. King of New York (1990)
  818. Dances with Wolves (1990)
  819. Europa Europa (1990)
  820. Pretty Woman (1990)
  821. Archangel (1990)
  822. Trust (1990)
  823. Close-Up (1990)
  824. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
  825. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1990)
  826. Total Recall (1990)
  827. Once Upon a Time in China (1991)
  828. Boyz 'n the Hood (1991)
  829. Raise the Red Lantern (1991)
  830. Delicatessen (1991)
  831. A Brighter Summer Day (1991)
  832. Naked Lunch (1991)
  833. La Belle Noiseuse (1991)
  834. The Rapture (1991)
  835. My Own Private Idaho (1991)
  836. Thelma & Louise (1991)
  837. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
  838. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  839. JFK (1991)
  840. Slacker (1991)
  841. Tongues Untied (1991)
  842. Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991)
  843. The Double Life of Veronique (1991)
  844. Strictly Ballroom (1992)
  845. The Player (1992)
  846. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
  847. Romper Stomper (1992)
  848. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
  849. Unforgiven (1992)
  850. Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)*
  851. Candy Man (1992)*
  852. A Tale of Winter (1992)
  853. Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer (1992)
  854. The Crying Game (1992)
  855. Man Bites Dog (1992)
  856. The Actress (1992)
  857. Farewell My Concubine (1993)
  858. Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993)
  859. Groundhog Day (1993)
  860. Short Cuts (1993)
  861. Philadelphia (1993)
  862. Jurassic Park (1993)
  863. The Age of Innocence (1993)*
  864. The Puppetmaster (1993)
  865. Schindler's List (1993)
  866. Blue (1993)
  867. The Piano (1993)
  868. The Blue Kite (1993)
  869. The Wedding Banquet (1993)
  870. Red (1994)
  871. Hoop Dreams (1994)
  872. Forrest Gump (1994)
  873. Clerks (1994)
  874. Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
  875. The Lion King (1994)
  876. Satantango (1994)
  877. Natural Born Killers (1994)
  878. The Last Seduction (1994)
  879. Pulp Fiction (1994)
  880. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
  881. The Wild Reeds (1994)
  882. Chungking Express (1994)
  883. Crumb (1994)
  884. Heavenly Creatures (1994)
  885. Through the Olive Trees (1994)
  886. Riget (1994)
  887. Dear Diary (1994)
  888. Muriel's Wedding (1994)
  889. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)
  890. Casino (1995)
  891. Deseret (1995)
  892. Babe (1995)
  893. Toy Story (1995)
  894. Strange Days (1995)*
  895. Braveheart (1995)
  896. Safe (1995)
  897. Clueless (1995)
  898. Heat (1995)
  899. Zero Kelvin (1995)
  900. Seven (1995)
  901. Smoke (1995)
  902. The White Balloon (1995)
  903. Xixch Lo (1995)
  904. Underground (1995)
  905. The Brave Heart Will Take the Bride (1995)
  906. Dead Man (1995)
  907. The Usual Suspects (1995)
  908. The Pillow Book (1996)*
  909. Three Lives and Only One Death (1996)
  910. Fargo (1996)
  911. Independence Day (1996)
  912. Secrets and Lies (1996)
  913. Breaking the Waves (1996)
  914. The English Patient (1996)
  915. Gabbeh (1996)
  916. Lone Star (1996)
  917. Trainspotting (1996)
  918. Scream (1996)
  919. Shine (1996)
  920. Deconstructing Harry (1997)*
  921. L.A. Confidential (1997)
  922. Happy Together (1997)
  923. Princess Mononoke (1997)
  924. Fast, Cheap and Out of Control (1997)
  925. The Butcher Boy (1997)
  926. The Ice Storm (1997)
  927. Boogie Nights (1997)
  928. Kundun (1997)
  929. The Sweet Hereafter (1997)
  930. Funny Games (1997)
  931. Taste of Cherry (1997)
  932. Open Your Eyes (1997)
  933. Mother and Son (1997)*
  934. Titanic (1997)
  935. Tetsuo (1998)*
  936. The Celebration (1998)
  937. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
  938. Buffalo 66 (1998)
  939. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)*
  940. Run Lola Run (1998)
  941. Rushmore (1998)
  942. Pi (1998)
  943. Happiness (1998)
  944. The Thin Red Line (1998)
  945. The Idiots (1998)*
  946. Sombre (1998)*
  947. Ringu (1998)
  948. There's Something About Mary (1998)
  949. The Big Lebowski (1998)*
  950. Magnolia (1999)
  951. Beau Travail (1999)
  952. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
  953. Taboo (1999)*
  954. Rosetta (1999)*
  955. All About My Mother (1999)
  956. Three Kings (1999)
  957. The Wind Will Carry Us (1999)*
  958. The Audition (1999)
  959. Time Regained (1999)*
  960. Fight Club (1999)
  961. Being John Malkovich (1999)
  962. American Beauty (1999)
  963. Attack the Gas Station (1999)*
  964. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)*
  965. The Sixth Sense (1999)
  966. The Matrix (1999)
  967. Nine Queens (2000)*
  968. The Captive (2000)*
  969. In the Mood for Love (2000)
  970. Ali Zaoua, Prince of the Streets (2000)*
  971. Gladiator (2000)
  972. Kippur (2000)
  973. Yi Yi (2000)
  974. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
  975. Amores Perros (2000)
  976. Meet the Parents (2000)*
  977. Signs & Wonders (2000)*
  978. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
  979. Traffic (2000)
  980. The Gleaners and I (2000)
  981. Memento (2000)
  982. Dancer in the Dark (2000)
  983. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)*
  984. Amélie (2001)*
  985. What Time Is It There? (2001)*
  986. Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001)*
  987. Kandahar (2001)
  988. Spirited Away (2001)
  989. The Piano Teacher (2001)*
  990. The Son's Room (2001)*
  991. No Man's Land (2001)
  992. Moulin Rouge (2001)
  993. Monsoon Wedding (2001)*
  994. Fat Girl (2001)*
  995. Mulholland Drive (2001)*
  996. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)*
  997. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
  998. Lantana (2001)*
  999. A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001)*
  1000. Gangs of New York (2002)*
  1001. The Pianist (2002)
  1002. Talk to Her (2002)
  1003. City of God (2002)
  1004. Russian Ark (2002)*
  1005. Far From Heaven (2002)*
  1006. Adaptation. (2002)*
  1007. Chicago (2002)*
  1008. Hero (2002)*
  1009. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
  1010. Uzak (2002)
  1011. Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)*
  1012. Irreversible (2002)
  1013. Bus 174 (2002)*
  1014. The Barbarian Invasions (2003)*
  1015. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
  1016. Oldboy (2003)
  1017. Good Bye Lenin! (2003)
  1018. The Lord of the Rings: The Return Of The King (2003)
  1019. The Best of Youth (2003)
  1020. Lost In Translation (2003)*
  1021. Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
  1022. The Passion Of The Christ (2004)*
  1023. Collateral (2004)*
  1024. The Aviator (2004)*
  1025. Million Dollar Baby (2004)*
  1026. Head-On (2004)
  1027. 3-Iron (2004)*
  1028. Crash (2004)*
  1029. Downfall (2004)
  1030. Sideways (2004)*
  1031. A Very Long Engagement (2004)
  1032. Go, See, and Become (2005)*
  1033. Paradise Now (2005)
  1034. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
  1035. Tsotsi (2005)
  1036. Caché (2005)
  1037. The Constant Gardner (2005)*
  1038. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
  1039. Apocalypto (2006)*
  1040. The Departed (2006)
  1041. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
  1042. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)
  1043. The Lives of Others (2006)
  1044. Once (2006)
  1045. The Queen (2006)*
  1046. The Host (2006)*
  1047. The Prestige (2006)*
  1048. Children of Men (2006)*
  1049. United 93 (2006)*
  1050. The Last King Of Scotland (2006)*
  1051. Babel (2006)*
  1052. Volver (2006)*
  1053. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)
  1054. La Vie En Rose (2007)
  1055. No Country For Old Men (2007)
  1056. Into the Wild (2007)*
  1057. There Will Be Blood (2007)
  1058. Atonement (2007)*
  1059. Surfwise (2007)*
  1060. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)*
  1061. Paranormal Activity (2007)
  1062. Wall-E (2008)*
  1063. The Good, the Bad, the Weird (2008)
  1064. The Dark Knight (2008)
  1065. The Wrestler (2008)
  1066. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)*
  1067. Gomorra (2008)
  1068. The Class (2008)*
  1069. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
  1070. Anvil! The Story of Anvil (2008)
  1071. Let The Right One In (2009)
  1072. The Hurt Locker (2009)
  1073. An Education (2009)
  1074. The Hangover (2009)
  1075. Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire (2009)
  1076. Avatar (2009)
  1077. Fish Tank (2009)
  1078. The White Ribbon (2009)
  1079. Inglourious Basterds (2009)

2010-12-30

Rohmer vs Breillat or (LA MARQUISE D'O vs UNE VIEILLE MAITRESSE)

Die marquise von O (Eric Rohmer, 1976) ****1/2 (Excellent)


Une vieille maitresse (Catherine Breillat, 2007) *** (Good)

This opposition between those two costume dramas is a circumstance only justifiable by the screening of those two in the same period of time for me. As you will read with this review, I deeply appreciated one more than the other. In both case, we are far from masterpieces of the genre like Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon or Luchino Visconti's Il gattopardo.

Une vieille maitresse
is the most recent of the two films and is from a well known director mostly recognize for her films depicting non-simulated explicit sex scenes. Well, besides the sex and provocation, Catherine Breillat has made interesting films as well. Her film discussed here has its scenes of sex that are set in the sequence of events of the film.They make this costume drama unlike any other made before.

The so-called sex scenes in Breillat's film gets us close to the characters that most often than not are far from us with the time and the sentiments. But the scenes of a costume drama without the costumes is a drama and sex is sex. Still, the motivations of the characters are passionate and we have to immerge ourselves into the time period to understand why the husband must marry a wealthier woman and deny his love for his mistress. This is a smptuous film that cannot bear to the ankle of Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette for example, even if Breillat film is more explicit on the delured side. Coppola's take on costume drama is sugar-sweet and progressive.

On the other side, Rohmer's Marquise of O is a somptuous film based on redemption, secrets, and true love. It feels more like a costume drama almost entirely shot in studios and brilliantly acted especially by the marvellous Bruno Ganz. The story feels like it was written and shot at the time the story is set. We have a feeling of being in this era and to fully understand the motivations of the characters. The photography is natural and realistic almost only natural light and terra cota colors. Some purist of Rohmer's work could say that this is his most unRohmerian film but I would say that it's one of his most interesting: many different techniques and and one of his few films tobe set in another time than the present. I like when directors impose to themselves obstacles and challenges. Like Hitchcock did with Lifeboat or Rope for example. Here, Rohmer even shot in German.

As for costume dramas or historical films, I'm kind of a little bored by the whole process and I think directors like Sofia Coppola and Catherine Breillat were great choices to try to bring something completely different to the screens. Well, as it succeded in Coppola's case I think that Breillat's effort needed more punch or a better plot to keep us awake between the soft-core sequences of Asia Argento's belle-laide body. As for Rohmer, the winner of this confrontation, we see a master holding the wheel with a sure hand and a brilliant cast. On every level, Marquise d'O offers what I call a film that represents what filmmaking should be; a strong story, well shoot, with sincere emotions that gives a grand spectacle.

2010-12-27

Bad Lieutenant Port of Call New Orleans

Bad Lieutenant Port of Call New Orleans (Werner Herzog, 2009)


In the 1970's and 1980's Werner Herzog filmmaking was simply kamikaze especially the films he shoot with his long time friend/enemy Klaus Kinski. He never attained the virtuosity and inspiration of this period. Meanwhile, his films still have this raw filmmaking energy that only Herzog can bring into a film. Without a doubt he his a real author, and he gave the opportunity to the overrated Nic Cage to give one of his best performance ever.

Being a remake of Abel Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant (a film I haven't seen yet), Herzog's film is set in a different location and in another time. I won't make comparisons or parallels between the two films because: first, I haven't seen the oiginal material and second, it would be boring to do so.

Herzog always had this realistic approach to cinematography and he even shoot scenes in a very naturalistic animal documentary style. The opening sequence with the snake in the water is somptuous and intriguiying, because the viewer asks himself how low the film will go? A lot like Herzog's Nosferatu with the opening with the skulls that makes a grim atmosphere. The snake in the water represents how the Lieutenant will go "bad", how evil will touch him and make an unerasable mark on him. Later in the film there are other sequences with animals/reptiles. The two iguanas and the two crocodiles. They signify how this world of excess will disintegrate society. Each insert of them is shot in a very unique way and it makes a weird pause in the telling of the story. It seems like if we were the only ones to see them like it if was an hallucination of the main character.

Another important topic and main issue of the film is the drug sellings that leads to the murderers and the drug abuses by the Lieutenant himself. The paths are crossed and the milieux of Police and Drug are so closed that we feel that these worlds are parallel to each other. This is a denounciation of how Drugs destroy the better and the worse of humans. The Lieutenant that will execute his mission, the football player, the prostitute, etc. It touches every character of the movie and it makes a statement that it represents everything that's wrong in this country. The conclusion of the film is beyond cinema itself, there are no happy endings in drug addiction and even success can't erase it completely.

Herzog's latest offering is a great achievement, while throwing a very conventionnal police plot it advances a real antihero that even with his worst he can get to his goal. Just for the cinematography the film is worth the look. Herzog didn't offers an effort as strong as his Aguirre or his Fitzcarraldo but he offers an honest and well directed film.

2010-12-24

Top films of Charles Chaplin by LMdC


As a Christmas offering to you all, and to me too, I choosed to post the Top movies of one of my favorite filmmaker of all-time: Charles Chaplin. I listed his feature films and omitted many of the shorts he directed, well some can throw tomatoes at me but I think it makes the list thinner and better.
Feel free to click on the titles with the links, they lead you to my reviews of the films.

1. Modern Times (1936)
2. The Great Dictator (1940)
3. The Gold Rush (1925)
4. Limelight (1952)
5. City Lights (1931)
6. The Kid (1921)
7. Shoulder Arms (1918)

8. Circus (1928)
9. Monsieur Verdoux (1947)

10. A King in New York (1957)
11. A Woman of Paris (1923)


* I still haven't seen A Countess From Hong Kong (1967) and I don't think it would change the top positions here.

2010-12-19

The Navigator (1924)

The Navigator (Buster Keaton & Donald Crisp, 1924)


Wildly enteraining and very funny, Buster Keaton's The Navigator has its place in the Silent masterpieces with his The General and Sherlock Jr. A simple story with efficient gags makes The Navigator the major influence on modern day cartoons. Take every Tex Avery, Chuck Jones like-alike animated feature and compare it to any Keaton picture and you'll have a copy paste. Seriously, the Looney Tunes were so openly influenced by him that they should gave him a paycheck.

Simple minded only son of a rich family, Rollo (Keaton) decides to marry his girlfriend. Slight change of plans, she rejects him but he decides to go on his wedding trip anyway. He boards on the wrong ship and by a chance he is alone on the deriving ship with the girl who rejected him at the first place. There begins many gags and jokes on board.

In a Keaton picture, the story is a pretext to stunts and jokes. In The Navigator there are fewer stunts and more jokes. Compared to a Chaplin film where the story is the main part of the film. I won't compare them again please read my precedent reviews of their films to fully understand my propos on that topic. The Navigator is a masterpiece of the Silent era.

2010-12-17

La femme de l'aviateur (1981)

La femme de l'aviateur (Eric Rohmer, 1981)

A minimalist film from Eric Rohmer, La femme de l'aviateur, tells the story of François (Philippe Marlaud) and Anne (Marie Rivière) a couple that has very common problems. He works by night, she works all day, Anne wants to live alone and is very independant. She also recently ended an affair with an aviator. François is insecure and he wants to have a normal relationship with Anne.

This simple but beautiful film by Rohmer sums Mies Van Der Rohe most infamous line: Less is more! With so few scenes the film has something particular about it. It's simple and beautiful as life itself.

But beware it's a very talky film and the few scenes are only rythmed by the long dialogues. Eric Rohmer's films depicts intellectuals with common lives. His movies are for initiates and Woody Allen fans can have some interest in his films too. I would be surprised to see one day one of his films on the Top 250 of IMDb. But his fans are dedicated to his films. I must say that I am becoming one.

The Silence (1963)

TSPDT Greatest Films #452 The Silence (Ingmar Bergman, 1963)



Bergman's films always had simple stories presenting complex and intense emotions. The Silence is no exception here. Two sisters, Ester (Ingrid Thulin) and Anna (Gunnel Lindblom) travel with Anna's son. Ester is terribly ill and must pass most of her time in bed. She is an intellectual and writes a lot. Anna is still young and pretty and she easily makes contact with other human beings, getting a lover as soon as she arrives in the city. On the other side Ester would like to meet someone but she can't even leave her room. Meanwhile, Johan (Anna's son) discovers life in the corridors of the hotel meeting a troop of midgets for example.
The story, as stated before, may seem very simple but the emotions between the two sisters is so intense that sometimes we feel that this relationship always crosses the line of love and hate.

Sven Nykvist cinematography is once again impeccable with lots of crude lights and perfect camera positionning in every scene. The actress are, like every Bergman picture, tight and they inhabit their characters.

The Silence is simply another masterpiece in Ingmar Bergman long list of landmarks.

2010-12-15

The Steel Helmet (1951)

The Steel Helmet (Samuel Fuller, 1951)


Set during the Korean War, The Steel Helmet was written, directed, and produced by Sam Fuller. Shot entirely in studio it tells the story of a soldier, Sergeant Zack, who lost his entire batallion. He meets a young Korean boy who will help him find a small group of American soldiers. They took refuge in a Buddhist temple but got caught in a "guet-à-pents".

This is epic Sam Fuller filmmaking, the story doesn't depicts a great battle or a turnover in War. It presents simple soldiers doing the best they can with the only resources they can count on: their will to continue. This film shows great respect to the soldiers that give everything they had in Wars. The ending is particular because it says that this is not an end for these soldiers. Despite some cheesy emotional moments with the young boy this is a very manish picture that doesn't pretend to be more than it is: a true American gem. Well, there is nothing epic in the common sense of the word or genre but in the directing way it's an epic film.

Students in filmmaking school should watch all of Fuller's films (especially the 1950's) to understand what storytelling is all about. Even if it's not Sam Fuller's best picture it shows lots of reality and true heart, a very modest film that was way ahead of its time for its form and its substance.

2010-12-13

Apur Sansar (1959)

Apur Sansar (Satyajit Ray, 1959)

The last chapter of the trilogy of Apu by Satyajit Ray concludes this autobiographical story of its director with mastery. Apu just lost his mother and is out of school without a "real" diploma. He decides to become a writer and he teaches to pupils as a living. He hardly gets want he needs to survive. His life is miserable and it doesn't seem to get better. One day his best friend come visit and invite him on a wedding in his family. Apu accepts but on the arrival of the groom the family of the discovers that the groom is mentally ill. They decide to cancel this wedding, but the bride must get married before the sunset. If not, she will be cursed. The only solution is to take Apu as her husband. With a little resistance and lots of compassion, Apu accepts again and marries Aparna.

For a while, they live something like a happily life together until Aparna gets pregnant. She returns to her family to have the baby but a dramatic event occurs and Kajal, their son is the result. Once again, Apu gets on his own and disappears. His journey will take messianic scale. However, in conclusion he'll renew with his son Kajal and the journey of the life of Apu will continue forever.

Like the other films of the trilogy, Apur Sansar is shot with crude natural images and rests on the human Indian life. Ray approach to film is near the documentary because it documents how Indians lived and many cultural elements that are unknown by any Occidentals like your host here. The rites of marriage, the couple lives, the food making, etc. Satyajit Ray was the John Ford of his country he took a picture of his land, his time, and the richness of both to spread wide to the whole world. It's shame that his films are so hard to find in North America because his Trilogy is populated by three masterpieces.

2010-12-11

The Shootist (1976)

The Shootist (Don Siegel, 1976)

John Wayne in one of his most nostalgic Westerns impersonating a dying shootist of reknown. This is a very sentimental plot that not only give hommage to John Wayne's career but also to the classic Westerns of American Cinema. Few people know that Wayne was a hater of the revisionnist Westerns and that the films of Sergio Leone, Sam Peckinpah and Fred Zinnemann's High Noon was some of the movies he disliked the most. Those movies were too much left-oriented politically for his conservative values.

In The Shootist everything is thought to make the audience cry. With an all-star cast of Lauren Bacall, James Stewart, Ron Howard, John Carradine, Scatman Crothers and John Wayne it's if Hollywood was saying goodbye to one of his landmarks.

J.B. Books (Wayne) goes to his doctor (Jimmy Stewart) for a back pain and gets a diagnostic of an advanced and painful cancer. He decides to stay at the widow Bond Rogers (Bacall) for his last days. Her impressionable son Gillom (Howard) is a fan of Books adventures. they will have a father and son relationship that will change Gillom's life and help him become a real man. On his way to his final days, Books is gonna touch the lives of the many people of the little town of Carson City.

The Shootist
was John Wayne's final film of a career of 173 films and one Oscar. As a final "tour de piste" or a farewell to arms, John Wayne was directed by an interesting filmmaker; Don Siegel. The director of Dirty Harry a role he refused when it was offered to him.Siegel's "mise en scène" counter balance for the conservative, cheesy, nostalgic propos of the plot. Many inventive camera angles and lots of somptuous tracking shots rythmed the story of The Shootist. I personnally think that Siegel saved the film from being a total waste. Even though if the audience is there to celebrate Wayne's career it still has something more than just plain sentimentality. I also tend to think that Siegel is one of the most underrated and underapreciated directors of his time: Escape From Alcatraz, The Shootist, Dirty Harry are true American classics that still entertain and challenge the viewer.

Pather Panchali (1955)

Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray, 1955)

When I discovered Pather Panchali it was the first Satyajit Ray film I've ever seen, and it was also the first Indian film I watched. I knew it was the first part of the Apu Trilogy and that it was considered as a true masterpiece. But I didn't knew that it was gonna be one of the most recognized "foreign" film. 
Its narration is very subtle and lets lots of space to the actors to actually live on the screen. I know there was a novel on which the trilogy is based but I also read somewhere that it is almost Satyajit Ray's autobiography.

Pather Panchali is the story of an Indian peasant family living with the grand mother, a son Apu and his sister. It depicts how Indians lived in the begininng of the 20th century. The discovery of modernity illustrated by the train and the fragility of life represented by the daughter's death.

The most important aspect of this filmmaking is how Satyajit Ray wants his film to be naturalistic and realistic. It possesses a documentary-like narration of objective camera and almost a non-existent plot. It depicts life itself and what is Cinema if it's not about life? Ray's films are hard to get and sometimes as Occidentals we are a little confused about what's going on the screen but for a glutton and curious cinephile like me Pather Panchali leads you in something completely different and very interesting.

2010-12-09

Fort Apache (1948)

TSPDT Greatest Films #920 Fort Apache (John Ford, 1948)


The first chapter of John Ford's heroic trilogy on the American cavalry, Fort Apache represents everything about a classic Fordian offering. With his two favorite lead players; guy next door Henry Fonda and the ultimate American father; John Wayne. It's very interesting to see a film where Henry Fonda portrays the antagonist. Once Upon A Time In the West is probably his most famous performance as a bad guy. In a Ford picture, supporting roles are very important, here you have Shirley Temple as Colonel Thursday's daughter Philadelphia, and many Ford regulars like Pedro Armendariz, Ward Bond, and John Agar to name a few. These roles played by regular Ford players are important because they all have a very distinctive mission in the community that cavalry reprensents. The community and the strenght of the people together is the central theme of John Ford's entire oeuvre. The cavalry itself represents this concept and its success relates on the bond, the gentleness of the entire group and the order of this fellowship.

The new Colonel Owen Thursday (Henry Fonda) is sent to Fort Apache to reinstore peace with the tribes living on the reserva near the border of Mexico. He is dreading this assignment and on his way there he says to his daughter that the War in Europa was more interesting. This stubborn character is fueled by a thirst of military honour. His arrival marks the interruption of a dancing night (recurring Fordian mise-en-scène sign of civilized community) illustring his inability to have human relationships and to represent, the strict but, comprehensive leading "father" figure this group diserves. His hate towards this assignment leads him to demand "strictness of military procedure that the men have never found necessary" (Robert Kolker, A Cinema of Loneliness).

The second dance of the film is a long musical sequence that serves the narrative of the film in many ways. First, it holds our breath on the return of Captain York from his encounter with the Indian chief. But also, the evolution of the dance represents the symbol of unity and how the cavalry community should hold together and move on the same rythm and music with synchronized footsteps and tight order.

The characters in Fort Apache all have Irish names, Ford was a proud Irish man and he widely populated his films with Irish people. We found many other recurring aspects Ford's films in Fort Apache, the humouristic supporting cast parts, whiskey drinkers, splendid Monument Valley shots, heroic music, and the sad but realistic racism towards Indians. Realistic because it was the perception Ford had about Indians and sadly many Americans had too. Later in his career John Ford will correct this situation with another Western that tries to replace these errors: Cheyenne Autumn.

In John Ford's filmography, Fort Apache represents one of the many great films he directed. Like Robert Kolker wrote in his book A Cinema of Loneliness; Fort Apache was one of the films that inspired the form of Stanley Kubrick's Paths of Glory. I recommend both films even if their conclusions differ from one another: Ford vision of life was that humans must live in community to reach for a perfect society and everyone must participate. On the other hand, Kubrick's vision is way more nihilistic and he concludes with the inevitable impotency of Colonel Dax in his request in front of the Generals and the heaviness of these buffons. Kubrick's film is more based on antimilitarism in a time of the Cold War. His film tries to denonciate the State, the Army, and how it litteraly uses young men has cannon flesh (chair à canons).

2010-12-07

Le signe du lion (1959)

TSPDT Greatest Films #936 Le signe du lion (Eric Rohmer, 1959)

Eric Rohmer's first feature film is not his most interesting effort but still worth the look. Pierre, an American musician living in Paris on the hand of his wealthier friends receives a telegram telling him that he inherited from a rich aunt. A while after, he receives another invoice telling him that finally he doesn't inherit anymore. Having already spent all of his money celebrating the good news he doesn't have a cent when he hears the bad one. Meanwhile, his rich friends are all out of Paris on vacation, so he crashes on the street begging and living like a poor.

His poverty is represented with him wandering in the streets with a violon that gets more and more annoying as long as the films goes. The violon tune reminds of a Chaplinesque violon used to illustrate poverty and hunger. Despite, reminding some Antionionesque loneliness, Le signe du lion seems long and unmastered. The actors could have been directed with more disciplin and the film doesn't have this French New Wave energy and freshness one could hope to discover with a French film of 1959, i.e. À bout de souffle, Les 400 coups. I would recommend Eric Rohmer's Six Moral Tales before going for Le signe du lion even if it's a film to see to fully understand Eric Rohmer's "parcours".

2010-12-06

The Naked Kiss (1964)

The Naked Kiss (Samuel Fuller, 1964)


Directed by Samuel Fuller, The Naked Kiss is an amazing film for its time and its modernity. The themes treated are serious and mature. They surprised me like some elements of the plot of Anatomy of a Murder's sexual references and subjects.

The films begins with Kelly (Constance Towers) giving a series of hits towards the moving and shaking camera. We understand that she is assulting a man but for which reason? She only is in her bra and she losses her wig and we see that she is completely bald. With these first minutes and with even the first image of the film the viewer is involved in the story. The scene tells us that she is a prostitute and the man being savagely hit is her "pimp". Tired of this life of degradation and abnormality, Kelly moves to Grantville or if you prefer Anytown USA*. After one last job as "selling champagne", she decides to start a new life. Kelly becomes a nurse at the well-known hospital for handicaped children of Grantville. Her devotion to the children and her love for them is very maternal. All along the movie this is the feeling that Kelly needs to fulfill a void of being childless. Kelly's deiser is to get a "normal" life and be a better person. At the hospital she gets involved with Dr. Grant and they planned to get married, but a tragic event will force Kelly to change her plans and learned another lesson on maternal instinct.

Samuel Fuller has been knowed for his style categorized has "Cinema fist", it came from a shot in one of his films where the actor punches directly into the camera and breaks it. He makes tough movies and looking at The Steel Helmet or The Big Red One we feel that Fuller is a real man with raw shots and sometimes weirdly framed images that fit surprisingly well together. Anyhow, he can direct some very sentimental scenes, especially in The Naked Kiss when all the children are singing together with Kelly. This scene is very efficient and the children loooked straight into the camera in plain shot. A moment after the tape of the song is used again in a whole other situation and the song has a whole other dramatic effect on the audience. Fuller demonstrate a strong use of music and he is not afraid to put more than once the same song in the movie and transpose it in another context to suggest different emotions with the same tune.

This is no surprise that the French New Wave love his films; they are true and they represent filmmaking like it should be; propose multiple emotions and feelings to the public. The Naked Kiss is a little American Film Noir gem that deserves way more recognition that it actually has. I hope that it's reedition by Criterion (18 January 2011) will get him a wider audience.

2010-12-05

La terra trema (1948)

TSPDT Greatest Films #458 La terra trema (Luchino Visconti, 1948)

Shot in Sicily with authentic villagers, La terra trema presents the story of a family of fishermen. The naturalist take on the story and the reality that the Luchino Visconti wanted to reprensent in this film is sometimes credited as the first Neorealist film. I tend to think that Rome Open City was the first Italian Neorealist film. It was also the beginning of a competition between the two directors Visconti and Roberto Rossellini. Both have directed magnificent films and put their names in the pantheon of Cinema forever. But their films always had their own ways.

La terra trema tells the story of Ntoni's family, opressed by the sellers of their fisheries that make profit on the efforts of the fishermen. Ntoni has seen the world, he was in the army and he plans to get rid of the sellers and own his own business and keep the main part of the profits for his family. He wishes to prosper and get the heart of his the girl he is in love with. His plan gave good results and the family earn money and respect but one day a storm was announced but Ntoni didn't wanted to loss any opportunity to make profit and pay his debts. But his arrogance cost him the boat of his family and all the fishing material.

The story represents how greed and capitalism is a bad thing and how the workers must ally together against the exploiters and found communities to erase the order of the capitalism. The message is broad and even if its told by commom men, it feels forced and demagogic. The communism message that was getting more and more popularity in Italia got its film. The lenght of the film is also a bummer, 160 minutes of screaming non-actors Italians was getting on my nerves too. The message of the film witnesses the thought of the time and has a lack of subtility. Worth a look but not an essential film.

2010-12-03

Aparajito

Aparajito (Satyajit Ray, 1956)

Aparajito is the simple story of an Indian family of the region of Bengal. The father felt ill because of his overwork, and dies a while after. He let behind him a wife and a son, Apu. As in many families where the husband dies or the mother is divorced, the son becomes the remplacement of his father in the mind of the mother. This is a natural reaction to an emptiness caused by a lost.

Later, Apu is in his teenage years and he goes to school in Calcutta away from his dear mother. Once again, the mother suffers from the lost of his male figure. On one side she wants the best for her son; a good education and a good future. But, on the other side she wants him on her side as much as he can.

The second chapter of the Apu triology by Satyajit Ray, tells the story of many families but especially the life of its auteur; Ray himself. Family is a universal theme but in this depiction of India, it is very specific to its country and reflects for outsiders like me, how people lived in India in the 1920's. We have shots of the Gange, the classrooms, the family home, the relations between the mother, the father, and the son. The talent of Satyajit Ray is realism, his images are raw and real and his mastery of Cinema is impressive for an Occidental point of view. The way he shot his film is near the documentary and it gives a sense of palpable moviemaking. Ray presented to the world his culture, his country, and his art and he put it by himself in front of the big Hollywood machine, the european auteurs, etc. A country that didn't had the reputation to offer masterpieces had his master: Satyajit Ray for India. I read somewhere that what Ray did to India is comparable has what John Ford did to the American heritage. I think it's not pretentious to support this affirmation.

World Cinema diserves much more praised than it actually has and I will review much more of Satyajit Ray's films in the montrhs to come.

2010-12-01

Top films of Terrence Malick by LMdC

With two upcoming films, The Tree of Life and another untitled project, the name of Malick will regain popularity. The director who offered so few films since 1973 that some may think he doesn't work anymore. Well, Malick proved that quantity never equals quality. With only four feature films released Terrence Malick has made a legendary name for himself. His four masterpieces are worth a top list of personnal picks you will find here.

1. Days of Heaven (1978)
2. The Tree of Life (2011)

3. The Thin Red Line (1998)4. Badlands (1973)5. The New World (2005)
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