Best Films of All Time (2018 Revision)by egi david perdana | created - 10 Jan 2013 | updated - 1 month ago | Public
I Added few films for 2018 Revision
my facebook: firstname.lastname@example.org
And from now on at least a weekly, I'll add a comment from critics concerned about the films on my list expect rangking 1 & 2 by me
I will not provide a critique review from many critics for films who out from top 500 or even out of the list
1 Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941, USA) 2 Bicycle Thief (Vittorio de Sica, 1948, Italy) 3 Tokyo Story (Yasujiro Ozu, 1953, Japan) 4 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968, USA/UK) 5 Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958, USA) 6 The Rules of the Game (Jean Renoir, 1939, France) 7 8½ (Federico Fellini, 1963, Italy) 8 The Godfather: Part 1 & 2 (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972 & 1974, USA) 9 Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954, Japan) 10 Dekalog (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1989, Poland)
ck]She Puppet (Peggy Ashwesh, 2001)ck]
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1. Citizen Kane (1941)
PG | 119 min | Drama, Mystery
Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.
Votes: 333,551 | Gross: $1.59M
Many outstanding films and more complex plot affairs, and a lot more beautiful films than Citizen Kane, Kane does have it all (great plote, amazing shot etc) but still far behind from other great films but remember Citizen Kane has something special, something that is worth mentioning that I call cinematic magic "Differences views between us and the character "
Charles Foster Kane is a very annoying man, hated by many rivals, one which justifies any means to achieve his ambition, but why do we even sympathize with him? Just because of his death? i don't think so. It should be underlined that the death of the character it will not make us sympathize, instead we just curious cause, and this is where the genius thinking of Orson Welles, he din't take the issue of what the cause of death as in mostly films but he took the issue of the last words that Kane say , this is the point, yeah the beginning of Citizen Kane is the main structure of the whole story and we all know it.
Welles made a lot of scenes of Charles Foster Kane who so hated by other characters but instead we are even more sympathetic to the character he played, the key is "He humanizes the character like human humanize other human" Kane is a figure that could be sad, feel angry, evil, good, rather excited he is truly a human, a lot of other movies with villain character does not have a good side at all, oh friend film is a reflection of real life.
No one people who truly good or evil, for example in The Godfather character Old Vito Corleone in most scene is always as almost good person and almost no negative side, see the fact that he is a mobster, a mobster is like that? Humans are not entirely good and not entirely evil and in some western movie, the main character is described as wise and sensible, a cowboy who has a positive side is much greater than the negative side,humans are not entirely good and not entirely evil, so even in many other films, again humans are not entirely good and not entirely evil.
Citizen Kane is different, we actually saw a villain (cruel, justifies way, firing his own best friend) who impersonate the owner of major newspapers but the characters are so human that makes us sympathize with him, "Yeah Citizen Kane is cinematic magic" that makes us "have a different view between viewers and the character in film" because "A key character is a very human, just like us "
2. Bicycle Thieves (1948)
Not Rated | 89 min | Drama
In post-war Italy, a working-class man's bicycle is stolen. He and his son set out to find it.
Votes: 110,773 | Gross: $0.33M
Most beautiful films I've ever seen by storytelling, as well as my most favorite movie, not because it is considered as one of the most influential Italian Neorealist but because the story is simple yet but very deep meaning, anyone can experience though different conditions, perhaps even now in the world, somewhere along the line, are there under conditions similar to those experienced like Antonio Ricci and his son that maybe even you.
Setting at city who try rise again after the war, the mental state of society at that time, including the main character who depression and despair including the thief who actually pitiable irrespective of how to trick people to get away from the accusation, maybe if we talk more broadly it would leads to a system of government at that time, therein lies the greatness of this film, Bicycle Thieves (or can also Bicycle Thief) do not need to directly attack the new government has re-emerged in the aftermath of the second world war but highlight a common people and bang! we have a masterpiece, one of film which indirectly (for me) created phenomenon call French New Wave, making French as country with most films with the largest contributor with predicate "The Best Films of All Time" by versions of most various critics, well fitting for France should be grateful to Italy especially for Italian Neorealist including with this movie.
Bicycle Thieves arguably perfectly both in terms of influence, storytelling, acting and cinematography, makes me think maybe in my list "rangking" for Bicycle Thieves will be never change in a very long time, yeah only Citizen Kane and Bicycle Thieves whose position is likely not will never change.
3. Tokyo Story (1953)
Not Rated | 136 min | Drama
An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city; but the children have little time for them.
No story could be simpler. An old couple come to the city to visit their children and grandchildren. Their children are busy, and the old people upset their routines. In a quiet way, without anyone admitting it, the visit goes badly. The parents return home. A few days later, the grandmother dies. Now it is the turn of the children to make a journey.
From these few elements Yasujiro Ozu made one of the greatest films of all time. "Tokyo Story" (1953) lacks sentimental triggers and contrived emotion; it looks away from moments a lesser movie would have exploited. It doesn't want to force our emotions, but to share its understanding. It does this so well that I am near tears in the last 30 minutes. It ennobles the cinema. It says, yes, a movie can help us make small steps against our imperfections.
"Roger Ebert" - November 9, 2003 from his site
4. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
G | 149 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi
Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer H.A.L. 9000, sets off on a quest.
Votes: 489,239 | Gross: $56.95M
"With music and mind-blowing visuals, Stanley Kubrick created a wildly popular avant-garde film that asked all of the biggest questions -- without venturing any easy answers."
The painter Georges Braque once wrote that art is meant to disturb, while science reassures. When Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” arrived in April 1968, both fear and hope were in ample supply.
A few days before the film’s premiere, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, and President Lyndon Johnson, burdened by the ongoing quagmire of Vietnam, had just announced he would not seek reelection. Robert Kennedy’s assassination was just two months away, with the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia to follow. Youth across the world were burning bras and buildings.
At the same time, President Kennedy’s dream of American astronauts reaching the moon was within our grasp. As Kubrick and co-screenwriter Arthur C. Clarke understood, excitement over the pending 1969 moon landing, and over space exploration in general, gave us license to consider a greater purpose and more enlightened future for humankind, even as the world seemed to be crashing down — perhaps especially then.
"Brian Libby" - March 6, 2002 from Salon
5. Vertigo (1958)
PG | 128 min | Mystery, Romance, Thriller
A San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend's wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her.
Votes: 287,676 | Gross: $3.20M
Seeing the newly-restored, 70 mm print of Vertigo in a theater is an experience that no fan of Hitchcock, or of cinema in general, should miss. Especially for those (like me) whose sole exposure to the film has been through faded, deteriorating video copies, the opportunity to watch the movie in a manner akin to the one intended by director Alfred Hitchcock comes as a great boon. In fact, aside from the plot itself, there are few similarities between the shrunken, battered TV version of the film and this painstakingly meticulous restoration.
Hitchcock films in general, and Vertigo in particular (which many critics view as the Master of Suspense's greatest achievement), have influenced an entire generation of film makers, from Martin Scorsese to Brian DePalma and David Lynch. Hitchcock's innovative use of back- screen projection and camera tricks (such as simultaneously zooming in and tracking out) to enhance suspense and draw the audience deeper into the narrative have frequently been emulated, but rarely equaled. From a craft standpoint, Vertigo represents the director in peak form.
When observed from a contemporary, 1990s viewpoint, certain plot elements of Vertigo seem dated and naive (in particular, how women and the justice system are viewed). However, for the most part, the film holds together surprisingly well even 40 years later. There are times when we're aware that Vertigo was written for a different audience during an earlier era, but this doesn't necessarily detract from the film going experience; rather, it helps place the movie in its proper historical context.
"James Berardinelli" from Reelviews
6. The Rules of the Game (1939)
Not Rated | 110 min | Comedy, Drama
A bourgeois life in France at the onset of World War II, as the rich and their poor servants meet up at a French chateau.
Enjoying: If you've never seen the film before, and even if you have, I recommend reading the essay first. It will give you some ideas that you can bring to the film as well as referring to details in the movie that you'll want to be alert for. In particular, read the three suggestions at the end for enjoying the movie more.
There are two movies you’re likely to find on every ten best list you’ll ever see. Citizen Kane is one. This is the other. Yet I feel this is a hard movie to like. When I first saw it, it seemed to me chaotic, unstructured, not coming to a focus. And I get that feeling every time I see it again. I have to, as it were, re-learn this movie each time I view it.
Nevertheless, I think this is, quite simply, one of the two or three greatest movies ever made, and so say the critics and cinéastes in general. In it, as in all even merely good movies, the opening scene sets the motifs, like the opening of a symphony.
The very first thing we see is a radio transmitter, a machine, and machines are one of the important symbols in this film. From the transmitter comes a wire, and at the end of the wire is a radio announcer. She has come to Le Bourget airport to tell her radio audience about the arrival of a French hero, André Jurieu (Roland Toutain), who has just flown the Atlantic in a record-breaking 23 hours. Around her is a chaotic mob of people rushing to hail this new hero. And there you have it all, all the themes around which Jean Renoir built his movie.
You have the solitary, in this instance heroic and romantic, individual. But you also have the mobs and wires and transmitter that connect him and us to other people. Communication is one theme. Hell, said Sartre, is other people, and so it will prove in La Règle du Jeu. (The French name is the more severe for being singular: the rule of the game.)
The game is the game of human relationships, and the rule is absolute. A cabinet minister’s flunky greets and congratulates the pilot on behalf of the minister. Unfortunately, the minister himself could not come—he says. People will fall short; they will disappoint you and frustrate you. They will lie and pretend.
"Norman Holland" from A Shaper Focus
7. 8½ (1963)
Not Rated | 138 min | Drama
A harried movie director retreats into his memories and fantasies.
Votes: 89,326 | Gross: $0.05M
Always feeding directly on his experiences for material, Federico Fellini had an autobiographical binge with "8½." The 1963 movie -- which marked eight and a half movies for Fellini (seven solos, three collaborations) -- was the director's unabashed gaze into the mirror.
A vivid interspersing of fantasy and satire, it reflected ironically on Fellini's career -- with Marcello Mastroianni as his alter ego. Its entrancing combination of technical virtuosity and modish psychology won Fellini his third Academy Award for best foreign language film.
Now, repeat-viewers and first timers can view the restored black-and-white classic, with 30 years of available hindsight. Its narcissistic themes -- daringly indulgent then -- now seem commonplace. The movie has been paid homage countless times, most notably in Woody Allen's "Stardust Memories." Yet, you might just warm to that oldtime smoothness, fluidity and la dolce vita lifestyle.
"Desson Howe" - February 26, 1993 from Washington Post
8. The Godfather (1972)
R | 175 min | Crime, Drama
The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.
Votes: 1,310,285 | Gross: $134.97M
(tie) with Part II
Twenty-five years' hindsight wasn't necessary to prove the brilliance and authority of "The Godfather," Francis Ford Coppola's classic epic of a Mafia family in America. It was clear, even when the movie opened in 1972, that Coppola had created a landmark in American cinema. It remains the high point of his career.
What we couldn't see then was how wide the film's influence would SPREAD. There's barely a gangster movie, a family epic or a movie about Italian Americans that doesn't inevitably use "The Godfather" as a frame of reference. It's more than a standard-bearer for critics and filmmakers -- it's a monument.
Today, as the Castro Theatre launches a two-week revival of "The Godfather" in a new 35mm print with a digitally enhanced stereo soundtrack, it's fascinating to consider the directions that Coppola and his actors have taken in the quarter- century since they made the movie, which was based on Mario Puzo's best-seller.
"Edward Guthman" - March 21, 1997 from San Fransisco Chronicle
9. The Godfather: Part II (1974)
R | 202 min | Crime, Drama
The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York City is portrayed, while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on the family crime syndicate.
Votes: 904,544 | Gross: $57.30M
(tie) with Part I
"The Godfather, Part II" far from being a spinoff followup to its 1972 progenitor is an excellent epochal drama in its own right providing bookends in time -- the early part of this century and the last two decades -- to the earlier story. Al Pacino again is outstanding as Michael Corleone, successor to crime family leadership.
The $15,000,000-plus production about 2-1/2 times the cost of the original was most handsomely produced and superbly directed by Francis Ford Coppola who also shares credit for a topnotch script with original book author Mario Puzo. The Paramount release has everything going for it to be an enormous b.o. winner.
There should be very few criticisms that the latest film glorifies criminality since the script never lets one forget for very long that Pacino as well as Robert De Niro, excellent as the immigrant Sicilian who became the crime family chief as played by Marlon Brando in the first pic, and all their aides are callous, selfish and undeserving of either pity or adulation. Yet, at the same time, there’s enough superficial glory in the panoramic story structure to satisfy the demands of less discriminating filmgoers. Hence Coppola has straddled the potential audience and therefore maximized the commercial potential.
The film’s 200 minutes to be played without an intermission could be broken down into two acts and 10 scenes. The scenes alternate between Pacino’s career in Nevada gambling rackets from about 1958 on and DeNiro’s early life in Sicily and New York City. A natural break comes after 126 minutes when DeNiro involved with low level thievery brutally assassinates Gaston Moschin the neighborhood crime boss without a shred of conscience. It’s the only shocking brutality in the film. The small number of other killings are discreetly shot and edited and it makes its point.
Of course, in the modern day sequences, Pacino is also making the point clear that he has passed completely from the idealistic youth that made him enlist in the early days of World War II. A brief flashback scene presents James Caan in a cameo encore as the original heir apparent to his final destiny. In the Caan flashback Pacino is sitting alone with his untested ideals; in the fadeout scene he is again alone, but it’s all his own doing.
"A.D. Murphy" - December 8, 1974 from Variety
10. Seven Samurai (1954)
Not Rated | 207 min | Adventure, Drama
A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.
Votes: 257,685 | Gross: $0.27M
Widely considered one of the greatest films ever made, Seven Samurai was both the apex of Akira Kurosawa's long career and the high-water mark of the Japanese period drama.
The film's action rivets the viewer in spite of the three-hour-plus running time: the battle sequences, among the best ever filmed, are immediate and visceral; and the characters are complex and so well-rendered that the viewer grieves when one dies.
Like few other historical films, it captures not only the physical look of the time but also its essence. Like Jean Renoir's masterpieces Grand Illusion (1937) and The Rules of the Game (1939), Seven Samurai illustrates the collapse of social distinctions and the growing irrelevance of old traditions in dangerous and chaotic times.
Kurosawa questions the division between samurai and bandit, between good and evil. In one scene, peasant-born Kikuchiyo heatedly argues that the samurai have been abusing and exploiting the peasants for centuries. In this framework, the samurais' acts of bravery, selflessness, and honor seem absurd, if not pointless.
The peasants' choice of the samurai over the bandits is merely one of a lesser evil. Once the bandits are gone, the samurai will no longer be needed. This is underscored in the film's poignant end, when the surviving three samurai leave the village, receiving neither acclaim nor reward, as the villagers plant rice.
American audiences were so impressed with Kurosawa's epic masterpiece that it was remade into John Sturges' Magnificent Seven (1960).
"Jonathan Crow" from AllMovies
11. Dekalog (1989–1990)
TV-MA | 572 min | Drama
Ten television drama films, each one based on one of the Ten Commandments.
Votes: 15,911 | Gross: $0.10M
Thanks to highly regarded works like The Double Life of Veronique and the landmark Three Colors trilogy, the late Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski has a devoted following in the United States. However, the one work widely regarded as his ultimate masterpiece, the 1988 made-for-Polish-TV opus The Decalogue (Dekalog), is only now receiving an official stateside release--and it is indeed worth the wait.
The Decalogue can be seen as a precursor to Kieslowski's (and co-writer Krzysztof Piesiewicz's) Three Colors trilogy, whose individual features each explored the idea represented by one of the three colors of the French flag: blue, white, and red.
The Decalogue is made up of ten approximately one-hour films (which goes a long way toward explaining the difficulty of a theatrical run for the series), each telling a story that addresses one of the Ten Commandments.
Like the Three Colors trilogy, the characters in the ten different films all have tangential links (here, all installments are set in and around the same Warsaw apartment building), and also like that series, each film explores its theme in unconventional and surprising ways.
"Michael Dequina" - May 19, 2000 from The Movie Report
12. Sunrise (1927)
Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Romance
An allegorical tale about a man fighting the good and evil within him. Both sides are made flesh - one a sophisticated woman he is attracted to and the other his wife.
I have found that it is always a good sign when you begin to beg and plead with the movie you are watching.
Actually, I take that back, there are times when I beg and plead for the movie to show me mercy and spare me any more horribleness. But, in this instance I was begging and pleading with the film based on the story and the emotions it was eliciting from me.
It has often been said that silent pictures were more about human emotion than any other factor, and Sunrise: A Song Of Two Humans is a perfect example of that. Because for as well as it does everything, it is one of the most emotionally charged films I have ever seen.
Right off the bat F.W. Murnau toys with your emotions and your expectations. By making the first moments of the film about the suspense of the Man’s actions on the boat ride he toys expertly with the audience.
You wonder what the Man will do, you fear for what he will do, if you are like me you beg and plead with him to not kill his wife. It’s a testimony to the skills of Murnau that he can draw that much emotion from the audience in such a short amount of time, especially when you consider that other directors can’t get a smidgen of that emotion after a full two hours of character building.
By playing on your expectations of what will or won’t happen Murnau grabs the viewer by the throat and refuses to let go. The amount of emotion invested in that boat ride ensures that the ensuing city scenes are fulfilling.
"Bill Thompson" - April 2, 2009 from Bill's Movie Emporium
13. Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Not Rated | 66 min | Drama, History
In the midst of the Russian Revolution of 1905, the crew of the battleship Potemkin mutiny against the brutal, tyrannical regime of the vessel's officers. The resulting street demonstration in Odessa brings on a police massacre.
Votes: 44,892 | Gross: $0.05M
The Russian master’s 1925 bombshell Battleship Potemkin, showing for a week at Film Forum in its definitive restoration, was cinema history’s third great game-changer, after The Birth of a Nation and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.
Just 27 when he directed this montage-powered expression of kino-revolutionary fervor, Sergei Eisenstein was the original film intellectual to come to power. “I am a civil engineer and mathematician by training.
I approach the making of a motion picture in much the same way as I would the equipment of a poultry farm or the installation of a water system.” His first theory proposed Pavlov’s behavior psychology as a model for film production: “The [cinematic] attraction is every element that can be verified and mathematically calculated to produce certain emotional shocks.”
"J. Hoberman" - Jan 12, 2011 from Village Voice"
14. The Searchers (1956)
Passed | 119 min | Adventure, Drama, Western
An American Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from the Comanches.
"Built Ford Tough"
To my tastes, the world has rarely harbored enough reservations about John Ford and has always held far too many about John Wayne, but everyone has always been able to agree about this 1956 classic, which is as far from an ordinary mid-century western as King Lear is from a soap opera.
The obsessive hunt for a kidnapped frontier girl (eventually, Natalie Wood) is the through-line, lasting for years and growing into a perverted odyssey of xenophobic self-hatred and waste, with Wayne at the center in arguably the most profound portrait of macho montrosity ever delivered by an American movie star.
"Michael Atkinson" - May 30, 2006 from Village Voice
15. Raging Bull (1980)
R | 129 min | Biography, Drama, Sport
Emotionally self-destructive boxer, Jake La Motta's journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring destroys his life outside it.
Votes: 263,440 | Gross: $23.38M
Martin Scorsese's "Raging Bull" (1980) is arguably the greatest American biopic ever made. Based on the life of boxer Jake La Motta (Robert De Niro), I see the movie as a subtle character study of an unlikable man who relates to the world by giving and taking punishment.
His self-destructive behavior eventually alienates all who try to know him. But "Raging Bull" is not a conventional movie. It doesn't tell us what to think or feel, and we have to figure out the mystery that is Jake La Motta for ourselves.
Although the film is about a professional prizefighter who was once the middleweight champion, it's more about La Motta's life than it is about boxing.
I doubt it's just coincidence that the movie covers 14 of La Motta's fights and there are 14 Stations of the Cross. Even though Jake is far from Christ-like, given Scorsese's fascination with marrying Roman Catholic iconography to story and imagery, it occurred to me that an alternate title for the movie could be "The Passion of Jake La Motta."
"Ivana Redwine" from About - Dvd Pick
16. Man with a Movie Camera (1929)
Not Rated | 68 min | Documentary, Music
A man travels around a city with a camera slung over his shoulder, documenting urban life with dazzling invention.
Although the moving image is a natural progression from static photography, what a wonder the movie camera must have been in those early days. It may well have been an answer to this little couplet from Robert Burns‘ To A Louse:
"O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us!"
The movie camera, assuming that power, was able to record and play back the world around us. Naturally, when it came to telling stories through this new medium, the narratives were borrowed from both page and stage.
Was this to be the fate of moving images? Dziga Vertov thought different. The moving picture made possible new means of expression and new narratives.
The movie needed to be a language in its own right, an “absolute separation from the language of theatre and literature”. Hence Man With A Movie Camera (1929, 68 mins), a manic composite of disparate scenes and images drawn from any old day in Soviet Russia edited in such a way as to tell a universal story.
As the title suggests, the premise is thin – a man does indeed have a movie camera – but it’s the execution that is rich and makes this a rewarding view. Our eponymous man can be seen regularly, out and about with his camera, whether he be running along the streets, standing on rooftops looking over the streets, or even just standing in the middle of the street.
It’s hardly surprising that much of the content should be set here as this is a film about life and much of our daily life happens on the streets.
Shops line them, trams glide along them, and those down on their luck sleep in them. But the man about town with his camera is not the subject, but what is seen through his lens. And, what the camera sees is a world without borders. Where a person may have difficulty going, the camera has no qualms. And so the streets are only part of its focus. Beyond there’s industry, beaches, and bedrooms.
All human life is here, juxtaposed. Birth alongside deaths; marriage against divorce; the rigours of work versus the pursuit of leisure. That it’s real people and not actors make it a beautiful historical document, but Vertov’s handling of this is nothing short of cinematic poetry.
And it’s not just his attention to the myriad Russian lives that composes this symphony but the technology that occupies the people, be it in the workplace or through entertainment. The wheels of machinery turn, churning out their product repeatedly, a mirror to humanity’s daily saga of life and death.
"Alan Smiffey" - August 5, 2013 from his site
17. Breathless (1960)
Not Rated | 90 min | Crime, Drama
A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.
Votes: 59,187 | Gross: $0.34M
Shot on a shoestring and none the worse for it, Jean-Luc Godard's gritty and engaging first feature had an almost revolutionary impact when first released in 1960.
It lays down most of the Godardian repertoire that the later films would build upon: male bravado spiced with plug-ugly mugging and amusing self-mockery (brought to perfection in Jean-Paul Belmondo's wonderful performance); a fascination with female beauty and treachery (the indelible Jean Seberg as the archetypal American abroad); an emulation of the American gangster movie, and a love-hatred for America in general; radically employed jump cuts that have the effect of a needle skipping gaily across a record; and a taste for literary, painterly, and musical quotations, as well as original aphorisms.
Less characteristic of Godard's later work are the superb jazz score (by French pianist Martial Solal), a relatively coherent and continuous narrative, and postsynchronized dialogue. In French with subtitles.
"Jonathan Rosenbaum" from Chicago Reader
18. Rashômon (1950)
Not Rated | 88 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
A heinous crime and its aftermath are recalled from differing points of view.
"Rashomon (1950): Japanese master filmmaker Akira Kurosawa's treatise on the subjectivity of truth"
Rashomon (1950), a Japanese film directed by master filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, introduced the Japanese cinema to the whole world. In the movie Rashomon, Akira Kurosawa highlighted, for the first time in cinema, that discrepancies can exist among the different versions of the same event (as narrated from the perspective of different parties).
These discrepancies testify the subjective nature of truth. Rashomon's extraordinarily unique concept and Kurosawa's brilliant treatment of the subject matter make it an undisputed masterpiece. Rashomon - the 1950 Akira Kurosawa Japanese movie which propounded the "Rashomon Effect" - vividly limns the artistry of contrivance innate in the human psyche owing to the unending desire of humans to placate their insatiable egos.
This manipulation of facts has no limits and entirely depends upon the skill of imaginative improvisation of the individual along with his level of comfort at trickery. The ability to misinterpret comes naturally to the humans as an obvious tool to counter the adversities of life, and perhaps that's what makes it indispensable. As a direct consequence of contrivance, the concept of truth no longer remains universal but becomes rather subjective and a matter of individualistic perception.
Whether by design or inadvertence, this subjectivity of perception with respect to veracity must not be overlooked under any circumstance so as to surmise the most befitting conclusion.
"Murtaza Ali" - February 9, 2012 from A Potpourri of Vestiges
19. Apocalypse Now (1979)
R | 147 min | Drama, War
During the Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade Colonel who has set himself up as a god among a local tribe.
Votes: 503,971 | Gross: $83.47M
This sorry-ass movie year finally coughs up a masterpiece — Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now — and it turns out the damn thing was first released in 1979.
It still counts, though, because this Vietnam epic is not the same movie the public saw back then. Coppola and editor Walter Murch have remixed the film from original raw footage, restored forty-nine minutes (the running time now clocks in at three hours and sixteen minutes) and tacked on a new title: Apocalypse Now Redux.
It's not the usual hustle to cadge bucks from a rerelease and future video and DVD sales (think of the recent scam with The Exorcist).
This is the untamed Apocalypse that Coppola envisioned in 1979 before money and mental pressures made him fear he had created something too long, too weird and too morally demanding for the masses.
course, the film is still chaos, and as such it's an apt reflection of the war it depicts. But the journey, laid out in the script by Coppola and John Milius, is much better mapped now.
As Capt. Willard (Martin Sheen) begins his trip up river to Cambodia to "terminate with extreme prejudice" the mad renegade Col. Kurtz (Marlon Brando), the film moves with less velocity but, oddly, with a greater sense of purpose.
Extended scenes on the patrol boat draw us closer to Willard, Chief (the great Albert Hall), Chef (Frederic Forrest), the surfer Lance (Sam Bottoms) and the ghetto-raised Clean, played by a fourteen-year-old Laurence Fishburne.
Robert Duvall's sensational performance as the surf-lovin', bomb-droppin' Col. Kilgore ("I love the smell of napalm in the morning") is pumped with more humor as Willard steals the bastard's new surfboard.
One restored scene, showing Kilgore helping to save a Vietnamese child, adds a telling ambiguity. Even the sequence with the Playboy bunnies is, er, fleshed out, and speaks to the theme of exploitation that permeates the film.
"Peter Travers" - August 31, 2000 comment for 2001 Redux version from Rolling Stone
20. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
Not Rated | 114 min | Biography, Drama, History
In 1431, Jeanne d'Arc is placed on trial on charges of heresy. The ecclesiastical jurists attempt to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions.
Votes: 32,096 | Gross: $0.02M
One of three silent movies featured in Sight & Sound's latest poll of the 10 greatest pictures of all time, The Passion of Joan of Arc was made in France by the Danish master Carl Theodor Dreyer. To play the 19-year-old "Maid", he chose the 35-year-old Renée Falconetti, a French stage star specialising in light comedy.
In keeping with his devotion to realism and austerity, his screenplay was based largely on a contemporary transcript of Joan's trial for heresy that concluded with her execution in 1431.
Carefully framed in claustrophobic settings, the picture is most notable for its close-ups, though Dreyer insisted on a whole town being built to represent medieval Rouen.
This was Falconetti's only major film and over a period of a year under Dreyer's direction (a combination of cruelty and patience), her extraordinarily expressive face made for one of the greatest, most harrowing screen performances.
Phillip French" - February 17, 2013 from Guardian
21. Shoah (1985)
Not Rated | 566 min | Documentary, History, War
Claude Lanzmann's epic documentary recounts the story of the Holocaust through interviews with witnesses - perpetrators as well as survivors.
Votes: 6,806 | Gross: $0.02M
"Shoah: Presence Through Absence"
"Lanzmann & Shoah"
I had the privilege to catch Shoah at the National Museum of Singapore, a film that deals with the Holocaust, and of which, it spends a massive 9.5 hours bringing to life the exact details of what happened in extermination camps during the German occupation of Eastern Europe in the early forties.
For a film like Shoah, it is very difficult to give a rating, neither does it demand one. What Lanzmann has achieved here cannot be equated to a number that falls on a scale that determines whether a film is good or bad. Thus, I will leave Shoah unrated.
Shoah is categorized into the documentary genre, but it is unfair or even inaccurate to do so. Lanzmann has said that his film cannot be construed as a documentary because it does not contain actual footage of the Holocaust.
When asked in a Q&A session with him, he explained that no single photograph (let alone, a video footage) of the Holocaust has ever been captured. Even if so, the Nazis would have burned all of them. Therefore, what remains as “evidence” of the torture and extermination of the Jews can only be found trapped in the memory of survivors and eyewitnesses.
Shoah is made up of interviews of survivors, eyewitnesses, and bystanders who witnessed the atrocities committed by the Nazis. Lanzmann also interviewed former Nazis (with a hidden camera) who were present at the extermination camps, but according to them, did not partake directly in the mass murdering of the Jews.
A historian is also interviewed who offers an in-depth analysis of specific events occurred during the Holocaust and sets it in the context of human history, in particular, Jewish history.
"Eternality Tan" - July 15, 2010 from Filmnomenon
22. Singin' in the Rain (1952)
G | 103 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound.
Votes: 175,793 | Gross: $8.82M
Often cited as the greatest of all Hollywood musical comedies, Singin’ in the Rain is particularly notable as a historical reconstruction of the early days of sound cinema and the crisis it brought about in the industry.
Many of the funniest set-pieces are based on the various problems of recording sound, the biggest joke of all being that the gorgeous leading lady of the silents, deliciously played by Jean Hagen, has a voice that could strip paint at fifty yards.
So the comedy works a treat but what most people remember is the music and dancing, both of which are top-notch. Gene Kelly is at his most creative and least pretentious, particularly in the iconic title number and the Broadway Melody ballet, and Debbie Reynolds is simply radiant.
The sensational Technicolor photography, courtesy of Harold Rossen, is to die for.
"Mike Sutton" - November 22, 2012 from 140 Words
23. Persona (1966)
Not Rated | 83 min | Drama, Thriller
A nurse is put in charge of a mute actress and finds that their personas are melding together.
The film opens up with an unusually long prologue whose purpose is to test the viewer's mind – a series of images pop up on the screen and then quickly disappear. The mind immediately begins speculating, making it awfully difficult for the viewer to decide whether the images were random or carefully selected.
After the prologue the images begin to make sense. A voice coming from behind the camera informs a young and very beautiful nurse (Bibi Andersson, Wild Strawberries, The Girls) that she has been hired to take care of an actress (Liv Ullmann, Autumn Sonata, Hour of the Wolf) who has suddenly gone mute. The viewer sees the actress before the nurse does, in a flashback. She is on the stage, wearing makeup and looking confused. The owner of the voice is then revealed while the actress and her condition are carefully described to the nurse.
In the next episode the nurse visits the actress in her hospital room. Now the viewer learns that the nurse is in her twenties and is engaged. While she introduces herself, the actress remains indifferent. After the visit the nurse reveals her frustration and confesses that she is unsure if she is the right person to take care of the actress. Soon after, however, the two are sent to a small cottage somewhere in the Swedish countryside where the actress is expected to recover.
At this point most viewers feel fairly confident that Ingmar Bergman's Persona will focus on the actress' recovery. Only a select few would still consider the strange prologue and think about its purpose.
What happens next can best be described as a fascinating intellectual mind game. There are multiple ways of deconstructing it, but not right and wrong ones. What is important here is to be aware that the game is played in and outside of the film. In the film the two women play the game as they warm up to each other and then become frustrated with their relationship. In a variety of different ways Bergman also plays with the viewer's mind, making it awfully difficult for him to effectively separate dreams from reality.
The film's visual style is extraordinary. The camera spends a great deal of time carefully observing the faces of the two women as if to prove to the viewer that they are masks that can be easily exchanged. Eventually, different feelings and emotions begin to alter them and the film does precisely that – it effectively proves that human beings are perpetually wearing masks while playing roles they have chosen or have been forced to accept.
The acting is equally impressive. Andersson's excellent monologues direct the story, but leave plenty of room for healthy speculations. Ullmann utters only a few words, but her face is like an open book. When the camera observes the two women from afar, their body language is also terrific.
"Dr. Svet Atanasov" - February 27, 2014 from Blu-Ray
24. The Mirror (1975)
G | 107 min | Biography, Drama
A dying man in his forties remembers his past. His childhood, his mother, the war, personal moments and things that tell of the recent history of all the Russian nation.
Even beginning to understand The Mirror after one viewing is like grasping at straw in the wind. For every solid grasp taken, so much flies by and is missed, and even then, the edged of each solid though feels like just a fleeting moment that echoes something beyond the frame. I think part of this can be attributed to the film’s short runtime.
This is the shortest Andrey Tarkovsky I’ve seen and part of it makes me wish for his longer films. Here is a film so densely packed that I often found myself suffocated, the tantalizing cinematography, the provoking voiceovers and the elusive narrative strands made me wish for those moments of reprieve, the long gaps of Stalker and Andrei Rublev which gave my time to chew over and think about what I was watching as I was watching it.
With this lengthy caveat, I will begin to offer what feeble insights I can upon a first viewing. The most obvious and perhaps most intriguing idea in the film is in the title. Throughout the film, we are treated to shots of mirrors, always with people clearly in the mirror.
The mirror suggests a number of ideas. The most literal idea that is also to be taken figuratively is the idea of self-reflection, that the mirror exists as a lens in which to examine oneself. One could argue the entire film is built around self-reflection.
The mirror also offers up a secondary idea of a mirror existence, that the mirror serves as a bridge between two planes of existence and that only through reflection can one begin to notice that existence.
Once again, Tarkovsky pushes the bounds of films, trying to get that glimpse of the beyond, the camera lingering on the mirror in the hopes that it might bridge the gap as well.
"James Blake Ewing" - September 5, 2011 from Cinema Sights
25. Taxi Driver (1976)
R | 114 min | Crime, Drama
A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action, while attempting to liberate a twelve-year-old prostitute.
Votes: 579,791 | Gross: $28.26M
It is the last line, "Well, I'm the only one here," that never gets quoted. It is the truest line in the film. Travis Bickle exists in "Taxi Driver" as a character with a desperate need to make some kind of contact somehow--to share or mimic the effortless social interaction he sees all around him, but does not participate in.
The film can be seen as a series of his failed attempts to connect, every one of them hopelessly wrong. He asks a girl out on a date, and takes her to a porno movie. He sucks up to a political candidate, and ends by alarming him. He tries to make small talk with a Secret Service agent. He wants to befriend a child prostitute, but scares her away. He is so lonely that when he asks, "Who you talkin' to?" he is addressing himself in a mirror.
This utter aloneness is at the center of "Taxi Driver," one of the best and most powerful of all films, and perhaps it is why so many people connect with it even though Travis Bickle would seem to be the most alienating of movie heroes. We have all felt as alone as Travis. Most of us are better at dealing with it.
"Roger Ebert" - January 1, 2004 from his site
26. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
PG | 216 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama
The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks.
Votes: 218,907 | Gross: $44.82M
A thousand camels bray in Dolby and the Arabian night dries up under a new Kodak sun. Out of a 70-mm desert rides "Lawrence of Arabia," a thundering restoration of the 27-year-old legend. As long as ever and never better -- technology serves this epic well.
With help from the likes of Martin Scorsese, Robert A. Harris has carefully restored British director David Lean's Oscar-winner to mint condition. The film had been severely cut and allowed to deteriorate, but today it is as mighty as when it premiered in 1962.
"Lawrence's" beauty and place of honor in the epic hall of fame are without question, as is its status as perhaps the most manly movie ever made. Lean portrays a weirdly lopsided, oddly womanless cosmos. The only females in the film are skewered corpses, except for a glimpse of a harem that Harris has proudly added. He calls "Lawrence" a "boy's movie." Others call it homoerotic, and Lean has agreed.
In the land the sea left behind, Arabs sway along with the wind in their burnooses. Lawrence, looking positively bridal in his filmy white robes, smiles philosophically from atop his camel. "Hut-hut," he says to the beast, beginning yet another of the movie's many hot, draggy camel rides. It's rather like wandering the desert with the children of Israel. There's a sameness to the grandeur that so intoxicated Lean, Harris and the hero.
The film's genius is its marriage of intimate portrait and big-screen epic. T.E. Lawrence, a repressed 29-year-old British mapmaker, becomes a desert Napoleon, worshiped as a self-proclaimed demigod. His story is an atavistic "Revenge of the Nerds," every angry adolescent's dream come true. It is also the tragedy of a troubled scholar whose repressed violence spills out in the seminal sword-rattling of the battle scenes.
Peter O'Toole, hair an Arthurian gold, eyes an impossible azure, plays Lawrence as a ferocious priss. It's a striking debut, a poem of lurid charms. This mercurial character is now established in a never-before-seen (but not that great) scene in the officers' club in which he disrupts two colleagues' snooker game.
"Rita Kempley" - February 8, 1989 from Washington Post
27. L'Atalante (1934)
Not Rated | 89 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Newly married couple Juliette and a ship captain Jean struggle through marriage as they travel on the L'atalante along with the captain's first mate Le père Jules and a cabin boy.
Some filmmakers have a lifetime in which to develop their art, to explore their themes, to express their world view. Others do it in a single film. 1934’s ‘L’Atalante’ is the single feature from the then 29-year-old French master Jean Vigo and was made as its director died of TB.
The result is not so much a film as an entire artistic vision crammed into 89 of the busiest and most beautiful minutes of celluloid ever shot.
Dita Parlo plays Juliette, the smalltown girl married off to Jean (Jean Dasté, captain of L’Atalante, a grubby barge plying the waterways of rural France.
Once on board, Juliette is caught between her uncertain love for Jean and her desire to see a world beyond the restrictive confines of the boat.
The situation is complicated by the constant interruptions of Jean’s beloved but irascible first mate, salty sea-dog Pére Jules (Michel Simon).
It’s a traditional set-up, and the film was intended by its producers as a straight romantic melodrama. But Vigo had other ideas: as his life slipped away, he stuffed the film with reference and resonance, fusing groundbreaking visual trickery with an almost tangible sense of ecstatic romance, startling eroticism and unexpected moments of harsh social truth. The film is far from flawless, and has no desire to be: Simon’s performance alone ensures a ragged, playful sense of spontaneity. The result is something utterly indescribable, partway between comedy and tragedy, romance and realism, film and dream. See it and swoon.
"Tom Huddleston" - January 17, 2012 from Time Out London
28. Touch of Evil (1958)
PG-13 | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town.
Votes: 81,764 | Gross: $2.24M
Touch of Welles Makes Film Even Better
"Touch of Evil," the loony border-town noir mystery from 1958, which has been re-edited into the "pattern" that Orson Welles desired, opens today in a revival that never for a moment seems redundant.
The film has always been full of reckless energy, and now it is, as they say, better than ever.
It stars writer-director Welles as a corrupt police chief on the American side of the Mexican border, Charlton Heston as a straight-arrow Mexican narc and Janet Leigh as his wife, who seems to have a screw loose. Along the way, there is a grand performance by, and homage to, Marlene Dietrich.
"Touch of Evil" seems to take place on the border of reality as well. The whole project has an air of unreality about it as it brazenly hits hot buttons of police corruption, sex, drugs and racism.
"Bob Graham" - September 18, 1998 from San Fransisco Chronicle
29. Casablanca (1942)
PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War
A cynical nightclub owner protects an old flame and her husband from Nazis in Morocco.
Votes: 435,959 | Gross: $1.02M
Hal Wallis of Warner Brothers must had a hunch that the next important arena in the global war would be Northwest Africa, when he put “Casablanca” into production under Michael Curtiz’ direction.
The French Moroccan seaport has become headline news since the picture was made and, I suspect, a slight change in the ending of the film was decided upon at the last moment to further cement our friendly relations with French-Morocco, officialdom.
“Casablanca,” now on exhibition at the Hollywood Theatre, is an entertaining adventure story played against the colorful background of the cosmopolitan city that has become an important stop on the timetable of the European refugee. Since the occupation by the Nazis of the Low Countries, France, the Balkans and Greece, Casablanca became a haven to the fleeing hordes who came on the chance of obtaining visas to Lisbon, on their way to America, the Island of the free.
Heartbreaking drama and high comedy marled the endeavors of the frantic people of Europe to escape the oppressor and it is all epitomized in the story of Victor Laszlo and his wife, Ilsa, who managed to get from Prague to Casablanca via Paris and Marseille, where their last battle of wits and bullets is fought with the enemy and where, with the help of an American citizen and a French police officer, they begin their flight to freedom.
"Kate Cameron" - February 17, 2015 from New York Daily News
30. Psycho (1960)
R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.
Votes: 483,790 | Gross: $32.00M
So there's this girl who steals $40,000. Her name's Marion Crane (Leigh). She's a secretary at a real-estate office who's hungering to move in with her hunky but destitute long-distance lover (John Gavin). Hence the impulsive decision to palm the cash when a cocky client waves it in her face between double entendres.
Men surround Marion---a cop in shades ogles her with contemptuous suspicion; a used-car dealer prods her with intimidating sales-speak. Even Norman Bates (Perkins), the seemingly mild-mannered clerk she has dinner with at a roadside motel, gets antsy in her presence. But he eventually illuminates her crisis of conscience: "We all go a little mad sometimes," the young man observes, inspiring Marion to renounce her kleptomania and take a cleansing shower. Then Mother shows up.
"Keith Uhlich" - October 26, 2010 from Time Out New York
31. Au Hasard Balthazar (1966)
Not Rated | 95 min | Drama
The story of a mistreated donkey and the people around him. A study on saintliness and a sister piece to Bresson's Mouchette.
Votes: 13,645 | Gross: $0.04M
"Everyone who sees this film will be absolutely astonished," Jean-Luc Godard once said, "because this film is really the world in an hour and a half."
Robert Bresson's 1966 masterpiece defies any conventional analysis, telling a story of sin and redemption by following Balthazar, a donkey, as he passes through the hands of a number of masters, including a peasant girl, a satanic delinquent, and a saintly fool.
Perhaps the greatest and most revolutionary of Bresson's films, Balthazar is a difficult but transcendently rewarding experience, never to be missed.
"Dave Kehr" - April 27, 2009 from Chicago Reader
32. Ugetsu (1953)
Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Fantasy, War
A tale of ambition, family, love, and war set in the midst of the Japanese Civil Wars of the sixteenth century.
Votes: 16,413 | Gross: $0.01M
Two brothers, one consumed by greed, the other by envy. In a time when the land is savaged by marauding armies, they risk their families and their lives to pursue their obsessions.
Kenji Mizoguchi's "Ugetsu" (1953) tells their stories in one of the greatest of all films -- one which, along with Kurosawa's "Rashomon," helped introduce Japanese cinema to Western audiences.
The heroes are rough-hewn and consumed by ambition, but the film style is elegant and mysterious, and somehow we know before we are told that this is a ghost story.
"Roger Ebert" - May 9, 2004 from his site
33. Andrei Rublev (1966)
Not Rated | 205 min | Biography, Drama, History
The life, times and afflictions of the fifteenth-century Russian iconographer.
The complete version (39 minutes longer than the print originally released) 'explains' no more than the cut version, but at least Tarkovsky's mysteries and enigmas are now intact.
Rublev was a minor icon-painter of the early 1400s. Tarkovsky re-imagines him as a Christ-like cypher for the sufferings of a divided Russia under the Tartar invaders: a troubled visionary reduced to years of silence by the horrors that he witnesses, who finally rediscovers the will to speak - and to paint.
The film offers eight imaginary episodes from Rublev's life: the most brilliant coup is the story of a beardless boy saving his own life by pretending that he knows how to cast a giant bell - and finding that he can do it. This boy's blind faith rekindles Rublev's confidence in himself and his people, leading the film into its blazing climax: a montage of details from Rublev's surviving icons.
"Tony Rayns" - February 9, 2006 from Time Out London
34. City Lights (1931)
G | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
With the aid of a wealthy erratic tippler, a dewy-eyed tramp who has fallen in love with a sightless flower girl accumulates money to be able to help her medically.
Votes: 128,036 | Gross: $0.02M
Unwilling to bend to the winds of change, which saw the introduction of the spoken word in movies three years earlier, Chaplin's is a silent film.
However, he does use music and sound effects cleverly throughout, even employing them pointedly to satirize "the talkies." Other familiar targets are the hypocrisy, prissiness, and arrogance of wealthy "polite society" and cruelty to society's less fortunate, lovable outcasts like The Little Tramp himself.
Chaplin's physical comedy is, of course, riotously funny. He dances along the highwire between hilarity and disaster with aplomb. All the while, Chaplin's Little Tramp maintains his dignity and sense of fair play.
City Lights's parallel plot lines, the first a love story between the Tramp and a blind flower girl and the second with a suicidal millionaire, unfold efficiently and dovetail beautifully to an unforgettable ending.
The narrative involving The Little Tramp and the suicidal millionaire presages themes developed more fully in Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life whil the pathos-ridden love story with the blind flower girl (Virginia Cherrill) plays on universal themes, such as the intoxicating blindness of love and the rejuvenating power of selflessness.
A graceful, athletic artist of pantomime, Chaplin's Little Tramp moves effortlessly between figures of destitution and wealth, aiding and abetting all around him.
City Lights is a paean to our best impulses, a plea for humanitarianism and justice. This is one of those rare creatures, the work of a master craftsman in full control of his craft.
"Dan Jardine" - August 6, 2010 from Cinemania
35. The Gold Rush (1925)
Not Rated | 95 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
A prospector goes to the Klondike in search of gold and finds it and more.
Votes: 78,519 | Gross: $5.45M
In this tale of the "Lone Prospector" (aka the Little Tramp) coming in to the world of mid 19th century gold miners and trying to stake his claim, win the heart of the sweet (though not always nice) girl Georgia, and just survive in general, Chaplin gets loads of memorable moments out of his perfect comedy (and sometimes just dramatic, bittersweet) timing.
I'm not sure if it really marks it as a "deep" film the way that City Lights, Modern Times or Great Dictator are. And you know what? Who cares? It's one of his most sheerly entertaining films, meant to manipulate the audience like puppets. I say, it's so much fun being at the fingers of a master-manipulator-artist like Chaplin.
"Jack Gattanella" - December 28, 2011 from Cinetarium
36. Contempt (1963)
Not Rated | 102 min | Drama
Screenwriter Paul Javal's marriage to his wife Camille disintegrates during movie production as she spends time with the producer. Layered conflicts between art and business ensue.
Votes: 22,732 | Gross: $0.04M
Certain films are worth returning to periodically, the way a pilgrim would visit a shrine. Either they cut to the heart of the matter or they conjure up the passions of one's youth, when it felt as if a movie or a pop song or a book could re-orient the entire universe.
For some of us - a lot of us, actually - the movies Jean-Luc Godard made between 1960 and 1967 are that touchstone, burning with a fervor that's half Picasso, half John Lennon, and wholly original. Films like "Vivre Sa Vie" (1962) and "Pierrot le Fou" (1965) felt like the reinvention of cinema when they came out, and they still have the power to shame 99 percent of what passes for movies today.
So when I say that 1963's "Contempt" is playing at the Brattle in a brand-new print, those of you who know what that means know what to do. Those who don't - well, trust me, you want to see this on the biggest screen possible. Few movies have used color and CinemaScope with such aching precision.
"Ty Burr" - April 11, 2008 from Boston Globe
PG | 95 min | Comedy, War
An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically tries to stop.
Votes: 383,797 | Gross: $0.28M
Half a century after Stanley Kubrick unleashed his most perverse provocation (about a bombing run no one can stop), it’s amazing that we’re even here to see it.
The fears of Dr. Strangelove are real and remain so: Nuclear annihilation, not as a result of official policy—though that’s been sometimes considered—but via the convictions of a well-positioned madman (Sterling Hayden’s immortal cigar-chomping lunatic, Jack D. Ripper), is hardly an antiquated notion.
So go down to Film Forum and party like it’s 1964; it might as well be. By a whopping margin, this is Kubrick’s most radical film and greatest dramatic gamble.
It was the director’s idea, after steeping himself in game theory and end-of-the-world scenarios, to go for vicious comedy. Onboard came novelist Terry Southern and the mighty Peter Sellers, doing triple duty as President, simpering aide and German nut.
"Joshua Rothkopf" - May 13, 2014 from Time Out New York
38. Rear Window (1954)
PG | 112 min | Mystery, Thriller
A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.
Votes: 360,578 | Gross: $36.76M
It's hot in New York City, 1954 hot. No air conditioning. It's 94 degrees in Jimmy Stewart's apartment, where he's trapped in a wheelchair with a broken leg, a hip cast and a short attention span.
The windows are open; the blinds are up.
"Get me out of this swamp of boredom," Stewart says to the nurse who calls daily to attend to him. "Before I do something drastic."
But he's already done something drastic. He's started watching what the people across his courtyard are revealing through their open windows and raised blinds.
Watching the dancer he calls Miss Torso, the spinster he calls Miss Lonely Hearts. The newlyweds who do put down the blinds, this being 1954.
This is Frank Capra's Jimmy Stewart, mind you. George Bailey of director Capra's It's a Wonderful Life. Arguably, America's most beloved movie actor. Jimmy Stewart, looking through other people's windows, looking where the American code of privacy says you shouldn't look. And enjoying it. George Bailey. Peeping George.
But this, of course, is not Capra. This is Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window, now restored from best available archival materials. This reissue reminds us again of the brilliant subversion of one of the most perverse directors ever to work within the old Hollywood Production Code.
There surely have been film-study articles about the centrally British and centrally Victorian Hitchcock again and again using the beloved American-Midwest icon of Jimmy Stewart to make his nasty fun nastier.
Sure, Hitch used Stewart's goodness well as the innocent in The Man Who Knew Too Much. But Hitch also turned that Capran ardor into skanky obsession in Vertigo; the Main Street wisdom into a duplicitous, arch, sneery intellectual snobbery in Rope. You'd like to ask Stewart if he knew what Hitch was doing, and if he thought it was fun, too. But he's dead and gone.
If you've seen Rear Window only on television, seeing it projected on a theater screen is seeing it anew. Details too small to be seen at 36 inches leap into significance.
"Jeff Millar" - March 3, 2000 from Houston Chronicle
39. The Seventh Seal (1957)
Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Fantasy
A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.
The Seventh Seal was one of the first Ingmar Bergman films to get international attention. Max von Sydow stars as a knight who has spent ten disillusioning years crusading in the Holy Land. On his way home he plays chess game with Death.
Bergman uses this fanciful pretext to examine the realities of human existence. The chess game becomes a symbol for the importance of the personal struggle to find meaning in the face of death.
The outcome of the game is inevitable, for Death will win, but the personal struggle still contains great hope. In 1960, Time magazine reported: “The Seventh Seal marks the great divide in Bergman's life and work. With it death and desperation fall away, life and hope appear.”
"Emanuel Levy" - February 3, 2007 from his site
40. Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir
A screenwriter is hired to rework a faded silent film star's script, only to find himself developing a dangerous relationship.
"Sunset Boulevard" is a backstage melodrama using a filmland, instead of a legit, locale. Because it is tied in with a pseudo-expose of Hollywood, the peek behind the scenes undoubtedly will fascinate a considerable slice of the theater-going public, lured to the ticket window by all the drumbeating Paramount calculates to put behind it. B.O.-wise, the ballyhoo possibilities are strong and returns will reflect the selling.
“Sunset Boulevard” is a backstage melodrama using a filmland, instead of a legit, locale. Because it is tied in with a pseudo-expose of Hollywood, the peek behind the scenes undoubtedly will fascinate a considerable slice of the theater-going public, lured to the ticket window by all the drumbeating Paramount calculates to put behind it. B.O.-wise, the ballyhoo possibilities are strong and returns will reflect the selling.
Producer Charles Brackett and director Billy Wilder, along with co-scripter D.M. Marshman Jr., have used an iconoclastic approach that will help shatter the public’s illusions and which does much to perpetuate filmland myths and idiosyncrasies. On this count they rate a nod for daring, as well as credit for an all-around filmmaking job that, disregarding the unpleasant subject matter, is a standout.
"William Brogdon" - April 19, 1950 from Variety
41. Late Spring (1949)
Not Rated | 108 min | Drama
Noriko is twenty-seven years old and still living with her widowed father. Everybody tries to talk her into marrying, but Noriko wants to stay at home caring for her father.
"Late Spring’s Charm is All in the Family"
The bond between a father and daughter is a special thing, one that few outside of that bond can truly understand. This is exemplified beautifully in Yasujirō Ozu’s bittersweet drama Late Spring. The father in this case is Professor Shukichi Somiya (Chishu Ryu), a widower who lives with his daughter Noriko (Setsuko Hara). Noriko is a dutiful daughter who wants nothing more than to take care of her father by handling the household chores. At the age of twenty-seven many, including Noriko’s aunt Masa (Haruko Sugimura), think that Noriko should have been married already.
While others see Noriko’s window of opportunity closing, she remains firm in her belief that marriage will not bring her any more happiness than she has now. Unwilling to accept this train of thought, Masa pressures Shukichi to try and find a suitable mate for his daughter. Unfortunately for Shukichi, Noriko will not entertain any option that results in her father having to live on his own. It soon becomes apparent that the only way to marry off Noriko is by taking on a new wife of his own to curb Noriko’s constant need to tend to him.
Shukichi is unprepared for Noriko’s reaction when he tells her of his plans to remarry. Considering that she views the act of remarrying as being “filthy and foul”, Noriko is devastated by her father’s news despite trying to keep up a pleasant demeanour. Yet her smile cannot hide her deep sadness. This leads Noriko to agree to accept the wedding proposal of a man who her aunt thinks would be an ideal husband. Unbeknownst to Noriko though, Shukichi’s plans to get a new wife may not be what it appears to be.
The world has changed greatly since Yasujirō Ozu released Late Spring in 1949. A woman’s worth is no longer linked to whether or not she is married. However, this does not mean that Late Spring is less relevant. The themes of family, and the pressures that come with it, are universal ones. Despite Noriko’s wishes, both her aunt and good friend Aya (Yumeji Tsukioka), who is divorced, keep on pressuring her about the importance of marriage. Shukichi is the only one who truly seems to honestly have his daughter’s best interest in mind. His desire for Noriko to wed is not so much a result of societal pressure as it is his awareness of his own mortality.
Shukichi knows that he is in the latter stages of life. He does not want his daughter to devote her life to him when his time is nearing an end. This is why Shukichi is willing to go as far as getting married again to ensure his daughter has a better life. The sacrifice of sorts that Shukichi chooses is what makes Late Spring such charming and touching film.
"Courtney Small" - October 12, 2012 from Big Thoughts from a small mind
42. La Dolce Vita (1960)
Not Rated | 174 min | Comedy, Drama
A series of stories following a week in the life of a philandering paparazzo journalist living in Rome.
Votes: 54,682 | Gross: $19.52M
There are many scenes in La dolce vita that get referenced over and over, including its bizarre ending and Anita Ekberg’s famous dance in the fountain. But there is none more indicative of the impact of Federico Fellini’s 1960 motion picture than its opening sequence: a helicopter flying a statue of Jesus high above Rome. Up in the whirlybird sits Marcello, as played by Marcello Mastroianni, a reporter who peddles gossip, a prince of the Italian nightlife. As bikini-clad women look up past the towering Christ, Marcello waves down at them and asks one for her phone number. Our hero has arrived.
Grappling with La dolce vita for analysis is a daunting task. Fellini’s film has a large reputation, but you’ll find that when watching La dolce vita, the reputation is inadequate.
The movie itself is larger still. It encompasses so much, yet does so with such clear storytelling and verve, one barely knows where to begin. Slicing off a piece to investigate feels trivial; La dolce vita is an uncarvable whole. It embraces and critiques modernity, celebrity culture, the nouveau riche, religion, business, art, ambition, and ennui. It is more vital more than half a century later than most films released today and set in the here and now.
In fact, watching it in 2014 and considering how much Fellini’s Rome resembles a more sophisticated version of our own culture of decadence and scandal, it’s hard not to feel like we are all a bunch of rubes. The Italians did it so much better, and so long ago, and wearing much better clothes.
"Jamie S. Rich." - October 29, 2014 from Criterion Confessions
43. Nosferatu (1922)
Not Rated | 81 min | Fantasy, Horror
Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter's wife.
"Nosferatu," F.W. Murnau's unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker's "Dracula," is often called the first vampire movie. It is without question the first surviving vampire movie, even though it faced the threat of extinction not long after its 1922 release.
The filmmakers had neglected to secure the rights from the Stoker estate -- instead they simply changed the location (moving the story from England to the German Baltic coast) and the names of the characters (most notably Count Orlok in place of Count Dracula). In 1924 Stoker's widow sued for copyright violation and won; the negatives were recalled and destroyed but copies of the film had by then circulated widely enough to evade the reach of the German court.
"Nosferatu" turned out to be Murnau's first big success (most of his earlier work is now lost). One of the masterpieces of silent cinema, the film has been in the public domain for some time and as a result has had multiple home-video incarnations (almost all struck from battered, murky prints). Kino International's new two-disc set, out on Tuesday, is billed as the "ultimate edition" and not without reason. The version featured here is the latest digital restoration, completed last year and supervised by Murnau scholar Luciano Berriatua. This is also the first edition to use Hans Erdmann's original score, long thought lost and only recently reconstructed.
"Dennis Lim" - November 18, 2007 from Los Angeles Times
44. Gertrud (1964)
Not Rated | 116 min | Drama, Romance
In the elegant world of artists and musicians, Gertrud ends her marriage to Gustav and takes a lover, the composer Erland Jansson.
"Film is the first in nine years by the noted Danish veteran (at 75) Carl Dreyer. From a turn-of-the-century secondary Swedish play [by Hjalmar Soderberg], Dreyer has woven what looks like a meditation on love."
Film is the first in nine years by the noted Danish veteran (at 75) Carl Dreyer. From a turn-of-the-century secondary Swedish play [by Hjalmar Soderberg], Dreyer has woven what looks like a meditation on love.
This eschews trying to reconstruct the 1907 period in which it takes place and tries for a timlessness in presenting a theme that has been in most of Dreyer’s work, namely that reconciling true love with ordinary life and religion has always been a problem for those who will not compromise.
"Variety Staff" December 31, 1964 from Variety
45. The 400 Blows (1959)
Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama
Moving story of a young boy who, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.
Director Francois Truffaut's picture about a young boy with absolutely no direction in his life is one of compelling storytelling topped by incredible filmmaking.
Truffaut explores the aimlessness and joy of youth, as well as the ticking hands of time that accompany youth as our protagonist Antoine Doinel realizes all too early he's becoming a man, and the innocence he's savored for so long is doomed to come to a bitter end, very soon.
Hence the haunting and enigmatic closing scene where he scampers on to the beach, one of his favorite locations in the world, and looks out on to what almost feels like a blank slate. Though Truffaut shows us the sand and water, the horizon looks white, as if Doinel has yet to fill in what may be a life filled with pain and zero satisfaction.
"Felix Vasquez Jr." - April 21, 2014 from Cinema Crazed
46. The General (1926)
Not Rated | 67 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
When Union spies steal an engineer's beloved locomotive, he pursues it single-handedly and straight through enemy lines.
One of the most instantly recognizable of silent film stars, Buster Keaton rarely showed any emotion on screen. At a time when others relied on over-the-top pantomime to drive their performances home, Keaton’s characters were cool and collected. This demeanor earned him the nickname “Stone Face”, a moniker he perfected in his 1926 classic, The General.
Railroad engineer Johnny Gray (Keaton) is in love with the beautiful Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack). When the Civil War breaks out, Johnny tries to enlist in the Confederate Army, but is turned away because his railroad experience is deemed more beneficial to the war effort. As she watches every other able bodied young man go off to war, Annabelle tells Johnny she's ashamed of him, and breaks off their engagement. But Johnny will get a chance to redeem himself when the Union army steals his beloved train, The General, inadvertently kidnapping Annabelle in the process.
"Dave Becker" - February 27, 2012 from 2,500 Movies Challenge
47. Pather Panchali (1955)
Not Rated | 125 min | Drama
Impoverished priest Harihar Ray, dreaming of a better life for himself and his family, leaves his rural Bengal village in search of work.
Votes: 16,804 | Gross: $0.54M
THE Indian film, "Pather Panchali" ("Song of the Road"), which opened at the Fifth Avenue Cinema yesterday, is one of those rare exotic items, remote in idiom from the usual Hollywood film, that should offer some subtle compensations to anyone who has the patience to sit through its almost two hours.
Chief among the delicate revelations that emerge from its loosely formed account of the pathetic little joys and sorrows of a poor Indian family in Bengal is the touching indication that poverty does not always nullify love and that even the most afflicted people can find some modest pleasures in their worlds.
This theme, which is not as insistent or sentimental as it may sound, barely begins to be evident after the picture has run at least an hour. And, in that time, the most the camera shows us in a rambling and random tour of an Indian village is a baffling mosaic of candid and crude domestic scenes.
"Bosley Crowter" - September 23, 1958 from The New York Times
48. La Grande Illusion (1937)
Not Rated | 113 min | Drama, War
During the First World War, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German P.O.W. camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are sent to a seemingly impenetrable fortress which seems impossible to escape from.
Votes: 29,318 | Gross: $0.17M
WITH NO REAL combat scene, only a single death and its fragile humanist heart sewn on its sleeve, there's never been a war film of the intimate magnitude of Jean Renoir's "Grand Illusion." Its French prisoners are portrayed on the same human scale and live better than some of their lowlier, more miserable German captors.
The 1937 film, Renoir's 21st, was so unsensationally sensitive that it was criticized for being too kind to its German characters. Conversely, it was declared "cinema enemy No. 1" by Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels. The Germans confiscated the "camera negative" in 1940. The negative is celluloid taken directly from the camera and used to make the cleanest prints. Without it, only dim, washed-out, grainy versions can be reproduced.
"Wesley Morris" - December 3, 1999 from San Francisco Examiner
49. Ordet (1955)
Not Rated | 126 min | Drama, Fantasy
Follows the lives of the Borgen family, as they deal with inner conflict, as well as religious conflict with each other, and the rest of the town.
Religion is a rich and varied subject for many filmmakers to pursue. Many filmmakers make at least one movie that explores the religious side of society. Sometimes these movies can be hard-hitting satires that point out the hypocrisy of religion.
Other times, they can be small lyrical dramas about a person’s internal faith. But most filmmakers do not make their career subject matter the big r word. But most filmmakers aren’t like Th. Carl Dreyer.
Ordet is about two families in a remote part of Denmark. The Borgen family is led by Morten Borgen, a stout farmer who clearly etched out a unique life of his own. He has three sons. Mikkel, the eldest, is married to Inger and they have two children with one ready to burst out. Johannes is the middle one. He has gone mad some years ago after studying too much Kierkegaard and now believes he is Jesus Christ. The third brother, Anders, is a young adult who is in love with Anne, the tailor’s daughter. The other family is the tailor’s family, called the Petersens. The patriarch and proprietor of the business, Peter, is also a very devout fundamentalist Christian. The wife, Kirsten, staunchly stands next to her husband. Anne is the silent, but dutiful daughter.
The main conflict between these two families is Peter Petersen’s refusal to let Anne marry Anders. But this conflict doesn’t really matter. What matters more is Petersen and Borgen’s difference of religion. They are both Christians.
Although they are united by one sacred text, their interpretations of this text vary wildly. Petersen is an austere fundamentalist, believing in the need for the sinner (which is everyone) to frequently ask for forgiveness and prostrate oneself in front of the Lord. We see the physical manifestation of his religion at a prayer meeting that he holds. The meeting is somber and full of fire and brimstone rhetoric. He is staunch and resolute in his beliefs. Borgen, however, believes in a joyous and forgiving God. He wants everyone to go to heaven not just the people of his own religion. He talks about religion and faith to Inger early on in the film and we can sense that he has some reservations about it.
Although in his youth, he fought for a less strict faith in his community, we can see that this fight has gone out of him. He doubts his faith in God. These conversations that happen between Petersen and Borgen and Borgen and Inger make up most of the film. What is right? What is the perfect path to peace and happiness? No one ever has the answers, but that seems to be okay.
As the film progresses, the lives of these people shift dramatically. Inger is becoming sick from the pregnancy. She is failing fast and the doctor must get the baby out of her in order to save her. Their questions about abstract religion now become very real. Will the power of prayer save this beloved family member? Or will she die? At one point the doctor who is working on Inger sits down next to the priest who has come to visit. He asks a very important question. Did his work and his reliance on science, a very concrete discipline, save Inger? Or did the family’s persistent prayers save her instead and guide God to give the family a miracle? No one knows quite how to answer the question, because they don’t quite know.
This is in essence the problem not just with religion, but with life itself. The doctor could have applied every aspect of science that he was taught to try to save her and there was still a strong possibility that she wouldn’t have lived. The world is made up of wild chances and harsh realities.
"Maria Rhodes" - November 11, 2014 from Cinemaburn
50. Some Like It Hot (1959)
Not Rated | 121 min | Comedy, Romance
When two male musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all-female band disguised as women, but further complications set in.
Votes: 198,934 | Gross: $25.00M
Often considered one of the greatest comedies of all time, this film is certainly hilarious and special. This was one of Marilyn Monroe’s best performances and her costars were absolutely brilliant. As far as humor goes it cannot get much zanier and crazier than this.
*May Contain Spoilers
In this Billy Wilder directed comedy, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, and of course Marilyn Monroe teamed up in making a great movie. In the era of Chicago gangsters, two male musicians witness a shooting that they wish they had not. In order to escape they join a traveling band. The only catch is that it’s an all women group and so they get dressed up to win the job. The rest of the film follows their crazy cross-dressing antics with the band as they spend their time at a beach resort in Florida. It includes two tremendous love stories on completely different ends of the spectrum! One involving a wealthy young yacht owner and Sugar. The other involving Daphne and well…The movie was filmed in black and white to camouflage all the makeup but as you will find out no movie’s perfect! The script from Billy Wilder as well as Lemmon’s performance are the real attraction to keep an eye out for.
"Four Star Films staff" - June 7, 2014 from Four Star Films
51. M (1931)
Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
When the police in a German city are unable to catch a child-murderer, other criminals join in the manhunt.
Votes: 113,421 | Gross: $0.03M
"An extraordinary, good, impressive and strong talker. Again fine work by Fritz Lang, and his wife and helper, Thea von Harbou. All the more astonishing as it is Lang's first talker."
M is the sign of recognition of a child’s murderer who is sought by the police and an underworld organtization. It is the story of the world-known murderer, Peter Kuerten of Dusseldorf. Amazing thing about this is that von Harbou wrote this manuscript [based on a newspaper report by Egon Jacobson] before Peter Kuerten was ever arrested.
After a thrilling chase the murderer is caught by the gangster organizations. The work of the police, of the criminal department, the raids and police patrols, the spy work of the gangsters, all this is splendidly worked out and realistically. There are a few repetitions and a few draggy scenes.
"Variety Staff" - November 11, 2006 from Variety
52. Beauty and the Beast (1946)
Not Rated | 93 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance
A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her.
Votes: 20,884 | Gross: $0.30M
The oft-tried but seldom-known accomplishment of telling a familiar fairy-tale with pure imagery and enchantment through the sensuous devices of the screen has been almost perfectly realized by the French poet-playwright, Jean Cocteau, in his beautifully measured French production of the old fable, "Beauty and the Beast." Except that it isn't in color, this film which came to the Bijou yesterday is an eminent model of cinema achievement in the realm of poetic fantasy.
This should be understood, however: the achievement is on a definitely adult plane and the beauties of Cocteau's conception will be most appreciated by sophisticated minds. It is not the sort of picture that will send the children into transports of delight, unless they are quite precocious youngsters of the new progressive school.
For Cocteau has taken the old story of the beautiful country girl who goes to live as a hostage for her impoverished father in the palace of a terrifying beast, there to be treated with such kindness that she falls in love with the unhappy brute, and has used it as a pattern for weaving a priceless fabric of subtle images. In the style of his "Blood of a Poet," though less abstract and recondite, it is a fabric of gorgeous visual metaphors, of undulating movements and rhythmic pace, of hypnotic sounds and music, of casually congealing ideas.
Freudian or metaphysician, you can take from it what you will. The concepts are so ingenious that they're probably apt to any rationale. From the long corridor of candelabra, held out from the walls by living arms, through which the wondering visitor enters the palace of the Beast, to the glittering temple of Diana, wherein the mystery of the Beast is revealed, the visual progression of the fable into a dream-world casts its unpredictable spell.
"Bosley Crowther" - December 24, 1947 from New York Times
53. L'Avventura (1960)
Not Rated | 143 min | Drama, Mystery
A woman disappears during a Mediterranean boating trip. During the search, her lover and her best friend become attracted to each other.
At last. Michelangelo Antonioni is an Italian director who has just made his seventh film and who is so highly esteemed abroad that there has already been an Antonioni Festival in London. For the eleven years of his career no Antonioni film has been released here. Now at last comes L'Avventura, which is the sixth of his works.
The first ten minutes make it clear that this is the work of a discerning, troubled, uniquely gifted artist who speaks to us through the refined center of his art. We may even "like" this film, but those first ten minutes indicate that liking it is not the primary point. We "like" Maurice Chevalier, but do we "like" Wozzeck or No Exit? Ii so, all the better, but we know from the start that it is irrelevant to their effective being.
This is not to say that L'Avventura is an unpleasant or uninteresting experience: simply that it does not come out of the wings like a chorus girl with a grin on her face to make a hit fast.
"Stanley Kauffmann" - April 10, 1961 from The New Republic
54. Gu ling jie shao nian sha ren shi jian (1991)
Not Rated | 237 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
Based on a true story, primarily on a conflict between two youth gangs, a 14-year-old boy's girlfriend conflicts with the head of one gang for an unclear reason, until finally the conflict comes to a violent climax.
Bearing in mind Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy, this astonishing 230-minute epic by Edward Yang (1991), set over one Taipei school year in the early 60s, would fully warrant the subtitle “A Taiwanese Tragedy.” A powerful statement from Yang's generation about what it means to be Taiwanese, superior even to his recent masterpiece Yi Yi, it has a novelistic richness of character, setting, and milieu unmatched by any other 90s film (a richness only partially apparent in its three-hour version).
What Yang does with objects—a flashlight, a radio, a tape recorder, a Japanese sword—resonates more deeply than what most directors do with characters, because along with an uncommon understanding of and sympathy for teenagers Yang has an exquisite eye for the troubled universe they inhabit.
This is a film about alienated identities in a country undergoing a profound existential crisis—a Rebel Without a Cause with much of the same nocturnal lyricism and cosmic despair. Notwithstanding the masterpieces of Hou Hsiao-hsien, the Taiwanese new wave starts here.
"Jonathan Rosenbaum" - November 26, 2002 from Chicago Reader
55. Night and Fog (1956)
Not Rated | 32 min | Documentary, Short, History
The history of Nazi Germany's death camps of the Final Solution and the hellish world of dehumanization and death contained inside.
"Still remains timely."
This short 32-minute Holocaust documentary by French New Wave filmmaker Alain Resnais ("Muriel"/"Hiroshima, Mon Amour"/"Last Year at Marienbad") is one of the most powerful made on the subject and still remains timely. It deals with Resnais' pet theme of repressed memory.
It effectively uses unsettling black-and-white archival footage recorded during the postwar liberation. It shows the interned prisoners arriving at night to the concentration camp along with footage of Hitler and his maniacal henchmen Heinrich Himmler, Reinhard Heydrich and Julius Streicher, and uses color film as it intermixes that against the serene modern-day landscape of an autumnal abandoned Auschwitz with its rusted wire, harmless looking rundown buildings and its no longer functioning crematoria. It sets a tone of muted outrage at such inhumanity and makes you wonder why the world couldn't see these horrid deeds when they were taking place. The night part of the title indicates how the death camps operated under the cloak of darkness to hide it from the world; the fog part indicates how cloudy the world's memories are and how knowledge is suppressed in our subconsciousness so that we tune out who is responsible for these crimes against mankind.
If the fog is not lifted over that suppression, Resnais is certain these atrocities will happen again. In a 1992 interview, Resnais said the film was also meant to be an allegorical statement of the French war in Algeria.
"Dennis Schwartz" - July 22, 2007 from Ozus' World Movie Reviews
56. The Tree of Life (2011)
PG-13 | 139 min | Drama, Fantasy
The story of a family in Waco, Texas in 1956. The eldest son witnesses the loss of innocence and struggles with his parents' conflicting teachings.
Votes: 148,968 | Gross: $13.30M
"Terrence Malick's family portrait "The Tree of Life" unfolds like carefully crafted verse"
A motion picture-poem is not the sort of thing we expect at the start of the summer movie season. Yet here it is, a demanding and astonishing gift.
Demanding: "It's like the home movies of an art-house director," said one guest to a publicist on the way out of the preview of writer-director Terrence Malick's portrait of a family, "The Tree of Life."
That local screening took place a few days before the film, which stars Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, won the top honor at the Cannes Film Festival in May. And the Palme d'Or is just the prize to act as an exclamation point to a quickie assessment: See how rarefied, indulgent a work Malick has made? The French like it.
Brad Pitt stars as Mr. O Brien, one of those complicated fathers the 1950s wrought, in "The Tree of Life." Brad Pitt stars as Mr. O Brien, one of those complicated fathers the 1950s wrought, in "The Tree of Life." (Photos provided by Twentieth Century Fox)
And yet, astonishing: What a transcendent achievement of American complexity Malick, a denizen of Oklahoma and Texas, has sculpted.
"The Tree of Life" is an intimate and willfully cosmic rendering of one family that unfolds as a requiem, a tone poem, as anything but a traditional narrative feature.
It's as if the terrain of Malick's youth has breathed the silence and symphony of plains and woods into his art.
This isn't the first time this rootedness has found its way on-screen; it's been a current in the director's work, running from "Badlands" to "Days of Heaven," from "The Thin Red Line" to "The New World."
"Lisa Kennedy" - June 10, 2011 from Denver Post
57. Children of Paradise (1945)
Not Rated | 189 min | Drama, Romance
The theatrical life of a beautiful courtesan and the four men who love her.
Before French cinema reinvented itself with jump cuts and cool bobs, Marcel Carn's 19th-century backstage drama was the epitome of good taste: a sumptuous spread of genteel sparring and epic heartache.
It doesn't seem dated now---at least no more so than Breathless does---but the real revelation of Children of Paradise for today's audience is behavioral: Were actors always this adorably vain? (Duh.)
The cryptic Arletty allures from the sidelines as a love object to three characters, yet she won't grab you as firmly as Jean-Louis Barrault's fragile, almost abstract mime, Baptiste, enchanting crowds nightly, or the supreme hamminess of Pierre Brasseur's Frdrick, a star in his head long before fame hits.
"Joshua Rothkopf" - March 6, 2012 from Time Out New York
58. The Battle of Algiers (1966)
Not Rated | 121 min | Drama, War
In the 1950s, fear and violence escalate as the people of Algiers fight for independence from the French government.
Votes: 43,355 | Gross: $0.06M
At the height of the street fighting in Algiers, the French stage a press conference for a captured FLN leader. "Tell me, general," a Parisian journalist asks the revolutionary, "do you not consider it cowardly to send your women carrying bombs in their handbags, to blow up civilians?" The rebel replies in a flat tone of voice: "And do you not think it cowardly to bomb our people with napalm?" A pause. "Give us your airplanes and we will give you our women and their handbags."
"The Battle of Algiers," a great film by the young Italian director Gillo Pontecorvo, exists at this level of bitter reality. It may be a deeper film experience than many audiences can withstand: too cynical, too true, too cruel and too heartbreaking. It is about the Algerian war, but those not interested in Algeria may substitute another war; "The Battle of Algiers" has a universal frame of reference.
Pontecorvo announces at the outset that there is "not one foot" of documentary or newsreel footage in his two hours of film. The announcement is necessary, because the film looks, feels and tastes as real as Peter Watkins' "The War Game." Pontecorvo used available light, newsreel film stock and actual locations to reconstruct the events in Algiers. He is after actuality, the feeling that you are there, and he succeeds magnificently; the film won the Venice Film Festival and nine other festivals, and was chosen to open the New York Film Festival last November.
"Roger Ebert" - May 30, 1968 from his site
59. Chinatown (1974)
R | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption, and murder.
Votes: 243,756 | Gross: $29.20M
“Chinatown” is an outstanding picture. Robert Towne’s complex but literate and orderly screenplay takes gumshoe Jack Nicholson on a murder manhunt all over the Los Angeles of 35 years ago, where Faye Dunaway, also above the title, is the wife of a dead city official. Roman Polanski’s American made film, first since “Rosemary’s Baby” shows him again in total command of talent and physical filmmaking elements.
Richard Sylbert’s production design is magnificent. The Paramount release, first to bear the producing credit of production chief Robert Evans, has money written all over it, and strong word of mouth should easily overcome any misconceptions suggested by the title.
Towne, whose most recent credit was the sensational adaptation of “The Last Detail,” in which Nicholson’s performance also was superb, has mixed a lot of period L.A. fact with some spicy fiction. The factual details – the procurement of water supplies for the Southern California area, profitable land acquisitions by knowledgeable insiders, etc. – may rattle a lot of civic skeletons in the closets of first families.
It is easy to speak of Los Angeles admittedly prairie metropolis morality and behavior, but it must be remembered that the swindles and corruption and capers of the latterday pioneers rank with the worst in municipal rape.
"A.D. Murphy" - June 19, 1974 from Variety
60. Metropolis (1927)
Not Rated | 153 min | Drama, Sci-Fi
In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.
Votes: 128,193 | Gross: $0.03M
'Metropolis" is one of the unquestionable masterpieces of world cinema, yet even film scholars have not seen the version that Fritz Lang premiered in Germany in 1927.
Like other silent epics, it was re-edited by its distributors, and original prints of the film deteriorated. But in 2008, a nearly intact version was discovered in Argentina. Digitally restored and accompanied by the original music, "The Complete 'Metropolis'" is astonishing, a fully realized work of art whose influence on science fiction, set design and symbolism can scarcely be put into words.
Like "Blade Runner," which borrowed from it, "Metropolis" is a futuristic spectacle about class divisions in a glittering high-rise city. But whereas "Blade Runner" was believably gritty, "Metropolis" is an artifact of abstract expressionism, steeped in the theatrics of Wagnerian opera.
The mammoth sets are populated with archetypes, from industrial overlord Joh Federsen and his mad-scientist henchman Rotwang to the uniformed workers who trudge through the underground boiler rooms.
"Joe Williams" - July 23, 2010 from St. Louis Post-Dispatch
61. Skazka skazok (1979)
29 min | Animation, Short
Distant, well-worn memories of childhood are inhabited by a little gray wolf. Through astonishing imagery, the memory of all of Russia is depicted.
Tale of Tales is a mysterious animated film, tough and delicate, that has won prizes at international festivals since it first appeared in 1980, culminating in prizes in both Los Angeles and Zagreb (in 2002) as the best animated film of all time.
It was made in Soviet Russia by Yuri Norstein, who was not allowed to travel to receive any of his awards, and who was almost prevented from making, and then from showing, the film at all. It is a film that immediately changes the memory - mine at least - of all other films. It is immediately apprehensible, and needs to be seen again and again, because it remains puzzling, both as to its form and as to its meaning.
Clare Kitson has written an exemplary book about her own fascination with it, and her own need to understand it. She has seen it "at least 50" times, and has learned Russian in order to talk to its makers. The tale she tells sheds light on the origins and making of the images, on their relation to Norstein's life and to Russian culture, to other works of art (poems and paintings) and to the troubled culture of censorship. She illuminates, and deepens the mystery, leaving the power of the images intact and strengthened, which is what good criticism should do.
The original proposal for the film, Kitson tells us, began: "This is to be a film about memory. Do you remember how long the days were when you were a child?"
The film as we have it opens with three images, an apple in the rain, a large breast with a baby suckling, and a little wolf looking on, with huge eyes in a face at once wondering and apprehensive. The apple is heavy, and a perfect pale green-gold, at once a golden apple of a lost paradise, a real apple full of juice, and a closed and perfect shape. The story has no narrative coherence. Groups of characters appear and reappear.
There is a little thin girl skipping in a rope held by a melancholy Picassoesque bull. A mother trying to peel potatoes and rock a pram, which the girl helps to do, with a bad grace. There is a poet who can't write, and his skimpy cat, dreaming a monstrous fish in the sky. There is a house, dark and closed and in bad repair, which westerners would see as a witchy house. It is boarded up, at one point, furniture is piled outside, and burned. Women and men circle under a weak street lamp. Ghostly transparent ranks of soldiers march into the sky. The men vanish one by one, a train roars, scraps of paper float across our vision: "Your son", "Your husband", "his wounds", "Courage", "Died". The tango goes on. There is a feast at a long table whose cloth is lifted and shaken by the wind.
There are visions of bright light. A woman stoking a furnace in darkness, one hot dark red shimmer surrounded by shadows. The little wolf advancing down a dark corridor towards an open door full of a spreading white brightness. A poem in front of the poet filling with the same light.
"AS Byatt" - April 16, 2005 from Guardian
62. Aguaespejo granadino (1955)
21 min | Documentary, Short
As stated in the film, Jose Val del Omar presents a brief audiovisual essay of lyrical plastic art.
Director: José Val del Omar
'José Val del Omar (Granada, 1904-Madrid, 1982) cannot be pigeonholed, despite the fact that his deepest roots are in film. He belonged to a generation that believed in film as a full-fledged art, rather than as the new opiate of the people. Moreover, his ties to film are those of an outsider artist with very few works—at least, very few surviving works. A rarity in the context of Spanish filmmaking, which is hardly given to experimentation, he has gradually become a cult figure whose reputation and stature continue to expand.
June 01, 2013 from Roškofrenija
63. Histoire(s) du cinéma (1989–1999)
An 8-part documentary chronicling the history of cinema: "All the Histories", "A Single History", "Only Cinema", "Deadly "Beauty", "The Coin of the Absolute", "A New Wave", "The Control of the Universe", and "The Signs Among Us".
Histoire(s) du cinéma is Jean-Luc Godard’s most devastating accomplishment as filmmaker/critic/artist/poet/historian. Produced over a period of ten years (1988-1998), Histoire(s) has been heralded as a work of tremendous significance to the practice of both cinema and history; most famously by Jonathan Rosenbaum, who declared it to be “the culmination of 20th century film-making” (1). Whilst not technically a film, Histoire(s) undoubtedly represents the ultimate labour of cinephilic love, an intensive audio-visual retrospective ruminating on the multiple incarnations of cinema, its vital intersections with 20th century history and ultimately, its immanent death, as projected by the medium’s most studied, critically devoted and playfully intellectual independent figure.
As is often the case with critical discussion of Godard and his films, writing on Histoire(s) emphasises the work’s difficult-to-summarise multiplicity of concerns and techniques coupled with an experimental leaning that resists being reduced to a grammatical formal strategy. In this instance, as one writer has neatly observed, Histoire(s) is simultaneously:
"An extended essay on cinema by means of cinema. A history of the cinema, and history interpreted by the cinema. An homage and a critique. An anecdotal autobiography, illuminated by Godard’s encyclopedic wit, extending the idiom established by JLG par JLG. An epic – and non-linear – poem. A freely associative essay. A vast multi-layered musical composition. (2)"
Despite the diffuse gesture of Histoire(s), it might be argued that its central motivation is to collapse the cinema from within by way of an exhaustive process of reflexive audio-visual evocation and deliberation, a post-cinematic montage that implicitly situates the cinema as an archive of a bygone era.
"Alifeleti Brown" - March 2008 from Sense of Cinema
64. Stalker (1979)
Not Rated | 162 min | Drama, Sci-Fi
A guide leads two men through an area known as the Zone to find a room that grants wishes.
Votes: 82,830 | Gross: $0.23M
HOWEVER we may be doing in the arms race or the space race, we're winning the science fiction movie race by a mile. Andrei Tarkovsky's ''Stalker,'' a somber futuristic fantasy from the Soviet Union, attempts to build an apocalyptic vision out of the most impoverished materials imaginable. It's certainly not necessary to construct an Oz or an E.T. in the service of every film fantasy. On the other hand, the fact that film is a visual medium cannot entirely be ignored. ''Stalker'' offers the eye so little that it might well have made a better novel, or short story, than a nearly three-hour-long film.
The screenplay, by Arkady and Boris Strugatzky, actually is based on their novel, ''The Picnic at a Roadside.'' But Mr. Tarkovsky has apparently made the material very much his own. In a bleak, unspecified future, three men make a journey into the Zone, a deserted and forbidden place. They are a writer, a science professor and a ''stalker,'' the latter being an unauthorized guide who himself cannot resist the Zone. Though it is dangerous to travel there (the stalker has fathered a mysterious, crippled child, presumably because of his earlier exposure to the place), it is tempting as well. At the Zone's center is a spot where anyone's wishes may come true.
"Janes Maslin" - October 20, 1982 from New York Times
65. In the Mood for Love (2000)
PG | 98 min | Drama, Romance
Two neighbors, a woman and a man, form a strong bond after both suspect extramarital activities of their spouses. However, they agree to keep their bond platonic so as not to commit similar wrongs.
Votes: 91,028 | Gross: $2.73M
In the Mood for Love is Wong Kar-wai's ravishing evocation of a unconsummated romantic relationship put through an emotional and cultural ringer, a retread of sorts through Happy Together territory, this time without the kinetic patchwork of jarring film stocks that have become Wong trademarks since Chungking Express. Chow Mo-Wan (Tony Leung Chiu Wai) and Su Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung) move in next-door to each other in the same apartment building. He's a journalist who dreams of publishing martial-arts novels. She's a secretary at a shipping company.
They choose to remain loyal to their spouses, and through Wong's glorious masterstrokes, they come to resemble butterflies caught in a rainbow-tinted industrial web. Wong's use of the interior space is impeccable, recalling Max Ophüls's obsession with background planes as prisons. During the woeful first half of the film, Wong emphasizes the couple's emotional distance by refusing to frame them in the same shot during conversations.
Their faceless spouses are noticeably absent from the film, both tending to their own love affairs with each other. Michael Galasso's sweaty soundtrack complements Wong's broad color splashes and erotic compositions.
"Ed Gonzales" - May 1, 2001 from Slant Magazine
66. Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974)
Unrated | 193 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
A mysteriously linked pair of young women find their daily lives preempted by a strange boudoir melodrama that plays itself out in a hallucinatory parallel reality.
Votes: 3,747 | Gross: $0.03M
Frustrated at having to abandon his variation on The Phantom of the Opera, Jacques Rivette teamed with his proposed Phénix star, Juliet Berto, to concoct a scenario for her and her friend, Dominique Labourier. Working in tandem with screenwriter Eduardo de Gregario, the trio conceived this freewheeling epic as a series of seemingly improvised, but in fact meticulously planned episodes, which explored such contrasting issues as magic and myth, fantasy and memory, time and place, and identity and duality.
Infused with the spirit of Alice in Wonderland, the action also alluded to the writings of Proust, Borges and Pirandello, as well as the films of Louis Feuillade, Jean Cocteau and Alfred Hitchcock. But, while some critics protested at the three-hour running time and lack of obvious meaning, others recognised it as Rivette's most mesmerising offering and it has since acquired cult status (thanks in no small part to the fact that the heroines constantly have to consume enchanted candy to make sense of their experiences in the possibly haunted mansion).
"David Parkinson" from Empire Magazine UK
67. Ivan the Terrible, Part I (1945)
Not Rated | 95 min | Biography, Drama, History
During the early part of his reign, Ivan the Terrible faces betrayal from the aristocracy and even his closest friends as he seeks to unite the Russian people.
(tie) with Ivan the Terrible part 2:
The two parts of Eisenstein's "Ivan the Terrible" are epic in scope, awesome in visuals, and nonsensical in story. It is one of those works that has proceeded directly to the status of Great Movie without going through the intermediate stage of being a good movie. I hope earnest students of cinema will forgive me when I say every serious movie lover should see it -- once.
The productions were backed by Stalin, who took Ivan as a personal hero. They were filmed during World War Two, mostly at the Alma Ata studios in Kazakhstan, where major Soviet directors were relocated for greater safety. Even in wartime Eisenstein seems to have been under few limitations; in Part II, spectacular shots show a march of hundreds of costumed extras playing Ivan's army, and proletarians on a march to implore Ivan to return from exile. The first film, released in 1944, was met with great success (i.e., by Stalin who was the only one who counted). Part II was completed by 1946 but suppressed because either state censors or Stalin himself found the Tsar uncomfortably close to the dictator. Eisenstein planned a third part of a trilogy and shot some scenes for it, but production was halted and the director died in 1948.
The film opens in a vast, towering throne room in Moscow, during the coronation of Ivan with the approval of the Boyars, the hereditary class of affluent bourgeois who exercised de facto control over the state. Their smiles turn to angry frowns as the tall, confident teenager immediately declares himself Tsar of all of Russia and vows to marry Princess Anastasia; he will to extend and protect Russian borders and hold sway over the Boyars.
This scene will set a tone for both films. The coronation ceremony is deliberate and stately. The costumes are particularly ornate and bejeweled, apparently so heavy they must be difficult to wear. The acting style is declamatory and bombastic. Eisenstein begins here, and will continue throughout the film, to use dramatic close ups of faces. The actors he uses often look odd. Their features are sometimes exaggerated by lightning from below. His camera angles are oblique. Ivan's opponents are seen as a menagerie of grotesque human caricatures, seen separately with no attempt to establish their spatial location.
It is impossible to look at those faces and not think immediately of the Danish silent film "The Passion of Joan of Arc," made by Carl Theodore Dreyer in 1928. Eisenstein had almost certainly seen it before he began filming in the early 1940s, if not in Russia then in Hollywood, where after the success of his early films "Potemkin" and "October" he was invited in 1930 to make a film by Paramount. His projects were rejected by the studio, he became the target of anti-Communists, and he never made an American film. (He did however find himself greatly impressed by the early work of Walt Disney, and later declared "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" the greatest film ever made.)
"Roger Ebert" - January 19, 2012 from his site
68. Ivan the Terrible, Part II (1958)
Not Rated | 88 min | Biography, History
As Ivan the Terrible attempts to consolidate his power by establishing a personal army, his political rivals, the Russian boyars, plot to assassinate their Tsar.
(tie) with Ivan the Terrible part 1
Long withheld by Soviet officials, Ivan the Terrible, Part II is hardly an entertaining film. But it is well worth the time of students of history and the cinema. How Ivan, the first Russian czar, subdued a revolt of the boyars (members of an aristocratic order) is the story peg for this Sergei Eisenstein production.
Originally, Eisenstein planned a trilogy on Ivan but he died in 1948 after completing only two of the films. In the first, released in the US in 1947, Ivan’s cruel character was largely whitewashed and he was depicted a saint.
In the second film Eisenstein apparently chose to forget the party line and concentrate upon a searching character study of the czar who even killed his own son. His ‘indecisive’ approach caused him to become the target of an officially inspired critical attack and Part II was banned for 12 years. Eisenstein subsequently ‘confessed’ that he had been ‘idealogically defective.’
"Variety Staff" - December 31, 1957 from Variety
69. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
Not Rated | 136 min | Drama, War
A young soldier faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I.
Votes: 50,674 | Gross: $3.27M
"Raging war and soldiers' struggles back home in ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’"
“All Quiet on the Western Front” depicts a war which is wild, mad, raging with fight.
Universal’s audible screen production of Erich Maria Remarque’s sensational best seller, is so magnificent, so powerful, that it hardly behooves mere words to tell of its heart-rending appeal, of its dramatic fire, its breath-taking battle shots in which men stab and kill each other, for the glory of war.
It is not only a great motion picture because it has been built firmly and consistently upon the plot of a great book: It smack of directional genius - nothing short of this; sensitive performances by a marvelous cast and the most remarkable camera work which has been performed on either silent or sound screen, round about the Hollywood studios.
We always knew Lewis Milestone was one of the motion picture world’s megaphonic leaders. But with this grand and glorious and bloodthirsty and stark and real epic of a world struggle (which seems not to take the side of Germany, but, as its author maintains, is the story of the youth of all nations, of all armies engaged in the grim and gory practice of warfare) Milestone takes the directorial throne for 1930.
His treatment is superb. His sense of the dramatic is unparalleled. His knowledge of what tricks the camera man can do to spellbind its audience is amazing. His understanding of the true and tender details which play on the spectator’s sympathy is perfect. His sense of casting couldn’t possibly have been better.
We have Lewis Ayres, a comparative newcomer to the screen; a 20-year-old youth with deep, dark eyes and a sensitive face, portraying Paul Baumer the schoolboy who faces hunger, despair and death - but isn’t afraid. His companions in battle are a sextet of German schoolboys - all eager to fight, vigorous and high in spirit, when they enlist.
But they suffer one disillusionment after another in this struggle of terror. However, youth does not easily lose nerve. And even though one dies a horrible death, another goes mad - and one by one the rest are killed off, they philosophize and there are a couple of light touches to prove that even war is not altogether unbearable. Girls. Liquor when available. Comradeship.
War does something to young boys. When Paul returns home on furlough, he realize that he doesn’t belong; that he cannot stand the “home fighters”; that even his mother doesn’t understand him now, cannot see how her baby has grown up.
He actually runs back to the dirty, muddy, slimy trenches; eager for another taste of shells, rats and rotten rations. And, his death, just as the picture fades out, is a simple exit, indeed - but because of its simplicity, it rings with grandeur.
We have praise for everyone concerned with this picture.
April 30, 1930 from New York Daily News, story written by Irene Thirer" - February 17, 2015 from New York Daily News
70. A Man Escaped (1956)
Not Rated | 101 min | Drama, Thriller, War
A captured French Resistance fighter during WWII engineers a daunting escape from prison.
Blessed with a weeklong run at the end of Film Forum's bliss-inducing Robert Bresson retrospective, the French filmmaker's 1956 tale of steel bars and iron wills boils a true-story prison break down to its bare necessities. "I've told it as it happened, unadorned," claims the filmmaker in an introductory disclaimer, and that's an unabashed understatement.
Once WWII resistance fighter Fontaine (Leterrier) decides he's busting out of a Nazi hoosegow, the movie focuses, single-mindedly and laserlike, on every painstaking preparation for an exit strategy. Passing clandestine notes, stealthily chipping away at doors, braiding bits of mattress stuffing to make ropes; each detail is presented with minimal fuss while simultaneously milked for maximum suspense. Even the title dispenses with unnecessary frills: A man escaped. What more do you need to know?
"David Fear" - January 17, 2012 fom Time Out New York
71. Fanny and Alexander (1982)
R | 188 min | Drama
Two young Swedish children experience the many comedies and tragedies of their family, the Ekdahls.
Votes: 47,850 | Gross: $4.97M
Though Ingmar Bergman has continued to write and to direct for Swedish television, he chose to end his feature filmmaking career with "Fanny and Alexander," the 1982 masterpiece that begins a week's revival at the Castro Theatre.
It is very much, and in the best way, an old man's movie, the work of an artist resigned to life's mystery, full of wonder at the passage of time, full of forgiveness for past wrongs, and full of understanding, even of those people whose wrongs can never quite be forgiven. It's an epic family film that revisits Bergman's favorite subjects -- marriage, passion, infidelity, death, God -- and yet in ways more generous and less austere than in his other films. That's why it is repeatedly called his most accessible work and why, though it's his last film, it's probably the ideal first Bergman film for the uninitiated. It introduces Bergman's concerns against a rich backdrop of vibrant turn-of-the-century color and active family drama.
It begins in 1907, with a Christmas Eve gathering at the home of the Ekdahl family matriarch, Helena (Gunn Wallgren), the grandmother of Alexander, a 10-year-old boy, and Fanny, his 8-year-old sister. The Ekdahls are a lively group. The children's parents are actors. One of their uncles, Gustav, is such an uncontrollable ladies' man that his wife tolerates his dalliances with amusement. It is a life-loving, art-loving family, full of passion and intellectual enthusiasm.
Here, as always, Bergman is courageous in his honesty, always willing to take scenes to a place of uncomfortable truth. Gustav has a tryst with one of Helena's maids, Maj (Pernilla Wallgren), that turns from a happy romp into a touchy discussion about money and the future. The children meet their stepfather, (Jan Malmsjo), a handsome, even-tempered Lutheran bishop who fancies himself the soul of reason and forbearance. But Alexander hates him on sight. More disconcertingly, the boy seems to understand him on sight, seeing in him a degree of self-delusion, doubt and cruelty under the placid mask.
"Mick LaSalle" - August 27, 2004 from San Francisco Chronicle
72. The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)
Not Rated | 98 min | Drama, Fantasy
In 1940, after watching and being traumatized by the movie Frankenstein (1931), a sensitive seven year-old girl living in a small Spanish village drifts into her own fantasy world.
"A girl's graceful search for the supernatural"
When it was made in 1973 , Victor Erice 's "The Spirit of the Beehive" was one of the rare films to take a child's inner life seriously. The movie, which has a newly struck print and opened yesterday at the Museum of Fine Arts, tells the tale of two sisters, Ana and Isabel , living in a small, almost empty Castilian village. The year is 1940, just after the Spanish Civil War. The girls' little town never saw battle, still it feels a little demoralized and looks ravaged and war-torn by association.
One afternoon, the girls attend a showing of a touring print of James Whale 's 1931 ``Frankenstein ," with Boris Karloff . The film is dubbed in Spanish, but its sequences of Karloff's monster innocently murdering that little girl and of the monster's death at the hands of the town are haunting in any language. Needless to say, Ana (Ana Torrent ), who's 6 years old and has serious eyes, has a hard time sleeping. But she's more curious than afraid. Why did the monster kill the girl? Is he still alive?
Isabel (Isabel Telleria ) is about 8 and passes off her sense of mischief as wisdom, telling Ana that the monster didn't actually die. In fact, his body was merely a temporary shell for his essence, which can be summoned at Ana's choosing. Naturally, Ana takes this as gospel and proceeds to look for the supernatural everywhere in her dusty, barren farm town. Maybe she finds it. Maybe she doesn't, but Erice supports her little quest for Frankenstein's monster, and when she puts her tiny shoe inside a larger, wider footprint, you do too. The movie, shot at the end of the Franco regime, doesn't ask you to believe in what she finds the way Steven Spielberg often does. We have to believe only in her belief. The picture is magic and realist but careful not to be a work of magic realism, despite how pregnant it is with metaphysical possibility.
"Wesley Morris" - May 26, 2006 from Boston Magazine
73. Nema-ye Nazdik (1990)
Not Rated | 98 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime
Votes: 10,799 | Gross: $0.00M
Although Abbas Kiarostami seems to be receding into a Godardian cave of late, this must-see 1990 artichoke—in many ways, the Iranian New Wave's seminal creation—will never age out.
Last decade, it seemed as if nobody made movies with such mundane majesty. Close-Up begins, though not for us, with a court case against Sabzian, an out-of-work Iranian man who, posing as controversial director-celebrity Mohsen Makhmalbaf, insinuates himself into an upper-class Tehrani family's life under the pretense of using them in a film.
He doesn't, of course, but in a kind of proto-reality show sleight-of-hand, Kiarostami does—entire segments of Sabzian's strange little history with the family are re-enacted for the camera, and we're never clear on exactly how much of what we see is true and how much is fiction.
"Michael Atkinson" - May 24, 2010 from Village Voice
74. The Night of the Hunter (1955)
Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery.
One of the great movie horror tales, with one of the greatest of all movie villains, appeared to relatively little fanfare in 1955 when actor Charles Laughton released his sole movie directorial effort: a startlingly Gothic visualization of Davis Grubb's Southern nightmare novel "The Night of the Hunter." Now generally regarded as a classic, it's the lyrical, frightening story of two children pursued by a demon: Robert Mitchum as black-clad Preacher Harry Powell, revivalist and killer. Laughton's "Night" has a fairytale power and simplicity. The children flee down the river pursued by their demon and surrounded by all the noises and fears of the night. Laughton, a brilliant first-time moviemaker, evokes that nightmare with a sensitivity and power that suggest he's just as frightened as they were -- or as we become, watching it.
Laughton was inspired by both D.W. Griffith and the '20s German expressionists, and he uses Griffith's virgin goddess Lillian Gish as his emblem of goodness, the children's heroic spinster-savior, guarding them with a shotgun on her knee. But he was also inspired by his unlikely star. Mitchum, who was usually dismissed in the '50s as a sleepy-eyed bad boy movie hunk, shows just how good (or great) an actor he was here, as the seductive lady-killing revivalist Preacher Powell, crooning "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms," with "Love" and "Hate" tattooed on his knuckles. Relentlessly pursuing the kids down the river after marrying and murdering their mother (Shelley Winters), Mitchum plays the Preacher with such cold-blooded conviction, such looming force and evil, that he chills the blood -- just as he did seven years later as Max Cady in the original "Cape Fear." "The best actor I ever worked with," Old Vic veteran Laughton said of Mitchum, an opinion later echoed by John Huston.
"Michael Wilmington" - November 23, 2001 from Chicago Tribune
75. La Strada (1954)
Not Rated | 108 min | Drama
A care-free girl is sold to a traveling entertainer, consequently enduring physical and emotional pain along the way.
The road of magical neo-realism is a lopsided one, the joke is a cosmic allegory brought to a harsh Laurel and Hardy sketch: "Che faccia buffa che hai!" Seaside views bookend Federico Fellini’s breakthrough fable, the peasant girl who "just came out a little strange" is named Gelsomina (Giulietta Masina) and sold off to Zampano (Anthony Quinn), a loutish saltimbanque who suggests a troglodyte Pulcinella.
The mismatched couple is a natural for a muscleman and clown act, he faces a paltry audience with his solitary trick (chains snapped by "steel lungs") while she provides the off-key drum roll in black bowler and oversized coat.
An air of quotidian enchantment hangs over the Italian countryside, where a rowdy wedding banquet outdoors gives way to a mysterious glimpse of an unsmiling boy deep within a convent’s ward. Later, street activity shifts rapidly from the sudden appearance of a trio of uniformed musicians to a surging religious procession to a tightrope act, where Il Matto (Richard Basehart) makes his entrance. In the rubble of a departing Roman circus, between the moon and the pebble, a vagabond philosophy is laid bare: "You may not believe it, but everything in this world has a purpose." Memories of Griffith, Vigo and Harry Langdon abound in Fellini’s famed tragicommedia, the archetypal protagonists repeatedly meet and part like the chafing heads of a fanciful chimera.
"Fernando F. Croce" from Cinepassion
76. A City of Sadness (1989)
157 min | Drama
A beautiful, historical film based upon the complex lives of four brothers.
This vastly ambitious drama about political strife in Taiwan distills a crucial historical period—from the island’s liberation from Japan, in 1945, to the Communist takeover of China, in 1949—into crystalline sketches.
The director, Hou Hsiao-hsien, builds his film around a single episode—the killing, in 1947, by the ruling Nationalists, of tens of thousands of their political opponents—which he tells through the story of Wen-ching (Tony Leung), a deaf-mute portrait photographer, whose silent lucidity is an ironic critique of the post-liberation linguistic wars, which mirror Taiwan’s civil conflict. (The movie pointedly features dialogue in Japanese as well as in a plethora of Chinese dialects.)
"Richard Brody" from New Yorker
Not Rated | 201 min | Drama
A lonely widowed housewife does her daily chores, takes care of her apartment where she lives with her teenage son, and turns the occasional trick to make ends meet. However, something happens that changes her safe routine.
Votes: 4,624 | Gross: $0.02M
"Mother, Housewife, Prostitute"
Chantal Akerman's Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles has been notorious for so long, mainly because of its extreme unavailability on video, because of its lengthy running time, and because seemingly nothing happens in it. But now that it has been officially released, on a Criterion DVD no less, all those things become unimportant and the film itself can now be seen for what it is: a masterpiece.
Jeanne Dielman (Delphine Seyrig) prepares dinner, and a man arrives at the door. She collects his hat and scarf and leads him to the bedroom. They re-emerge. She holds out her hand and he places money in it. He leaves, and she places the money in a ceramic pot. She continues to prepare dinner, for her son, Sylvain (Jan Decorte). They eat in near silence, though Sylvain would rather read than eat. She reads a letter from a distant aunt, he does his homework, and she knits. Occasionally, flashing blue lights -- perhaps from some neon advertising sign just outside the windows -- twitch and skitter all over the walls. After a while, mother and son go out for something, but we don't see where they go; we only see them return. But wherever they went or whatever they experienced doesn't appear to have changed their lives in the slightest.
Over the course of the rest of the film, Jeanne takes a bath, washes out the tub, makes beds, makes coffee, polishes shoes and washes dishes. Akerman shoots all these activities at four angles only, from the front, from behind, or from left or right profiles. There are no camera movements (that I can remember). Using only cuts, Akerman often follows characters as they move from room to room, conscientiously flicking the lights on and off lights each time. There's very little dialogue and no non-diegetic music, and more often than not, entire scenes pass by in silence, except for the rustle of clothes or the clink of dishes.
"Jeffrey M. Anderson" from Combustible Celluloid
78. Journey to Italy (1954)
Not Rated | 97 min | Drama, Romance
An unhappily married couple attempts to find direction and insight while vacationing in Naples.
George Sanders was an English actor who brought to his performances a sense of sophistication, threat, and a hint that he found everything a little too tedious to bear.
It’s an impression that was underlined by his death by suicide in 1972. He left a note that read, “I am leaving because I am bored.”
That feeling of ennui permeates Journey To Italy, a 1954 film that has been hailed as the first modern movie, a deceptively simple melodrama told in a naturalistic style — it was filmed on location in Naples — and with improvised dialogue and hidden meanings.
It was much beloved by French critics, who went on to become the filmmakers of the so-called New Wave: not a masterpiece, perhaps, but an influential landmark.
"Jay Stone - August 27, 2013 from Canada
79. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
G | 86 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy
When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wondrous forest spirits who live nearby.
'Totoro': A Charming Tale of Sisterhood
The gentle warmth of "My Neighbor Totoro," a new animated feature opening citywide today, provides a welcome respite from the rapid-fire mayhem that usually characterizes Japanese animation seen in the United States. Instead of the standard sci-fi laser battles and explosions, writer-director Hayao Miyazaki offers a charming fantasy that stresses the affectionate bond between two young sisters.
While their mother remains in the hospital, 4-year-old Mei and 10-year-old Satsuki move into an aged house in the country with their professor-father. When Mei explores the nearby woods, she meets Totoro, a seven-foot forest spirit who looks like an outsized cross between a bunny rabbit and a fuzzy throw pillow. The father believes Mei's story about meeting this magical guardian, and respectfully asks Totoro to watch over the children, which he does with the aid of a few assistants and a 12-legged "catbus" that is half animal/half machine.
Guided by their supernatural friend, the sisters share a series of adventures, soaring over the landscape while Totoro's roars make the winds blow. But the story remains focused on the affection Mei and Satsuki share. Unlike many recent cartoon chums, the two sisters seem genuinely fond of each other, and their camaraderie never feels saccharine or forced.
"Charles Solomon" - May 07, 1993 from LA Times
80. Amarcord (1973)
R | 123 min | Comedy, Drama
A series of comedic and nostalgic vignettes set in a 1930s Italian coastal town.
Federico Fellini's films beg to be seen on a movie screen. Their panoramic, overstuffed frames and larger-than-life characters overflow the boundaries of home theater; their exuberant, generous humor is best enjoyed in a packed auditorium rippling with laughter. So three cheers for the re-release of "Amarcord" (★★★★, unrated, in subtitled Italian) the maestro's farcical, vulgar, wistful recollection of adolescence in wartime.
Fellini's alter ego, Titta (Bruno Zanin) leads a pack of boys through the streets of a strange little town. Their shenanigans wouldn't be out of place in an "American Pie" movie, but fascism is all the rage, with goose-stepping parades and a giant head of Mussolini that's an object of frenzied adoration. The boys adore Il Duce with the grandiose passion of youth, as does the newborn nation. "Amarcord" is a funhouse tour of bittersweet history.
"Colin Covert" - March 26, 2009 from Star Tribune
81. Boyhood (I) (2014)
R | 165 min | Drama
The life of Mason, from early childhood to his arrival at college.
Votes: 299,789 | Gross: $25.38M
"Richard Linklater’s Momentous Boyhood Is an Experiment That Makes Time Visible"
Richard Linklater’s drama Boyhood isn’t a documentary, but it has a documentary hook. Linklater filmed his leading actor, Ellar Coltrane, over 11 years, beginning when Coltrane was 7 and ending on the far side of puberty, when the boy was 18. So you see the actor go from cute and compact to a wee bit pudgy to long-waisted and deep-voiced, and the ongoing transformation alters the way you watch. Time in cinema is relative and easily fudged, but in Boyhood, the realness of time is central — and, in context, uncanny. You go, “Whoa, he shot up!” And you might find yourself thinking, as I did, “Oh, right, this is how it was when I was young and every atom was in flux, when I felt something new every second of every day and didn’t have a name for it.” Each moment is fleeting and, for that reason, momentous.
When we meet Coltrane’s character, Mason, in 2002, his parents have separated. His father (Ethan Hawke) has taken off for Alaska and his mother (Patricia Arquette) is chafing against the strictures on her life—against the feeling that first she was “somebody’s daughter” and now she’s “somebody’s mother” and that time is wasting her. The early scenes in the family’s small Texas home (Linklater’s daughter, Lorelei, plays Mason’s older sister, Samantha) are casual, mundane, not as ostentatiously transcendental as Terrence Malick’s in The Tree of Life, but the telling details build and begin to resonate. Mason likes arrowheads — he’s already taking the long view of civilization — and reads the latest Harry Potter and peruses a lingerie catalogue with a friend, Tommy, and sees a dead bird around the time his mom says they’re moving to Houston so her mom can look after them while she goes back to school. As they pack, Mason scrubs his height chart off the wall. His sister tells his friend on the phone, “Sorry, Tommy, Mason can’t come out today, we’re moving,” and says, “Good-bye, house … Good-bye, lawn,” and Mason sees Tommy bicycling toward them as their car pulls away; life already going, going, gone.
I don’t know how much of Boyhood Linklater mapped out a dozen years ago, but I’d like to think he watched his actors and his own life and let many of the details find him — let the story come over time. But maybe he’s just great at hiding the scaffolding. Nothing ever seems settled. When Mason and Samantha’s father shows up in Houston for a visit, he’s nervous, over-effusive, probably stoned. He wants to be a good dad — maybe even reconcile with his wife. But he’s plainly a screw-up with no job and no design for living. And then Mom marries one of her professors, Bill (Marco Perella), and it’s on to the next phase, the next chapter.
You don’t see Coltrane acting, only behaving, re-acting, his hair and face and body changing but his consciousness constant. What’s happening on the outside reflects some of what’s inside, but not all. It’s not a one-to-one correspondence. Boyhood is more open than that, more amorphous. Professor Bill is a scary alcoholic, but the fear doesn’t come all at once. Feelings are usually one or two steps behind events. Later on, Linklater tips his hand a bit when Mom — now a professor herself — lectures on Bowlby and Attachment Theory and we’re probably meant to wonder, “What part of Mason is the upshot of free will and what part a consequence of ruptures and bad parenting?” He’s obviously working on that problem himself, trying to figure out what’s everybody and what’s uniquely him. Parents lecture him, teachers lecture him, but Mason grows more inward, more out of reach to grown-ups. And then, when he’s a senior in high school, he meets a girl and begins — of course! — to find his tongue. That part’s genetically programmed.
"David Edelstein - July 14, 2014 from Vulvure
82. The Third Man (1949)
93 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller
Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime.
Votes: 129,113 | Gross: $0.45M
think I was about 14 years old when I first saw "The Third Man" on television, at night, all alone in my room in Los Angeles. It took me deep inside a place and time--postwar Vienna--that I couldn't shake and under no circumstances wanted to shake. It transformed the way I looked at the world.
I'm sure you know it can be dangerous to revisit one's favorite movies from childhood. In the harsher light of adulthood, their sterling virtues can evaporate like mirages. But the thing about Carol Reed's 1949 "The Third Man" was that no matter how many times I saw it over the years its magic never failed. Its sophisticated, world-weary glamour never lost its allure. The movie only got richer as my own experiences got richer. I kept discovering dark new delights, and the classic moments remained every bit as classic.
"David Ansen" - November 16, 2004 from News Week
83. The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964)
Not Rated | 137 min | Biography, Drama, History
The life of Jesus Christ according to the Gospel of Matthew. Pasolini shows Christ as a marxist avant-la-lettre and therefore uses half of the text of Matthew.
Pier Paolo Pasolini was stuck in St. Francis' hometown of Assisi. He had come there in 1962 to attend a seminar at a Franciscan monastery. Although it was well known that Pasolini was an atheist, a Marxist and a homosexual, he had accepted the invitation after Pope John XXIII called for a new dialogue with non-Catholic artists.
Now the streets were jammed because the pope was in town, and Pasolini waited in his hotel room. He found a copy of the Gospels, and "read them straight through." The notion of basing a film on one of them, he wrote, "threw in the shade all the other ideas for work I had in my head." The result was his film "The Gospel According to St. Matthew" (1964), which was filmed mostly in the poor, desolate Italian district of Basilicata, and its capital city, Matera. (Forty years later, Mel Gibson would film "The Passion of the Christ" on the very same locations.)
Pasolini's is one of the most effective films on a religious theme I have ever seen, perhaps because it was made by a nonbeliever who did not preach, glorify, underline, sentimentalize or romanticize his famous story, but tried his best to simply record it.
"Roger Ebert" - March 14, 2004 from his site
84. La Jetée (1962)
Not Rated | 28 min | Short, Drama, Romance
The story of a man forced to explore his memories in the wake of World War III's devastation, told through still images.
This classic 'photo-roman' about the power of memory - 'the story of a man marked by an image of his childhood' - begins at Orly airport a few years before WWIII. That image is of a woman's face at the end of the pier; and in the post-apocalyptic world the man now inhabits as a prisoner, he is given the chance to discover its true significance as a guinea-pig in a time travel experiment. Marker uses monochrome images recognisably from the past, such as the ruins of Europe after WWII, and with a few small props and effects, subtly suggests a future environment. The soundtrack's texture is similarly sparse, and the fluid montage leads the viewer into the sensation of watching moving images. Until, that is, an extraordinary epiphany when an image genuinely does move: the man's sleeping lover opens her eyes.
"Geoff Andrew" - June 24, 2006 from Time Out London
85. Sansho the Bailiff (1954)
Not Rated | 124 min | Drama
In medieval Japan, a compassionate governor is sent into exile. His wife and children try to join him, but are separated, and the children grow up amid suffering and oppression.
A little late to the party, I know, but Kenji Mizoguchi's magisterial jidaigeki Sansho the Bailiff is the source material for Hiyao Miyazaki's Spirited Away.
Both are initiated by the filmmakers as fairytales, mythologies; and both are initiated within the text by a specific fatal flaw in parental figures. In Sansho, it's hubris when the father, a principled public servant, stands up under an unjust edict and is exiled, leaving his family in peril. In Spirited Away, the parents engage in an endless banquet, indulging their gluttony until they're transformed into literal swine despite the protests of their child.
Both films are withering indictments of the cultures that produced them, and each is opened to a greater depth of interpretation by an appreciation of the other. Coming here from the Miyazaki, it's fruitful to consider why it is the Mizoguchi is named after the villain, the cruel slave-owner who tortures the film's heroes, while the Miyazaki is named for the innocents (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi) and the loaded act/word "Kamikakushi," which once referred to abduction by angry gods but has a contemporary implication of sex trafficking. Arguably, Mizoguchi sets up this read of the later text in his own canon, with many of his films addressing the problem of sexual exploitation among the lower class in Japanese history--a problem that persisted through the war years and, some would say, beyond. With its naming, it's possible to infer that the source for the ills in Sansho the Bailiff is too strong a hold on the traditions of an antiquated past; in Spirited Away, it's the frittering away of the future by a generation too solipsistic, too blinkered by its own sense of entitlement, to save itself from obsolescence.
See the two films as bookends of a particularly Japanese introspection, equal parts humility and nihilism. (As one of the characters in Sansho the Bailiff sings, "Isn't life a torture?") And in the contemplation of the Mizoguchi, find also an undercurrent of warning, and doom, in the Miyazaki.
Sansho the Bailiff is a textbook, every frame another carefully-arranged dissertation on composition, movement, brevity, art. The bittersweet reunion that ends the film, punctuated by a spare, plaintive wail of a nohkan on the soundtrack, is among the most heart-rending in motion-picture history.
Beyond its archetypal resonance, the movie deals with issues of sacrifice, of honour, of the greater good no matter the individual cost. It's one of the great humanist works in this way, though it's also a vital human document, in that it represents the possibility of art--the creation of the hand--to speak eternal to the essential lament of existence. Sansho works wonderfully as a literal tragedy, but it works better as an existentialist parable--with little effort, it's possible to see it as a body with Sartre and Kierkegaard and as the most obvious antecedent, aside from any stylistic debtors to Mizoguchi, to similar movements in Terrence Malick and even Werner Herzog.
The ferocity of its humanism is what elevates Mizoguchi's work. He's interested in centres of power only inasmuch as they are the epicentres of expanding ripples that devastate the helpless and the innocent.
Mizoguchi's pictures represent a certain collective disappointment in traditional modes of leadership--more specifically, in leaders who, under the mantle of Heaven, have led the nation to ruin and despair. Often described as a feminist filmmaker (especially for his Ugetsu, Gion Bayashi, Red Light District, and Life of Oharu), Mizoguchi is more generally a champion for the weak. Small wonder that his films found traction in the United States during the Cold War and the dawn of this modern epoch, in which greater numbers of people came to understand how small their lives were within the machinations of impenetrable machineries.
"Walter Chaw" - May 29, 2013 from Film Freak Central
86. The Man Who Planted Trees (1987)
30 min | Animation, Short, Drama
The story of a shepherd's single handed quest to re-forest a barren valley.
When I think that one man, one body, and one spirit was enough to turn a desert into the land of Canaan, I find after all that a man’s destiny can be truly wonderful. But when I consider the passionate determination, the unfailing generosity of spirit it took to achieve this end, I’m filled with admiration for this old, unlearned peasant, who was able to complete a task worthy of God.
Rendered by Canadian animator Frédéric Back in a meticulous yet airy cinematic impressionism – pencil crayon sketches, come to life – “L’homme qui plantait des arbes” is the simple story of Eleazard Bouffier, a shepherd who passes his days unnoticed, planting acorns in an arid, desolate highland in Provence.
There comes a moment when the curve of a treeless hilltop proves to be the brim of a man’s hat. Another when unrelieved sparsities of brown and grey give way, at last, to richly exuberant colours: we hear of the death of the man’s wife and son, played out before us in extreme simplicity, a still and sorrowful moment in a modern dance piece; then for a very long time we watch from a respectful distance as this solitary man painstakingly plants his seeds; only then, once it has been earned, does the screen finally blossom with colour.
"Ron Reed" - June 10, 2009 from The Other Journal
87. Pierrot le Fou (1965)
Not Rated | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
Pierrot escapes his boring society and travels from Paris to the Mediterranean Sea with Marianne, a girl chased by hit-men from Algeria. They lead an unorthodox life, always on the run.
88. Come and See (1985)
Not Rated | 142 min | Drama, War
After finding an old rifle, a young boy joins the Soviet resistance movement against ruthless German forces and experiences the horrors of World War II.
89. Playtime (1967)
Not Rated | 115 min | Comedy
Monsieur Hulot curiously wanders around a high-tech Paris, paralleling a trip with a group of American tourists. Meanwhile, a nightclub/restaurant prepares its opening night, but it's still under construction.
90. Blue Velvet (1986)
R | 120 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child.
Votes: 150,637 | Gross: $8.55M
91. Jalsaghar (1958)
Not Rated | 95 min | Drama, Music
Depicts the end days of a decadent zamindar (landlord) in Bengal, and his efforts to uphold his family prestige even when faced with economic adversity.
Votes: 4,076 | Gross: $0.09M
92. North by Northwest (1959)
Not Rated | 136 min | Action, Adventure, Mystery
A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.
Votes: 246,851 | Gross: $13.28M
93. Satantango (1994)
450 min | Drama
Plotting on a payment they are about to receive, residents of a collapsing collective farm see their plans turn into desolation when they discover that Irimiás, a former co-worker who they thought was dead, is coming back to the village.
94. Mulholland Dr. (2001)
R | 147 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality.
Votes: 270,574 | Gross: $7.22M
95. Schindler's List (1993)
R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History
In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans.
Votes: 986,685 | Gross: $96.07M
98. The Deer Hunter (1978)
R | 183 min | Drama, War
An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam War impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.
Votes: 261,308 | Gross: $48.98M
99. Chungking Express (1994)
PG-13 | 102 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
Two melancholy Hong Kong policemen fall in love: one with a mysterious female underworld figure, the other with a beautiful and ethereal server at a late-night restaurant he frequents.
Votes: 47,047 | Gross: $0.60M
100. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
Not Rated | 126 min | Adventure, Drama, Western
Fred Dobbs and Bob Curtin, two Americans searching for work in Mexico, convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains.
Votes: 90,205 | Gross: $5.01M