Best Films of All Time (2019 Revision)by Matt_Dammit | created - 10 Jan 2013 | updated - 2 months ago | Public
I Added few films for 2019 Revision
My Facebook: Egi David Perdana II
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)
She Puppet (Peggy Ashwesh, 2001) A Story of Tobacco (Noburo Ofuji, 1926)
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1. Citizen Kane (1941)
PG | 119 min | Drama, Mystery
Following the death of publishing tycoon, Charles Foster Kane, reporters scramble to uncover the meaning of his final utterance; 'Rosebud'.
Votes: 367,630 | 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: 129,970 | 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
After discovering a mysterious artifact buried beneath the Lunar surface, mankind sets off on a quest to find its origins with help from intelligent supercomputer H.A.L. 9000.
Votes: 549,837 | 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 former police detective juggles wrestling with his personal demons and becoming obsessed with a hauntingly beautiful woman.
Votes: 325,318 | 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: 100,266 | 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: 1,459,860 | 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: 1,015,349 | 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: 288,116 | 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: 18,904 | 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)
Passed | 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: 48,586 | 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
The life of boxer Jake LaMotta, whose violence and temper that lead him to the top in the ring destroyed his life outside of it.
Votes: 292,063 | 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: 65,371 | 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. Rashomon (1950)
Not Rated | 88 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
The rape of a bride and the murder of her samurai husband are recalled from the perspectives of a bandit, the bride, the samurai's ghost and a woodcutter.
Votes: 137,334 | Gross: $0.10M
"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, Mystery, War
A U.S. Army officer serving in Vietnam is tasked with assassinating a renegade Special Forces Colonel who sees himself as a god.
Votes: 555,959 | 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: 41,414 | 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: 7,665 | 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: 199,937 | 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 personae 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 by attempting to liberate a presidential campaign worker and an underage prostitute.
Votes: 646,036 | 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)
Approved | 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: 245,822 | 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: 93,269 | 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 American expatriate struggles to decide whether or not he should help his former lover and her fugitive husband escape French Morocco.
Votes: 482,125 | 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 forty thousand dollars 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: 546,051 | 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. 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: 15,542 | 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: 18,209 | 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)
R | 205 min | Biography, Drama, History
The life, times and afflictions of the fifteenth-century Russian iconographer St. Andrei Rublev.
Votes: 39,706 | Gross: $0.10M
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: 150,156 | 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: 90,623 | 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, Romance
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: 25,164 | 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
An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a War Room full of politicians and generals frantically tries to stop.
Votes: 419,263 | 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