Thursday, May 11, 2017

All of the Best Movies, Part 3: F - K


Welcome to my blog again, you bunch of fools! I have set here before you the third part of the only Favorite List of Movies you'll ever need, to be honest. First, though, some old business...

Bleep-Ups, Boops, and Blunderings

As I said in my last post, when putting together a list like this, one, or anyway I, is, or am, bound to forget a movie or thirty that should have been included. If you're lucky you'll remember some of them later, and when that happens you, or I, can slot them in later as a kind of addendum. So here's my addendum to the last post. Thankfully, it's much shorter than before.

The Conversation (d. Francis Ford Coppola) - But no less embarrassing, because it's ridiculous that I should forget this, arguably Coppola's masterpiece, which contains arguably Gene Hackman's masterpiece.

Crash (d. David Cronenberg) - Wrote about it here.
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F for Fake (d. Orson Welles) - Wrote about it here.

A Face in the Crowd (d. Elia Kazan) - I do think that way too many people watch this film and get all "Mmm, so true" about it afterward. But I don't demand that it reveal to me the truth about America, and prefer to see it as self-contained. In that sense, the film is a real humdinger, and Andy Griffith proves that one look says it all.
Fantastic Mr. Fox (d. Wes Anderson) - Incredibly beautiful, odd, funny. It successfully makes the alien world of animals both animalistic and human. 
Fargo (Joel and Ethan Coen) - Basically perfect. Having seen this God knows how many times, my belief that it is as diamond-sharp and as pristinely structured and executed as any film I've ever seen. Which might imply a sort of coolness of tone, yet wintry though Fargo is, it's warmth that takes over by the end.
Fascination (d. Jean Rollin) - Wrote about it here.
Fast, Cheap & Out of Control (d. Errol Morris) - Maybe the best example of Morris's almost ethereal sense of poetry.
Fat City  (d.  John Huston) - Wrote about it here.

Faust (d. F.W. Murnau) - Murnau had achieved an understanding of cinema and an artistic sophistication, not to mention imagination, in 1926 that has been hard to find in the over ninety subsequent years since.
Five Came Back (d. John Farrow) - As engaging and suspenseful an example of the "how will this motley group of strangers get out of this mess?" film as I've ever seen.
Fixed Bayonets! (d. Samuel Fuller) - Fuller's ability to make each of his war films feel brand new is unmatched. Add to that some great work from Richard Baseheart and Gene Evans, as well as some killer filmmaking, and, well, I mean...
The Fly (d. David Cronenberg) - Wrote about it here and here.

Force of Evil (d. Abraham Polonsky) - I saw this film noir in college and have remembered it vividly ever since.
Fort Apache (d. John Ford) - No one was as elegant, or eloquent, on the subject of men at war with each other as Ford.
Frankenstein (d. James Whale) - Those three cuts that bring the camera closer to the monster was a stroke of genius.
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (d. Terence Fisher) - And this is, to my mind, the most unexpectedly heart-wrenching take on the classic story I've seen on film.
Freaks (d. Tod Browning) - Browning wasn't much of an artist, but he sure was perverse.
Frenzy (d. Alfred Hitchcock) - One day this will be embraced as the late-career masterpiece it's always been.
The Friends of Eddie Coyle (d. Peter Yates) - That Mitchum himself is far from innocent is, I think, the secret source of this film's power.
Frightmare (d. Pete Walker) - Wrote about it here.
The Frisco Kid (d. Robert Aldrich) - It is very strange that this film exists, and perhaps stranger that it proves that Harrison Ford and Gene Wilder should have starred together in a dozen movies.

From Beyond (d. Stuart Gordon) - This movie relaxes me.
Gallipoli (d. Peter Weir) - The bookending image, which is somewhat different in a number of ways the second time you see it, is a hell of a thing.
Gates of Heaven (d. Errol Morris) - The best evidence I can think of that Errol Morris is a wizard.
Get Carter (d. Mike Hodges) - Next to this, most crime films are utterly gutless.
Gimme Shelter (d. Albert Maysles, David Maysles, and Charlotte Zwerin) - The concert documentary that is somehow about everything in the world.
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (d. Jim Jarmusch) - I have that same copy of Rashomon by Ryunosuke Akutagawa!
Glengarry Glen Ross (d. James Foley) - No one, not even David Mamet himself, has gotten the rhythms and anger and desperation of Mamet's dialogue on screen as exhileratingly as Foley did here.
God Told Me To (d. Larry Cohen) - Of Cohen's Big Three crazy, low-budget horror classics (you may have more, or less, than three), this is the one that as far as I can tell is truly sui generis. Kind of brilliant.
The Gold Rush (d. Charles Chaplin) - Wrote about it here.
Goodfellas (d. Martin Scorsese) - A good effort.

Gosford Park (d. Robert Altman) - Somewhere in the middle of the expertly constructed and performed upstairs/downstairs intrigue is a top-shelf murder scene. You can't tell with that Altman guy.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (d. Wes Anderson) - A weird movie: visually gorgeous comedy-adventure hiding a deep well of sorrow.
The Great Dictator (d. Charles Chaplin) - Wrote about it here.
The Great Escape (d. John Sturges) - The definition of "rousing". Also the definition of "Steve McQueen."
Groundhog Day (d. Harold Ramis) - Wrote about it here.
Gun Crazy (d. Joseph H. Lewis) - The classic tale of a man and a woman who fucked up big time.
Hardcore (d. Paul Schrader) - You know that scene from this that got turned into a meme to be used when someone saw something they don't like? George C. Scott is astonishing in that scene. 
Hatari! (d. Howard Hawks) - Almost avant-garde in its approach to plot.
The Hateful Eight (d. Quentin Tarantino) - Exquisitely problematic. Hopeful in a disgustingly funny way. People try to make you feel guilty for liking it.
He Walked By Night (d. Alfred L. Werker) - Wrote about it here. I was wrong about its unavailability on DVD.
Heat (d. Michael Mann) - If I directed movies, I'd have killed to have made this.

Heaven Knows What (d. Ben Safdie and Joshua Safdie) - I can't quite come to terms with the fact that this is a movie, and not a series of events that I personally witnessed.
Heavenly Creatures (d. Peter Jackson) - Wrote about it here
Hell is for Heroes (d. Don Siegel) - Wrote about it here
A Hen in the Wind (d. Yasujiro Ozu) - I hope there's a sequel to this somewhere that's just her being happy for two hours. 

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (d. John McNaughton) - The last time I thought "I think I'll throw on Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer and hang out with my old buds!", the contents of the film put me in such a depressed state of mind that I was unable to finish it. This is entirely to McNaughton's credit. 
High and Low (d. Akira Kurosawa) - One of the great police procedurals.
Hombre (d. Martin Ritt) - This Western has some of the best hardboiled lines of dialogue I've heard.
Homicide (d. David Mamet) - Mamet's best work as a director, a genuinely unique and bracing mystery that is also his most spiritually complex creation.

Horror of Dracula (d. Terence Fisher) - That ending...
The Hound of the Baskervilles (d. Terence Fisher) - Hammer's stab at Holmes. An utter delight. 
Hour of the Wolf (d. Ingmar Bergman) - The first time I saw this, it made me think I was seeing things on screen that weren't there. I'd count that as effective. 
House of Games (d. David Mamet) - Still works like gangbusters. 
The Hustler (d. Robert Rossen) - Wrote about it here
The Ice Harvest (d. Harold Ramis) - See the entry for Groundhog Day. 



Iguana (d. Monte Hellman) - Wrote about it here
In a Lonely Place (d. Nicholas Ray) - Wrote about it here
In Harm’s Way (d. Otto Preminger) - This film breaks my heart.
Inglourious Basterds (d. Quentin Tarantino) - Wrote about it here.    
Inland Empire (d. David Lynch) - I think this movie is gradually seeping into my bones.
Inside Llewyn Davis (d. Joel and Ethan Coen) - The kind of film that can only have been made by a pair of geniuses who have complete confidence in their talents. It's also quietly devastating. 
Inside Out (d. Pete Docter) - I'm glad I don't have kids because otherwise this thing might have killed me. 
Interstellar (d. Christopher Nolan) - For someone as unemotional as Nolan supposedly is, he sure crammed a load of emotions into this one.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (d. Philip Kaufman) - Perhaps the only successful use of "Amazing Grace" as an ironic counterpoint.
The Iron Rose (d. Jean Rollin) - Wrote about it here


Ivan’s Childhood (d. Andrei Tarkovsky) - Visually, as if World War II happened on the moon.
Jackie Brown (d. Quentin Tarantino) - It feels like a full novel on film.
Jaws (d. Steven Spielberg) - It's good, please just give it a chance.
Jeanne Dilman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (d. Chantal Akerman) - The kind of film that couldn't have even been imagined by anyone other than the woman who made it. 
Jules and Jim (d. Francois Truffaut) - That ending can't be shaked loose.
Killer Joe (d. William Friedkin) - The best choice for an end credits song in all of film history. 
King Kong (d. Meriam C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack) - Kids in 1933 must have lost their minds.
King of Comedy (d. Martin Scorsese) - The secret MVP of this one is Shelley Hack.
Kiss Me Deadly (d. Robert Aldrich) - Wrote about it here. Anticlimax!

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