Sunday, January 10, 2010

The List (Offered Without Apology, but with Some Explanation)

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You know what's a stupid number? 100. Anything that's divisible by both 25 and 4, really, is sort of pointless. But beyond that, 100, like 10 before it, is an entirely arbitrary number at which to top out our lists of "best" and "favorite" things. This point, self evident though it should be, was really driven home for me when Glenn Kenny put together his Best of the Decade list. His list ran to seventy titles, and pretty much everybody seemed pretty cool with that, except one commenter named Mike who said "[t]he perceived value of a list of ten movies is much higher than a list of 50 or 70. 50 movies is boring. Add another 20 just for the sake of more content and it's like forcing a ninety minute film to run 2 and a half hours" and then demanded (really, he did) that Glenn "refine" his list down to ten.
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Reading that comment, I thought "If 'best of' lists that aren't as lovingly rounded out to numbers that begin with '1' and end with '0' piss off dickweeds like Mike, then there must be something to be said for them." Therefore, my previously announced "100 Favorite Films" list has bulked up to something like 190. Frankly, I stopped counting. I decided it simply made no difference when my list ended, and if I reached a point where I was excising films from the list for no reason other than to hone it down to a preordained number, then the word "favorite" will have become less important than that arbitrary number. And that, my friends, is pure anarchy.
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So this list is really fucking long. Sorry, but them's the breaks. I do feel pretty comfortable that this list, as it stands now, is as representative of what I consider my favorite films as it's possible for me to make it. In all honesty, some of these films I've only seen once, but they've hung in my memory better than some films I've seen half a dozen times. My definition of the word "favorite" is, I confess, a bit nebulous, and hard to explain, but I'm comfortable with it.
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Okay, enough preamble. Here's the list:
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10 Rillington Place (d. Fleischer)
2001: A Space Odyssey (d. Kubrick)
7th Victim, The (d. Robson)
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AI (d. Spielberg)
Air Force (d. Hawks)
Alien (d. Scott)
Amadeus (d. Foreman)
American Movie (d. Smith)
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (d. McKay)
Angel Face (d. Preminger)
Antichrist (d. Von Trier)
Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The (d. Dominik)
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Bang the Drum Slowly (d. Hancock)
Barry Lyndon (d. Kubrick)
Barton Fink (d. Coens)
Bedlam (d. Robson)
Big Night (d. Tucci/Scott)
Big Trouble in Little China (d. Carpenter)
Black Christmas (d. Clark)
Black Hawk Down (d. Scott)
Blade Runner (d. Scott)
Bloody Sunday (d. Greengrass)
Body Snatcher, The (d. Wise)
Bounty, The (d. Donaldson)
Brazil (d. Gilliam)
Breaker Morant (d. Beresford)
Bridge on the River Kwai (d. Lean)
Bridge, The (d. Steel)
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (d. Peckinpah)
Broadway Danny Rose (d. Allen)
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Chinatown (d. Polanski)
Christmas Story, A (d. Clark)
Commitments, The (d. Parker)
Conversation, The (d. Coppola)
Cool Hand Luke (d. Rosenberg)
Crimes and Misdemeanors (d. Allen)
Crucible, The (d. Hytner)
Crumb (d. Zwigoff)
Curse of the Demon, The (d. Tourneur)
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Dawn of the Dead (d. Romero)
Days of Heaven (d. Malick)
Dead Man (d. Jarmusch)
Dead Man's Shoes (d. Meadows)
Dead Zone, The (d. Cronenberg)
Deliverance (d. Boorman)
Devil in a Blue Dress (d. Franklin)
Dodes ka' Den (d. Kurosawa)
Dog Day Afternoon (d. Lumet)
Dogville (d. Von Trier)
Don't Look Now (d. Roeg)
Double Indemnity (d. Wilder)
Down by Law (d. Jarmusch)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (d. Mamoulian)
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Ed Wood (d. Burton)
Edmond (d. Stuart Gordon)
Eight Men Out (d. Sayles)
Election (d. Payne)
Elephant (d. Van Sant)
Elephant Man, The (d. Lynch)
Empire of the Sun (d. Spielberg)
Exorcist, The (d. Friedkin)
Exorcist III, The (d. Blatty)
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Fast, Cheap & Out of Control (d. Morris)
Fly, The (d. Cronenberg)
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (d. Fischer)
Freaks (d. Browning)
Frenzy (d. Hitchcock)
Friends of Eddie Coyle, The (d. Yates)
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Gimme Shelter (d. Maysles bros.)
Glengarry Glen Ross (d. Foley)
Godfather, The (d. Coppola)
Gone Baby Gone (d. Affleck)
Goodfellas (d. Scorsese)
Gosford Park (d. Altman)
Great Escape, The (d. Sturges)
Groundhog Day (d. Ramis)
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Heat (d. Mann)
Heavenly Creatures (d. Jackson)
High and Low (d. Kurosawa)
Hombre (d. Ritt)
Homicide (d. Mamet)
Horror of Dracula (d. Fischer)
Hour of the Wolf (d. Bergman)
Hustler, The (d. Rossen)
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Ice Harvest, The (d. Ramis)
In a Lonely Place (d. Ray)
Inglourious Basterds (d. Tarantino)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (d. Kaufman)
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Jackie Brown (d. Tarantino)
Jaws (d. Spielberg)
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Kill Bill (both) (d. Tarantino)
King of Comedy, The (d. Scorsese)
King of Kong, The (d. Seth Gordon)
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Lady Eve, The (d. Sturges)
Last Detail, The (d. Ashby)
Last Night (d. McKellar)
Last of the Mohicans, The (d. Mann)
Le Cercle Rouge (d. Melville)
Let the Right One In (d. Alfredson)
Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, The (d. Powell/Pressburger)
Life Aquatic, The (d. W. Anderson)
Little Shop of Horrors (d. Oz)
Long Good Friday, The (d. Mackenzie)
Lord of the Rings (d. Jackson)
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Mad Love (d. Freund)
Magnolia (d. P. Anderson)
Maltese Falcon, The (d. Huston)
Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The (d. Ford)
Manchurian Candidate, The (d. Frankenheimer)
Manhunter (d. Mann)
Martin (d. Romero)
Master and Commander (d. Weir)
Miami Blues (d. Armitage)
Mighty Wind, A (d. Guest)
Miller's Crossing (d. Coens)
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (d. Schrader)
Mist, The (d. Darabont)
Modern Romance (d. Brooks)
Mr. Death (d. Morris)
Mulholland Dr. (d. Lynch)
Mystery of Kaspar Hauser, The (d. Herzog)
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Nashville (d. Altman)
Network (d. Lumet)
Night of the Hunter, The (d. Laughton)
Nights of Cabiria (d. Fellini)
Ninth Configuration, The (d. Blatty)
No Country for Old Men (d. Coens)
Nosferatu - Phantom der Nacht (d. Herzog)
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Office Space (d. Judge)
Once Upon a Time in the West (d. Leone)
One False Move (d. Franklin)
Out of the Past (d. Tourneur)
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Panic in the Streets (d. Kazan)
Pan's Labyrinth (d. Del Toro)
Passion of Joan of Arc, The (d. Dreyer)
Phase IV (d. Bass)
Picnic at Hanging Rock (d. Weir)
Prestige, The (d. Nolan)
Prime Cut (d. Ritchie)
Psycho (d. Hitchcock)
Punch-Drunk Love (d. P. Anderson)
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Rampage (d. Friedkin)
Real Life (d. Brooks)
Rear Window (d. Hitchcock)
Red Shoes, The (d. Powell/Pressburger)
Right Stuff, The (d. Kaufman)
Rio Bravo (d. Hawks)
Road Warrior, The (d. Miller)
Rome, Open City (d. Rossellini)
Rosemary's Baby (d. Polanski)
Rushmore (d. W. Anderson)
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Sansho the Bailiff (d. Mizoguchi)
Serpent's Egg, The (d. Bergman)
Seven Samurai (d. Kurosawa)
Seventh Continent, The (d. Haneke)
Shaun of the Dead (d. Wright)
Shining, The (d. Kubrick)
Sideways (d. Payne)
Simple Plan, A (d. Raimi)
Some Came Running (d. Minnelli)
Spy Who Came in From the Cold, The (d. Ritt)
Steel Helmet, The (d. Fuller)
Straw Dogs (d. Peckinpah)
Sunset Boulevard (d. Wilder)
Sweeney Todd (d. Burton)
Sweet Hereafter, The (d. Egoyan)
Sweet Smell of Success, The (d. Mackendrick)
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Taking of Pelham 123, The (d. Sargent)
Tall T, The (d. Boetticher)
Targets (d. Bogdonavich)
Team America: World Police (d. Parker)
Testament of Dr. Mabuse, The (d. Lang)
Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The (d. Hooper)
There Will Be Blood (d. P. Anderson)
Thing, The (d. Carpenter)
Thing from Another World, The (d. Hawks/Nyby)
Third Man, The (d. Reed)
This is Spinal Tap (d. Reiner)
Three Amigos (d. Landis)
Topsy Turvy (d. Leigh)
Tropical Malady (d. Weerasethakul)
True Grit (d. Hathaway)
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Unbearable Lightness of Being, The (d. Kaufman)
Unbreakable (d. Shyamalan)
Unforgiven (d. Eastwood)
United 93 (d. Greengrass)
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Vanishing, The (d. Sluizer)
Videodrome (d. Cronenberg)
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Waiting for Guffman (d. Guest)
Whirlpool (d. Preminger)
White Heat (d. Walsh)
Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? (d. Fassbinder/Fengler)
Wicker Man, The (d. Hardy)
Witchfinder General (d. Reeves)
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X - The Man with X-Ray Eyes (d. Corman)
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Yakuza, The (d. Pollack)
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Z Channel (d. Cassavetes)
Zodiac (d. Fincher)

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Please tell me how stupid my tastes are in the comments section.
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UPDATE: To anyone who cares, last night I was trying to remind myself why I didn't include There Will Be Blood, and I couldn't. So I've added it.

48 comments:

Ross Freedman said...

All perceptive choices.

bill r. said...

All of them!? Surely that can't be!

David N said...

Good list, Bill.

It must be 90% American though. Do you generally prefer US Cinema or just haven't seen much World Cinema?

I have to laud the inclusion of Donaldson's "The Bounty" - great, underloved film. Not wanting to plug myself, but I wrote a salivating appreciation here:
http://onedeadfish.blogspot.com/2008/08/screengrab-oh-there-are-rumblings-are.html

Tony Dayoub said...

I can't believe that for as much as we respect each other some of my very favorite films don't make an appearance on your list.

BLUE VELVET? THE CONFORMIST? CUTTER'S WAY? FRENCH CONNECTION? THE GODFATHER PART II? THE LONG GOODBYE? THIEF? THERE WILL BE BLOOD? TO LIVE AND DIE IN LA.?

It begs the question, did you miss these or did you just dislike them?

PS: Props for THE CONVERSATION, GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, JACKIE BROWN, MASTER AND COMMANDER, ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, RED SHOES, THE RIGHT STUFF, STRAW DOGS, UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING, UNBREAKABLE, and THE VANISHING (I hope this is the original).

Kevin J. Olson said...

A great list, Bill. Your hard work has paid off as you have supplied all of us with a wonderful checlist of films. I know that I'll be printing this ouit and highlighting the ones I haven't seen. Thanks for this great resource.

And as far as round number go...I demand you round this up to 1,000 films...because what's more symmetrical than two zeroes? Three zeroes!

Kevin J. Olson said...

sorry for the spelling errors....damn fat fingers on the iphone...

bill r. said...

David - I see a lot of world cinema, and I like a lot of it, too. But, it's true, American cinema is more likely to strike a particular chord with me.

At the same time, I wouldn't doubt it for a second to learn that I'd left off a lot of foreign films that for one reason or another I just couldn't remember, or remind myself about.

Tony - I've seen all of those films. I barely remember TO LIVE AND DIE IN LA, so that's why that one's not on the list (it's been a REALLY long time) and only dislike one of them (THE CONFORMIST...I really don't care for Bertollucci). The rest are excellent films, but just don't quite make it to my favorite list.

And yes, that's the original THE VANISHING. I didn't figure I needed to specify that.

bill r. said...

Kevin - Are there that many you haven't seen? I wouldn't have thought so.

Ryland Walker Knight said...

Man, you are the dumbest! I still think you need to refine it to ten, even with that well-written and well-reasoned preamble! And, come on dude, you only like AMERICAN movies!? What gives!??!?

(I dig this post. Cheers, ry :)

bill r. said...

Ryland - I'm sorry I'm such a stupid xenophobe...

Honestly, to everyone wondering (and I am aware of your sarcasm, Ryland, so this is a general comment) I'm aware how heavily this leans towards American, and otherwise English language, films. I just watched STALKER, and I don't for a second think that 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN is better. But this is a favorites list, so...

Kevin J. Olson said...

Bill:

Of the films you mention here is what I haven't seen:

10 Rillington Place (d. Fleischer)
7th Victim, The (d. Robson)
AI (d. Spielberg)
Air Force (d. Hawks)
Angel Face (d. Preminger)
Bedlam (d. Robson)
Breaker Morant (d. Beresford)
Bridge, The (d. Steel)
Dead Man's Shoes (d. Meadows)
Friends of Eddie Coyle, The (d. Yates)
In a Lonely Place (d. Ray)
Last Night (d. McKellar)
Mad Love (d. Freund)
Martin (d. Romero)
Miami Blues (d. Armitage)
Mist, The (d. Darabont)
Mystery of Kaspar Hauser, The (d. Herzog)
Ninth Configuration, The (d. Blatty)
Phase IV (d. Bass)
Rampage (d. Friedkin)
Seventh Continent, The (d. Haneke)
Spy Who Came in From the Cold, The (d. Ritt)
Testament of Dr. Mabuse, The (d. Lang)
Tropical Malady (d. Weerasethakul)
Whirlpool (d. Preminger)
Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? (d. Fassbinder/Fengler)
Witchfinder General (d. Reeves)
X - The Man with X-Ray Eyes (d. Corman)
Yakuza, The (d. Pollack)
Z Channel (d. Cassavetes)

The horror films on the list intrigue me the most...but I am definitely adding these to the Netflix queue. I'll have another comment in a few minutes...

bill r. said...

Kevin, do you have a region free dvd player? Because unfortunately RILLINGTON PLACE isn't available in the US.
Neither is RAMPAGE, to my knowledge. I'm going by memory on that one, having watched it countless times on VHS in ye olden times. I frankly expect to get a few weird looks about that one, though.

Kevin J. Olson said...

Here are just some of the films where we share the same enthusiasm (and there are a lot on here that you and I agree on that many would deem 'average'):


American Movie (d. Smith)
Crimes and Misdemeanors (d. Allen)
Dead Man (d. Jarmusch)
Dead Zone, The (d. Cronenberg)
Devil in a Blue Dress (d. Franklin)
Exorcist III, The (d. Blatty)
Fly, The (d. Cronenberg)
Gone Baby Gone (d. Affleck)
Homicide (d. Mamet)
Ice Harvest, The (d. Ramis)
Inglourious Basterds (d. Tarantino)
King of Comedy, The (d. Scorsese)
King of Kong, The (d. Seth Gordon)
Last of the Mohicans, The (d. Mann)
Le Cercle Rouge (d. Melville)
Mighty Wind, A (d. Guest)
Modern Romance (d. Brooks)
Nosferatu - Phantom der Nacht (d. Herzog)
One False Move (d. Franklin)
Simple Plan, A (d. Raimi)
Some Came Running (d. Minnelli)
Videodrome (d. Cronenberg)
Wicker Man, The (d. Hardy)
Zodiac (d. Fincher)

I still think Crimes and Misdemeanors is the best Woody Allen movie I've ever seen...nice to see you give some love for one of the best docs ever made about the passion that is required to make a film (American Movie)...I like that you single out my favorite Herzog, and my favorite version of the Dracula story (Nosferatu)...I'm with ya all the way on the Carl Franklin films...Good call on Dead Man, an underrated Jarmusch...Gone Baby Gone is growing on me with each subsequent viewing, and I think it's slowly becoming one of the best films of the decade (that ending is just amazing)...I love that you single out my two favorite Cronenberg's: The Dead Zone and The Fly...good call on the criminally underrated The Ice Harvest, one of the best crime films/dark comedies of the past decade...I'm glad you love the operatic Last of the Mohicans, a film I think is under appreciated by Mann fans...

Great call on The Exorcist III, one of the eeriest, and sadly forgotten, horror films...A Simple Plan is probably my favorite Raimi film (although the recent Drag Me to Hell is up there, too) and one hell of a book to boot (I liked Smith's other novel The Ruins)...and well I could go on but I'll just end by saying good call on the most underrated Chris Guest movie, A Mighty Wind.

One movie I'll have to re-evaluate that's on your list is the Mamet penned Edmund, a film that I really hated when I first saw it.

Again...great list, Bill!

Kevin J. Olson said...

I don't have a region free DVD player...I need one, I know.

Neil Sarver said...

Dammit! I was all excited to laugh at your list, then it had to turn out to be pretty dang good! Phooey!

bill r. said...

Kevin - Carl Franklin. That guy made two top-shelf crime films back to back, and because the second one wasn't successful, he's been brushed aside. I would love for somebody to really give him another shot.


Herzog's NOSFERATU is my favorite Dracula film, as well. C&M is the best Allen film I've seen, too, though BDR is probably my actual mostest favorite. EXORCIST III has one of the greatest and eeriest opening credits sequences I've ever seen, and a wonderful, creepy performance from Brad Dourif.

I obviously agree with pretty much everything else you say, too, and I can't even blame you for hating EDMOND, but I love it for being a straight-ahead adaptation of Mamet's nastiest play, as well as feeling like the purest shot of Mamet's language since GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS. Plus, Macy is phenomenal.

Of the films on this list you haven't seen, I urge you to go straight to PHASE IV. I think you'll love that one.

bill r. said...

Sorry, Neil...I'm letting everyone down today.

Kevin J. Olson said...

Netflix shows two versions of Phase IV...you're obviously talking about the one with Dean Cain released in the 2000's...not that old, fuddy-duddy, PG version from the 70's....right?

Regardless it's been rushed to the top of the queue.

Greg said...

This list sucks. Where's the Village People movie, Can't Stop the Music? Or The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh? Or The Legend of Boggy Creek? You seem to have some sort of snobby preference towards films that aren't utter holocausts of filmmaking. What gives?

Now that I've got that off my chest, I should tell you your explanatory preface was unnecessary. Some of the biggest and brightest have done uber long lists before. Ever seen Jonathan Rosenbaum's? It's got around 1,000 or so movies on it, seriously, listed by year and including loads of movies that most people would pass off as fluff. He did it when he was with The Reader.

Finally, I love most of these too. Except I'm a huge Welles fanatic so I would definitely have almost everything he ever did on my list, especially Touch of Evil. And on the other end of the spectrum I'd also include Plan 9 from Outer Space because I really can watch that one over and over again.

bill r. said...

Greg - YOUR preface was unnecessary! How does that feel? Not that great, does it?

As for Welles, I'm a bit chagrined that he doesn't get a look in, since he's kind of a hero of mine. I feel like if I could see THE TRIAL or CHIMES at midnight again, one or both of those would be in there.

Pat said...

Bill -

Just at first glance, I'd say this is a great list. If I ever were too put together a similar list, we'd have lots of overlaps. I'm particularly happy to see the love for "40 Year Old Virgin," "Amadues," "King of Comedy," and "Topsy Turvy," all movies I love.

bill r. said...

Pat - I almost forgot about AMADEUS, and I'm glad I finally remembered it. It's bullshit history, but as drama it's always struck a very strong chord with me. And at its core, it's really kind of a strange movie, so it puzzles me slightly that it won the Oscar. Maybe it was a biopic-wins-automatically kind of thing.

Roderick Heath said...

Some bloody good films in this list, Bill: I especially laud your finding some love for The Yakuza.

bill r. said...

I put THE YAKUZA on the list because there is nothing about it that is bad.

Bob Turnbull said...

I've had The Yakuza sitting on my shelf for over a year...I just keep bumping other things in front of it. Well, no more!

I'd have more comments, but your list is too long to digest in one sitting. Now if it were only 10...

otherbill said...

You didn't include my favorite movie!!!

Actually you did (THE THIRD MAN). Opening that way just seemed the internet commenter thing to do.

I totally second the Carl Franklin love. I think ONE FALSE MOVE is one of the great films of the last 25 years. And I love to think about an alternate universe where we got a film version of every Easy Rawlins novel with Denzel and Don- such a perfect Mouse. In this same universe, Robert Downey Jr never discovers heroin and becomes a huge star 10 years earlier. A lot of summer blockbusters are rendered a lot more watchable. And Spock has a goatee.

Josh said...

Bill, I really want to laugh, but aside from overrating a few titles (e.g. The Commitments), it's a great list.

Kevin, have you looked online for a code to make your DVD player region-free? You can usually find one by googling the make, model and the phrase "region-free," though there isn't a code available for every machine.

bill r. said...

Bob - Pick any random 10 titles, and digest those.

THE YAKUZA is great. Let me know what you think of it.

otherbill - The thing about DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS, the film, is that I think it's far superior to the novel, as well as to the other two Mosley/Rawlins novels I've read. Which means yes, that would be great if Franklin could adapt them all, because then they would probably reach their full potential.

Josh - I obviously don't think I'm overrating THE COMMITMENTS, but heck, some people were going to disagree with me at some point.

Ed Howard said...

This is a great, idiosyncratic list, which is as it should be. Lots of unexpected choices and overlooked films alongside the more universally acclaimed ones. Nice to see. One that jumps out at me is Hawks' Air Force. I'm happy to see some love for that very underrated film, which so many people dismiss as mere wartime propaganda. It's actually a great film, though I wouldn't call it a favorite and the ending is a bit over-the-top; but the camaraderie of the airplane crew is well-drawn, the action is viscerally exciting, and I love the way Hawks prevents any of these men from stepping forward as "the lead," instead encouraging a perspective where they're all equally important, both to the film and to the job they have to do. Great choice that not many others would make.

Ed Howard said...

Oh yeah, and Phase IV!!! Fantastic. Love that bizarre movie where the ants are so much more charismatic than any of the people. Better actors too.

bill r. said...

Ed - Thanks a lot. I actually just saw AIR FORCE recently, and I was blown away. Absolutely riveting -- funny, breathlessly exciting, moving, rambling...everything Hawks was great at. I loved it.

PHASE IV must be one of the strangest movies I've ever seen, and I don't even want to know how Bass did some of that ant stuff. I had my head tilted like a confused dog during those scenes.

bill r. said...

Also, to anyone who cares, last night I was trying to remind myself why I didn't include THERE WILL BE BLOOD, and I couldn't. So I've added it.

Marilyn said...

I really love that you led off the column with a poster for Curse of the Demon with my gal Peggy Cummins. That said, am I wrong, but is there not a single female director in your list?

bill r. said...

No, you're not wrong, Marilyn. I loathe female directors. Each and every one of them. I though you knew that!

I'm just joking, of course. These are my favorites, though. Sorry.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Bill, I just caught up with 10 Rillington place this weekend on that godsend of godsends, Netflix Instant View via my PS3, which allows streaming on my big TV. Terrific, disturbing movie. I always knew that Richard Attenborough had some skeletons in his closet-- I just didn't think they'd literally be there.

bill r. said...

Dennis - Oh, is it available there? I had no idea. Well, that's a boon.

It's a really great and deeply unpleasant film. The last ten minutes or so are pretty extraordinary, I think.

Also, a PS for Marilyn: I did consider putting Claire Denis's TROUBLE EVERY DAY on the list, but that's one I do need to see again.

Bob Turnbull said...

For me, your list is mostly comprised of the following:

- Stuff I haven't seen
- Stuff I love (In A Lonely Place,
Le Cercle Rouge, Life Aquatic, Magnolia, Mr Death, The Prestige, Punch Drunk Love, Z Channel, etc.)
- Stuff I quite like

Seriously, there wasn't much at all that make me grimace or think "OK, I guess I understand, but I just don't like it..." I'm not a big fan of "The Right Stuff", though I love the story - just something about the style and the way the characters were handled. Not sure really, I know I'm in the minority...I should revisit.

So yeah, very fine list. You may continue blogging.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Yeah, it just popped up a day or so ago, so I pounced on it. Also, if you haven't yet heard, Sam Fuller's Underworld USA just became available for Instant Play, and it's stunning. Check out TLRHB's appreciation.

I need to see Trouble Every Day again too. Talk about deeply unpleasant!

Marilyn said...

Bill - As your favorites list, I have absolutely no complaints. We all like what we like, and that's completely reasonable. But it does seem strange that only the masculine point of view dominates the list, and more importantly, that it would dominate a list I would make up. I just saw a film called Tibet in Song that shows the Chinese trying to rub out indigenous Tibetan culture and replace it with Chinese arts. The older generation has mixed feelings about this, or hates it, the youngsters who know nothing else like Chinese music. At some point, the music won't even be called Chinese anymore, and there goes another unique point of view out the window. We all might feel this is a shame on viewing this film, but the obliteration of female points of view doesn't really seem to register. It registers, I think, even less so than the scarcity of minority cultures' points of view.

Ryan Kelly said...

Bill, great list and marvelously eclectic, and we have more than a few similair favorites. Guess we're not so different after all, eh?

And I literally just got Down By Law in the mail today. I'm in the process of a big turn around on Jarmusch and I'm loving every minute of it!

bill r. said...

Bob - Honestly, THE RIGHT STUFF would be right near the top of this lift, if I actually wanted to rank them (which I don't). I think it's nearly flawless, myself. I love that a film so satirical, even cynical, about America can at the same time be so salutory and patriotic. What a wonderful mix.

Thank you for letting me continue to blog. I know it was touch and go there for a while.

Dennis - TROUBLE EVERY DAY is a damn crazy film, that affected me on a visceral level that I'm not actually used to anymore, at least not as a result of watching a film. That one, THE SEVENTH CONTINENT, and MYSTERIOUS SKIN are three that I can think of, but that's it. Maybe those should have gone on the list, too...

Marilyn - I see what you're saying. And I honestly would like to diversify more, and see more, for instance, Denis, or Breillat (only one of each so far -- FAT GIRL is the Breillat I've seen -- though to one degree or another I liked both), or even Lupino, whose work as a director I've seen nothing of. But there's just so damn much to see...

Some do keep those films alive, though. You, for instance, and I know Lupino-the-director has a sizable following, and Glenn Kenny regularly trumpets Breillat and Denis. And look at how well Campion's new film is doing critically, or Kathryn Bigelow's resurgence (although THE HURT LOCKER might constitue a gray area in this discussion).

Ryan - I could just as easily have chosen another Jarmusch film in place of DOWN BY LAW -- BROKEN FLOWERS or MYSTERY TRAIN, for instance -- but Tom Waits is in DOWN BY LAW, so the choice was out of my hands. I hope you like it.

Marilyn said...

Bill - It's not your fault or anyone's responsibility to choose the creative product of a woman over a man, or somehow balance the imbalance individually. It needs to be collectively, systematically, among the people who greenlight films. when there's more product by women to watch, they'll start becoming favorites of a lot of people.

bill r. said...

It's not your fault or anyone's responsibility to choose the creative product of a woman over a man, or somehow balance the imbalance individually.

Oh, I know, but when I say I want to diversify my viewing in this way, I truly mean it. It's not like I think that will change anything you talk about, but I want to for my own sake.

Greg said...

Marilyn's too forgiving. Not me bub. I just realized looking over your list that there's not a single film directed by or about a left-handed, hermaphroditic dwarf.

Well fuck you pal! I. Am. Outta here!

Marilyn said...

Greg - You owe Bill an apology. He has a couple in there by Polanski!

bill r. said...

Ha!

Greg said...

Polanski's left-handed?

mister muleboy said...

What -- no Kelly's Heroes?

For shame. . . .

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