Top 1000 Update

[New header: Buñuel’s Simon of the Desert.]

Sad to think that I’m not getting very far in watching the classic movies I’ve missed via the Top 1000 list at They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They? Alas, summer is a time for baseball, camping, swimming and travel – not holing up and watching flicks.

I’ve set myself a goal to watch six films by August 15th, and here’s the progress report:

  1. Rules of the Game 7/10/07 – 4.0/5.0
  2. Tokyo Story – DVD in possession.
  3. The Searchers – rounding out the top 10 7/26/07 – 4.0/5.0
  4. Battleship Potemkin – Odessa Steps, here I come. 5/8/07 – 4.0/5.0
  5. Persona – Liv Ullman, here I come. 6/24/07 – 3.0/5.0
  6. Barry Lyndon

In addition to listing these in my Films seen: In 2007 list on Listology, I figured I’d add a little feedback to the movies I’ve seen.

What’s odd about all of these movies is that I haven’t deemed to rate any of them with a perfect score – none have received higher than 4.0/5.0 – yet these movies are considered some of the influential and important films ever made. Perhaps there’s something to the theory that a film (or anything, really) put up on such a mythical pedestal can match the expectation set by its lofty status. However, while there is undoubtedly masterful work being done in each of these films, there are also elements in each that bugged me enough to drop the rating. In certain instances, as I alluded to on my 20-words-or-less review of Potemkin on Listology – these films are perhaps most important as historical signposts than they are as thrilling viewing. In some cases, the elements first displayed in these “classics” have been stolen and rehashed in several lesser films so much that the significance of the source material can’t help but appear watered-down to a modern viewer. Because of that, the originals may require additional viewings or further research over time to reveal their true greatness.

So, in essence, I’ve gotten a first taste of these films, but I’ve yet to really digest them. I still think it’s a worthwhile endeavor, but may require more than just the 2-hour running time of a DVD.

Continuing on, here’s my updated list of top 50 or so.

  • #8 Tokyo Story (Ozu, 1953)
  • #11 Sunrise (Murnau, 1927)
  • #16 L’Atalante (Vigo, 1934)
  • #21 City Lights (Chaplin, 1931)
  • #23 La Dolce Vita (Fellini, 1960)
  • #24 Les Enfants du Paradis/Children of Paradise (Carne, 1945)
  • #26 Grand Illusion (Renoir, 1937)
  • #37 Gold Rush (Chaplin, 1925)
  • #38 Andrei Rublev (Tarkovsky, 1966)
  • #41 Ordet (Dreyer, 1955)
  • #42 Pather Panchali (Ray, 1955)
  • #46 Intolerance (Griffith, 1916)
  • #47 Ugetsu (Mizoguchi, 1953)
  • #56 Modern Times (Chaplin, 1936)
  • #60 The Mirror (Tarkovsky, 1976)
  • #62 Fanny and Alexander (Bergman, 1982)
  • #64 Greed (von Stroheim, 1924)
  • #68 Earrings of Madame de… (Ophuls, 1953)
  • #69 Sherlock Jr. (Keaton, 1924)
  • #70 Pickpocket (Bresson, 1959)
  • #71 Playtime (Tati, 1967)
  • #73 Ikiru (Kurosawa, 1952)
  • #74 All about Eve (Mankiewicz, 1950)
  • #75 Viaggio in Italia (Rosselini, 1954)
  • #79 Barry Lyndon (Kubrick, 1975)
  • #81 Pierrot le fou (Godard, 1965)
  • #82 Man with a Movie Camera (Vertov, 1929)
  • #85 The Leopard (Visconti, 1963)
  • #87 Once Upon a Time in the West (Leone, 1968) – Own the DVD, just haven’t watched it yet.
  • #89 Sansho Dayu (Mizoguchi, 1954)
  • #91 Last Year at Marienbad (Resnais, 1961)
  • #92 My Darling Clementine (Ford, 1946)
  • #94 Decalogue (Kieslowski, 1988) – 10 hours! Where will I find the time to do this?
  • #95 Letter from an Unknown Woman (Ophuls, 1948)
  • #97 Amarcord (Fellini, 1973)
  • #99 Stagecoach (Ford, 1939)
  • #100 Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Ford, 1962)
  • #101 Gertrud (Dreyer, 1964)
  • #103 A Man Escaped (Bresson, 1956)
  • #105 Chimes at Midnight (Welles, 1966)
  • #110 Earth (Dovzhenko, 1930)
  • #111 Birth of a Nation (Griffith, 1915) – Just don’t know if I’ll ever watch this.
  • #114 The Best Years of Our Lives (Wyler, 1946)
  • #115 My Life to Live (Godard, 1963)
  • #116 Napoleon (Gance, 1927)
  • #117 Shoah (Lanzmann, 1985)
  • #119 Stalker (Tarkovsky, 1979)
  • #121 Ashes and Diamonds (Wajda, 1958)
  • #123 Black Narcissus (Powell/Pressburger, 1946)
  • #124 McCabe and Mrs. Miller (Altman, 1971)
  • #126 Broken Blossoms (Griffith, 1919)
  • #127 Red River (Hawks, 1948)
  • #128, 130 Ivan the Terrible, Parts 1 and 2 (Eisenstein, 1944, 1946)
  • #132 Mean Streets (Scorsese, 1973) – One of the most damning omissions for a modern cineast.
  • #133 The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Weine, 1919)
  • #134 The Grapes of Wrath (Ford, 1940) – Ugh, embarrassing.
  • #135 Celine and Julie Go Boating (Rivette, 1974)
  • #136 Bonnie and Clyde (Penn, 1967) – I must be living in a cave.

I won’t be adding to my assignment list until I’ve completed the original group, but I sense that some of the recent additions at the bottom of this list are due (overdue?) for a look.

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Posted on July 27, 2007, in Film log, Top 1000. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I can’t predict which of these you will love and which will leave you asking, “What’s the big deal over that?” But a few of my favorites from your list are Sherlock, Jr., Sunrise, The Man With the Movie Camera, Amarcord and Best Years of Our Lives. Mean Streets left me cold, but then I have a thing about Scorsese anyway. Bonnie and Clyde is great fun.

    Greed’s on my list too. It’s in my Tivo right now. Four hours. I just don’t know if I can bring myself to do it!

  2. Trying to make my way through the Film School 101 regimen is tough-going on one’s own. Especially when some of these things are upwards of 3+ hours a piece. I just realized that Shoah is 9-1/2 hours in length! Who’s got that kind of time?

    For my next self-assignment, it’s either going to be Mean Streets or Bonnie and Clyde of the modern movies. I want to space them out amongst the foreign, western and silent marathon I’m running, just so I don’t get burned out.

  1. Pingback: New Assignment « Red Herrings

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