New Assignment

[New header: Ozu’s Tokyo Story.]

Finally made it through my six films from the Top 1000, just in time for my August 15th deadline. Ozu’s film finally hit a perfect home run but Kubrick’s fell a bit short – although I enjoyed them both.

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

  • #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)
  • #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.
  • #138 The Gospel According to St. Matthew (Pasolini, 1964)
  • #140 The Red Shoes (Powell/Pressburger, 1948) – Actually, I’ve seen and loved the first hour.

My new assigned list, to be completed by November 30th, is as follows:

  1. #11 Sunrise (Murnau, 1927)
  2. #16 L’Atalante (Vigo, 1934)
  3. #42 Pather Panchali (Ray, 1955)
  4. #74 All about Eve (Mankiewicz, 1950)
  5. #87 Once Upon a Time in the West (Leone, 1968) – No more excuses.
  6. #134 The Grapes of Wrath (Ford, 1940)

Fall is my most hectic time, so it’ll be interesting if I’m able to pull this off. Again, the purpose of this endeavor is to fill in the holes by making myself meet reasonable deadlines. If I don’t set the goals, in my mind, I’ll never reach them. That said, November is a long ways off. It’s well past time to catch up on some really crappy and unchallenging movies I’ve been neglecting.

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Posted on August 7, 2007, in Top 1000. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. So, I tried to watch Greed. Perhaps I didn’t give it enough of a try, I watched it for about 35 minutes. They’ve restored some two hours of missing footage by supplying still footage instead (which they did for the restored versions of Lost Horizon and A Star is Born also). I just didn’t think I could take watching four hours of still photos interspersed with the rest of the picture. If you make it through, tell me what you think.

  2. Jesus, four hours (including 2 of stills)? Really, that should be an option, like part of a 2-disc set for those that want more than the original.

    It’s weird how I could sit down very easily and watch a 3-hour baseball game without blinking, and at the same time struggle through a great movie.

    What is it about the classics? Books, art, movies, etc.? Is it the reverence we set aside for them? Is it the fact that most capture a time and place (and sometimes a language) completely unfamiliar to us? Or is it simply the damned 4 hours of effort and concentration that makes the whole thing so daunting?

    It’s why I’m taking a bit of a break from the Greatest Films Of All Time And Space Forevermore to watch some more recent flicks I’d like to catch up on.

  3. Silent films (and foreign films) require even more concentration because you don’t have the option to even walk into the other room briefly and listen to the dialogue. If you look away for a moment, you can get lost. Baseball games have commercials, and you can always get up and go grab a beer between batters, etc. Something like Greed requires you to stare at it for four hours solid.

    On the other hand, I can sit through all three hours of The Seven Samurai and feel like it goes by in 90 minutes. It’s all a matter of pacing.

    It’s probably not fair of me to make this assessment, since I didn’t manage to struggle through the whole movie, but I’ll do it anyway: Von Stroheim’s original film was over 9 hours. Anyone who makes a movie that’s 9 hours long, and actually expects people to sit through it, is either certifiably insane or an immense egomaniac. If you can’t tell your story in two hours (I’ll forgive three hours if the tale is truly epic), then your story is too damn long.

    So I guess what I’m saying is, we should be glad they didn’t dig up another 5 hours’ worth of still photos.

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