Monday, February 5, 2018

2018 Update: What's Still Remaining?

Every year, a new edition of the 1,000 Greatest Films is published and I estimate how many films I have seen compared to the previous version based on what films are added and removed. However, I recently realized that this approach has not always been effective, so this time I decided to go through the list one film at a time and make a note of which ones I have still not seen. This was a time-consuming process, but it will make future updates easier and make my progress more visible as time goes by. There are a total of 333 films listed below, which brings my current number of films seen to 667.

In addition to the list of remaining films below, I have also compiled a short list of films which I watched over the past couple of years but forgot to write posts on for one reason or another. That post will follow this one within the next couple of days. Until then, thanks to Bill Georgaris at for keeping the list going as always, and thanks to everyone who's stopped by to read this blog over the past seven years. Will I finish the list within the next seven years? I guess we'll all have to wait and see...

Ordet (Carl Theodor Dryer)
Shoah (Claude Lanzmann)
Journey to Italy (Roberto Rossellini)
Gertrud (Carl Theodor Dryer)
Sansho the Bailiff (Kenji Mizoguchi)
Satantango (Bela Tarr)

The Earrings of Madame de... (Max Ophüls)
Vivre sa vie (Jean-Luc Godard)
A Brighter Summer Day (Edward Yang)
Los Olvidados (Luis Bunuel)
A Matter of Life and Death (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger)
Beau travail (Claire Denis)
Come and See (Elim Klimov)
Chimes at Midnight (Orson Welles)
L'Argent (Robert Bresson)
The River (Jean Renoir)
Dekalog (Krzysztof Kieslowski)
Earth (Aleksandr Dovzhenko)
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Jacques Demy)
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger)
Celine and Julie Go Boating (Jacques Rivette)
The Last Laugh (F.W. Murnau)
Spring in a Small Town (Fei Mu)
Kes (Ken Loach)
The Piano (Jane Campion)

Cache (Michael Haneke)
A City of Sadness (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (Jean-Luc Godard)
Ashes and Diamonds (Andrzej Wajda)
The Crowd (King Vidor)
The Color of Pomegranates (Sergei Parajanov)
Black God, White Devil (Glauber Rocha)
Only Angels Have Wings (Howard Hawks)
El verdugo (Luis García Berlanga)
The Life of Oharu (Kenji Mizoguchi)
Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
Three Colors: Red (Krzysztof Kieslowski)
Floating Clouds (Mikio Naruse)
Three Colors: Blue (Krzysztof Kieslowski)
Distant Voices, Still Lives (Terence Davies)
The Story of the Last Crysanthemum (Kenji Mizoguchi)
Memories of Underdevelopment (Tomás Gutiérrez Alea)
An Autumn Afternoon (Yasujiro Ozu)
Underground (Eric Kusturica)
The Sacrifice (Andrei Tarkovsky)
Touki Bouki (Djibril Diop Mambéty)
Day of Wrath (Carl Theodor Dryer)

A Canterbury Tale (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger)
Orpheus (Jean Cocteau)
Terra em Transe (Glauber Rocha)
A Time To Live and a Time to Die (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
The Puppetmaster (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
Lola Montès (Max Ophüls)
Make Way for Tomorrow (Leo McCarey)
The Crime of Monsieur Lange (Jean Renoir)
Russian Ark (Alexander Sokurov)
October (Sergei Eisenstein)
A Touch of Zen (King Hu)
Happy Together (Wong Kar-Wai)
Through the Olive Trees (Abbas Kiarostami)
Stromboli (Roberto Rossellini)
Landscape in the Mist (Theo Angelopoulos)
Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks (Wang Bing)
In a Year with 13 Moons (Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
The Quince Tree Sun (Victor Erice)
Wanda (Barbara Loden)
Nostalgia (Andrei Tarkovsky)
Days of Being Wild (Wong Kar-Wai)
The Double Life of Veronique (Krzysztof Kieslowski)
If... (Lindsay Anderson)
Dogville (Lars von Trier)
Salvatore Giuliano (Francesco Rosi)
Fitzcarraldo (Werner Herzog)
Army of Shadows (Jean-Pierre Melville)
The Young Girls of Rochefort (Jacques Demy)
The Cloud-Capped Star (Ritwik Ghatak)

I Know Where I'm Going! (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger)
Raise the Red Lantern (Zhang Yimou)
Out 1 (Jacques Rivette)
Chelsea Girls (Andy Warhol)
French Cancan (Jean Renoir)
Charulata (Satyajit Ray)
A Moment of Innocence (Mohsen Makhmalbaf)
Early Summer (Yasujiro Ozu)
The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke)
Barren Lives (Nelson Pereira dos Santos)
Opening Night (John Cassavetes)
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
Le plaisir (Max Ophüls)
The Tree of Wooden Clogs (Ermanno Olmi)
The Gleaners and I (Agnes Varda)
Closely Watched Trains (Jiří Menzel)
Pyaasa (Guru Dutt)
Yellow Earth (Chen Kaige)
Withnail & I (Bruce Robinson)
The Turin Horse (Bela Tarr)
Kagemusha (Akira Kurosawa)
The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Cristi Puiu)
Platform (Jia Zhang-ke)
Muriel (Alain Resnais)
Elephant (Gus Van Sant)
Alexander Nevsky (Sergei Eisenstein)
The Cranes Are Flying (Mikhail Kalatozov)
Naked (Mike Leigh)
Limelight (Charles Chaplin)
The Flowers of St. Francis (Roberto Rossellini)
India Song (Marguerite Duras)
The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck)
Chronicle of a Summer (Edgar Morin & Jean Rouch)
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (Werner Herzog)
Triumph of the Will (Leni Riefenstahl)
Melancholia (Lars von Trier)

Lola (Jacques Demy)
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Sergei Parajanov)
Flowers of Shanghai (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
Tale of Tales (Yuriy Norshteyn)
The Taking of Power by Louis XIV (Roberto Rossellini)
The Wedding March (Erich von Stroheim)
In Vanda's Room (Pedro Costa)
The Devils (Ken Russell)
The Servant (Joseph Losey)
A Separation (Asghar Farhadi)
La terra trema (Luchino Visconti)
Placido (Luis García Berlanga)
Farewell My Concubine (Chen Kaige)
Loves of a Blonde (Miloš Forman)
Colossal Youth (Pedro Costa)
That Obscure Object of Desire (Luis Bunuel)
My Own Private Idaho (Gus van Sant)
The Devil, Probably (Robert Bresson)
Grizzly Man (Werner Herzog)
Songs from the Second Floor (Roy Andersson)
Limite (Mario Peixoto)
Fireworks (Takeshi Kitano)
Hatari! (Howard Hawks)
Nazarin (Luis Bunuel)
Rosetta (Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne)
Le Cercle Rouge (Jean-Pierre Melville)
Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler (Fritz Lang)
Silent Light (Carlos Reygadas)
Arrebato (Iván Zulueta)
Blissfully Yours (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

Twenty Years Later (Eduardo Coutinho)
Dancer in the Dark (Lars von Trier)
The Lovers on the Bridge (Leos Carax)
Local Hero (Bill Forsyth)
Goodbye, Dragon Inn (Tsai Ming-liang)
La Belle Noiseuse (Jacques Rivette)
They Live By Night (Nicholas Ray)
By the Bluest of Seas (Boris Barnet & S. Mardanin)
Titicut Follies (Frederick Wiseman)
Children of Men (Alfonso Cuarón)
Fat City (John Huston)
Before Sunset (Richard Linklater)
Lancelot du Lac (Robert Bresson)
Antonio das Mortes (Glauber Rocha)
Nouvelle Vague (Jean-Luc Godard)
The Round-Up (Miklós Jancsó)
Mother and Son (Alexander Sokurov)
The Tiger of Eschnapur (Fritz Lang)
Xala (Ousmane Sembene)
Orlando (Sally Potter)
A Short Film About Killing (Krzysztof Kieslowski)
After Life (Hirokazu Koreeda)
JFK (Oliver Stone)
Nostalgia for the Light (Patricio Guzmán)
Y Tu Mamá También (Alfonso Cuarón)
Les dames du bois de Boulogne (Robert Bresson)
Passion (Jean-Luc Godard)
El Sur (Victor Erice)
Le fils (Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne)
Edvard Munch (Peter Watkins)
Europa '51 (Roberto Rossellini)
Distant (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)
WR: Mysteries of the Organism (Dusan Makevejev)
The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On (Kazuo Hara)
Miller's Crossing (Joel & Ethan Coen)
The Woman Next Door (Francois Truffaut)
Vagabond (Agnes Varda)
Flaming Creatures (Jack Smith)
The Golden Coach (Jean Renoir)
Harlan County U.S.A. (Barbara Kopple)
Vive L'amour (Tsai Ming-liang)
The Seasons (Artavazd Peleshian)
Still Life (Jia Zhangke)

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu)
The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (Fritz Lang)
An Angel At My Table (Jane Campion)
Casque d'Or (Jacques Becker)
The Tin Drum (Volker Schlöndorff)
The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (Jean-Marie Straub)
My Friend Ivan Lapshin (Aleksey German)
The Piano Teacher (Michael Haneke)
The Idiots (Lars von Trier)
Les maîtres fous (Jean Rouch)
Kaagaz Ke Phool (Guru Dutt)
Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
Dodes'ka-den (Akira Kurosawa)
Red Sorghum (Zhang Yimou)
The Ascent (Larisa Shapitko)
The Age of the Earth (Glauber Rocha)
Starship Troopers (Paul Verhoeven)
Abraham's Valley (Manoel de Oliveira)
Olympia (Leni Riefenstahl)
Time of the Gypsies (Emir Kusturica)
Our Hitler: A Film from Germany (Hans-Jürgen Syberberg)
The Headless Woman (Lucricia Martel)
Forbidden Games (René Clément)
Vengeance Is Mine (Shohei Imamura)
Van Gogh (Maurice Pialat)
The Long Day Closes (Terence Davies)
Port of Shadows (Marcel Carné)
La Cienaga (Lucricia Martel)
The Sweet Hereafter (Atom Egoyan)
Code Unknown (Michael Haneke)
Z (Costa-Gravas)
Every Man For Himself (Jean-Luc Godard)
The Ladykillers (Alexander Mackendrick)
The Lusty Men (Nicholas Ray)
Memories of Murder (Bong Joon-ho)
Numéro Deux (Jean-Luc Godard)
7 Women (John Ford)
7th Heaven (Frank Borzage)
Big Deal on Madonna Street (Mario Monicelli)
The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (Peter Greenaway)

We All Loved Each Other So Much (Ettore Scola)
Ludwig (Luchino Visconti)
The River (Tsai Ming-liang)
Pickup on South Street (Samuel Fuller)
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Pedro Almodóvar)
Branded to Kill (Seijun Suzuki)
Fires Were Started (Humphrey Jennings)
Burnt by the Sun (Nikita Mikhalkov)
O Lucky Man! (Lindsay Anderson)
Street of Shame (Kenji Mizoguchi)
The End of Summer (Yasujiro Ozu)
The Return (Andrey Zvyagintsev)
Topsy-Turvy (Mike Leigh)
L'Enfance Nue (Maurice Pialat)
The Ladies Man (Jerry Lewis)
Siciliy! (Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet)
The Intruder (Claire Denis)
Central Station (Walter Salles)
Two English Girls (Francois Truffaut)
The Sun Shines Bright (John Ford)
Hôtel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie (Marcel Ophüls)
Taipei Story (Edward Yang)
The Ice Storm (Ang Lee)
Cul-de-Sac (Roman Polanski)
Diaries, Notes and Sketches (Jonas Mekas)
Assault on Precinct 13 (John Carpenter)
The Naked Island (Kaneto Shindo)
Street Angel (Muzhi Yuan)
Excalibur (John Boorman)
Get Carter (Mike Hodges)
News From Home (Chantal Akerman)
To Live (Zhang Yimou)
My Little Loves (Jean Eustache)
Mother India (Mehboob Khan)
Henry V (Lawrence Olivier)
2046 (Wong Kar-Wai)
Grave of the Fireflies (Isao Takahata)
The 47 Ronin (Kenji Mizoguchi)
The Match Factory Girl (Aki Kaurismäki)
Not Reconciled (Jean-Marie Straub)
As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (Jonas Mekas)
Dust in the Wind (Hou Hsaio-hsien)
The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz (Luis Buñuel)
Il Posto (Ermanno Olmi)
Das Boot (Wolfgang Petersen)
L'Enfant Secret (Philippe Garrel)
Mon oncle d'Amérique (Alain Resnais)
The Hawks and the Sparrows (Pier Paolo Pasolini)

Louisiana Story (Robert J. Flaherty)
Gregory's Girl (Bill Forsyth)
Angel (Ernst Lubitsch)
A Tale of the Wind (Joris Ivens & Marceline Loridan-Ivens)
Elephant (Alan Clarke)
Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (Walter Ruttmann)
The Ballad of Narayama (Shohei Imamura)
Holiday (George Cukor)
Akira Kurosawa's Dreams (Akira Kurosawa)
Fellini's Casanova (Federico Fellini)
Midnight Run (Martin Brest)
Exotica (Atom Egoyan)
The Fireman's Ball (Miloš Forman)
Sholay (Ramesh Shippy)
Moi, un noir (Jean Rouch)
Too Early, Too Late (Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet)
Le Bonheur (Agnes Varda)
Yol (Yılmaz Güney)
A Grin Without a Cat (Chris Marker)
A Diary for Timothy (Humphrey Jennings)
India: Matri Bhumi (Roberto Rossellini)
Floating Weeds (Yasujiro Ozu)
A Woman is a Woman (Jean-Luc Godard)
The Crucified Lovers (Kenji Mizoguchi)
Subarenarekha (Ritwik Ghatak)
A Man for All Seasons (Fred Zinnemann)
Ceddo (Ousmane Sembene)
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Tony Richardson)
Cairo Station (Youssef Chahine)
Princess Yang Kwei Fei (Kenji Mizoguchi)
Sawdust and Tinsel (Ingmar Bergman)
True Heart Susie (D.W. Griffith)
The Saragossa Manuscript (Wojciech Has)
Pickpocket (Jia Zhangke)
War and Peace (Sergey Bondarchuk)
À nous la liberté (René Clair)
The Story of Qiu Ju (Zhang Yimou)
From the Clouds to the Resistance (Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet)
Lone Star (John Sayles)
Outskirts (Boris Barnet)
Touchez pas au grisbi (Jacques Becker)
Design for Living (Ernst Lubitsch)
O Bandido de Luz Vermelha (Rogério Sganzerla)
Scarecrow (Jerry Schatzberg)
Hellzapoppin' (H.C. Potter)
The Indian Tomb (Fritz Lang)
Red Beard (Akira Kurosawa)
The Fountainhead (King Vidor)
Johnny Got His Gun (Dalton Trumbo)
L'amour fou (Jacques Rivette)
Our Trip to Africa (Peter Kubelka)
They Live (John Carpenter)
Heimat: A Chronicle of Germany (Edgar Reitz)
In Praise of Love (Jean-Luc Godard)
Husbands and Wives (Woody Allen)
L'humanité (Bruno Dumont)
Oasis (Lee Chang-dong)

Thursday, January 11, 2018

#619: Meet Me in St. Louis

1944, TSPDT Rank #213

I've never been a fan of Vincente Minelli, Judy Garland, or musicals in general, so Meet Me in St. Louis was never high on my watch list. However, I finally watched it today and was pleasantly surprised. It's an early example of what we know as the classic Hollywood musical, something that it pulls off with great warmth and feel-good charm in its portrait of a St. Louis family in the year before the 1904 World's Fair. There is really no more of a story than that - Meet Me in St. Louis is unique in its essentially plotless nature, instead using a loose series of vignettes based upon the seasons to convey the Smith family's connection to their hometown and each other. The film also incorporates an extraordinary degree of period detail in its costumes and sets, which are all tailor-made for Technicolor, creating a perfect vision of a more innocent time in American history. Furthermore, Judy Garland is effortlessly radiant here, possibly even more at her peak than she was in The Wizard of Oz.

If you're resistant to musicals like I am, or have just never gotten around to seeing this classic film, I recommend putting aside your reservations and giving Meet Me in St. Louis a try. It sits comfortably alongside films like Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz as a prime example of Technicolor's eye-popping potential, and its brilliant ensemble cast (including Lucille Bremer, Mary Astor, Margaret O'Brian, Marjorie Main and Henry Davenport) and endearing script make it much more than a Judy Garland feature.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

#618: In the Mood for Love

Directed by: WONG KAR-WAI
2000, TSPDT Rank #45

Wong Kar-Wai's most acclaimed film, In the Mood for Love, builds upon the feelings of unrequited longing which laid at the root of his playful international success Chungking Express, albeit in a way that is much more somber and meditative than that film was. The film follows a man (Tony Leung) and a woman (Maggie Cheung), neighbors in 1960s Hong Kong, who learn that their respective spouses are carrying on an adulterous affair with each other, leading them to commiserate and become intimate friends as a result. Despite the simplicity of the plot, In the Mood for Love is a master class in the limitless possibilities of interior cinematography. There are hardly any exterior shots - most of the film is confined to the characters' apartments and office buildings, with Wong making liberal use of pans, deep focus shots and slow motion to create a visual atmosphere that is incredibly layered and dreamlike.

Those looking for an erotic tale of infidelity will likely be disappointed by the film's deliberate pacing and elliptical storytelling style, while those who like their films meditative and slow-moving will not be. This is a film that gets under the skin, leaving the viewer with haunting thoughts on love, memory, time and the infinite emptiness that often comes with freedom. It is one of the standout films of the 21st century so far, so visually rich and stylistically unique that it is bound to retain its already towering reputation as the years go by.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

#617: Marketa Lazarová

1967, TSPDT Rank #422

Marketa Lazarová, often named as the greatest Czech film ever made, begins with a narrator introducing a story based on "old tales of foolish deeds ... told at the behest of a wandering echo, and because even the most ancient things lie in the web of present time." This tantalizing prelude sets the stage for a historical epic that is like no other. Set in the Czech kingdom at some point during the Middle Ages, Marketa Lazarová presents a story of people and customs that might seem completely foreign to 21st century viewers at first glance. However, as the story unfolds, it seems to hold an eerie resonance with our contemporary world. The landscape often looks quite familiar, and the themes of human cruelty, violence, religious hypocrisy and forbidden love are even more recognizable. At the same time, Marketa Lazarová is a film which seems to emerge from out of the mists of time. Its arresting use of deep-focus widescreen black-and-white cinematography creates a dense web of visual detail and a mood of hyper-reality, which the filmmakers used to create an imaginative rendering of a distant past that is nevertheless completely believable. The result is a film of strange and mystifying beauty, with many layers of complexity that are sure to reward multiple viewings immensely.

Friday, December 29, 2017

#616: The Fallen Idol

Directed by: CAROL REED
1948, TSPDT Rank #993

Graham Greene, who wrote the short story on which The Fallen Idol was based and also scripted Carol Reed's next two films (The Third Man and Our Man In Havana), once cited this film as his favorite of all the films he had written. And it's an ingenious little film, which brilliantly illustrates a violent clash between the innocence of childhood and the often corrupting influence of adulthood. As a suspense film, it's very unique, as the primary narrative conceit here is that the audience knows that a butler accused of murdering his wife is innocent, although the web of lies which has been spun around the incident makes it nearly impossible to prove this fact. The primary obstacle to the investigation is an ambassador's son (played with wide-eyed obliviousness by Bobby Henrey), who looks up to the butler (portrayed with the perfect balance of coolness and warmth by Ralph Richardson) but is unsure of his innocence and feels obligated to lie to the police in order to protect him. Graham Greene's screenplay shows how the small lies of childhood grow naturally into adult lies which destroy relationships and blur the line between guilt and innocence, while Carol Reed's careful handling of the material results in a briskly paced film which makes its audience think while never failing to be entertaining at the same time.

Friday, December 15, 2017

#615: Oldboy

Directed by: PARK CHAN-WOOK
2003, TSPDT Rank #542

Park Chan-wook's Oldboy is one of the defining films of contemporary Korean cinema - a brooding, Hitchcockian psychological thriller with disturbing sexual undertones and a pervasive sense of unease which begins in the opening minutes of the film and lingers long after the ending credits have finished. It follows a hard-drinking middle-aged businessman named Dae-su (Choi Min-sik), who finds himself imprisoned in a hotel-like room for fifteen years, a long period of time which is compressed into a whirlwind prologue sequence - with the man's release seeming to come almost as abruptly as his imprisonment did. As such, we get to know him mainly as man bent on getting revenge, but not before he discovers who imprisoned him and why.

While this might sound like a fairly standard setup for a revenge film, Park takes the premise to unexpected territory in terms of violence and brutality while also probing deeper into the psychological implications of the characters' actions than most revenge films would venture. For while Dae-su's imprisonment is a disturbing concept, Park continually encourages us to question the impact of this experience on his psyche and the motivations of his mysterious captor. Dae-su's sense of reality is never entirely stable; it always seems that he is being set up or toyed with is some way, but it is not clear until very late in the game by who or why. And once these details finally are revealed, it is not comforting to either him or the audience in any respect.

Furthermore, as the harrowing story unfolds and comes into focus, the cruelty to which the characters subject each other becomes as disturbing as the reasons behind their actions. Park ultimately leaves the viewer without much hope for the film's characters, or even assurances of the extent to which their experiences were real. As with many contemporary Korean thrillers and horror films, the lingering effects of memories and personal grievances loom heavily throughout Oldboy. It's an unpleasant and somber film, but Park's use of impressively-choreographed action, together with a complex and visceral plotline, makes it one that is not easily forgotten.

#614: Les enfants du paradis

Directed by: MARCEL CARNÉ
1945, TSPDT Rank #58

This is one of the highest-ranked films on the list that I still hadn't seen, and it did not disappoint. Many others have attempted to convey the idea that the whole world's a stage, but Marcel Carné and screenwriter Jacques Prévert may have done it best with this film. Carné started out as an assistant to Jacques Feyder, eventually becoming one of the leading filmmakers in the French poetic realist movement, making his mark with films such as Le quai des brumes (Port of Shadows), Le jour se lève and Hôtel du Nord. But by the time of this film, Carné had traded his pre-noir (and prewar) atmospherics for an 1800s period look and a feel of theatricality, which can sometimes disguise the fact that this is an incredibly graceful and well-structured piece of filmmaking.

A film like Jean Renoir's La bête humaine might suggest that people are defined by the work they do, and with the character of Lacenaire (Marcel Herrand), a cynical and over-educated petty criminal who scoffs at the romantic rivalries of the other characters in the film and sees himself as the architect of their destruction, Children of Paradise also makes a similar point. The actors and mimes who make up the film's motley cast of characters are often shown at work, each performing their own solitary interpretations of life, but in the end, they are all characters in the same farce - and the roles they play on stage reflect the roles they play in real life. The carnival of life goes on and their romantic yearnings will ultimately be drowned out by the sea of life which continues all around them.

While this film may be more rooted in the past than Carné's earlier work, it nevertheless takes a poetic view of life which has much in common with the famous prewar French films of the 1930s, and its expression and execution of these ideas is second to none. This is definitely an excellent film which I regret not seeing earlier and am sure to revisit in the future.