Friday, September 04, 2009

The Spectator’s 50 Essential Films

This entry shows how far behind I am in posting these days.

Way back in July, Roger Ebert blogged about the list created by Spectator magazine.

I diligently went through and noted which ones I've seen, and added some others to the "to see" list. The ones in bold I've seen. (List is "title, director". And I didn't have the energy to italicize the titles.)

1. The Night of the Hunter, Laughton
2. Apocalypse Now, Coppola
3. Sunrise, Murnau
4. Black Narcissus, Powell & Pressburger
5. L'avventura, Antonioni
6. The Searchers, Ford
7. The Magnificent Ambersons, Welles
8. The Seventh Seal , Bergman
9. L'atalante, Vigo
10. Rio Bravo, Hawks
11. The Godfather: Part I and Part II, Coppola
12. The Passion of Joan of Arc, Dreyer
13. La Grande Illusion, Renoir
14. Citizen Kane, Welles
15. The Scarlett Empress, von Sternberg
16. Tokyo Story, Ozu
17. Blade Runner, Ridley Scott
18. Rear Window, Hitchcock
19. Point Blank, Boorman
20. The Red Shoes, Powell & Pressburger
21. The Earrings of Madame de..., Ophuls
22. Shadows, Cassavetes
23. Pickpocket, Bresson
24. Viridiana, Bunuel
25. Barry Lyndon, Kubrick
26. City Lights, Chaplin
27. Pierrot le Fou, Godard
28. Sunset Boulevard, Wilder
29. Notorious, Hitchcock
30. M, Lang
31. The Roaring Twenties, Walsh
32. Singin' in the Rain, Donen and Kelly
33. The Long Day Closes, Davies
34. Killer of Sheep, Burnett
35. Gun Crazy, Lewis
36. Andrei Rublev, Tarkovsky
37. Taxi Driver, Scorsese
38. The 400 Blows, Truffaut
39. Pulp Fiction, Tarantino
40. Kind Hearts and Coronets, Hamer
41. In the Mood for Love, Wong Kar-Wai
42. Sullivan's Travels, Sturges
43. 8 1/2, Fellini
44. Pinocchio, Disney
45. Great Expectations, Lean
46. Rome, Open City, Rossellini
47. Duck Soup, McCarey
48. Jaws, Spielberg
49. Manhattan, Allen
50. Out of the Past, Tourneur

The first one I attempted was Rio Bravo and wasn't able to make it through. Yet.

Next I watched Point Blank and was amazed at how much I hated it. It was silly, pretentious and full of auteur-esque touches that I hope the director now deeply regrets. Reviewing the rest of Boorman's list, I realize I don't like anything he's directed. However, he wrote and produced Excalibur, so I have to be a bit thankful for him. (And I see he's filming The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, dear Lord.)

The only thing I came away with (from Point Blank) is that Angie Dickinson must've been the go-to actress for nudity back in the day before it was common. I've seen a few older films now where her main contribution was her boobs. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

So, I decided that whomever put that list together has very little in common with my tastes in film, even though there's a bunch I've seen. However, I posted it anyway in case you'd like to take advantage.

And here's an old, no longer complete list of movies I recommend, an another and another (near the end). Just off the top of my head, to be complete, I'd add:

- Star Trek (2009)
- Iron Man
- Unbreakable
- Monsters vs. Aliens (the 3D version - best evar thus far)
- The Emperor's New Groove (to me, it's in the pantheon with the funniest films ever)
- Jack's Back (which you can't get anymore, so this is sorta a tease)
- Bedazzled (original version)
- Just Like Heaven
- Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
- 50 First Dates
- Scooby Doo 2 (really, it's funny as hell)
- The "Up" series
- Dazed and Confused (an all-time-high favorite that I've mentioned before, but am bringing up again because it's one of Quentin Tarantino's, too.)


Whisky Prajer said...

I am completely with you re: The Emperor's New Groove. I remember my wife's nephews raving about it, back when they were too cool to rave about anything. Kinda gave me hope that this flick might yet experience a Zoolander sort of resurrection.

yahmdallah said...

Thanks for that. I'll file that away.


Anonymous said...

Monsters vs. Aliens was an unexpected delight, but I'm not as crazy about Star Trek as most people seem to be, despite having seen it twice, once in IMAX.

Chris Burd