faustus: (cinema)
( Jan. 9th, 2009 04:10 pm)
Beginning ridiculously late in the year with one of the Top 100:

I: Pickpocket (Robert Bresson, 1959) )

Totals: 1 (Cinema: 0; DVD: 1: Television/off air: 0)
faustus: (cinema)
( Sep. 28th, 2008 09:10 pm)
I'm shocked: this afternoon I went to see a film that I felt sure was one of the Top 100 - but actually isn't. Once Upon a Time in America is -and with good reason, it's one of the finest four hour movies I know. But The Good, the Bad and the Ugly? Parently not. But you should grab any opportunity to see it on the big screen.

CXII: Il Buono, Il brutto, Il Cattivo (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Sergio Leone, 1966) )

Totals: 112 (Cinema: 44; DVD: 63; TV: 5)

I'm not discussing tv very consistently, but to just note I've finished season three (which is to say, four) of Homicide: Life on the Street )
faustus: (cinema)
( Sep. 13th, 2008 12:28 am)
CVII: Sans Soleil (Sunless, Chris Marker, 1983)

But let us talk about the audience. We pass over the old guy in the front row who fell asleep for the first half. We've all been there. No, the people that walked out - twelve or fourteen of them, even up to seventy minutes in. I get that it would not be everyone's cup of tea - in many ways I found it baffling - but after an hour you've surely figured it's not going to suddenly have dialogue and characterisation and a car chase (though in a weird way it does have the latter, in a Vertigo sort of way). It didn't even seem to be the killing of animals - which was disturbing - which triggered it. Marker's best known for La Jetee - which is almost all still images with as I recall a brief exception - so surely anyone in would know it's avant garde and would have their Hiroshima Mon Amour or Baraka heads on.

Anyway, there's no plot to speak of, so no spoiler cut. After a film that looks like a documentary (La Battaglia di Algeri), a documentary that looks like a film. Sandor Krasna sends a woman (Florence Delay) letters recounting his thoughts on life in Japan, and to a lesser extent in Guinea, France, Iceland and the USA (especially San Francisco). He reflects on time and memory, and how people remember things if they don't photograph them. The film spirals around on itself - and, after the narrative of Vertigo is retraced on the streets of San Francisco, it includes reflections of the Icelandic psychogeography of an unmade film, San Soleil, set in the year 4001. Of course, you never quite know what is Krasna and what is the woman - and Krasna is at the very least standing in for Marker.

The title comes from a Mussorgsky composition I'm not familiar with, and presumably some of it is used in the film. Alongside stock footage, there is lots of 16mm material - which looks rather distressed despite it being a BFI print - and some computer enhanced footage, apparently filtered through the video equivalent of the Moog. None of the sound is synchronised, and it struck me that it's a mono mix.

Again, I can see it would be possible to have an allergic reaction to this Top 100 film, but it's fascinating, with its account of shrines to cats and to dogs, of mourning for pandas, of Marlon Brando's thoughts in Apocalypse Now, on what survives on the ground of Vertigo and of Iceland post volcanic eruptions. There's a fascinating Japanese game:

I saw these games born in Japan. I later met up with them again all over the world, but one detail was different. At the beginning the game was familiar: a kind of anti-ecological beating where the idea was to kill off—as soon as they showed the white of their eyes—creatures that were either prairie dogs or baby seals, I can't be sure which. Now here's the Japanese variation. Instead of the critters, there's some vaguely human heads identified by a label: at the top the chairman of the board, in front of him the vice president and the directors, in the front row the section heads and the personnel manager. The guy I filmed — who was smashing up the hierarchy with an enviable energy — confided in me that for him the game was not at all allegorical, that he was thinking very precisely of his superiors. No doubt that's why the puppet representing the personnel manager has been clubbed so often and so hard that it's out of commission, and why it had to be replaced again by a baby seal.

And then there's the fashion based on JFK, with a JFK simulacrum miming to a song about not asking what your country can do for you. And there's talk of Pacman taking over the world.

The text, by the by, is here

Totals: 107 (Cinema: 43; DVD: 59; TV: 5)
faustus: (cinema)
( Sep. 9th, 2008 06:21 pm)
CV: Letter from an Unknown Woman (Max Ophüls, 1948)

One of the Top 100.

She's called SPOILER! )

Totals: 105 (Cinema: 41; DVD: 59; TV: 5)
faustus: (culture)
( Aug. 31st, 2008 04:36 pm)
CIV: Sunrise: A Tale of Two Humans (F.W. Murnau, 1927) )
Totals: 104 (Cinema: 41; DVD: 58; TV: 5)
faustus: (culture)
( Jul. 8th, 2008 10:20 pm)
The first couple I wondered if I'd seen already.

LXXIV: The Bourne Supremacy (Paul Greengrass, 2004) )

LXXV: Reign of Fire (Rob Bowman, 2002) )

Hey, there's a twist! But I won't discuss it:
LXXVI: Hancock (Peter Berg, 2008) )

I feel like I've been watching this for months - and finally it is done...
LXXVII: Fanny och Alexander (Ingmar Bergman, 1982) )

Totals: 77 (Cinema: 28; DVD: 45; TV: 4)
faustus: (culture)
( Jun. 30th, 2008 11:59 pm)
This is as much for my benefit as anyone else's – to track back what I've seen. Projected total of 140 by end of the year – up on last month’s total. And I must watch the rest of Fanny och Alexander

The Top 100 Project )

Forthcoming Attractions )

Films watched to 30 June 2008 )
faustus: (culture)
( Jun. 3rd, 2008 11:28 pm)
Well, it had to happen...

LIX: La Règle du Jeu (Jean Renoir, 1939) )

Totals: 59 (Cinema: 21; DVD: 36; TV: 2)
faustus: (culture)
( Jun. 1st, 2008 12:00 am)
Just over a month ago, I said I needed to do something about some of my ignorance of classic films. I've chosen to follow the Time Out top hundred from about 1995 (see here) as it is international, avoids the last decade which I know and isn't too populist (nor too arty).

Mostly it's been a positive experience - L'Atalante didn't seem that special and Intolerance is very very long (but I'm still avoiding Fanny and Alexander). Not a bad start given that I really should have been marking.

Watched this month:
  1. Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966)

  2. Pierrot le fou (Pierrot Goes Wild) (Jean-Luc Godard, 1966)

  3. Intolerance (D.W. Griffith, 1916)

  4. A Matter of Life and Death (Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, 1946)

  5. L’Atalante (Jean Vigo, 1934)

I'd like to finish this this year, and 53 sounds like two films a week and a month's grace.

Forthcoming )
faustus: (culture)
( May. 29th, 2008 05:42 pm)
LIII: Jean-Luc Godard, Pierre le Fou (1966) )

Beware, though: the DVD comes with an optional Colin MacCabe introduction, which tells you the ending - and leads you to expect it to be more violent than it really is.

Totals: 53 (Cinema: 19; DVD: 32; TV: 2]
faustus: (cinema)
( May. 22nd, 2008 12:51 am)
Having inexplicably got hold of two free copies of A Matter of Life and Death in the Daily Hate Mail war movie DVD giveaway, I failed to get the other two Powell and Pressburgers. The boxset at a tenner put that right and more - and has all four films from the Top 100 Project.

XLVI: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, A Matter of Life and Death (1946) )

XLVII: Michael Powell, They're a Weird Mob (1966) )

Totals: 47 [Cinema: 16; DVD: 29; TV: 2]
faustus: (culture)
( May. 21st, 2008 02:55 pm)
Day Two of the sulk allowed me to watch another on the Top 100 Project. Whilst not an easy film to watch, I can see why this is acclaimed.

XLV: D.W. Griffith, Intolerance (1916) )

Totals: 45 [Cinema: 16; DVD: 27; TV: 2]


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