Do My Job!

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This semester at the Place Of Education where I teach — well, one of them — I’m curating eleven screenings of Films Of Interest, which I’m vaguely planning to arrange in chronological order to assemble a bogus history of film. This is of course impossible to do in eleven sessions.

I’m also bearing in mind that the students attending will have had widely differing experiences of cinema, some of them perhaps having seen nothing made before 1977, others being extremely well versed in movies from different cultures and eras. I’m quite keen to hit them with stuff that opens their eyes, stuff that’s not so easy to see, and stuff that demonstrates a wide variety of interesting filmmaking styles and sensibilities. So in a way I want to avoid obvious top ten material that they can easily learn about and locate, and blast them with stuff that’s as good as that, but less well known.

And since I have access to a fantastic group-mind via this blog, I thought I’d ask you all for suggestions. What would YOU show? This can lead anywhere, possibly into an examination of the philistinism of today’s youth and the failure of broadcasters and schools to educate the public about film, but also into an appreciation of some interesting filmic byways. It’s all good.

So, fire away!

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61 Responses to “Do My Job!”

  1. When I used to do a bit of this kind of thing, many years ago, two films I really enjoyed showing to film students were Ford’s The Long Voyage Home (American Pastoral meets German Expressionism, featuring John Wayne!) and Night of the Hunter (entirely unclassifiable, of course). I think part of the fun was that each film featured a leading actor that people might have been familiar with in a completely different sort of role, being used in a way that showed their openness to experiment (parts of TLVH show a remarkably sensitive side to both Wayne and Ford). Of course, they’re also films whose early 20th century modernist/romantic impulses make them easy to mock. But that’s part of what’s intriguing to me about watching them with a class.

  2. AnneBillson Says:

    Off the top of my head, and in no particular order (and I know some of these are canon, but what the hell): Curse of the Cat People, Tokyo Drifter, The Double Life of Veronique, Tokyo Story, Unfaithfully Yours, Sullivan’s Travels, Only Angels Have Wings, Ball of Fire, 42nd Street, Gold Diggers of whatever, Onibaba, Come and See, Le salaire de la peur, Diabolique, Night of the Demon, Eight Diagram Pole-Fighters, The Mission (Johnnie To), A Touch of Zen, The Bitter Tears of General Yen, The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932), Come Drink with Me, The Big Combo, Phantom Lady, Pandora and the Flying Dutchman, Orphée, anything by Fritz Lang, anything by Jan Svankmajer, Le trou, Le samourai, Le cercle rouge, Green for Danger, Went the Day Well?, A Matter of Life and Death, The Kingdom (Von Trier), God Told Me To, Q the Winged Serpent etc etc I could go on all day…

  3. AnneBillson Says:

    also: Pepe le Moko, Touchez pas au grisbi, The Conformist, The Spider’s Stratagem, Closely Observed Trains, Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, Peeping Tom, Kiss Me Deadly, Emperor of the North, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? The Ghost and Mrs Muir, and so on.

  4. Hum… some suggestions at random (I’m mostly listing films I saw in my teens meself):

    Obviously, anything around Laughton, so I second Paul’s suggestion’s of Night of the Hunter
    Renoir’s This Land is Mine and La Regle du Jeu
    Hitchcock’s North by Northwest and Young and Innocent
    Victor Sjoström’s The Wind
    Eric Von Stroheim Foolish Wives
    Luis Buñuel’s Viridiana
    Billy Wilder’s Five Graves To Cairo, Some Like it Hot and Witness for the Prosecution
    Alexander McKendrick’s Mandy
    Any film by Hayao Miyazaki
    Isao Takahata’s Grave of the Fireflies
    Howard Hawks’ Land of the Faraohs and I Was a Male War Bride
    Joseph Mankiewicz’s All About Eve and Five Fingers
    Mikio Naruse’s Mother and When a Woman Ascends The Stairs
    John Ford’s The Quiet Man, The Searchers and The Whole Town’s Talking (hum, yes, Edward G. Robinson in a dual role, which is sort of a metatextual experience)
    Serguei M. Einsestein’s Ivan the Terrible and The General Line
    Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and Man Hunt
    Roberto Rossellini’s Roma Citta Aperta and Viaggio in Italia
    Federico Fellini’s Amarcord and Roma
    Mario Monicelli’s L’Armata Brancaleone
    A film (or two) of your choice by Powell & Pressburguer
    Anything by Ernst Lubistch
    Murnau’s Nosferatu and Sunrise…
    James Whale’s The Old Dark House and Bride of Frankestein

    … I suppose I’m leaving hunnerts ‘n’ hunnerts of intereting stuff, but, as stated, I saw most of them when I was these kids’ age (or earlier) and I quite like them!

  5. cinemaofscreams Says:

    The Children are Watching Us, Sisters, I, Vitelloni, Les Bonnes Femmes,
    Le Notti Bianche, McCabe and Mrs. Muir, Army of Shadows, The Element of Crime, The Purple Rose of Cairo, The Last Days of Disco, My Own Private Idaho, Dogville, Paper Soldier

  6. AnneBillson Says:

    oh and Kiss me Deadly, of course. Yojimbo and Sanjuro. And you could try showing them The Hidden Fortress and see if anyone finds the story familiar…

  7. Great suggestions.

    Paul, I hate that mockery response, so I’m nervous about showing delicately poetic stuff from another age which may provoke it. I didn’t really enjoy showing Cat People last year for that reason. I mean, think they liked it, but there was way to much laughing for my taste.

    So that’s why I’m not sure about showing Night of the Hunter — although it might be safe. It provokes a lot of uncomfortable laughter and conflicted responses on purpose. If they haven’t seen much older stuff it might just confuse them. Tricky choosing these films before I’ve met the students.

    Mark Cousins is always complaining we don’t show enough non-American non-European stuff. I tend to focus on a wider range of periods rather than places, but I still feel guilty about neglecting India, China, Africa, Russia. But I’m glad to see lots of Japanese cinema here.

    In the last year or so I did show This Land is Mine, The Conformist, Sullivan’s Travels, Come and See, Went the Day Well? and Phantom Lady.

  8. AnneBillson Says:

    and Bresson’s A Man Escaped – tense as any thriller. I trust you’re going to let us know which titles you decide on. I won’t be miffed if you don’t pick any of my suggestions, honest.

  9. AnneBillson Says:

    oh and Ugetsu Monogatari. I didn’t bother suggesting Seven Samurai since I’m sure you’ve considered it.

  10. Glauber Rocha is one of the world’s greatest and most underrated film-makers.
    ANTONIO DAS MORTES(available on R2) should knock their socks out.
    Thorold Dickinson’s THE QUEEN OF SPADES.
    Pasolini’s TEOREMA
    Bertolucci’s PARTNER
    Preminger’s SAINT JOAN
    Raoul Walsh’s ME AND MY GAL
    Frank Borzage’s BAD GIRL
    King Vidor’s THE FOUNTAINHEAD
    Eric Rohmer’s THE LADY AND THE DUKE
    Ermanno Olmi’s I FIDANZATI
    Ingmar Bergman’s THE SILENCE
    Fritz Lang’s THE TESTAMENT OF DR. MABUSE
    R. W. Fassbinder’s THE THIRD GENERATION
    Samuel Fuller’s THE STEEL HELMET
    John Cassavetes’ OPENING NIGHT
    Kenji Mizoguchi’s THE CRUCIFIED LOVERS
    Satyajit Ray’s APARAJITO
    Yasujiro Ozu’s THE ONLY SON
    Jacques Tati’s PARADE

  11. robert keser Says:

    Last year I showed:

    THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO (it’s great fun to watch the effect on the students of the onscreen characters talking directly to the audience); THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS; SONGS FROM THE SECOND FLOOR (my students’ favorite); the Korean SAVE THE GREEN PLANET (another fave); OUT OF THE PAST; NOTRE MUSIQUE; MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA; MOTHER AND SON (surprisingly popular); LA BETE HUMAINE; GRIZZLY MAN; CHRONICLE OF A DISAPPEARANCE

    This semester I’m showing, among others:

    Maurice Tourneur’s THE WISHING RING (1914); ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED; Harold Lloyd’s FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE; THE GOOD FAIRY; ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES; THE PALM BEACH STORY; Kurosawa’s STRAY DOG; MIRACLE IN MILAN; MADAME DE…; THE WHITE DIAMOND

    Meanwhile, I definitely support the suggestion for showing Johnny To’s THE MISSION (Antonioni in Hong Kong!) and THE MASK OF FU MANCHU (quite elegant).

  12. cinemaofscreams Says:

    Also, Man Bites Dog. It’s so incredibly unsettling. There are scenes from this film permanently burned into my brain.

  13. cinemaofscreams Says:

    and maybe Memories of Murder? One of the few films that strikes the right balance between black comedy and emotionally resonant drama.

  14. Christopher Says:

    Our Hospitality-Keaton
    Modern Times(or City Lights)-Chaplin
    The Bride of Frankenstein-Whale
    Gods and Monsters-McKellen
    The Bank Dick-Feilds
    Duck Soup-Marxist
    Our Wife-Laurel and Hardy-short time
    Sunset Blvd and The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes-Wilder then and now
    I Walked With A Zombie-Lewton
    Tampopo-Jap
    Shall We Dance-1996-Jap
    Moulin Rouge-1952 Huston,This film just gets better and better every time I see it and seems totally ignored of late..
    Masque of the Red Death-Corman
    The Penalty-Chaney
    Targets-Bogdonavitch
    The Swimmer-Lancaster…as a “Don’t Let This Happen To You”for all marriageable lads..

  15. Mohsen Makhbahlmaf’s Once Upon a Time, Cinema. Here’s my IMDb review (written in 2002):

    This meditation on cinema and censorship is astounding. Contemporary black and white footage is interspersed with clips from older films, though sometimes the transition is so seamless one can’t tell when one ends and the other begins. Crude special effects are used to create a surreal atmosphere that owes a tremendous debt to Luis Bunuel, particularly Exterminating Angel and Un Chien Andalou. There’s also a Kubrick tribute towards the end of the film. No amount of exposition will prepare you for this film, which truly has to be seen to be believed. Highest rating and recommendation.

  16. robert keser Says:

    Incidentally, if the students have the leisure to chuckle about the “funny” clothes and so on, it means that they don’t have enough to do! Assign one student (or one row) to count the interior shots, another to count the exterior shots, another to count lateral camera movement, another to report on whether diegetic or non-diegetic music predominates, etc., etc.

  17. Nice. I enjoyed Mad Detective a lot, so I’m now taking steps to obtain The Mission. A lot of these are great suggestions for ME to see.

    My limit to more or less two hours sadly excludes great stuff like The Kingdom and Seven Samurai, which they’d love.

    Am definitely showing a bunch of silent comedy shorts, with a short-ish Keaton feature (maybe Sherlock Jnr this time for variety).

    Has anyone ever put together a season of films by Liverpool-born filmmakers? Just thinking that a program including Of Time and The City, Repo Man and The Mask of Fu Manchu would be great fun.

  18. This is too HARD!!!!

    The Fall of the House of Usher – Jean Epstein
    Osaka Elegy – Mizoguchi
    Equinox Flower – Ozu
    echoing Gloria’s sentiment of anything by Lubitsch
    The Big Heat – Lang
    one of the films from Bergman’s faith trilogy
    Shadow of a Doubt – Hitch
    maybe L’eclisse, but the African dance might be too offensive
    The Exterminating Angel – Bunuel
    Mirror – Tarkovsky
    Trafic – Tati
    Videdrome – Cronenberg
    The Draughtsman’s Contract – Greenaway
    Any Raul Ruiz film
    Any of the 90s Wong Kar Wai films (except maybe Ashes of Time, not a good introduction to his work)
    The Intruder – Claire Denis (maybe not a good intro either, but it is as of now the only Denis film I’ve seen and I loved every second of it)

  19. It’s even harder when you only have eleven slots to fill!

    Great stuff, keep it coming.

  20. Christopher:
    “Tampopo-Jap
    Shall We Dance-1996-Jap”

    Among the fine suggestions contributed by everyone here… I think that these could work reasonably. At least here there’s been a Japan pop-culture mania (comics, films -live action or animated), if this has happened as well in the UK, these are films that could work well.

    Tampopo is riotous, and caleidoscopic enough to surprise even kids with a short attention span, and Shall we Dance is a bit more “all audiences”, but definitely loads better than its American version.

    I agree that some boys and girls might have the wrong kind of reaction with some classic films (as pointed about NOTH)… In fact, some of the little beast possible regard “SaW” and “Hostel” series as infantile entertainment… so I wonder if NOTH or karl Freund’s The Mummy would be a hard sell, indeed.

    Oh, and by the way… How did last years’ juvenile audiences respond to This Land Is Mine? I’m curious about their reactions

  21. robert keser Says:

    The opening of TAMPOPO is very useful at the beginning of a film screening: it shows a gangster and his retinue seating themselves in the front row of a cinema, and then the gangster pointedly threatens violence against anyone who makes noise during the movie!

  22. La Folie de Dr. Tube — Abel Gance
    L’Argent — Marcel L’Herbier
    I Was Born But. . . — Yasujiro Ozu
    The Sin of Harold Diddlebock — Harold Lloyd / Preston Sturges
    A King in New York — Charles Chaplin
    Film — Buster Keaton
    Susan Lennox Her Fall and Rise — Garbo
    Moonfleet — Fritz Lang
    Ivan the Terrible Part II color sequence — Sergei Eisenstein
    I Love Melvin — Don Weis
    Le Diable Probablement — Bresson
    Judex — George Franju
    The White Bus — Lindsay Anderson
    The Last of England — Derek Jarman
    My Own Private Idaho — Gus
    Son nom du venise dans calcutta desert — Marguerite Duras
    Hurlevent — Jacques Rivette
    Toby Dammit — Federico Fellini
    Good News — Charles Walters

    and of course

    Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train — Patrice Chereau

  23. Heh. Time I revisited Itami.

    The Renoir I screened was for a different course, different audience. These guys were mostly writers, and generally very respectful. But they HATED Chytilova’s Daisies, because it didn’t have a story or characters they liked. So I figured This Land is Mine! would appeal, and it did. They also got a big kick out of LaCava’s Bed of Roses, even the horror film fan who normally wouldn’t go near a “romantic comedy”. Of course BoR is a bit different.

    They quite liked Exterminating Angel, which is pretty satisfying as a narrative, even if it doesn’t explain anything.

  24. Some nice short ones there, David E, always handy. Toby Dammit and The White Bus would make a mind-blowing 90 mins.

  25. A TAxing woman also by same director of Tampopo

    Burnt by the Sun
    Local Hero
    My way home
    The colour of pomeganates
    Eisenstein?

    are these just fiction or will you show docs?

    If so

    ANNA 6-18 by Milkalov
    My Architect
    Mayles films
    I’d probably make them see Jennie Brown/Gilbertson’s film The Rugged Island

    Also the more avant garde
    Margaret Tait
    Derek Jarman esp The Garden or Last of England

  26. Some sentimental suggestions of my own: BLACK NARCISSUS (they might groan at first, but be surprised by the end at just how good a film about nuns can be), PORT OF SHADOWS (man bonds with dog might prove a grabber, works for me, as may the whole business of romantic fatalism), NIGHTMARE ALLEY (a noir with visually delicious camerawork, and deliciously seedy underpinnings), and THE MAN WHO LAUGHS (although you run the risk of unintended laughs with a dog named Homo, but Veidt’s performance and visage are otherworldly, it might be great to see what sort of response this provokes). Of course as stated previously the possibilities are many and varied, so I’ll end it here, but you’ve been left with a fertile abundance of comments to pore over, have fun.

  27. The brilliant Emma Davie is handling docs. There’s been talk about me programming a selection of out-there short documentaries, probably featuring Franju…

    Some Bill Douglas might be a very good idea, maybe with something more cheerful to follow.

  28. Off the top of my head and in no particular order: DETOUR, HAXAN, THE CROWD, TARGETS, THE INTRUDER, LORD LOVE A DUCK, NAKED KISS, NIGHTMARE ALLEY, LENIGRAD COWBOYS GO AMERICA, COCKFIGHTER, CAPTAIN CLEGG, THE LOVED ONE, THE CUT-UPS, PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES, AT MIDNIGHT I’LL TAKE YOUR SOUL, THE GREAT ECSTASY OF THE WOODCARVER STEINER, THE SHOUT, POSSESSION, TIME OF THE GYPSIES, GUMMO and THE HEART OF THE WORLD. I think any of those are attention grabbing enough for any class.

    I remember being shown TETSUO- THE IRON MAN as part of an English course – that made me sit up too.

  29. Black Narc has been a hit in the past. Of course you can’t go wrong with A Matter of Life and Death. For length reasons, I’ve never tried them on The Red Shoes, although I show lots in my P&P lecture.

    Homo the Dog would definitely get laughs, but I wouldn’t be able to blame them: I laughed myself. But it’s a great film, and I wouldn’t mind seeing it again myself.

    I love the idea of hitting them with Coffin Joe! And it gets us out of the Hollywood/Europe cycle.

  30. But Wait — There’s More!

    Romance of a Horse Thief — Abraham Polonsky directs Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, Lanie Kazan, Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsboug.

    WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE?!!!

    Also: Lord Love a Duck, Peeping Tom, Je t’aime Je t’aime, Privilege, Qui Etes-Vous Polly Magoo?, Thundercrack!, Remember My Name, One From the Heart, Paris is Burning.

  31. I’ve still not managed to source a copy of Romance, but I yearn to see it.

    I wonder how Thundercrack would go down.

  32. If you’re looking at an overview of cinema in 11 sections rather than a top 11, I’m trying to think – maybe rather reductively – of stuff that might lead them off onto interesting routes of enquiry… There are some works of brilliance people should just see, like Night of The Hunter or the works of Powell and Pressburger, but in a way these films sort of stand alone. I’d go for, off the top of my head (with apologies to Mark Cousins)

    Fairbanks’ Thief of Bagdad
    The Palm Beach Story
    Road to Morrocco
    Branded To Kill
    Seventh Seal
    Welles’ The Trial
    Ginger and Fred
    Svankmajer’s Alice
    Do The Right thing
    Claire’s Knee
    Ju Dou

    Ah, nearly all comedies. Useless, sorry. And Stagecoach has surely got to be there. It’s good.

  33. Tony Williams Says:

    You are already receiving many suggestions which you will take up since you will not be threatened by students evaluations from the likes of Buffy majoring in hotel management. “I like films with happy endings and people I can identify with.” So pre-1977, b/w films will be safe for you to show.

    However, in my recent experience I’ve found that students have really appreciated my classes on John Ford and Nicholas Ray, especially appreciating his underrated final masterpiece 7 WOMEN whenever I’ve shown it.

    They are not all Eli Roth, Quentin Tarantino dupes but appreciate the achievements of the past whenever they are exposed to them.

  34. Christopher Says:

    Tampopo really is pleasing one of a kind’er..Underneath it seems to be all about Film as much as Food..Sure to cure what ails you thats for certain!

  35. Look in the cheapie bins for Romance of a Horse Thief. I found it there for $1.98. Also found there Giuseppe Patroni-Griffi’s The Driver’s Seat starring Elizabeth Taylor, Ian Bannen, Mona Washbourne and (wait for it)

    Andy Warhol!

  36. The Rohmer ot look for is Quatre Adventures de Reinette et Mirabelle

  37. Forgot the great Marx bros comedy A Night at the Opera! Also, The Life and Death of 9413, a Hollywood Extra would be a good opener for such a program, great absurdist comedy combined with a rather bitter commentary on the state of cinema, still a great portrait of the Hollwood machine after over 80 years.

  38. Haven’t seen that one. Rohmer is not the common choice for film school grads because his is a kind of film-making you can’t really teach. PERCEVAL LA GALLOIS is also recommended. It’s weirder and funnier than the Monty Python film and it’s as rigorously faithful to the text as can be.

    Humphrey Jennings’ films are short and they re-invented the documentary form influencing the likes of Chris Marker and Agnes Varda. So LISTEN TO BRITAIN, A DIARY FOR TIMOTHY and I WAS A FIREMAN.

  39. Only 11 screenings — that IS impossible! I really have no idea what the average film student is familiar with in terms of pre-70s cinema, but based on conversations with friends (in the US) who love film, I’d say that the following directors/films are not nearly as well-known as they should be:

    * Frank Borzage — Would something like Seventh Heaven be “too romantic”? The Mortal Storm might work — it’s hard to mock a story about Nazi Germany…

    * Ernst Lubitsch — Everyone I know is eventually forced to watch Trouble in Paradise, but if that’s too obvious you could always go with something like Design for Living. Other good options for pre-code Hollywood might be Love Me Tonight, Gold Diggers of 1933, Bombshell, Scarface.

    * Screwball comedy — especially Twentieth Century, My Man Godfrey, The Awful Truth, Easy Living, Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday, The Lady Eve. (Some are too obvious, yes, but I couldn’t decide where the cutoff was!)

    * William Wyler — Dodsworth, Jezebel, The Letter

    * Film noir — Out of the Past and Double Indemnity are probably my absolute favorites, but maybe everyone’s seen them already. There’s also Mildred Pierce, The Killers, Gilda, In a Lonely Place, Scarlet Street, The Big Heat, Kiss Me Deadly, Touch of Evil…

    * Sam Fuller — Shock Corridor, The Big Red One — but maybe Pickup on South Street would be the best intro?

    * Carol Reed — The Third Man is top-ten material, but there’s always Odd Man Out and The Fallen Idol.

    * Max Ophuls — especially The Earrings of Madame de…, La Ronde, Lola Montes. I love Letter from an Unknown Woman just as much, but when I saw it in a theater I was a little upset by people giggling at things they found too sentimental or melodramatic or whatever.

    * Ingmar Bergman — OK, everyone knows about him, but a lot of people seem to assume they won’t actually enjoy his films. Smiles of a Summer Night or Wild Strawberries would be a good place to start.

    * Other possibilities:
    L’Atalante
    Le Corbeau
    Sweet Smell of Success
    Ashes and Diamonds
    Eyes Without a Face
    Le Trou
    Shoot the Piano Player
    La Jetee
    Army of Shadows
    The Spirit of the Beehive
    Picnic at Hanging Rock
    The Ascent
    Mephisto
    The Double Life of Veronique

  40. Fantastic.

    I’ve seen The Driver’s Seat courtesy of Mr Wingrove. Stupendous. Griffi is an underrated lunatic.

    I’m thinking of trying to squeeze in a whole lecture on Borzage somewhere. The opening of Moonrise always wows them.

    With Lubitsch, I find the later you go the more they respond — when I lecture about him the laughter builds towards the end. Heaven Can Wait is probably the peak.

    Even the more cinephile and experienced ones have often never heard of Ophuls, so he’s tempting, even though he doesn’t exactly typify anything. My first class is on the long take, so he’ll feature in there anyway.

    I’ll post my choices tomorrow!

  41. I liked Daisies, but it was FAR TOO LONG – the table scene made me want to kill someone by the end.

    I third Night of the Hunter, Picnic at Hanging Rock, and of course Black Narcissus, but how about Georgy Girl, Valley of the Dolls, Odd Man Out (I see a James Mason connection emerging here which surely isn’t a bad thing), Children’s Hour, Johnny Guitar, Hombre and She?

  42. Daisies is only, like, 80 mins! But maybe “wanting to kill someone” is a valid reaction? Anyway, glad you liked it.

    Which version of She?

    Those are some wild choices! I’d rather show Valley of the Dolls’ sequel though…

    A Mason film I got a good response with a couple years ago was The Reckless Moment, which also satisfies the Ophuls requirement. Mason as a sexy blackmailer with a stage-Oirish accent!

  43. No mention yet of Carl Dreyer’s Ordet. Be nice to see Touch of Evil on there as well. Or how about the Traviani’s Padre Padrone. Or the Dardenne’s Rosetta?

    Can I also suggest – why not do it by decade? That way you’d cover the 20th century with room to spare for Gomorrah…

  44. Oh, it’ll be by decade alright. That adds another problem, since by rights each movie should in some way tell you about filmmaking practices of its era. Of course, they can’t help but do this, but the danger is leading folks to believe that, say, Perceval la Gallois, is in any way typical of its period or director! But this can be addressed in my intros.

  45. Which version? Nobody beats Helen Gahagan — the “Pink Lady”!

  46. >>but I still feel guilty about neglecting India, China, Africa, Russia. But I’m glad to see lots of Japanese cinema here.

    Ok, trying to stay out of North America and Europe (bar the Turkish contribution), I’ll randomly throw these titles in:

    MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA (1929, Vertov) — on top lists but essential none-the-less.
    THE MUSIC ROOM (1958, S. Ray) — culturally Indian but Wellesian by design.
    MIRROR (1974, Tarkovsky)
    BLACK GOD, WHITE DEVIL (1964, Rocha)
    YOL (1982, Gören, Güney)
    DESTINY (1997, Chahine)
    YEELEN (1987, Cissé)
    A SUMMER AT GRANDPA’S (1984, Hou)
    WHERE IS MY FRIEND’S HOME? (1988, Kiarostami)
    THE WHITE BALLOON (1995, Panahi)
    THE PEDDLER (1986, M. Makhmalbaf)
    UGETSU MONOGATARI (1953, Mizoguchi)
    MOTHER AND SON (1997, Sokurov)
    DEATH BY HANGING (1968, Oshima)
    YAABA (1989, Ouédraogo)
    I WAS BORN, BUT… (1932, Ozu)
    SHADOWS OF OUR FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS (1964, Paradjanov)
    BLACK GIRL (1966, Sembene)
    THE LAST WAVE (1977, Weir)
    A BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY (1991, Yang)
    RED SORGHUM (1987, Yimou)
    ARSENAL (1928, Dovzhenko)
    THE CLOUD-CAPPED STAR (1960, Ghatak)
    FIRES ON THE PLAIN (1959, Ichikawa)
    CYCLO (1995, Hung)
    FAREWELL (1983, Klimov) — COME & SEE, obviously, but as you’ve mentioned it already.
    THE HORSE THIEF (1986, Tian)
    EAST PALACE, WEST PALACE (1996, Yuan) — kinda like China’s banned feature length interpretation of Genet’s UN CHANT D’AMOUR.

  47. Mason’s accent in Reckless Moment is actually very good. Compared to Welles’s hilarious attempt in Lady from Shaghai it’s positively Streepian.

  48. side note: Lady from Shanghai is still my favorite Welles, partly because of and not despite the accent.

  49. THE RECKLESS MOMENT is as we all know by now, a super-masterpiece, accent be damned(why is accents such a big deal anyway?)

    If you are doing Oshima in ‘Scope as in THREE RESURRECTED DRUNKARDS you have to do Imamura in ‘Scope – namely PIGS AND BATTLESHIPS and of course Oshima’s mentor Yasuzo Masumura’s RED ANGEL.

  50. Rainer Werner Fassbinder was a film-maker who believed that the way people spoke in films didn’t need to be hyper-realistic in terms of dialogue and dialogue in his films at times could be stylized and high-pitched. According to Wim Wenders, the German dialect of THE MERCHANT OF FOUR SEASONS was entirely made up by Fassbinder and not at all how people spoke in that region. It’s very stylized.

  51. Three Resurrected Drunkards is one of sevberal film Oshima made in 1968 (others include Death by Hanging and Diary of a Shinjuku Thief) and it’s the most curious and — to me at any rate — compelling. The stars are a pop group caled “The Folk Crusaders.” They play three Japanese students who play hookey and go swimming. When they get back to their clothes they discover they’ve been stolen and outfits word by Koreans are left in their stead. As a result they’re persecuted for being Korean.

    Imagine if Godard rather than Dick Lester did A Hard Day’s Night and you’ve got it.

    What they’re acting out in the clip is the most famous photograph taken during the Vietnam war — the execution of a “Viet Cong” by a military officer working for the U.S.

  52. I think this movie’s playing at FilmHouse this month, part of a fairly big Oshima retrospect. Keen to see it on big screen.

    I think Brits are obsessed with accents partly because of the class thing. Only an Indian filmmaker would have cast Kathy Burke as a queen in Elizabeth. Just watched Ken Russell’s Rousseau film which very pleasingly casts a Yorkshireman as Henri.

  53. It’s not brits, it’s Americans too. Like people complain if New Yorkers are too “noo’ yawk” or whatnot and a lot of critics place importance on how well you do a Southern accent.

    Accents are important and useful in some roles but there are a lot of different things involved in making a film work. James Mason lilts the same way in 5 FINGERS(where he’s an Armenian), BIGGER THAN LIFE(where he’s a smalltown teacher), A STAR IS BORN(Hollywood Star), NORTH BY NORTHWEST(DC Socialite/Criminal Mastermind) and he’s perfectly cast in all four.

    Oshima seems comfortable with casting pop stars. He made David Bowie into a real actor(though outshone by Ryuichi Sakamoto who also composed the film’s score). Well he’s a pretty popular talk show host anyway.

  54. I guess the accent thing depends on context — if the film is purveying social truth, any kind of inaccuracy can be seen as insulting. But in all kinds of possible scenarios it should be anything goes. British cinema has this obsession with social realism which I don’t relate to at all. I tend to side with the butler in Sullivan’s Travels.

    Almost finished my list… I’ll sleep on it and make final adjustments tomorrow.

  55. Gore Vidal can recite the Sulliavn’s Travels butler’s speech by heart!

  56. oh yes Lady from Shanghai can I vote for that too?

    and Detour

    now that you have crowdsourced your curriuculum planning are you going to get your commentators to provide lectures via skype?

  57. That’s an AWESOME idea. Probably not yet though.

    Detour wd be good. It’s short. Maybe double it with Black Cat. Probably not this semester though.

  58. I’d double it with My Winnipeg

  59. That’s true. Except I suspect MW is over 90 mins and I only have two hours or so to play around with. I’d like to do lots of double bills, ideally. Just posted my provisional list, hopefully you guys will tear it apart and suggest improvements.

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