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View Full Version : Recommendations required - top ten films (no wait - come back!)



baboon2004
13-09-2013, 01:04 PM
http://www.timeout.com/london/film/the-100-best-horror-films-a-contributors-o-r-1

Inspired by this rather excellent compendium of top ten horror films (even Time Out has good ideas sometimes), and also the BFI directors' and critics' top tens, I'd be interested to hear Dissensians' own responses to either question - top ten overall or top ten horror.
My own (general list excluding horror, but the top three or four from the horror list would make the overall top ten):

Horror
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) (Tobe Hooper)
Twin Peaks - Fire, Walk With Me (David Lynch)
The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy)
Alien (Ridley Scott)
Don't Look Now (Nic Roeg)
Hallowe'en (John Carpenter)
Martyrs (Pascal Laugier)
[Rec] (2, if I have to choose) (Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza)
The Tenant (Roman Polanski)
Audition (Takashi Miike)

Honourable mention for Paranormal Activity (1-3) for sheer scariness. And Kill List is there or thereabouts.

General
Sue, Lost in Manhattan (Amos Kollek)
Heathers (Michael Lehmann)
The Graduate (Mike Nichols)
The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola)
The Last Wave (early Peter Weir is generally amazing)
Hidden (Michael Haneke)
Ordinary People (Robert Redford) (Donald Sutherland for me may have the best CV of any actor)
Mulholland Drive (David Lynch)
Mysterious Skin (Gregg Araki)
Five Easy Pieces (Bob Rafelson) (or in fact, The Lowdown [Jamie Thraves], which is heavily inspired by FEP)

OK, one David Lynch film in each category shows I'm not clear about the demarcation between horror and everything else, so this is wildly imperfect...plus my top ten general films will doubtless be edited within the hour.

baboon2004
13-09-2013, 01:18 PM
re-up, since (d'oh) I knocked this off the top to answer another thread

craner
16-09-2013, 02:02 PM
I'll have a go.

Horror:

Black Sabbath (Mario Bava)
Profondo Rosso (Dario Argento)
Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock)
The Exorcist (William Friedkin)
Cannibal Holocaust (Ruggero Deodato)
Blood and Black Lace (Mario Bava)
The Wickerman (Robin Hardy)
The House with Laughing Windows (Pupi Avati)
Don’t Torture a Duckling (Lucio Fulci)
Threads (Mick Jackson)

General:

Touch of Evil (Orson Welles)
Notorious (Alfred Hitchcock)
Charade (Stanley Donen)
The Great Silence (Sergio Corbucci)
Duel (Steven Spielberg)
In a Lonely Place (Nicholas Ray)
Local Hero (Bill Forsyth)
La Mala Ordina (Fernando di Leo)
Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo)
Ghostbusters (Ivan Reitman)

baboon2004
16-09-2013, 02:21 PM
Note to self: remember to watch Threads when in a reasonably balanced mood.

Will give In a Lonely Place a whirl - I saw Bigger than Life a while back and it was mental.

craner
16-09-2013, 02:25 PM
I first watched Threads on September 9th, 2001. It was really bad timing.

baboon2004
16-09-2013, 02:33 PM
Cripes.

droid
16-09-2013, 03:46 PM
Hooray for cannibal holocaust, but no TCM or Shining? Would have thought Argento might've made it as well.

baboon2004
16-09-2013, 03:48 PM
Profondo Rosso made Craner's list, and TCM made mine...I was thinking about including Suspiria, but it fell at about number 12. The Shining is genius, you're right - would make most people's top tens, I'd wager.

craner
16-09-2013, 03:54 PM
Suspiria, Inferno, Bird with the Crystal Plumage and Tenebrae all nudged the Ten, as did a number of other Bavas and Fulcis, which is probably no surprise to anybody who knows my taste. I have no use for The Shining, though.

muser
16-09-2013, 04:27 PM
I'll creep out of the shadows for this, but doubt im making any revelations for anyone :D,

Horror

The Shining
Eraserhead
Misery
Exorcist
Evil Dead
Dont Look Now
The Tenant
The Thing
Alien
Rocky Horror Picture Show (a big childhood film, I think I was lucky to come out of that ok tbh)

Overall

Fargo
ExistenZ
The Big Lebowski
Videodrome
Brazil
Dark City
Tideland
Scarface
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Total Recall

droid
16-09-2013, 04:33 PM
Profondo Rosso made Craner's list, and TCM made mine...I was thinking about including Suspiria, but it fell at about number 12. The Shining is genius, you're right - would make most people's top tens, I'd wager.

Duh, yes, sorry. Was referring to Craner but blanked on Profundo Rosso for some reason.

rubberdingyrapids
17-09-2013, 10:13 AM
my lovefilm account is drowning in rental lists made up of lists like these.

my general list is highly subjective and would prob be something like this (though its always changing) -

wild at heart (david lynch)
the man without a past (aki kaurismaki)
bone (larry cohen)
that obscure object of desire (luis bunuel)
padatik (mrinal sen)
enter the void (gaspar noe)
roman holiday (william wyler)/singing in the rain (stanley donen) (i cant decide)
camera buff (krzysztof kieslowski)
white meadows (mahmoud rasolof)
le mepris (jean luc godard)/scenes from a marriage (ingmar bergman)

horror -
scream (wes craven)
alien (ridley scott)
halloween/the thing (john carpenter)
evil dead (sam raimi - lower budget/indie horror is the best, part of the reason the remake just didnt do it, though i cant seem to help watching crappy remakes)
dead and buried
night of the living dead/dawn of the dead (romero)
captain cronos - vampire hunter (campy, funny, and a bit scary, really good hammer horror)
the blair witch project/rec 2 (the sequel really IS better)
an american werewolf in london (john landis)
psycho (hitchcock)

baboon2004
17-09-2013, 10:27 AM
Scenes From a Marriage is incredible - good call. Would be in my top ten possibly if I'd remembered it.

Love and Death too. How did I forget that?

rubberdingyrapids
17-09-2013, 10:32 AM
its amazing yeah.

id also have added day of wrath by carl dreyer. of more recent films, hunger (steve mcqueen) really killed me. fassbender was incredible. am dying to see his new one about slavery.

baboon2004
17-09-2013, 10:41 AM
Have to say I loathed Shame (incredible I Want Your Love scene aside, and I kinda liked Carey Mulligan too), so gone off McQueen.

Fassbender make me think I left Fish Tank out of my top ten.

Best short film suggests itself now I'm thinking of British directors - Lynne Ramsay odds on in the super-short (under 20 mins) category for 'Gasman'.

La Jetee of course for the 30 minute mid-length - hard to think of many other artistic artefacts so perfectly formed.

craner
17-09-2013, 10:51 AM
I look at horror movie lists of other people and realise that I don't really like horror movies all that much, and yet there are a lot of (mostly Italian) horror movies among my favorite films. Strange.

I think you can be more discerning and objective when compiling genre lists than a general list which is usually a dissatisfying mish-mash of films you admire and films you love and is therefore almost meaningless.

baboon2004
17-09-2013, 10:56 AM
Good point. Admiration and love can be so far apart.

rubberdingyrapids
17-09-2013, 11:03 AM
i like the lynne ramsay short 'swimmer' (about the sexual awakening of a teenage boy).

i loved shame too, even though it did sometime overdo it with the sexual angst/self-loathing. so mcqueen is 2 for 2 in my book.

btw we should have a 'i prefer the crappy period' thread for film directors like there was in the music forum. midnight in paris>>manhattan.

craner
17-09-2013, 11:05 AM
Sorry, I'm not trying to be a cock. But, for example, I think Battle of Algiers is a monumental film. The more I think about it the more I admire it. But do I ever sit down to re-watch the fucker? No. It's not one of my favorite films, but I think it is one of the best films I have ever seen.

As you were.

baboon2004
17-09-2013, 11:08 AM
I was agreeing!:cool: There are lots of films that I wouldn't watch for a second time but think are monumental. BoA is a good example. In my top ten, I've mostly gone for those that I can rewatch, and wholeheartedly love. I find that often the films I admire but don't love lack a human dimension or sufficient character development. Or maybe simply, humour.

Then again, I would say I neither admire nor love a lot of films considered classic in the Sight and Sound type lists. *

Surprised no-one has gone for Scorsese. I'm not a big fan at all, but Goodfellas (and The Departed, for that matter) is endlessly rewatchable.

* And thinking more about this, maybe cold 'admiration' is a way to prevent oneself from realising that one doesn't really think these things are all that good. Taking 'Breaking the Waves' for example - I thought I loved it, but couldn't get through the second viewing. I was bored. And just maybe that's because it isn't very good - that it's all surface and no real content, just misery porn, and for a long while I fell for that.

More thoughts on films I love: Glengarry Glen Ross is mighty fine. And Black Swan blew my head off at the cinema...

craner
17-09-2013, 11:11 AM
I reckon Hannah and Her Sisters is the best Woody Allen film and it probably should be in my 10 rather than Algiers. The Dusty/Frederick scene is a great little Art Market satire, almost as good in its brevity as the whole of Tony Hancock's The Rebel. "I've got this great Frank Stella. Big! Weird! If you look at it too long the colours just seem to float." "I don't sell...my...work...by the yard."

craner
17-09-2013, 11:20 AM
Manhattan has a good one too, with the Diane Keaton "negative capability" scene.

rubberdingyrapids
17-09-2013, 11:28 AM
* And thinking more about this, maybe cold 'admiration' is a way to prevent oneself from realising that one doesn't really think these things are all that good. .

high brow film critics just see emotional (hollywood) filmmaking as the easy norm, and intellectual cinema as an opposition to that, hence better. what it does vs how it makes you feel/what it does to YOU etc.

im not sure if just cos a film isnt that good on the 2nd viewing that it isnt good (you have to leave quite a bit of space between viewings i think). melancholia turned out to be a whole lot of surface when i saw it again, but the first time i thought it was a brilliantly painful/awkward look at depression and a clever play on the world-is-about-to-end genre, not totally clear on whether the world really was ending or if the main character was just having a serious breakdown.

i didnt vote scorsese as it seemed obvious. but goodfellas (best pacing ever), taxi driver, mean streets are all amazing. hes fallen off quite badly though.

baboon2004
17-09-2013, 11:33 AM
Which is why 70s Hollywood and other key eras are so amazing - that freedom to mix it up.

After I found Haneke's films, I think, my appetite for von Trier began to die. To me, Haneke does everything that von Trier does well, but it doesn't feel vampiric upon the viewer's emotions. He's just a lot more real (through his films, at least).

craner
17-09-2013, 11:48 AM
I presume you are all, like me, waiting with bated breath for Idlerich's list of esoteric curios?

Last time we did this, Owen Hatherley produced a list that actually made me feel ashamed of the schlock I chose -- a lot of Russian and Eastern European art house masterpieces I'd never even heard of. I promised I'd never write another list again, and now that I have it hasn't improved all that much. I still haven't watched Daisies or any Tarkovsky.

baboon2004
17-09-2013, 11:49 AM
Watching Tarkovsky always makes me wish I hadn't bothered. I hear Mirror is good though.

rubberdingyrapids
17-09-2013, 11:56 AM
i heard andrei rublev is good but i found solaris ponderous and meandering. im going to embarass myself and say i prefer the soderbergh remake.

allegiant
17-09-2013, 03:07 PM
Bit clueless when it comes to horror, but I've had a go.

Vampyr (Carl Theodor Dreyer)
Kuroneko (Kaneto Shindô)
Eyes Without a Face (Georges Franju)
Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock)
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene)
Suspiria (Dario Argento)
Tetsuo, the Iron Man (Shin'ya Tsukamoto)

A general list's far easier to populate, but much more difficult to narrow down to 10.

Le samouraï (Jean-Pierre Melville)
The Fire Within (Louis Malle)
Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock)
Un homme qui dort (Bernard Queysanne)
Ugetsu (Kenji Mizoguchi)
Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky)
Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky)
The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman)
Rififi (Jules Dassin)
Army of Shadows (Jean-Pierre Melville)

Ponderous, contemplative silliness in abundance, I'm afraid. Would've liked to have linked my lists from mubi/the auteurs, but the profile's in private mode atm.

rubberdingyrapids
17-09-2013, 03:54 PM
ive yet to forgive bela tarr for his last film. it might as well have been an art installation loop. one day i will watch satantango.

Immryr
17-09-2013, 05:55 PM
in no real order:

Le Samourai
Night of the Hunter
Mauvais Sang
Stalker
Videodrome
The Thing
Martin
The Serpent's Egg
The Conversation
Blue Velvet / Mullholland Drive

that's my general list, although a lot of it has at least some kind of horrifying element to it. and of course I've probably forgotten about lots of things I really love. i'm surprised no one has mentioned the brood yet in their horror lists particularly. great film!

craner
18-09-2013, 08:51 AM
Er, you cheated.

craner
18-09-2013, 08:55 AM
Bit clueless when it comes to horror, but I've had a go.

allegiant, I like the way you led with this tentative caveat, and then immediately followed with a sublime, super-stylish, cinephile list of horror movies. That's the way to do it!

luka
18-09-2013, 10:27 AM
do you lot not all feel film is something dead? like organ grinding or tv rentals. when you go to the cinema its like a time warp. its the 90s again. I don't like films and I don't watch films and I don't see the point of them. go into a blockbuster store, that's what film feels like in 2013.

baboon2004
18-09-2013, 10:37 AM
film will never die

Blockbuster is eerie these days though. I think streaming has opened up whole new worlds of film to lots of people who wouldn't have been able to get hold of this stuff before without shelling out £17 for a bloody Artificial Eye DVD they'd only watch once - I'd say film is more relevant than it was. TV is obviously in a stellar period too (and before HBO and its progeny, I think lots of people would have predicted a slow death for that medium), which has more than a little to do with making series more cinematic (BB is obvious example) while simultaneously offering the character progression that cinema can't

luka
18-09-2013, 10:47 AM
the tv thing is completely overblown. none of those shows are actually that good. the wire is hammy and overblown, breaking bad has that mechanical script writing machine, etc. we are in game world now and I cant wait to see how it develops. I wouldn't have the slightest interest in writing for tv or film but would gnaw a leg off to write for games. in fact im going to write to all the games companies and ask them for work.

baboon2004
18-09-2013, 10:57 AM
I'm glad you said that about the Wire - no-one's ever said anything about it that made me want to watch it. Reminds me of the furore around the Sopranos, which I found fine but no more. Very well made. Oz too - although briefly it threatened to be truly interesting and mould-breaking, too quickly it settled back into boring caricatures.

I love Six Feet Under - blows everything else out of the water imo.

rubberdingyrapids
18-09-2013, 11:21 AM
people just like box set TV cos its like film but without having to do the work they would have to for a film (well certain kinda of film). its stretched out for hours. its easier to watch. (also the other reason people go on about these shows is that it gives them the smaller kinds of movies that you dont get that much of in the cinema)

but i think film going isnt what it was - mainly cos of streaming, youtube, lovefilm etc etc. theres no real respect for it anymore. i think people still like films, but its exactly the same thing as music, its just not that important a part of pop culture anymore. its just another thing to do. just sitting there. expectations for what a film can do for you are pretty low for most people i think. it doesnt really 'mean' much in 2013.

craner
18-09-2013, 11:35 AM
You are correct, Luke. I notice most of the films I watch got made in the 1960s and 70s and it's the same with TV shows. The box sets I want to buy are Elio Petri and The Sandbaggers.

rubberdingyrapids
18-09-2013, 11:41 AM
thats a certain type of person, def not the norm. the charts on lovefilm tell me the vast majority of people still want to watch the latest hollywood release or something like breaking bad or girls rather than the singing detective or the prisoner.

Immryr
18-09-2013, 11:50 AM
Er, you cheated.

you're right of course, here is a horror list.

The Thing
The Brood
Martin (does this count?)
The Wicker Man
Susperia
Dawn of the Dead
Peeping Tom
Don't Torture a Duckling / House by the Cemetery
The Exorcist
Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Immryr
18-09-2013, 12:02 PM
the tv thing is completely overblown. none of those shows are actually that good. the wire is hammy and overblown, breaking bad has that mechanical script writing machine, etc. we are in game world now and I cant wait to see how it develops. I wouldn't have the slightest interest in writing for tv or film but would gnaw a leg off to write for games. in fact im going to write to all the games companies and ask them for work.

yeah i can agree with most of that, modern films and tv are just crap. i do like the sopranos though. does that still count as modern?

padraig (u.s.)
18-09-2013, 12:36 PM
no horror list, doubled my general list instead. if that's cheating (it is) I don't care. deal with it list sticklers.

i'm sure i forgot a bunch of things that might replace some films on this list but oh well.

Seven Samurai (Kurosawa)
Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean)
The Battle of Algiers
Walkabout (Roeg)
Aguirre the Wrath of God/Fitzcarraldo (Herzog)
Apocalypse Now (FF Coppola)
Mad Max/The Road Warrior (George Miller)
Blade Runner (Ridley Scott)
The Thing (Carpenter)
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (Paul Schrader)
Walker (Alex Cox)
Point Break (Kathryn Bigelow)
Edward II (Derek Jarman)
Totally Fucked Up (Gregg Araki)
Burnt by the Sun (Nikita Mikhalkov)
La Haine (Mathieu Kassovitz)
Eat Drink Man Woman (Ang Lee)
Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch)
Animal Kingdom (David Michod)
*honorary spot for Jodorowsky’s unmade Dune

also 2 directors who would all make my director list but don't have a single film that makes this list for me: Tarkovsky (Stalker if I had to pick), Malick (Badlands). Edward II is kind of a stand in for all Jarman's work too

and 2 to add for horror I guess in the spirit of recommendations:
Santa Sangre (Jodorowksy)
Shadow of the Vampire (the greatest meta-horror film of all time. Willem Dafoe is otherworldly. literally)

baboon2004
18-09-2013, 01:03 PM
Animal Kingdom is a good call. Film for film I think Australian cinema is a match for any other country over the past 20 years

padraig (u.s.)
18-09-2013, 01:03 PM
whenever I hear people complain about Tarr, Tarkovsky, Malick, etc for being too long and boring (even late period Kurosawa gets accused of this) it's almost always a defensive thing, like they need to justify why they don't like them so they attack them. I think it's better not to look on it as a failing of the viewer or the film. if you don't like, cool. Tarkovsky's not for everyone. that doesn't make his films not masterpieces, or that people who find them boring are philistines.

also for the record if we were just going to go by what we watched the most for like 3 years growing up the only tape I had was a version of Willow I taped off TV and I must have watched it like 50 times, literally. it's not bad. I mean, it's cool they got actual dwarves to play halflings instead of CGI Elijah Woods. skinny young charismatic Val Kilmer. you could do worse.

baboon2004
18-09-2013, 01:32 PM
This is true, but I think the defensiveness comes from both sides. It's rare to encounter a clear, straightforward defence of these directors that doesn't take refuge in the alleged 'sophistication' of the films or similar.

Sometimes (and I wouldn't level this criticism at fans of Tarkovsky - I just find his pacing too slow, rather than having any problems with the films) it seems that certain European directors are lauded when, had an equivalent film been made in the English language, it would be found intolerably pretentious. I'm particularly thinking of the beginning of Werckmeister Harmonies.

Obviously this is not a blanket criticism of European directors who trade in longueur (treating this word as if it needn't be derogatory - don't know if this is correct) - something like 1080 Bruxelles is amazing, and to me quite unpretentious.

craner
18-09-2013, 01:39 PM
also for the record if we were just going to go by what we watched the most for like 3 years growing up

Eh? What are you on about?

craner
18-09-2013, 01:42 PM
I do admire you for listing Point Break.

baboon2004
18-09-2013, 01:53 PM
Eh? What are you on about?

He means the film you've watched the most, which most often will be something you obsessed about in childhood. For me, Jaws, which probably would be in my top ten if I rethought it. Peerless pacing, and some fantastic visual ideas too.

viktorvaughn
18-09-2013, 02:43 PM
Definitely the visually stunning Ivan's Childhood and the Andre Rublov for Tarkovsky for me over the later ones, those two are both knock outs.

Top ten, man it's so hard!

Rear Window for sure
Atanarjuat the Fast Runner - stunning elemental film
Drowning by Numbers (Peter Greenaway)
Passion of Joan or Arc for the silent spot
L'Eclisse (Antonioni) for the amazing set piece in the stock exchange maybe..

hmm, will try and come back and complete

baboon2004
18-09-2013, 03:40 PM
My girlfriend launched a Deadwood propaganda campaign to try to get me to watch it - I really had difficulties with the first few episodes (mostly because I found it excessively bleak and violent, without payoffs in other areas), but I hear it gets a lot better....

Corpsey
18-09-2013, 07:50 PM
10 off the top of my head:

Wild Strawberries
Barry Lyndon
Vertigo
Ratatouille
Before Sunrise
Rear Window
Seventh Samurai
Apocalypse Now
Predator
This is Spinal Tap

continuum
18-09-2013, 10:35 PM
Top 10 from Netflix watched recently (no particular order):

eXistenZ
The Lives Of Others
The Baader Meinhof Complex
Apocalypto
Glengarry Glen Ross
Fish Tank
A Royal Affair
Hard Boiled
Battle Royale
Dune

luka
18-09-2013, 11:15 PM
the problem with malick is not just that hes thick as fuck its that his visual sense is so national geographic. tarkovsky films look great even when youre bored. malick films are offensive to the eye and boring and stupid so hes in a different category.

rubberdingyrapids
18-09-2013, 11:53 PM
badlands is his best film. he wasnt trying to be deep at that point.

allegiant
19-09-2013, 12:06 AM
allegiant, I like the way you led with this tentative caveat, and then immediately followed with a sublime, super-stylish, cinephile list of horror movies. That's the way to do it!
Ta.

Just noticed/bookmarked Cinecitta. Your piece on Le orme is tempting me.

baboon2004
19-09-2013, 09:20 AM
badlands is his best film. he wasnt trying to be deep at that point.

Indeed. Days of Heaven is just about saved by the golden hour idea, but it's still cosmically dull. Less said about the rest...

Good call on Baader-Meinhof, continuum. Great film. And Apocalypto.

Another I missed: Reds. Has Warren Beatty ever been in anything else nearly as good (I find B&C laboured, if obviously important in the Hollywood narrative)?

craner
19-09-2013, 09:43 AM
Just noticed/bookmarked Cinecitta

Thank you, very appreciated.

Talking of Le Orme, Reds was also shot by Storaro, which is one the main reasons I want to watch it, apart from the subject matter of course.

baboon2004
19-09-2013, 09:46 AM
I never knew that, but makes perfect sense of course. It's extremely good.

IdleRich
19-09-2013, 12:12 PM
"TV is obviously in a stellar period too (and before HBO and its progeny, I think lots of people would have predicted a slow death for that medium), which has more than a little to do with making series more cinematic (BB is obvious example)"
The fourth series of Big Brother was especially cinematic.
I think I'm gonna have to watch Breaking Bad now that EVERYONE in the world is talking about it.

baboon2004
19-09-2013, 02:21 PM
The depth of field in the diary room scenes was breathtaking.

It's worth it.

griftert
19-09-2013, 07:16 PM
Tentative list. I'm sure I've seen better films, I never remember what I've watched...

Harakiri
Strozsek
Come and See
Sanitorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass
400 blows
Les fils
West of the Tracks
M
I Stand Alone
My Dinner with Andres

Corpsey
19-09-2013, 09:36 PM
Top 10 from Netflix watched recently (no particular order):

The Lives Of Others

Glengarry Glen Ross

Hard Boiled



All of these are fantastic, I sort of wish I'd put The Lives of Others on my list.

stephenk
20-09-2013, 02:58 AM
the passenger
alice in the cities
the last wave
the hit
the long goodbye
syndromes and a century
out of the blue
the phone box
blade runner
risky business

stephenk
20-09-2013, 03:01 AM
making a list is so hard though, and lots of movies i really love when i watch them and when i return it just isn't the same, same with books, i can't usually return and pore over them the way i do records

rubberdingyrapids
23-09-2013, 06:18 PM
apparently pauline kael (most readable film critic ever?) never watched a film more than once. i think she might have had the right attitude (though sometimes films i had problems with the first time appear much better the second viewing... though honestly, most of the time id rather just see something new than one ive already seen - who has the time?)

IdleRich
23-09-2013, 09:05 PM
Don't know anything about horror films but had a stab at a top ten as follows - no real surprises in there I'm afraid:

The Passenger (Antonioni)
The Shooting (Monte Hellman)
The American Soldier (Fassbinder)
Mirror (Tarkovsky)
Narcisz es Psyche (Gabor Body)
Possession (Zulawski)
The Legend of Suram Fortress (Parazhanoff)
Last Year at Marienbad (Resnais)
The Big Heat (Fritz Lang)
The Day the Earth Caught Fire (Guest)

When I look back at that it's "ten films I really like that I thought of first when I was trying to pick a list of best films" but how else can you do it? Was going to add on some honourable mentions but that way madness lies.

craner
24-09-2013, 10:43 AM
Don't know anything about horror films but had a stab at a top ten as follows

Come on, that doesn't matter! In fact it could make your choices even more interesting. These could include films you consider horror that others might not. Try it.

I would like to know what you see in Last Year at Marienbad.

I was really, really excited to see you choose The Day the Earth Caught Fire. I love this film, but I thought I was alone and eccentric in this. It is a terrific journalism/Grub Street movie and has one of the sexiest "sex" scenes I've ever seen. Plus the earth catches fire because of nuclear bombs, which could've happened.

IdleRich
25-09-2013, 02:47 AM
Marienbad - I love the atmosphere and the way that the ornaments don't leave shadows, I love that guy who plays nim ("What's the point in playing if you can't lose?" "I can lose, it's just that I always win") and I love the book which it may or not be based on and the way it keeps turning up, in Marienbad and La Disporition. In fact I like pretty much all the films Alain Robbe-Grillet was involved in and I guess he had more to do with the way this film works than Resnais did but it's good for him to have a decent director for once and someone to rein him in and steer him away from s&m scenes.
I can't think of any film that feels as much like a dream as this does.

IdleRich
25-09-2013, 02:51 AM
The Day The Earth Caught Fire - yeah, I agree with you (although it's a while since I've seen it and I can't remember the sex scens). It's so gritty and fast-paced and surprisingly vivid when the earth starts getting close to the sun and everyone is overheating. If I remember correctly the first scene is his last broadcast from a radio station as the world reaches the point of no return, the rest of the film leads up to that point..?

IdleRich
25-09-2013, 03:32 AM
And ok, I'll have a shot at horror..

Onibaba
Eyes Without a Face
Blair Witch Project
Jacob's Ladder (scared the life out of me)
Threads (even scarier)
The Seventh Victim
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
The Thing
Jaws
The Brood

I like a lot of zombie ones too I guess but I can never remember which one is which. I think vampires are much better monsters than zombies but there are few good films about them - maybe some of the Rollins ones and Daughters of Darkness but they're not really horror films I'd say.

baboon2004
25-09-2013, 11:04 AM
Speaking of Resnais, Hiroshima Mon Amour could be in my top ten.

Edit: And Seventh Victim is an excellent choice. I think I Walked With a Zombie would shade it for me, but they're both great.

IdleRich
25-09-2013, 11:28 AM
I always mean to get round to watching that.

baboon2004
25-09-2013, 11:32 AM
I don't think I've watched it for a very long time, but I remember it being a pretty special film, if not the easiest to watch

craner
25-09-2013, 03:09 PM
I lost patience with Marienbad quite quickly, but I still have the DVD and mean to give it another go. It might just be that I prefer Luigi Bazzoni's hack rip-offs after all.

I knew you'd do a good horror list. I've never really developed a taste for Jean Rollin and I need to watch Daughters of Darkness properly. My two favorites are Vampire Lovers (sexy, silly) and Vampyres (ferocious, carnal).

IdleRich
25-09-2013, 03:33 PM
Well, I wouldn't massively recommend Jean Rollins' films but they do have a certain weird something that is hard to put your finger on.
I do like films with masks it seems - that's why Onibaba trumps Kurineko (which I saw on someone else's list) for me. That bit at the end SPOILER where she turns round with the mask stuck to her face really made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoFVAKZEDuo

craner
25-09-2013, 04:48 PM
That looks really good. Japanese film is a tantalizing but unexplored country for me.

Incidentally, can anybody point me towards the best collection of Pauline Kael's work? I can't seem to find anything obvious or definitive, but there may be some essential volume that is out of print. I don't read any film critics and I am allergic to 'film studies' but I suspect that I am missing something. Apart from Kael, who else is good/renowned?

Corpsey
25-09-2013, 09:30 PM
http://www.amazon.com/For-Keeps-30-Years-Movies/dp/0452273080

Recently bought this off amazon, it's 1300 pages long and I managed to pick it up for about fifteen quid.

yyaldrin
26-09-2013, 10:02 AM
My general list would look something like this I think:

1. Enter the Void
2. Dolls
3. Gerry
4. Pi
5. Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
6. Tekkon Kinkurîto
7. Tokyo.Sora
8. 2046
9. Allegro
10. Eraserhead

Immryr
26-09-2013, 03:06 PM
I lost patience with Marienbad quite quickly, but I still have the DVD and mean to give it another go.

this is exactly the same situation I have with Marienbad. been meaning to rewatch it for ages, but I never seem to get round to it.

griftert
26-09-2013, 03:07 PM
Jacob's Ladder
This is such an underrated film imo. Some really unsettling scenes in it.

muser
27-09-2013, 05:58 PM
ive been meaning to watch jacobs ladder for a very long time, going to download right now actually

allegiant
27-09-2013, 10:27 PM
Talking of Le Orme, Reds was also shot by Storaro, which is one the main reasons I want to watch it, apart from the subject matter of course.
Not entirely convinced by Le Orme, but I'm glad I watched it. My very first Giallo Sci-fi, for want of a better term.

Storaro's imagery and textures are certainly a highlight. Pleasantly surprised by the appearence of a certain Mr. Kinski, too.

Blackmann!

robin
28-09-2013, 01:26 AM
his girl friday
ferris bueller's day off
werkmeister harmonies
can't choose between any of jafar panahi's films, they're all astonishing and have changed my way of looking at the world/culture.
london by patrick keiller
manhattan
8 1/2
in the mood for love
the cameraman (buster keaton)
fanny and alexander
f for fake

IdleRich
28-09-2013, 01:15 PM
Been trying to place Le Orme but it's that one that's also called Footprints on the Moon right? Good film that, not at all what I was expecting it to be, very slow and not really like a giallo - one of those films that's all about atmosphere.

rubberdingyrapids
29-09-2013, 08:22 AM
another vote for jacobs ladder. its def underrated. horror is a genre that really needs to be polled decade by decade.

padraig (u.s.)
01-10-2013, 01:00 PM
thoughts skimming last couple pages

-Come and See was about last cut from my list (other near misses: The Sting and Miller's Crossing. also Heathers)
-surprised by how much dudes here like Peter Weir, who is kind of a hack albeit an artful one
-reckon total indifference to old French movies automatically disqualifies me from ever being a true cineaste

also somehow forgot Lawrence of Arabia in my original last. absolutely swapping something out for it.

padraig (u.s.)
01-10-2013, 01:19 PM
I do admire you for listing Point Break

are you kidding it's in my top 3. virtually know it by heart. so many classic lines. young Lori Petty. Swazye at the peak of his game. Nolte doing his take on coked-out Apoc Now Hopper. man like Keanu as ex-star Ohio State QB turned g-man Johnny Utah role he was born to play (I AM! AN! F!B!I! AGENT!). Bigelow at her most livewire kinetic (i.e. Scorsese I view Oscar as a belated award for this her true opus). the kind of dumb but totally awesome amoral zen nihilism take on consumerism and modern alienation and male bonding and etc (not hard at all to see the seeds of Fight Club in Boddhi's crew). I could go on but i'll rein it in. just know this: paddling to New Zealand is the 1991 (the very moment where grunge supplants hair metal in national consciousness) waiting for Godot.

also at luka, you're absolutely right all Malick after Days of Heaven has total Nat Geo vibe but it's still great (haven't seen his latest tho). sometimes that stuff is beautiful if it's lustrous. maybe helps for Thin Red Line to read the book it's based on. total antithesis to square jawed Greatest Generation mythmaking. New World stupid on many levels but also has undeniably amazing imagery (Farrell floundering around in primeval swamp in armor. many shots of sunlight thru trees etc) and some kind of weird power, maybe doesn't come across to Europeans, despite being uberintellectual Malick strikes me as ultraamerican filmmaker, endless plains, america as virgin land despoiled etc, paradises lost heavy handed theme in all his work but he plays it so gorgeous, I dunno. and Tarkovsky is just is whole own species so it don't help to compare him to anyway, Malick or otherwise.

Patrick Swayze
01-10-2013, 11:10 PM
Herzog's Bad Lieutenant
Usual Suspects
Seven Psychopaths
In Bruges
Un Prophete
Perrier's Bounty
The Departed
Training Day
Fight Club
The Lives of Others

Could replace any two of those with Full Metal Jacket or Animal Kingdom.

Are all films I enjoy in their entirety. Most other films I watch I enjoy aspects of, or can appreciate without necessarily enjoying.

I prefer TV shows to films these days.

craner
03-10-2013, 09:38 AM
Don't worry Padraig, I love Point Break too. The only real flaw is that the once-in-a-generation waves at the end of the film would hardly be sniffed at by any North Shore veteran. If Bodie was so desperate to surf enormous waves, why didn't he just take the short flight to Waimea Bay? It's a niggle, but it has always annoyed me. "Death on a stick out there, mate." I don't think so.

griftert
03-10-2013, 12:27 PM
thoughts skimming last couple pages

-Come and See was about last cut from my list (other near misses: The Sting and Miller's Crossing. also HeathersCertainly can't think of another WWII film that could come close to it. The subject matter is so difficult to pull off but it does it somehow. By leaving most of the horror til the end I guess. Maybe 'The Human Condition' is up there too, but that's more in the epic mold than 'Come and See'.

luka
04-10-2013, 02:51 PM
cranerr have you seen the bra boys documentary?

mistersloane
04-10-2013, 05:26 PM
liquid sky
repo man
possession
long days journey into night
king of new york
training day
funny bones
riffiffi
takeshis
showgirls
les enfants du paradis

rubberdingyrapids
04-10-2013, 06:15 PM
^^^great list...

nicely free of the usual cinephile/sight and sound canon inclusions.

mistersloane
06-10-2013, 09:32 PM
thanks man, that was off the top of my head. The Doc has kept a list of stuff we've watched - we've been recreating the film festivals, in order, year by year, and these were other ones that reached the heights, more traditional I think. Interesting which ones I remembered and didn't, I'm ashamed of myself for not remembering Female Trouble off the top of my head though :

dumbo
night train
odd man out
pepe le moco
paysan
man of arran
lift to the scaffold
all about eve
a matter of life and death
planet of the apes
brief encounter
in which we serve
fistful of dynamite
pee wees big adventure
carrie
female trouble

and obviously lives of others but loads of people have mentioned that one.

continuum
06-10-2013, 09:37 PM
pee wees big adventure


Lol brilliant. Remember going to the pictures to see this. Was dismayed when it's star was arrested for wanking in a cinema.

griftert
07-10-2013, 12:37 AM
I wonder about the psychocultural implications of 'listmaking' in this form and what it says about the heirarchy-engendering tendency in aesthetic appreciation. Is there something reactionary about making a list and only prizing those finest. What kind of selection process does one construct when looking at them?
Would be good to get some thoughts from people about why they chose what they did.

mistersloane
07-10-2013, 03:03 AM
I wonder about the psychocultural implications of 'listmaking' in this form and what it says about the heirarchy-engendering tendency in aesthetic appreciation. Is there something reactionary about making a list and only prizing those finest. What kind of selection process does one construct when looking at them?
Would be good to get some thoughts from people about why they chose what they did.

for me, my first list was only those I could remember off the top of my head and only ones of those that I knew I would without hesitation watch again. I don't believe an aesthetic choice is inherently reactionary, or necessarily hierarchical, or even masculine, or phallocentric, as is often argued.

mistersloane
07-10-2013, 03:05 AM
Lol brilliant. Remember going to the pictures to see this. Was dismayed when it's star was arrested for wanking in a cinema.

there are 10 minutes in that film that are very close to being the funniest thing in the universe ever, topped only by Divine's trampolining in Female Trouble, at which I genuinely thought my best m8 was going to die when I showed it him. He was laughing so hard he was literally begging me to turn the film off going "no, no I can't take it, I really think I'm going to die, please turn it off."

I quite liked it that he was wanking in a cinema, it's a shame it ruined his career though. I always thought that was dumb. It was a porn cinema. That's what they're for.

baboon2004
07-10-2013, 04:23 PM
I wonder about the psychocultural implications of 'listmaking' in this form and what it says about the heirarchy-engendering tendency in aesthetic appreciation. Is there something reactionary about making a list and only prizing those finest. What kind of selection process does one construct when looking at them?
Would be good to get some thoughts from people about why they chose what they did.

I'm not sure it's necessarily a reactionary impulse, although an obsessional attitude towards list might become so. I think often it's an attempt to order something unmanageable (the sum total of every film you've ever watched) into the wheat and the chaff, without worrying too much about the exact order. I know that personally I've found out about so many great films from the lists of others over the years; I kinda wish my own list had deviated more strongly from the canon, but i'm attached to quite a few canonical films.

I really should've put Jaws in my top ten. I've still yet to watch a film that's better paced.

IdleRich
07-10-2013, 09:36 PM
Someone mentioned Showgirls which I've not seen but I was having a conversation today about how Paul Verhoeven is so badly underrated (well, trying to, I don't think the person I was conversing with was that interested) and I realised that the film I've probably re-watched the most is Starship Troopers so maybe that should have been in my ten.

Immryr
07-10-2013, 11:17 PM
eh? starship troopers is just awful beyond belief. I don't get it.

griftert
08-10-2013, 12:11 AM
I've watched Planes, Trains and Automobiles and Cool Runnings more times than I can remember so I think I should include one of those two. The former probably edges it. Probably the best John Hughes film, the only one to broach something dark and kind of messed up, John Candy's character being basically a homeless guy who drifts from town to town selling curtain rings after his wife dies and he gets this glimpse into this rich guys life.

I tend towards just thinking everything is reactionary nowadays, not a healthy worldview probably

griftert
08-10-2013, 12:19 AM
Really my horror list would basially just be Argento and Carpenter all the way. Can't really mess with either tbh.

I dunno what to tell you if you can't appreciate some of the amazing shots in Tarkovsky, the famous tracking shots are always sensational. I have the impression that they would have much greater impact on a big screen where your eye can take in much more detail and there is more of a sense of the art of the image itself. Cinematography really plays a part in what really makes a film for me and Tarkovsky basically has an amazing eye for beautiful shots.

muser
08-10-2013, 05:30 AM
starship troopers is a great example of people (whether film buffs or not) think is terrible or great. I always loved it and saw it as kind of stylised cheesiness, to be taken with a pinch of salt, it's not taking itself to seriously.

I chose films based on what I would be happy to watch at any time if it was suggested, and also films i have watched alot of in the past. I think any other criteria is going in to a territory of general what you think should be the "top ten films" and not what your top ten films are, not trying to be a list nazi or anything

rubberdingyrapids
08-10-2013, 08:25 AM
starship troopers is great but ive never quite trusted those who champion it as being an all out satire. i think verhoeven was genuinely trying to make a top gun kind of movie, but trying (and failing, really - i think its bad satire, but totally enjoyable as a brilliantly/impeccably executed stupid film) to be clever, so the satire is so subtle that its never really all that clear - it ends up looking just like any other violent gung ho american sci fi. unless you are a high minded (and probably european) filmgoer that is, in which case it appears like a clever, sly send up of old action movie/sci fi/patriotism tropes. its all in the eye of the viewer with that film.

i know the writer and verhoeven have made a point of saying the film isnt pro fascist but they treaded that line between irony and chest-beating sincerity too cleverly for their own good - they were trying to make the perfect political allegory war movie, one that satisfies everyone and lends to multiple readings but i think it ended up leaning more in favour of the latter.

baboon2004
08-10-2013, 10:49 AM
Still not watched Total Recall, but kinda surprised that it hasn't popped up yet in anyone's ten (as far as I've noticed, anyway) - it's in the same category as Jacob's Ladder as a film halfway between cult and populist (at least in terms of the profile of director and stars) that lots of people seem to love

mistersloane
08-10-2013, 11:09 AM
Verhoeven's run of films from RoboCop to Black Books is unparalled. I havent seen, dont even know if it's avaialable to see his new thing, a kinda crowd-sourced and written film which looks interesting and I'm sure is equally as good :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entertainment_Experience

Rich if you havent seen Showgirls, you must, tonight. It's a soap opera on amphetamines, and is very, very funny in a very, very wrong way.

IdleRich
08-10-2013, 03:51 PM
"eh? starship troopers is just awful beyond belief. I don't get it"
I guess not.

IdleRich
08-10-2013, 04:02 PM
"Rich if you havent seen Showgirls, you must, tonight. It's a soap opera on amphetamines, and is very, very funny in a very, very wrong way."
I really do need to see it.
Spetters and The Fourth Man (especially Spetters) are pretty great too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spetters

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fourth_Man_(1983_film)


"Without a blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of extremism or fundamentalism that someone won't mistake for the real thing."
But there are pretty blatant displays of humour aren't there? For example the kids stamping on the bugs here


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmEiSSiiwKE

Or how could anyone think that this is serious?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pn_EiAzW2uQ

IdleRich
08-10-2013, 04:57 PM
Well satire has to walk a fine line I guess to avoid heavy-handedness... and sometimes ambiguity has its place. You can certainly watch (and probably enjoy) Starship Troopers as a straight up if slightly over-the-top and camp, gung-ho space thriller that celebrates human kind's victory over some nasty bugs - but I don't think that's how it's intended to be seen.

muser
08-10-2013, 06:10 PM
personally I think the closest Starship Troopers comes to actual satire is to the same extent Scream was a satire of horror, the difference between the two was that Scream clearly tried to make it obvious it was a form of satire in the dialogue whilst keeping to most of the common 90's horror constructs in a totally un-satirical way. Starship Troopers amped everything to full scale cheesy ridiculousness but gives no obvious signs to the audience at any point that this was a conscious decision. Haven't watched either movies for a long time now so might be talking nonsense.

rubberdingyrapids
08-10-2013, 11:54 PM
OTM^^^

PV's best films for me: katie tippel, the 4th man, turkish delight, soldier of orange, spetters, robocop.

robocop is the best of the hollywood era; basic instinct is now weirdly sort of underrated.

total recall is great, but it basically just becomes a standard action shoot em up in the ending. all the subtext vanishes. it does have some of the all time best arnie lines though. and his female co-star is super hot.

showgirls and starship troopers are kind of in their own category. smug satire for elitists. confusingly OTT for everyone else.

IdleRich
09-10-2013, 01:26 AM
"personally I think the closest Starship Troopers comes to actual satire is to the same extent Scream was a satire of horror"
But to what extent is that?


basic instinct is now weirdly sort of underrated.
Agreed. At least I think I do. As others have said about other things, it's a long time since I've seen it.

rubberdingyrapids
09-10-2013, 07:56 AM
starship troopers IS funny. but its done with such a tightly/grimly clenched jaw. and its not actually always funny where it most counts - been ages since i saw it but iirc the satirical elements become lessened as the film goes on, and it starts to seem more and more straighter as it progresses. scream was much more po-mo and self conscious about it.

PV was basically him making a modern propaganda film with the added disclaimer that it was all satirical, but then he forgot to let anyone know about it, so ended up making a modern propaganda film anyway. i suppose it was always going to be hard to make a more leftist film considering the source novel.

IdleRich
09-10-2013, 11:59 AM
I dunno, I remember the bit at the end when Doogie Howser reads the big alien's mind and says "It's scared" and all the army guys cheer. In the cinema when I saw it everyone laughed out loud at that bit because it was an unexpected piece of nasty triumphalism that suggested the the good guys maybe weren't the good guys.

Mr. Tea
09-10-2013, 12:44 PM
total recall is great, but it basically just becomes a standard action shoot em up in the ending. all the subtext vanishes. it does have some of the all time best arnie lines though. and his female co-star is super hot.


I'm trying to find the article I read a while ago that explained that everything we see after Quaid goes into the memory machine is happening purely inside his head - the false memories of his supposed past life, his realization that he's the tool of a sinister conspiracy, the chases and shoot-outs, right up to the ultra-triumphant ending where he kills the bad guy, frees the oppressed, gets the girl and quite literally saves the planet. Whereas in reality, the people operating the machine are desperately trying to bring him back while he's presumably reduced to a drooling lobotomee.

It certainly casts the film in a rather different light. But I'm glad to see Verhoeven getting some love on here. I remember nomadologist waxing lyrical about Showgirls once, worst-sex-scene-ever and all.

Edit: agreed Robocop is the best one though, love that film so much.

craner
09-10-2013, 04:30 PM
I found it upsetting too. Also, the scene when Robocop almost gets blasted to bits in the underground car park brought me to the edge of tears twice. Both these films are bleak, affecting satires, which I always thought was obvious, even glaring.

rubberdingyrapids
09-10-2013, 06:06 PM
robocop is so brilliant. kinda weird that verhoeven is getting remakes of both that and starship troopers. (total recall has already been done - still not seen the new version). verhoeven does/says interesting things with sex and violence - i imagine thats the main thing the remakes will lack.

IdleRich
10-10-2013, 10:06 AM
I knew they were doing Robocop and had done TR but had no idea about Starship Troopers. Was it that popular? Why are they doing it? I haven't seen any of the remakes, not for any ideological reason, just haven't got round to it. Strange that they're all being done within a couple of years of each other. Would be interesting to watch all three originals and then the remakes. Maybe.

mistersloane
10-10-2013, 01:22 PM
The Total Recall remake is fine, but humourless, and thus pointless, and could easily have not been called Total Recall and people would have just said "oh the storyline's a bit like Total Recall". I think it suffered badly from being a "remake".

Am totally over remakes though.

Mind you, I was by the time Van Sant did Psycho.

craner
10-10-2013, 03:24 PM
Isn't Starship Troopers already a CGI film? How can it be re-made?

Also, what's the difference between a Robocop re-make and a Robocop sequal? I presume they are not going to lift the first plot or re-write the script. Or are they?

Yawn, anyway.

rubberdingyrapids
10-10-2013, 11:34 PM
they should just do a sequel to dredd (which was quite a bit like robocop, without the pointlessness of being a remake no one needs and could not really be any better or offer anything particularly interesting that the original didnt - if they were allowing it to be something radically different then that would be great, but with these kinds of reboots, that would never be allowed)

IdleRich
11-10-2013, 12:27 AM
I don't get the marketing behind that kind of remake cos I can't imagine that many fans of the original who will be interested. I can see it winning new fans but why take the name? Does it need to be a remake to get made?
Good thread by the way.

craner
15-10-2013, 09:26 AM
I suppose it secures the finance.

padraig (u.s.)
15-02-2014, 06:06 PM
in advance of that totally unnecessary Robocop remake this guy did a pretty good Verhoeven retrospective (http://grantland.com/features/career-arc-paul-verhoeven/) and it reminded me some people argued about Starship Troopers a while back. anyway, don't agree w/all of it but it's pretty good. among other things he makes the best case I've ever seen for Showgirls not as camp but as a vicious if flawed send up of A Star is Born kind of Hollywood origin stories mythology.

and since I'm here talking about it anyway I'm kind of astounded that so many people now + then could fail to see Starship Troopers as satire. it couldn't be more obvious if there was a giant SATIRE subtitle at the bottom of the screen the whole time. I chalk a lot of it up to critics not having read the source novel - which is much closer to a libertarian sci-fi take on Plato's Republic than it is to Top Gun in space - and/or (less excusable for a film critic) not being familiar with Riefenstahl. it is a send-up, rather than celebration, of jingoism etc, and not just smug satire for elitists any more than Heinlein is smug militaristic space opera for elitists. it's not totally successful, true, but definitely satire.