Top 10 Movies & Albums of the Week (2012)

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  • TOP 50 MOVIES & ALBUMS OF THE YEAR:

  • 1. Citizen Kane-Welles (1941) [FILM]
  • 2. Escalator Over The Hill-Carla Bley (1972) [MUSIC]
  • 3. Nashville-Altman (1975) [FILM]
  • 4. Touch of Evil-Welles (1958) [FILM]
  • 5. Brazil-Gilliam (1985) [FILM]
  • 6. Symphony #9 in C major "The Great"-Schubert (1826) [MUSIC]
  • 7. Greed-Von Stroheim (1924) [FILM]
  • 8. Symphony #9 in D Minor "Choral"-Beethoven (1824) [MUSIC]
  • 9. The Four Seasons-Vivaldi (1723) [MUSIC]
  • 10. Symphony #15 in A Major-Shostakovich (1971) [MUSIC]
  • 11. Symphony #5 in C Minor-Beethoven (1808) [MUSIC]
  • 12. Symphony #4 in E Minor-Brahms (1885) [MUSIC]
  • 13. Faust-Faust (1971) [MUSIC]
  • 14. Symphony #9 in D Major-Mahler (1910) [MUSIC]
  • 15. The Color of Paradise-Majidi (1999) [FILM]
  • 16. Violin Concerto-Berg (1935) [MUSIC]
  • 17. Persona-Bergman (1966) [FILM]
  • 18. Possession-Zulawski (1981) [FILM]
  • 19. The Traveling Players-Angelopoulos (1975) [FILM]
  • 20. Landscape in the Mist-Angelopoulos (1988) [FILM]
  • 21. Symphony #8 in B Minor "Unfinished"-Schubert (1822) [MUSIC]
  • 22. Mr. Arkadin-Welles (1955) [FILM]
  • 23. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover-Greenaway (1989) [FILM]
  • 24. Symphony #3-Lutoslawski (1983)
  • 25. Funny Games-Haneke (1997) [FILM]
  • 26. Pulp Fiction-Tarantino (1994) [FILM]
  • 27. Leon: The Professional-Besson (1994) [FILM]
  • 28. On The Waterfront-Kazan (1954) [FILM]
  • 29. City of Lost Children-Jeunet (1995) [FILM]
  • 30. It's A Wonderful Life-Capra (1946) [FILM]
  • 31. Lady of the Mirrors-Anthony Davis (1980) [MUSIC]
  • 32. Miracle in Milan-De Sica (1951) [FILM]
  • 33. Metropolis-Lang (1927) [FILM]
  • 34. Nostalghia-Tarkovsky (1983) [FILM]
  • 35. Natural Born Killers-Stone (1994) [FILM]
  • 36. Underground-Kusturica (1995) [FILM]
  • 37. The Wild Bunch-Peckinpah (1969) [FILM]
  • 38. Blade Runner-Scott (1982) [FILM]
  • 39. Ikiru-Kurosawa (1952) [FILM]
  • 40. The Magnificent Ambersons-Welles (1942) [FILM]
  • 41. Volunteers-The Jefferson Airplane (1969)
  • 42. Cosmic Interception-Von Lmo (1994)
  • 43. Fontanelle-Babes In Toyland (1992)
  • 44. In Den Gaerten Pharoahs-Popol Vuh (1972)
  • 45. Cyclops Nuclear Submarine Captain-Dogbowl (1991)
  • 46. Atomizer-Big Black (1986)
  • 47. Dr Akagi-Imamura (1998) [FILM]
  • 48. Eternity and a Day-Angelopoulos (1998) [FILM]
  • 49. The Phantom Carriage-Sjostrom (1921) [FILM]
  • 50. The Circus-Chaplin (1928) [FILM]


  • 12/24/12 - 12/31/12
  • 1. The Four Seasons-Vivaldi [MUSIC] ...W - O - W...
  • 2. Persona-Bergman (1966) [FILM]
  • 3. Ikiru-Kurosawa (1952) [FILM] (8.9/10 to 9.0/10)
  • 4. Old Boy-Chan-wook (2003) [FILM] ...the lead actor is one of the greatest performances in film history... the editing and cinematography and overall ingenuity are all amazing...
  • 5. King of New York-Ferrara (1990) [FILM] (7.9/10 to 7.8/10)
  • 6. Rear Window-Hitchcock (1954) [FILM] (7.3/10 to 7.4/10)
  • 7. Dogma-Smith (1999) [FILM]
  • 8. Jagged Little Pill-Alanis Morrisette (1994) [MUSIC] (7.5/10)
  • 9. Moondance-Van Morrison (1970) [MUSIC] (7/10)
  • 10. Irma La Douce-Wilder (1963) [FILM]

  • MISCELLANEOUS UPDATES I FORGOT TO MAKE OVER THE LAST COUPLE MONTHS...aka "CLEANING UP" MY LISTS FOR 2013:
  • Once Upon A Time in the West-Leone (1968) [FILM] 7.5/10 to 8.5/10 ...back to where it used to be, rightfully so...not sure how I justified dropping it to begin with...
  • Leon: The Professional-Besson (1994) [FILM] 8.5/10 to 9/10
  • Funny Games-Haneke (1997) [FILM] 8.5/10 to 9/10
  • City of Lost Children-Jeunet (1995) [FILM] (8.3/10 to 8.7/10)
  • Rosemary's Bay-Polanski (1968) [FILM] 9/10 to 8/10
  • Hush...Hush Sweet Charlotte-Aldrich (1965) [FILM] (8.9/10 to 9/10)
  • The Great Dictator-Chaplin (1940) [FILM] 8.5/10 to 8/10
  • The Big Sleep-Hawks (1946) [FILM] 7.5/10 to 8.5/10
  • Psycho-Hitchcock (1960) [FILM] (8.2/10 to 7.8/10)
  • Au Hasard Balthazar-Bresson [FILM] 7/10 to 7.5/10

  • RE-RATED:
  • The Four Seasons-Vivaldi [MUSIC] 8.5/10 to 9/10

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Irma La Douce-Wilder (1963) [FILM] 7/10
  • Old Boy-Chan-wook (2003) [FILM] 8/10

  • 12/17/12 - 12/23/12
  • 1. La Dolce Vita-Fellini (1960) [FILM]
  • 2. Piano Concerto #32-Beethoven [MUSIC]
  • 3. The Lady from Shanghai-Welles (1947) [FILM]

  • RE-RATED:
  • La Dolce Vita-Fellini (1960) [FILM] 7.5/10 to 8.5/10


  • 12/9/12 - 12/16/12
  • 1. Violin Concerto-Berg (1935) [MUSIC]
  • 2. The Color of Paradise-Majidi (1999) [FILM]
  • 3. Nostalghia-Tarkovsky (1983) [FILM]
  • 4. Pulp Fiction-Tarrantino (1994) [FILM]
  • 5. Miracle in Milan-DeSica (1952) [FILM]
  • 6. Funny Games-Haneke (1997) [FILM] (8.4/10 to 8.6/10)
  • 7. Dr Akagi-Imamura (1998) [FILM] (7.9/10 to 8.2/10)
  • 8. Eternity and a Day-Angelopoulos (1998) [FILM] (7.9/10 to 8.1/10)
  • 9. North by Northwest-Hitchcock (1959) [FILM]
  • 10. Violin Concerto #2-Shostakovich (1967) [MUSIC] (8.5/10)
  • 11. Dogma-Smith (1999) [FILM]
  • 12. Blade Runner-Scott (1982) [Final Cut] [FILM] (8.8/10 to 8.9/10)
  • 13. Piano Sonata #32-Beethoven [MUSIC]
  • 14. The Sacrifice-Tarkovsky (1986) [FILM] (7.8/10 to 8.0/10)
  • 15. Prélude à L'Après-midi d'un Faune-Debussy [MUSIC]
  • 16. Piano Concerto #21-Mozart [MUSIC] (8/10)

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Violin Concerto-Berg (1935) [MUSIC] 9/10 ...stunning...possibly the greatest violin concerto...
  • Prélude à L'Après-midi d'un Faune-Debussy [MUSIC] 7.5/10

  • RE-RATED:
  • Piano Sonata #32-Beethoven [MUSIC] 7.5/10 to 8/10
  • The Color of Paradise-Majidi (1999) [FILM] 8.5/10 to 9/10
  • Miracle in Milan-DeSica (1952) [FILM] 8/10 to 8.5/10
  • Pulp Fiction-Tarrantino (1994) [FILM] 8.5/10 to 9/10
  • Dogma-Smith (1999) [FILM] 7.5/10 to 8/10


  • 12/2/12 - 12/8/12
  • 1. Symphony #5-Beethoven [MUSIC]
  • 2. Symphony #4-Brahms [MUSIC]
  • 3. Escalator Over The Hill-Carla Bley (1972) [MUSIC]
  • 4. The Traveling Players-Angelopoulos (1975) [FILM]
  • 5. Landscape in the Mist-Angelopoulos (1988) [FILM]
  • 6. Symphony #9 "From the New World"-Dvorak [MUSIC]
  • 7. Natural Born Killers-Stone (1994) [Director's Cut] [FILM]
  • 8. Desertshore-Nico (1971) [MUSIC]
  • 9. Flying Teapot-Gong (1973) [MUSIC]
  • 10. Good-Morphine (1992) [MUSIC]
  • 11. Art of the Fugue-Bach [MUSIC] (no rating yet, first time I've listened to it in 10+ years)
  • 12. Symphony #8-Beethoven [MUSIC] (8/10) ...it had been years since I heard this one...
  • 13. Fare Forward Voyagers-John Fahey (1973) [MUSIC]
  • 14. The Good Son-Nick Cave (1990) [MUSIC]
  • 15. Piano Sonata #32-Beethoven [MUSIC] (7.5/10)

  • RE-RATED:
  • Symphony #8-Beethoven [MUSIC] 8/10 to 7.5/10 ...hmmmm, it's really great, but what's the "secret" to experiencing it as a masterpiece?
  • Symphony #5-Beethoven [MUSIC] 9/10 to 9.5/10 (9.2/10 to 9.4/10)
  • Symphony #4-Brahms [MUSIC] 9/10 to 9.5/10 (9.2/10 to 9.4/10)

  • 11/26/12 - 12/1/12
  • 1. Escalator Over The Hill-Carla Bley (1972) [MUSIC] ...ASTONISHING...probably a 9.5 which, if so, would upgrade it back to where I had it rated/ranked upon my first 5-10 listens years ago (9.3 just behind Faust), though maybe even higher this time...I'll give it another whirl or two before concluding...
  • 2. Nashville-Altman (1975) [FILM] ...!!!...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <---my mind exploding. Go ahead: just try and follow all the themes and emotions of this film as they are happening. A massive "cornucopia" of failures and biting criticisms/dichotomies on American culture :)
  • 3. Symphony #9-Beethoven [MUSIC] ...probably the greatest work of music ever...
  • 4. Symphony #9-Mahler [MUSIC]
  • 5. Brazil-Gilliam (1985) [FILM]
  • 6, Blue Velvet-Lynch (1986) [FILM]
  • 7. Good-Morphine (1992) [MUSIC]
  • 8. Lost Highway-Lynch (1997) [FILM]

  • RE-RATED:
  • Escalator Over The Hill-Carla Bley (1971) [MUSIC] 9/10 to 9.5/10 (9.3, possibly 9.4)
  • Nashville-Altman (1975) [FILM] 9/10 to 9.5/10 (9.3, possibly 9.4)

  • 11/19/12 - 11/25/12
  • 1. Faust-Faust (1971) [MUSIC]
  • 2. Citizen Kane-Welles (1941) [FILM] (9.3/10 to 9.5/10)
  • 3. Symphony #15-Shostakovich (1971) [MUSIC]
  • 4. Touch of Evil-Welles (1958) [FILM] (9.4/10 to 9.3/10)

  • RE-RATED:
  • Othello-Welles (1952) [FILM] 9/10 to 7.5/10 ...should've been re-rated about a month and a half ago...

  • 10/15/12 - 10/21/12
  • 1. The Wild Bunch-Peckinpah (1969) [FILM]
  • 2. Lady of the Mirrors-Anthony Davis (1980) [MUSIC]
  • 3. Epitaph-Charles Mingus (1962) [MUSIC]
  • 4. Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables-Dead Kennedys [MUSIC]
  • 5. Symphonie Fantastique-Berlioz [MUSIC]
  • 6. Ys-Joanna Newsom (2006) [MUSIC]
  • 7. Blue-Joni Mitchell (1971) [MUSIC]
  • 8. Excerpts from a Love Circus-Lisa Germano [MUSIC] (7.5/10)
  • 9. On the Way Down From Moon Palace-Lisa Germano [MUSIC] (7.5/10)


  • 10/8/12 - 10/14/12
  • 1. Aliens-Cameron (1986) [Theatrical Cut] [FILM]
  • 2. Roxy Music-Roxy Music (1972) [MUSIC]

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Roxy Music-Roxy Music (1972) [MUSIC] 8/10


  • 10/1/12 - 10/7/12
  • 1. The Modern Dance-Pere Ubu (1978) [MUSIC]
  • 2. A Love Supreme-John Coltrane (1964) [MUSIC]
  • 3. For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder?-The Pop Group (1980) [MUSIC]
  • 4. Unknown Pleasures-Joy Divsion (1979) [MUSIC] (7.5/10)
  • 5. Amnesiac-Radiohead (2001) [MUSIC] (7/10, maybe upgrade to 7.5/10) ...definitely their best album imo...
  • 6. Amsterdam-The Lofty Pillars (2001) [MUSIC] (7.5/10)
  • 7. If You're Feeling Sinister-Belle & Sebastian (1996) [MUSIC] (7.5/10)
  • 8. Survivor's Suite-Keith Jarrett (1976) [MUSIC]
  • 9. Doolittle-Pixies (1988) [MUSIC] (7.5/10)
  • 10. The Stone Roses-The Stone Roses (1989) [MUSIC] (7.5/10)
  • 11. Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)-Brian Eno [MUSIC] (7.5/10)
  • 12. Before & After Science-Brian Eno [MUSIC] (7.5/10)
  • 13. Fevers & Mirrors-Bright Eyes [MUSIC] (7/10)
  • 14. Closer-Joy Division (1980) [MUSIC] (7/10)

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder?-The Pop Group (1980) [MUSIC] 8/10

  • RE-RATED:
  • Survivor's Suite-Keith Jarrett (1976) [MUSIC] 9/10 to 8.5/10

  • 9/24/12 - 9/30/12
  • 1. Fontanelle-Babes in Toyland (1992) [MUSIC]
  • 2. Loveless-My Bloody Valentine (1991) [MUSIC]
  • 3. Atomizer-Big Black (1986) [MUSIC]
  • 4. Starsailor-Tim Buckley (1970) [MUSIC]
  • 5. Neu!-Neu! (1972) [MUSIC]
  • 6. Spiderland-Slint (1991) [MUSIC]
  • 7. Repeater-Fugazi (1990) [MUSIC]
  • 8. From Her To Eternity-Nick Cave (1984) [MUSIC]
  • 9. Ys-Joanna Newsom (2006) [MUSIC]
  • 10. Well Oiled-Hash Jar Tempo (1997) [MUSIC]
  • 11. The Magic City-Sun Ra (1965) [MUSIC]
  • 12. In the Court of the Crimson King-King Crimson (1969) [MUSIC]
  • 13. Othello-Welles (1952) [FILM]
  • 14. Down Colorful Hill-Red House Painters (1992) [MUSIC]
  • 15. Music for Airports-Brian Eno (1978) [MUSIC]
  • 16. Volunteers-Jefferson Airplane (1969) [MUSIC]
  • 17. Pretty Hate Machine-Nine Inch Nails (1989) [MUSIC]
  • 18. OK Computer-Radiohead (1997) [MUSIC]

  • RE-RATED:
  • Atomizer-Big Black (1986) [MUSIC] 7.5/10 to 8.5/10
  • The Magic City-Sun Ra (1965) [MUSIC] 9/10 to 8.5/10
  • Well Oiled-Hash Jar Tempo (1997) [MUSIC] 9/10 to 8.5/10

  • 9/17/12 - 9/23/12
  • 1. Zen Arcade-Husker Du (1984) [MUSIC] (8.8/10 to 8.9/10)
  • 2. Yerself is Steam-Mercury Rev (1991) [MUSIC]
  • 3. The Color of Paradise-Majidi (1999) [FILM]
  • 4. Fontanelle-Babes in Toyland (1992) [MUSIC]
  • 5. The Modern Dance-Pere Ubu (1978) [MUSIC]
  • 6. Diamanda Galas-Diamanda Galas (1984) [MUSIC]
  • 7. Meet The Residents-Residents [MUSIC]
  • 8. Dream Theory in Malaya-Jon Hassell (1981) [MUSIC]
  • 9. Sound-Roscoe Mitchell (1966) [MUSIC]
  • 10. Pavilion of Dreams-Harold Budd (1989) [MUSIC]
  • 11. Flying Teapot-Gong (1973) [MUSIC]
  • 12. Third-Soft Machine (1970) [MUSIC]
  • 13. The Days of Wine & Roses-The Dream Syndicate (1980) [MUSIC]
  • 14. Spiderland-Slint (1991) [MUSIC]
  • 15. Third Ear Band-Third Ear Band (1970) [MUSIC]


  • 9/10/12 - 9/16/12
  • 1. Escalator Over the Hill-Carla Bley (1971) [MUSIC] ...9.5/10???
  • 2. Nashville-Altman (1975) [FILM] ...9.5/10???
  • 3. Cosmic Interception-Von Lmo [MUSIC]
  • 4. Half Machine Lip Moves-Chrome [MUSIC]
  • 5. Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables-Dead Kennedys (1980) [MUSIC]
  • 6. Original Sin-Pandora's Box (1989) [MUSIC]
  • 7. Have One On Me-Joanna Newsom (2010) [MUSIC]
  • 8. Ys-Joanna Newsom (2006) [MUSIC]
  • 9. Consumer Revolt-Cop Shoot Cop [MUSIC]
  • 10. California-American Music Club [MUSIC]
  • 11. Ocean Songs-Dirty Three (1998) [MUSIC]

  • RE-RATED:
  • Cosmic Interception-Von Lmo [MUSIC] 8/10 to 8.5/10

  • 9/3/12 - 9/9/12
  • 1. A Rainbow in Curved Air-Terry Riley (1968) [MUSIC]
  • 2. Red-Kieslowski (1994) [FILM]
  • 3. Symphony #8-Schubert [MUSIC] ...Furtwangler's 1952 recording may the best I've ever heard of Schubert's 8th...
  • 4. Cyclops Nuclear Submarine Captain-Dogbowl (1991) [MUSIC]
  • 5. In Den Gaerten Pharaohs-Popol Vuh (1971) [MUSIC]
  • 6. Have One On Me-Joanna Newsom (2011) [MUSIC]
  • 7. Symphony #9-Schubert [MUSIC]
  • 8. Lady of the Mirrors-Anthony Davis (1980) [MUSIC]
  • 9. Piano Concerto #21-Mozart [MUSIC]
  • 10. Passion-Peter Gabriel (1989) [MUSIC]
  • 11. Novus Magnificat-Constance Demby (1986) [MUSIC]
  • 12. Safe as Milk-Captain Beefheart (1967) [MUSIC]
  • 13. Days of Wine & Roses-The Dream Syndicate (1988) [MUSIC]
  • 14. Bricolage-Amon Tobin (1997) [MUSIC]
  • 15. Millions Now Living Will Never Die-Tortoise (1996) [MUSIC]

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Cyclops Nuclear Submarine Captain-Dogbowl (1991) [MUSIC] 8.5/10

  • RE-RATED
  • Red-Kieslowski (1994) [FILM] 7.5/10 to 8.5/10
  • Maborosi-Koreeda (1995) [FILM] 7.5/10 to 8.5/10 ...was supposed to be re-rated months ago...
  • City of Lost Children-Jeunet (1995) [FILM] 8/10 to 8.5/10 ...was supposed to be re-rated some weeks ago...

  • 8/27/12 - 9/2/12
  • 1. Symphony #9-Schubert [MUSIC]
  • 2. Othello-Welles (1952) [FILM]
  • 3. Pavilion of Dreams-Harold Budd [MUSIC]
  • 4. Red-Kieslowski (1994) [FILM]
  • 5. Alexander Nevsky-Eisenstein (1938) [FILM]

  • RE-RATED:
  • Symphony #9-Schubert [MUSIC] 9/10 to 9.5/10
  • Othello-Welles (1952) [FILM] 7.5/10 to 9/10 ...after 1 viewing today and 4 more over the previous 7 days, Welles seems to have yet another astonishing masterpiece, this one the least expected before a week ago...

  • 8/20/12 - 8/26/12
  • 1. Othello-Welles (1952) [FILM]
  • 2. Lady of the Mirrors-Anthony Davis (1980) [MUSIC]
  • 3. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover-Greenaway (1989) [FILM]
  • 4. 8 1/2-Fellini (1963) [FILM]
  • 5. The Getaway-Peckinpah (1972) [FILM]

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Othello-Welles (1952) [FILM] 7.5/10 ...rating is possibly temporary and could easily change dramatically. Like Welles' masterpieces, Othello is so modern and so far in advance of other filmmakers' language that by about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way through it was too much to fully assimilate in one viewing. Also, the troubled post-production sound design made the film challenging to consistently keep track of the plot and to absorb all of the character's emotions in one sitting. Visually, it is easily among the most astonishing in the entire history of film. By and large, the editing is typically peerless Welles, creating an extraordinary vertiginous, labyrinthine experience. Need to watch again, as Welles just may have another masterpiece (9/10) on his hands here.
  • The Getaway-Peckinpah (1972) [FILM] 7.5/10

  • 8/13/12 - 8/19/12
  • 1. Rosemary's Baby-Polanski (1968) [FILM]
  • 2. Possession-Zulawski (1981) [FILM]
  • 3. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover-Greenaway (1989) [FILM]
  • 4. Mad Max-Miller (1980) [FILM]
  • 5. The Virgin Spring-Bergman (1961) [FILM]

  • RE-RATED:
  • Rosemary's Baby-Polanski (1968) [FILM] 8.5/10 to 9/10
  • Mad Max-Miller (1980) [FILM] 7/10 to 7.5/10

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • The Virgin Spring-Bergman (1961) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • Through a Glass Darkly-Bergman (1962) [FILM] 6.5/10
  • The Killer Elite-Peckinpah (1976) [FILM] 6/10

  • 8/6/12 - 8/12/12
  • 1. TOUCH OF EVIL-WELLES (1958) [FILM] ...THIS IS EFFING IMPOSSIBLE...WELLES IS BY FAR THE GREATEST FILMMAKER, AND ONE OF THE GREATEST ARTISTIC GENIUSES WHO EVER LIVED...THE LAYERS OF DEPTH, THE FACETS OF MEANING, THE STUNNING ARRAY OF IDEAS, THE "SO-MUCH-TO-TAKE-IN-MY-HEAD-IS-GOING-TO-EXPLODE", CONTAINED IN HIS FILMS HAS JUST BECOME TOO MUCH...I DON'T KNOW IF I CAN TAKE IT ANY MORE...I AM BESIDE MYSELF WITH AWE...IF YOU HAVEN'T BEEN TOTALLY BLOWN TO SMITHEREEENS BY WELLES, I URGE YOU TO START DEDICATEDLY INVESTING YOURSELF IN LEARNING HIS ART NOW. THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE AND NO COMPARISON FOR REALLY SEEING AND UNDERSTANDING WHAT HE IS DOING WHILE WATCHING HIS FILMS. (NOTE: I am nearing completion with my latest review/analysis of Citizen Kane, and will probably get going on Touch of Evil relatively soonafter, so, hopefully anyone who is interested will end up finding these helpful in accomplishing the above.)
  • 2. Greed-Von Stroheim (1924) [FILM] ...uuuhhhhhhhh... W--O--W (8.9/10 to 9.2/10)
  • 3. Mr. Arkadin-Welles (1955) [FILM] ...incredible...I guess the best way to release myself from the overwhelmed aftermath of Citizen Kane was to get blown to bits once again by one of his other astonishing masterpieces...V-A-S-T-L-Y underrated...continuously fluctuates between a whirlwind of different visual tricks (including disjointed angles with background environments bent vertically or horizontally against and in distortion to the character highlighted in the scene) and editing guises, intertwining to represent several different realities and states of mind, subjective and otherwise, as the main character recounts the story through flashback (submitting both truthful and artificial/altered accounts), an endless maze of plot and circumstance, the truth and the lies as one massive collage...
  • 4. Nashville-Altman (1975) [FILM]
  • 5. Persona-Bergman (1966) [FILM] ...one of the greatest works of art ever created...
  • 6. The Wild Bunch-Peckinpah (1969) [FILM]
  • 7. Hour of the Wolf-Bergman (1967) [FILM] ...Wow...
  • 8. City of Lost Children-Jeunet (1995) [FILM]
  • 9. Michael Clayton-Gilroy (2007) [FILM]

  • RE-RATED:
  • Touch of Evil-Welles (1958) [FILM] 9/10 to 9.5/10
  • Mr. Arkadin-Welles (1955) [FILM] 8.5/10 to 9/10 ...yes, that really does mean Welles now has 5 masterpieces in my Greatest Films of All Time... there is no question he is the greatest director ever, and possibly the greatest artist since Beethoven (especially considering many of his works were tampered with and likely would've been even better had they not. Might Magnificent Ambersons, with an additional 48 minutes, had been his second 9.5 in a row after Kane? Touch of Evil his 3rd overall? Etc...)

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Hour of the Wolf-Bergman (1967) [FILM] 7.5/10 ...quite an experience...dream-like, elliptical, profound, haunting...rating could possibly be higher...will need to watch it again to be sure...

  • 7/30/12 - 8/5/12
  • 1. Citizen Kane-Welles (1941) [FILM] (9.5/10 to 9.3/10) NOTE: I am still strongly considering upgrading Kane to a 9.5, #1 ranking, but realized after this viewing that I am more uncertain than certain about this, so have chosen not to make a "rash" decision and instead will return to it later to see how these feelings hold up ...either way, it's one of the very greatest films of all time, and is probably the deepest, most profound experience in cinematic history...new review forthcoming...
  • 2. Nostalghia-Tarkovsky (1983) [FILM]
  • 3. Chinatown-Polanski (1974) [FILM]
  • 4. The Duchess of Langeais-Rivette (2007) [FILM]


  • 7/23/12 - 7/29/12
  • 1. Citizen Kane-Welles (1941) [FILM] ...the most head-spinningly profound artistic experience I've ever had in my entire life? ...strongly considering upgrading it to #1... I swear it is that incredible once really experienced... I am close to finally writing a better, more explicitly descriptive and illuminating review that actually does the film justice...

  • AFTER A 2nd VIEWING THIS WEEK: Ok. What. Just. Happened. How is this possible? How can one film—itself a finite, physical entity—contain so much emotional depth, profound insight and intellectual acumen that it borders on the impossible? Who was Orson Welles really? How did he, a first time director, know? This film just can’t be. It can’t. But it is.

  • Believe it or not, Citizen Kane actually surpasses the endlessly monotonous barrage of accolades it’s garnered over the last 70 years. It is superior to what its last six decades of Sight and Sound rankings have promised you. It is better than any critic has ever described. It is underrated. It accomplishes a level of filmic language, of personal symbolism, of subjectivity and emotional depth so unique and so far in advance of anything we’ve ever seen that it almost defies description and, once experienced, once Orson Welles has officially lifted the curtain on you, is almost too incredible to believe. (9.3/10 to 9.5/10)

  • 2. The Lady from Shanghai-Welles (1948) [FILM]
  • 3. On the Waterfront-Kazan (1954) [FILM]
  • 4. Naked-Leigh (1993) [FILM]
  • 5. The Andromeda Strain-Wise (1971) [FILM]
  • 6. The Purple Rose of Cairo-Allen (1985) [FILM]
  • 7. Aguirre, the Wrath of God-Herzog (1972) [FILM] (7.5/10 to 7.3/10)

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Naked-Leigh (1993) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • The Andromeda Strain-Wise (1971) [FILM] 7.5/10 ...significantly underrated film...Amazingly intuitive use of editing, and Welles-ian camera placement/angles as Wise exhibits a highly controlled, clinical, technical precision gradually building slow-burning suspense and compelling science...
  • The Purple Rose of Cairo-Allen (1985) [FILM] 7/10

  • RE-RATED:
  • The Lady from Shanghai-Welles (1948) [FILM] 8/10 to 9/10
  • On the Waterfront-Kazan (1954) [FILM] 8.5/10 to 9/10

  • 7/16/12 - 7/22/12
  • 1. Underground-Kusturica (1995) [FILM]
  • 2. The Road Warrior-Miller (1981) [FILM] (7.4/10 to 7.7/10)
  • 3. Come & See-Klimov (1985) [FILM]
  • 4. Yeelen-Cisse (1987) [FILM]
  • 5. The French Connection-Friedkin (1971) [FILM]
  • 6. The Dark Knight Rises-Nolan (2012) [FILM]
  • 7. Wayne's World-Spheeris (1992) [FILM] (7/10)

  • RE-RATED:
  • Come & See-Klimov (1985) [FILM] 9/10 to 8/10

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • The Dark Knight Rises-Nolan (2012) [FILM] 7/10
  • The French Connection-Friedkin (1971) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • Married to the Mob-Demme (1988) [FILM] 6.5/10
  • Yeelen-Cisse (1987) [FILM] 7.5/10


  • 7/9/12 - 7/15/12
  • 1. Brazil-Gilliam (1985) [FILM]
  • 2. Touch of Evil-Welles (1958) [FILM]
  • 3. Fargo-Coen (1996) [FILM]
  • 4. Raising Arizona-Coen (1987) [FILM]
  • 5. Last Year at Marienbad-Resnais (1961) [FILM]
  • 6. Tootsie-Pollack (1982) [FILM]

  • RE-RATED:
  • Brazil-Gilliam (1985) [FILM] 9/10 to 9.5/10 ...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Tootsie-Pollack (1982) [FILM] 7/10
  • Bamako-Sissako (2006) [FILM] 6.5/10


  • 7/2/12 - 7/8/12
  • 1. Apocalypse Now-Coppola (1979) [FILM]
  • 2. Earth-Dovzhenko (1930) [FILM]
  • 3. Taxidermia-Palfi (2006) [FILM]
  • 4. Memento-Nolan (2000) [FILM]
  • 5. Blade Runner-Scott (1982) [FILM]
  • 6. Breaking the Waves-Von Trier (1996) [FILM]
  • 7. Scarface-Hawks (1932) [FILM]
  • 8. The Piano-Campion (1993) [FILM]
  • 9. Black Swan-Aronofsky (2010) [FILM] (7/10)

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Earth-Dovzhenko (1930) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • Taxidermia-Palfi (2006) [FILM] 7.5/10


  • 6/25/12 - 7/1/12
  • 1. Scarface-Hawks (1932) [FILM]
  • 2. Time-Ki-duk (2006) [FILM]
  • 3. Last Year at Marienbad-Resnais (1961) [FILM]
  • 4. Invasion of the Body Snatchers-Siegel (1956) [FILM]
  • 5. Life is Beautiful-Benigni (1997) [FILM]
  • 6. Bride of Frankenstein-Whale (1935) [FILM]
  • 7. Poetry-Chang-dong (2010) [FILM]
  • 8. Amores Perros-Inarritu (2000) [FILM] (7.5/10 to 7.4/10)
  • 9. Freaks-Browning (1932) [FILM]
  • 10. The Third Man-Reed (1949) [FILM] (7/10)

  • RE-RATED:
  • Last Year at Marienbad-Resnais (1961) [FILM] 7/10 to 7.5/10
  • The White Ribbon-Haneke (2009) [FILM] 7/10 to 7.5/10 ...was supposed to make this update months ago...

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Time-Ki-duk (2006) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • Freaks-Browning (1932) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • Poetry-Chang-dong (2010) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • Bride of Frankenstein-Whale (1933) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • It Happened One Night-Capra (1934) [FILM] 6.5/10
  • Scarface-Hawks (1932) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers-Siegel (1956) [FILM] 7.5/10

  • 6/18/12 - 6/24/12
  • 1. 12 Monkeys-Gilliam (1995) [FILM] (7.8/10 to 7.9/10)
  • 2. Frantic-Polanski (1988) [FILM]
  • 3. Deliverance-Boorman (1972) [FILM]
  • 4. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring-Ki-duk (2003) [FILM]
  • 5. Zero for Conduct-Vigo (1933) [FILM]
  • 6. Children of Men-Cuaron (2006) [FILM] (7/10...or, 7.2499999/10...approximately :-) ...)
  • 7. Late Spring-Ozu (1949) [FILM] (7.5/10 to 7.3/10)
  • 8. Notorious-Hitchcock (1946) [FILM]

  • RE-RATED:
  • Notorious-Hitchcock (1946) [FILM] 7.5/10 to 7/10
  • Deliverance-Boorman (1972) [FILM] 8/10 to 7.5/10

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Zero for Conduct-Vigo (1933) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • Silent Light-Reygadas (2007) [FILM] 6.5/10
  • The Best Years of Our Lives-Wyler (1946) [FILM] 6.5/10


  • 6/11/12 - 6/17/12
  • 1. Last Tango in Paris-Bertolucci (1972) [FILM]
  • 2. The Willow Tree-Majidi (2005) [FILM] ...emotionally devastating...the lead performance is astonishing - maybe the best of the decade...
  • 3. L'Age d'Or-Bunuel (1930) [FILM]
  • 4. To Catch a Thief-Hitchcock (1955) [FILM] ...amazing suspense-comedy, with a clever, perverse plot of cat and mouse, love and death...the first half seems to be inspired to some degree by Welles' Lady from Shanghai in both its visuals/camera movement...Also, a clear precursor to Hitch's towering masterpiece, North by Northwest...
  • 5. Working Girl-Nichols (1988) [FILM]
  • 6. Night of the Hunter-Laughton (1955) [FILM] (7/10)
  • 7. La Jetee-Marker (1962) [FILM] ...remarkable...greatest short film ever?
  • 8. The African Queen-Huston (1951) [FILM] (7.4/10 to 7.3/10)
  • 9. Intacto-Fresnadillo (2001) [FILM]
  • 10. Suspicion-Hitchcock (1941) [FILM]
  • 11. Stage Fright-Hitchcock (1950) [FILM]

  • 6NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Private Fears in Public Places-Resnais (2007) [FILM] 6.5/10
  • The United States of Leland-Hoge (2004) [FILM] 6.5/10
  • Intacto-Fresnadillo (2001) [FILM] 7/10
  • Suspicion-Hitchcock (1941) [FILM] 7/10
  • Los Muertos-Alonso (2004) [FILM] 6/10
  • The Willow Tree-Majidi (2005) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • To Catch a Thief-Hitchcock (1955) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • Working Girl-Nichols (1988) [FILM] 7/10
  • Stage Fright-Hitchcock (1950) [FILM] 7/10

  • RE-RATED:
  • Last Tango in Paris-Bertolucci (1972) [FILM] 7.5/10 to 8/10
  • Michael Clayton-Gilroy (2007) [FILM] 7/10 to 7.5/10 ...I didn't actually watch this film this week. This upgrade was supposed to be made over a year ago (or whenever it was I last watched it)...amazing, piercing film...

  • 6/4/12 - 6/10/12
  • 1. Belle de Jour-Bunuel (1967) [FILM]
  • 2. Das Boot-Peterson (1981) [FILM]
  • 3. Something Wild-Demme (1986) [FILM]
  • 4. The Apartment-Wilder (1960) [FILM]
  • 5. Belly of an Architect-Greenaway (1987) [FILM] (7.3/10 to 7.4/10)
  • 6. The Last Laugh-Murnau (1924) [FILM]
  • 7. Ivan the Terrible, Part 1-Eisenstein (1944) [FILM]
  • 8. Mr Smith Goes to Washington-Capra (1939) [FILM]
  • 9. Europa Europa-Holland (1990) [FILM]
  • 10. Spellbound-Hitchcock (1945) [FILM]
  • 11. The Exorcist-Freidkin (1973) [FILM]

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Europa Europa-Holland (1990) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • Spellbound-Hitchcock (1945) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • Something Wild-Demme (1986) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • Das Boot-Peterson (1981) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • The Apartment-Wilder (1960) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • Desperately Seeking Susan-Seidelman (1985) [FILM] 6/10 ...apparently I saw this movie about 20 years ago but I hardly remember any of it so I'm considering it a 'new acquisition'...it maintains an interesting plot of mistaken identities in which a case of amnesia causes two women to have their lives switched around in multiple ways with ensuing consequences...
  • Ivan the Terrible, Part 1-Eisenstein (1944) [FILM] 7.5/10


  • 5/28/12 - 6/3/12
  • 1. Hard Boiled-Woo (1992) [FILM]
  • 2. Shock Corridor-Fuller (1963) [FILM]
  • 3. Duel-Spielberg (1971) [FILM]
  • 4. The Untouchables-De Palma (1987) [FILM]
  • 5. Smiles of a Summer Night-Bergman (1955) [FILM]
  • 6. World on a Wire-Fassbinder (1973) [FILM]
  • 7. Laura-Preminger (1944) [FILM]
  • 8. The Last Emperor-Bertolucci (1987) [FILM]
  • 9. Sansho the Bailiff-Mizoguchi (1955) [FILM] (7.6/10 TO 7.3/10)

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Duel-Spielberg (1971) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • Hard Boiled-Woo (1992) [FILM] 8/10
  • The Untouchables-De Palma (1987) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • Shock Corridor-Fuller (1963) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • The Last Emperor-Bertolucci (1987) [FILM] 7/10
  • World on a Wire-Fassbinder (1973) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • Smiles of a Summer Night-Bergman (1955) [FILM] 7.5/10


  • 5/21/12 - 5/27/12
  • 1. The Manchurian Candidate-Frankenheimer (1962) [FILM]
  • 2. The Ballad of Cable Hogue-Peckinpah (1970) [FILM]
  • 3. The Doors-The Doors (1967) [MUSIC]
  • 4. Some Like it Hot-Wilder (1959) [FILM]
  • 5. Shane-Stevens (1953) [FILM]
  • 6. The Magician-Bergman (1958) [FILM]
  • 7. King Kong-Schoedsack (1933) [FILM]
  • 8. Rebecca-Hitchcock (1940) [FILM]

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Some Like it Hot-Wilder (1959) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • Shane-Stevens (1953) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • The Ballad of Cable Hogue-Peckinpah (1970) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • Assault on Precinct 13-Carpenter (1976) [FILM] 6.5/10
  • The Magician-Bergman (1958) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • The Manchurian Candidate-Frankenheimer (1962) [FILM] 7.5/10

  • RE-RATED:
  • Rebecca-Hitchcock (1940) [FILM] 7.5/10 to 7/10


  • 5/14/12 - 5/20/12
  • 1. Dr. Akagi-Imamura (1998) [FILM]
  • 2. A Fish Called Wanda-Crichton (1988) [FILM]
  • 3. Body Double-De Palma (1984) [FILM]
  • 4. All About Eve-Mankiewicz (1950) [FILM]
  • 5. Insignificance-Roeg (1985) [FILM]
  • 6. After Hours-Scorsese (1985) [FILM]
  • 7. La Femme Nikita-Besson (1990) [FILM]
  • 8. Escape from New York-Carpenter (1981) [FILM]

  • NEW ACQUISITIIONS RATED:
  • A Fish Called Wanda-Crichton (1988) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • Insignificance-Roeg (1985) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • After Hours-Scorsese (1985) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • All About Eve-Mankiewicz (1950) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • Body Double-De Palma (1984) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • Dr. Akagi-Imamura (1998) [FILM] 8/10
  • La Femme Nikita-Besson (1990) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • Escape from New York-Carpenter (1981) [FILM] 7/10


  • 5/7/12 - 5/13/12
  • 1. Symphony #15-Shostakovich (1971) [MUSIC]
  • 2. Tocatta & Fugue in D Minor-Bach [MUSIC]
  • 3. Delicatessen-Jeunet (1991) [FILM]
  • 4. Bonnie & Clyde-Penn (1967) [FILM]
  • 5. The Pillow Book-Greenaway (1996) [FILM]
  • 6. Funny Bones-Chelsom (1995) [FILM]
  • 7. Piano Sonata #14 "Moonlight"-Beethoven [MUSIC]
  • 8. Secrets & Lies-Leigh (1996) [FILM]
  • 9. The Eel-Imamura (1997) [FILM]
  • 10. Planet of the Apes-Schaffner (1968) [FILM]
  • 11. American Grafitti-Lucas (1973) [FILM]

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Bonnie & Clyde (1967) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • The Pillow Book-Greenaway (1996) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • Funny Bones-Chelsom (1995) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • The Eel-Imamura (1997) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • American Grafitti-Lucas (1973) [FILM] 7/10
  • Delicatessen-Jeunet (1991) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • Planet of the Apes-Schaffner (1968) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • Secrets & Lies-Leigh (1996) [FILM] 7.5/10

  • 4/30/12 - 5/6/12
  • 1. Natural Born Killers-Stone (1994) [FILM]
  • 2. Citizen Kane-Welles (1941) [FILM]
  • 3. Metropolis-Lang (1927) [FILM]
  • 4. Symphony #3-Lutoslawski (1983) [MUSIC]
  • 5. Piano Sonata #23 "Appassionata"-Beethoven [MUSIC]
  • 6. Symphony #4-Brahms [MUSIC]
  • 7. Blow Out-De Palma (1981) [FILM]
  • 8. Dr Strangelove-Kubrick (1962) [FILM]

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Blow Out-De Palma (1981) [FILM] 7.5/10

  • 4/23/12 - 4/29/12
  • 1. It's a Wonderful Life-Capra (1946) [FILM]
  • 2. Miracle in Milan-De Sica (1951) [FILM]
  • 3. Petulia-Lester (1968) [FILM]
  • 4. Secret Ceremony-Losey (1968) [FILM]
  • 5. Leon: The Professional-Besson (1994) [FILM]
  • 6. The Lady from Shanghai-Welles (1947) [FILM]
  • 7. Concerto for Orchestra-Gerhard (1965) [MUSIC]
  • 8. Surfer Rosa-Pixies (1988) [MUSIC]
  • 9. Perfect From Now On-Built To Spill (1997) [MUSIC]
  • 10. The Shanghai Gesture-Von Sternberg (1941) [FILM]
  • 11. Underwater Moonlight-Soft Boys (1988) [MUSIC]

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Petulia-Lester (1968) [FILM] 8/10
  • The Shanghai Gesture-Von Sterberg (1941) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • Miracle in Milan-De Sica (1951) [FILM] 8/10

  • RE-RATED:
  • It's a Wonderful Life-Capra (1946) [FILM] 7.5/10 to 8.5/10
  • Underwater Moonlight-Soft Boys (1988) [MUSIC] 7/10 to 7.5/10
  • Secret Ceremony-Losey (1968) [FILM] 7.5/10 to 8/10

  • 4/16/12 - 4/22/12
  • 1. Greed-Von Stroheim (1924) [FILM] ...overwhelmingly powerful...reaches tremendous emotional resonance, ascending in explosive, rippling effects, and then implodes, simultaneously using real locales, and an expanse in film space (virtually no sets were used) as its emotional ambitions grow, culminating in the infinity of Death Valley...as perhaps the first masterpiece in film history, it was simply WAY beyond what others were doing at the time...
  • 2. The Cabinet of Dr Caligari-Wieine (1920) [FILM] (8.3/10 to 8.4/10)
  • 3. The Circus-Chaplin (1928) [FILM] ...W-O-W...a relentless, delirious, never-to-be-topped feat of physical comedy...
  • 4. On the Waterfront-Kazan (1954) [FILM]
  • 5. Pulp Fiction-Tarantino (1994) [FILM]
  • 6. Once Were Warriors-Tamahori (1994) [FILM]
  • 7. Picture of Nectar-Phish (1992) [MUSIC]
  • 8. Half Machine Lip Moves-Chrome (1979) [MUSIC]
  • 9. Volunteers-Jefferson Airplane (1969) [MUSIC]
  • 10. Karma-Pharoah Sanders (1969) [MUSIC]
  • 11. Play Time-Tati (1967) [FILM] ...hugely scaled, elaborately choreographed comedy of errors, demonstrating the sterile, robotic, dehumanized monotony and aimlessness of modernist society as a grand schematic that is too set in its ways to recognize its own absurdity. The first half demonstrates this thoroughly while the second half tears the curtain down bringing real human vitality to the fore as a restaurant and its operation gets destroyed in a delirious variety of ways. And in its aftermath, the city celebrates, though not before re-entering its cyclic loop, and not before a man and a woman finally, just barely, make a real, personalized human connection amidst the chaotic organization... endless puns and wildly inventive gags...the most ingenious comedy ever filmed?
  • 12. The Marble Index-Nico (1969) [MUSIC]
  • 13. Faust-Murnau (1926) [FILM] (7.3/10 to 7.6/10)
  • 14. Wild Strawberries-Bergman (1957) [FILM] (7.3/10 to 7.4/10)
  • 15. California-American Music Club (1988) [MUSIC]
  • 16. Eraserhead-Lynch (1977) [FILM]
  • 17. Nosferatu-Murnau (1922) [FILM] (7/10)

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Once Were Warriors-Tamahori (1994) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • The Circus-Chaplin (1928) [FILM] 8.5/10
  • California-American Music Club (1988) [MUSIC] 7.5/10

  • RE-RATED:
  • Greed-Von Stroheim (1924) [FILM] 8/10 to 9/10
  • On the Waterfront-Kazan (1954) [FILM] 8/10 to 8.5/10

  • 4/9/12 - 4/15/12
  • 1. Volunteers-Jefferson Airplane (1969) [MUSIC] ...I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E...
  • 2. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari-Wiene (1920) [FILM]
  • 3. Faust IV-Faust (1973) [MUSIC]
  • 4. Lost Highway-Lynch (1997) [FILM] (8.4/10 to 8.7/10)
  • 5. To Be or Not To Be-Lubitsch (1942) [FILM]
  • 6. Astral Weeks-Van Morrison (1968) [MUSIC]
  • 7. Highway 61 Revisited-Bob Dylan (1965) [MUSIC]
  • 8. Alexander Nevsky-Eisenstein (1938) [FILM]
  • 9. Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables-Dead Kennedys (1980) [MUSIC]
  • 10. Dogma-Smith (1998) [FILM]
  • 11. The Doors-The Doors (1967) [MUSIC]
  • 12. Strange Days-The Doors (1967) [MUSIC]
  • 13. The Outlaw & His Wife-Sjostrom (1917) [FILM]
  • 14. Double Indemnity-Wilder (1944) [FILM] (7/10)
  • 15. Stagecoach-Ford (1939) [FILM]
  • 16. The Gold Rush-Chaplin (1925) [FILM] (7/10)
  • 17. The Crowd-Vidor (1928) [FILM]
  • 18. The Shining-Kubrick (1980) [FILM]

  • RE-RATED:
  • Alexander Nevsky-Eisenstein (1938) [FILM] 7/10 to 7.5/10
  • To Be or Not To Be-Lubitsch (1947) [FILM] 7/10 to 7.5/10
  • The Cabinet of Dr Caligari-Wiene (1920) [FILM] 7/10 to 8.5/10
  • The Shining-Kubrick (1980) [FILM] 9/10 to 7/10

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Stagecoach-Ford (1939) [FILM] 7/10
  • The Outlaw & His Wife-Sjostrom (1917) [FILM] 7/10


  • 4/2/12 - 4/8/12
  • 1. The Phantom Carriage-Sjostrom (1921) [FILM]
  • 2. On the Waterfront-Kazan (1954) [FILM] (7.4/10 to 7.7/10)
  • 3. Dressed to Kill-DePalma (1980) [FILM] (7.4/10 to 7.6/10)
  • 4. Schindler's List-Spielberg (1993) [FILM]
  • 5. Being John Malkovich-Jonze (1999) [FILM]
  • 6. Dirty Harry-Siegel (1971) [FILM] (7.4/10 to 7.6/10)
  • 7. Pavilion of Dreams-Harold Budd (1978) [MUSIC]
  • 8. All About My Mother-Almodovar (1999) [FILM] (7.5/10 to 7.4/10)
  • 9. Forrest Gump-Zemeckis (1994) [FILM]
  • 10. Atomizer-Big Black (1986) [MUSIC]

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • The Phantom Carriage-Sjostrom (1921) [FILM] 8.5/10
  • Atomizer-Big Black (1986) [MUSIC] 7/10


  • 3/26/12 - 4/1/12
  • 1. Grand Illusion-Renoir (1937) [FILM]
  • 2. Have One on Me-Joanna Newsom (2010) [MUSIC]
  • 3. Viridiana-Bunuel (1961) [FILM]
  • 4. Funny Games-Haneke (1997) [FILM] ...a disturbing game from the director for sure, but nonetheless Haneke is a master manipulator and the film is undeniably devastating...destroys the audiences psyche and expectations via the perversely "polite" cruelty of the 2 male criminals, and in response, the thoroughly traumatized emotional breakdowns and increasingly bleak outlook of the protagonists...
  • 5. Volunteers-Jefferson Airplane (1969) [MUSIC]
  • 6. In Den Gaerten Pharoas-Popol Vuh (1972) [MUSIC]
  • 7. Original Sin-Pandora's Box (1988) [MUSIC]
  • 8. From Her To Eternity-Nick Cave (1984) [MUSIC]
  • 9. Songs of Leonard Cohen-Leonard Cohen (1968) [MUSIC]
  • 10. Cosmic Interception-Von Lmo (1994) [MUSIC]
  • 11. Pavilion of Dreams-Harold Budd (1976) [MUSIC]
  • 12. The Great Dictator-Chaplin (1940) [FILM]
  • 13. Consumer Revolt-Cop Shoot Cop (1990) [MUSIC]
  • 14. Point Blank-Boorman (1967) [FILM]
  • 15. LA Confidential-Hanson (1997) [FILM]
  • 16. The Sacrifice-Tarkovsky (1986) [FILM]
  • 17. Modern Times-Chaplin (1936) [FILM]
  • 18. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance-Ford (1962) [FILM]
  • 19. The Searchers-Ford (1956) [FILM] (7/10)

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Consumer Revolt-Cop Shoot Cop (1990) [MUSIC] 8/10
  • In Den Gaerten Pharoas-Popol Vuh (1972) [MUSIC] 8.5/10
  • Cosmic Interception-Von Lmo (1994) [MUSIC] 8/10

  • RE-RATED:
  • Have One on Me-Joanna Newsom (2010) [MUSIC] 8/10 to 8.5/10
  • Volunteers-Jefferson Airplane (1969) [MUSIC] 8/10 to 8.5/10
  • Grand Illusion-Renoir (1937) [FILM] 7/10 to 8.5/10
  • Modern Times-Chaplin (1936) [FILM] 7/10 to 7.5/10
  • Viridiana-Bunuel (1961) [FILM] 7.5/10 to 8.5/10
  • Songs of Leonard Cohen-Leonard Cohen (1968) [MUSIC] 8/10 to 8.5/10
  • The Deer Hunter-Cimino (1978) [FILM] 8.5/10 to 8/10
  • The Blue Angel-Von Sternberg (1930) [FILM] 7.5/10 to 8.5/10
  • Wings of Desire-Wenders (1987) [FILM] 8/10 to 8.5/10
  • The Great Dictator-Chaplin (1940) [FILM] 7.5/10 to 8/10
  • Point Blank-Boorman (1967) [FILM] 7.5/10 to 8.5/10
  • Leon: The Professional-Besson (1994) [FILM] 7.5/10 to 8.5/10
  • Funny Games-Haneke (1997) [FILM] 8/10 to 8.5/10
  • Pulp Fiction-Tarantino (1994) [FILM] 8/10 to 8.5/10
  • The Color of Paradise-Majidi (1999) [FILM] 8/10 to 8.5/10
  • PlayTime-Tati (1967) [FILM] 7.5/10 to 8.5/10
  • Belle de Jour-Bunuel (1967) [FILM] 7.5/10 to 8.5/10
  • Satantango-Tarr (1994) [FILM] 8/10 to 8.5/10
  • Lost Highway-Lynch (1997) [FILM] 8/10 to 8.5/10
  • 8 1/2-Fellini (1963) [FILM] 8/10 to 8.5/10
  • Marnie-Hitchcock (1964) [FILM] 7.5/10 to 8/10

  • 3/19/12 - 3/25/12
  • 1. The Color of Paradise-Majidi (1999) [FILM]
  • 2. Strange Days-The Doors (1968) [MUSIC]
  • 3. Marnie-Hitchcock (1964) [FILM] (7.6/10 to 7.7/10)
  • 4. The Blue Angel-Von Sternberg (1930) [FILM] (7.4/10 to 7.5/10)
  • 5. Psycho-Hitchcock (1960) [FILM]
  • 6. Limelight-Chaplin (1952) [FILM]
  • 7. Manhattan-Allen (1979) [FILM]
  • 8. Sunrise-Murnau (1927) [FILM]
  • 9. In the Mood for Love-Kar Wai (2000) [FILM]
  • 10. Casablanca-Curtiz (1942) [FILM] (7/10)

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • In the Mood for Love-Kar Wai (2000) [FILM] 7/10

  • RE-RATED:
  • Come & See-Klimov (1985) [FILM] 8/10 to 9/10 ...for now I'm thinking that lowering its rating was a mistake, but I'll watch it again soon to be sure...
  • Manhattan-Allen (1979) [FILM] 7/10 to 7.5/10
  • The Color of Paradise (1999) [FILM] 7.5/10 to 8/10 ...one of the most sensitive and moving films ever made...


  • 3/12/12 - 3/18/12
  • 1. Mr Arkadin-Welles (1955) [FILM]
  • 2. City of Lost Children-Jeunet (1995) [FILM]
  • 3. Why Has Bohdi Dharma Left for the East?-Yong-Kyun (1989) [FILM]
  • 4. The Graduate-Nichols (1967) [FILM]
  • 5. Close Encounters of the Third Kind-Spielberg (1977) [FILM]
  • 6. Star Wars-Lucas (1977) [FILM] (7.5/10 to 7.4/10)
  • 7. Sullivan's Travels-Sturges (1941) [FILM]

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Why Has Bohdi Dharma Left for the East?-Yong-Kyun (1989) [FILM] 7.5/10 ...an extraordinary, profoundly contemplative film that bridges the gap between Tarkovsky/Ozu and Weerasthakul...
  • Sullivan's Travels-Sturges (1941) [FILM] 7/10 ...about a film director who decides to become a hobo in order to experience what it's like to really suffer, so he can have reality on the subject of his next film...a very swift, expressive film that deftly mixes screwball comedy and pathos...

  • RE-RATED:
  • Mr Arkadin-Welles (1955) [FILM] 7.5/10 to 8.5/10 ...I am in such awe of Welles as a filmmaker...he might have five 9/10+ films (one of them 9.5/10): Citizen Kane, Touch of Evil and Magnificent Ambersons all sure-fire selections, Lady from Shanghai has "been there done that" and could be right back up there in any given viewing, and now the astonishing Mr Arkadin sitting on the cusp...and to think he did this despite significant studio tampering on three of them (Magnificent Ambersons, Lady from Shanghai, Mr Arkadin), some on one of them (Touch of Evil) and nearly having his greatest masterpiece destroyed and never heard from again (Citizen Kane)...it's a testament to his greatness (and a slap in the face of the studios/producers who challenged him) that his best films rank in approximately the sequence of degree in which they were tampered with...
  • Giant-Stevens (1955) [FILM] 7/10 to 7.5/10
  • Come & See-Klimov (1985) [FILM] 9/10 to 8/10


  • 3/5/12 - 3/11/12
  • 1. Blade Runner-Scott (1982) [FILM] ...an astonishing, densely layered masterpiece...intercuts awe-inspiring, haunting apocalyptic visions like recurring nightmares, with a moody, nocturnal science fiction narrative...what might have happened had Orson Welles been given the budget and script to direct a sci-fi film...
  • 2. King of New York-Ferrara (1990) [FILM]
  • 3. Cries & Whispers-Bergman (1973) [FILM]
  • 4. 8 1/2-Fellini (1963) [FILM]
  • 5. Texas Chainsaw Massacre-Hooper (1974) [FILM]
  • 6. Memento-Nolan (2000) [FILM]
  • 7. Face/Off-Woo (1997) [FILM]
  • 8. Trainspotting-Boyle (1996) [FILM]
  • 9. Red-Kieslowski (1994) [FILM] (7.7/10 to 7.5/10)
  • 10. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre-Huston (1948) [FILM]

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre-Hooper (1974) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • King of New York-Ferrara (1990) [FILM] 7.5/10 ...mesmerizing, riveting, ultra-violent gangster film about a druglord with an insatiable power fixation...

  • RE-RATED:
  • 8 1/2-Fellini (1963) [FILM] 9/10 to 8/10
  • Blade Runner-Scott (1982) [FILM] 8.5/10 to 9/10
  • Cries & Whispers-Bergman (1973) [FILM] 8/10 to 8.5/10
  • The Deer Hunter-Cimino (1978) [FILM] 8/10 to 8.5/10

  • 2/27/12 - 3/4/12
  • 1. Taxi Driver-Scorsese (1976) [FILM]
  • 2. Hero-Yimou (2004) [FILM] (7.8/10 to 8.0/10)
  • 3. Battleship Potemkin-Eisenstein (1925) [FILM]
  • 4. The Empire Strikes Back-Kershner (1980) [FILM]
  • 5. Lady from Shanghai-Welles (1947) [FILM]
  • 6. Splendor in the Grass-Kazan (1961) [FILM] (7.6/10 to 7.5/10)
  • 7. The Ballad of Narayama-Imamura (1983) [FILM]
  • 8. Jules & Jim-Truffaut (1962) [FILM]
  • 9. Grave of the Fireflies-Takahata (1988) [FILM]

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Grave of the Fireflies-Takahata (1988) [FILM] 7/10 ...haunting, elegaic and moving animated war film about a brother and sister in their efforts to survive World War II in Japan...
  • Waking Life-Linklater (2001) [FILM] 6.5/10

  • RE-RATED:
  • The Empire Strikes Back-Kershner (1980) [FILM] 7/10 to 7.5/10
  • Battleship Potemkin-Eisenstein (1925) [FILM] 9/10 to 8.5/10
  • The Deer Hunter-Cimino (1978) [FILM] 8.5/10 to 8/10
  • Cries & Whispers-Bergman (1973) [FILM] 8.5/10 to 8/10
  • Taxi Driver-Scorsese (1976) [FILM] 8/10 to 9/10
  • The Ballad of Narayama-Imamura (1983) [FILM] 8.5/10 to 7.5/10
  • La Strada-Fellini 7.5/10 to 7/10
  • Pi-Aronofsky (1998) 9/10 to 7.5/10
  • Zardoz-Boorman (1972) 9/10 to 8.5/10

  • 2/20/12 - 2/26/12
  • 1. Walkabout-Roeg (1971) [FILM]
  • 2. Andrei Rublev-Tarkovsky (1966) [FILM] (7.6/10 to 7.4/10) ...so intimidating in scope and impressive in the fluid, dream-like beauty and uncompromising, terrible reality of its scenes that it all but commands that it be declared a masterpiece...and frankly, for portions of its running time, it rises to peaks few films ever have; its mid-section especially, being among the most powerful in the history of film...
  • 3. American Beauty-Mendes (1999) [FILM]
  • 4. Mr Smith Goes to Washington-Capra (1939) [FILM]
  • 5. A Clockwork Orange-Kubrick (1971) [FILM]
  • 6. His Girl Friday-Hawks (1940) [FILM]
  • 7. La Strada-Fellini (1954) [FILM]
  • 8. The Devil's Advocate-Hackford (1998) [FILM]
  • 9. To Be or Not To Be-Lubitsch (1942) [FILM]
  • 10. Bicycle Thieves-DeSica (1948) [FILM]

  • RE-RATED:
  • The Devil's Advocate-Hackford (1998) [FILM] 7.5/10 to 7/10
  • Bicycle Theives-DeSica (1948) [FILM] 7.5/10 to 7/10

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • His Girl Friday-Hawks (1940) [FILM] 7.5/10
  • To Be or Not To Be-Lubitsch (1942) [FILM] 7/10

  • 2/13/12 - 2/19/12
  • 1. Dead Man-Jarmusch (1995) [FILM] (7.4/10 to 7.6/10)
  • 2. Fatal Attraction-Lyne (1987) [FILM]
  • 3. The Game-Fincher (1997) [FILM]
  • 4. Cache-Haneke (2005) [FILM]
  • 5. Airplane!-Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker (1980) [FILM]
  • 6. Ghostbusters-Reitman (1984) [FILM] (7/10) ...pretty fun to return to one of my favorite movies as a kid, at least 15 years since I last watched it...an absolutely bonkers comedy/horror movie...

  • RE-RATED:
  • ET: The Extra Terrestrial-Spielberg (1982) [FILM] 7/10 to 6/10
  • Rain Man-Levinson (1988) [FILM] 7/10 to 6.5/10
  • Fatal Attraction-Lyne (1987) [FILM] 7/10 to 7.5/10

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Stranger Than Paradise-Jarmusch (1984) [FILM] 6.5/10
  • Airplane!-Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker (1980) [FILM] 7/10 ...Up until now I thought I'd seen this film, but that was actually Airplane II...this classic is a relentlessly satirical, often very funny, highly influential comedy of gags and puns that pokes fun at disaster films and, within that, several stereotypes and aspects of society...

  • 2/6/12 - 2/12/12
  • 1. Nostalghia-Tarkovsky (1983) [FILM]
  • 2. Come & See-Klimov (1985) [FILM]
  • 3. Pi-Aronofsky (1998) [FILM]
  • 4. The Killing-Kubrick (1955) [FILM]
  • 5. Sansho the Bailiff-Mizoguchi (1954) [FILM]
  • 6. Lord of the Rings-Jackson (2001) [FILM]

  • RE-RATED:
  • Lord of the Rings-Jackson (2001) [FILM] 6.5/10 to 7/10
  • Sansho the Bailiff-Mizoguchi (1954) [FILM] 8/10 to 7.5/10
  • Lola Montes-Ophuls (1955) [FILM] 7/10 to 6.5/10

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • The Killing-Kubrick (1955) [FILM] 7/10


  • 1/30/12 - 2/5/12
  • 1. Sansho the Bailiff-Mizoguchi (1954) [FILM]
  • 2. Eternity and a Day-Angelopoulos (1998) [FILM]
  • 3. Shame-Bergman (1968) [FILM]
  • 4. The Truman Show-Weir (1998) [FILM]
  • 5. Red Desert-Antonioni (1964) [FILM]
  • 6. Lolita-Kubrick (1962) [FILM]
  • 7. Amateur-Hartley (1994) [FILM]
  • 8. Syndromes and a Century-Weerasethakul (2006) [FILM]
  • 9. Fitzcarraldo-Herzog (1981) [FILM]
  • 10. Tokyo Story-Ozu (1953) [FILM]

  • RE-RATED:
  • Tokyo Story-Ozu (1953) [FILM] 7.5/10 to 7/10

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Eternity and a Day-Angelopoulos (1998) [FILM] 7.5/10 ...A deeply poetic film of a man on the verge of submitting himself into a hospital for his final days while trying to complete a long unfinished poem. Before he goes to the hospital, he meets an orphan, a young boy, which soon finds him on a journey of sorts, a series of ruminations and dreamscapes to where the film itself becomes the remaining contents of the poem, and simultaneously a nostalgic yearning back upon his life. Recalls Tarkovsky's incredible Nostalghia on several occasions. It is becoming increasingly clear to me that Angelopoulos is easily one of the very greatest (and probably the most underrated) directors in film history...
  • The Earrings of Madame De...-Ophuls (1953) [FILM] 6.5/10 ...elegant film with gliding, beautifully choreographed camera movement that recalls Welles' Magnificent Ambersons...
  • Amateur-Hartley (1994) [FILM] 7/10 ...very amusing, idiosynchratic mystery/comedy/romance (actually it's hard to pin down what exactly it is as it constantly jumps genres - one of its many charms)...
  • Syndromes and a Century-Weerasethakul (2006) [FILM] 7/10 ...highly enigmatic tale about two hospitals separated by decades yet joined in dichotomy and on a metaphysical plane where events approximately duplicate themselves and profound mysteries are examined...
  • Fitzcarraldo-Herzog (1981) [FILM] 7/10
  • Sansho the Bailiff-Mizoguchi (1954) [FILM] 8/10 ...very moving, tragic film of perseverance and its consequences in the face of feudal Japan and a slave-owning tyrant...
  • Red Desert-Antonioni (1964) [FILM] 7/10 ...had never seen the whole film until now...an utterly beguiling experience, entering otherworldly realms of filmic communication and emotion...
  • Lolita-Kubrick (1962) [FILM] 7/10
  • Shame-Bergman (1968) [FILM] 7.5/10 ...an amazing, emotionally complex film about a couple enduring the affect of war on their lives...not sure how or why, but this is easily Bergman's most underrated film...


  • 1/23/12 - 1/29/12
  • 1. Citizen Kane-Welles (1941) [FILM]
  • 2. Late Spring-Ozu (1949) [FILM]
  • 3. Platoon-Stone (1986) [FILM] (7/10)
  • 4. Eyes Wide Shut-Kubrick (1999) [FILM] (7/10)

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Late Spring-Ozu (1949) [FILM] 7.5/10 ...in the face of such Zen tranquility (the images, the characters, the editing, the music), simple emotions about normal life situations take on a lot more complexity, significance and power...
  • The Leopard-Visconti (1963) [FILM] 6.5/10
  • The Element of Crime-Von Trier (1984) [FILM] 6/10 ...Von Trier's feature length debut about a cop who while under hypnosis, recounts his search for a killer by attempting to adopt his point of view ...a disorienting, unique, forbidding film noir with moody, striking visuals and camera movement. Awkwardly paced and disjointed but never less than interesting, it showed some of the promise that Von Trier would polish up by the time he made Europa...
  • Barry Lyndon-Kubrick (1975) [FILM] 6.5/10

  • RE-RATED:
  • Melancholia-Von Trier (2011) [FILM] 7/10 to 7.5/10
  • Faces-Cassavettes (1968) [FILM] 7/10 to 7.5/10


  • 1/16/12 - 1/22/12
  • 1. Raging Bull-Scorsese (1980) [FILM]
  • 2. The Belly of an Architect-Greenaway (1987) [FILM]
  • 3. Army of Shadows-Melville (1969) [FILM]
  • 4. Full Metal Jacket-Kubrick (1987) [FILM] (7/10)

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Army of Shadows-Melville (1969) [FILM] 7/10
  • The Belly of an Architect-Greenaway (1987) [FILM] 7/10
  • The Draughtman's Contract-Greenaway (1982) [FILM] 6.5/10


  • 1/9/12 - 1/15/12
  • 1. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover-Greenaway (1989) [FILM]
  • 2. Badlands-Malick (1972) [FILM]
  • 3. Paths of Glory-Kubrick (1957) [FILM]
  • 4. Don't Look Now-Roeg (1973) [FILM]
  • 5. Winter Light-Bergman (1962) [FILM]
  • 6. Scott Pilgrim vs the World-Wright (2010) [FILM]

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • Don't Look Now-Roeg (1973) [FILM] 7/10
  • Winter Light-Bergman (1962) [FILM] 7/10
  • Paths of Glory-Kubrick (1957) [FILM] 7/10
  • Gone With the Wind-Fleming (1939) [FILM] 6.5/10 ...after all these years, it's pretty damn silly that I've never seen the Holy Grail of Epic Golden Age of Hollywood movies, but there you go - I held out long enough - the biggest gap in my film viewing is closed - all melodramatic 4 hours of it. It's a very well made film, particularly the 1st 1/2, which features some of the most vibrant and extraordinary technicolor visuals in film history. The civil war sequences are very well done and the film reaches a climactic pitch by the end of part 1. Part 2 is mostly an amusing, elaborate game between Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara, while characters die around them to help them sort out the script in order to find the answer of who wins :)
  • Scott Pilgrim vs the World-Wright (2010) [FILM] 7/10 ...considering the source material and the, ummm, thematic content, it is hard to imagine it being much better...in terms of visuals, and especially editing, it is quite amazing...

  • 1/1/12 - 1/8/12
  • 1. Brazil-Gilliam (1985) [FILM]
  • 2. Zardoz-Boorman (1972) [FILM]
  • 3. Fanny & Alexander-Bergman (1982) [Original TV Version, 312 minutes] [FILM]
  • 4. The Black Swan-Aronofsky (2010) [FILM]
  • 5. Ugetsu Monogatari-Mizoguchi (1954) [FILM]

  • RE-RATED:
  • The General-Keaton (1925) [FILM] 7/10 to 6.5/10

  • NEW ACQUISITIONS RATED:
  • The Wrestler-Aronofsky (2008) [FILM] 6/10
  • Fanny & Alexander-Bergman (1982) [Original TV Version, 312 minutes] [FILM] 7/10 ...sublime...Bergman's (semi?) autobiographical look back upon a couple years of his youth...a perfectly captured film, with flawless, emotionally invested performances all around...
  • Antichrist-Von Trier (2009) [FILM] 6.5/10 ...pretty startling, with a handful of awe-inspiring visuals...
  • The Black Swan-Aronofsky (2010) [FILM] 7/10 ...riveting psychological thriller about a ballerina vying for the lead role in Swan Lake...Aronofsky employs his usual dramatic intensity, transforming a well-plotted film into a momentous adrenaline rush over its final third as Portman's sense of reality collapses...

I always felt like Antichrist was a little bit half-hearted in style (which it makes up for with Von Trier's most extreme content). Von Trier was just out of a deep depression when it was made, so he was kind of not exactly putting his all into it (notably not doing any of the camerawork, as he usually does some). That said, it is far from a bad work, and in some ways cleared the way for Melancholia's triumphs.

I totally agree. I thought it was a sporadically great film that never quite fulfilled its potential - especially when compared to other monstrous, intense psychological thriller/horror films like Zulawski's way more powerful Possession.

Scott Pilgrim sort of struck me as gaudy for the sake of gaudy, style-over-substance to the absolute extreme. Many of the things it did could have been interesting if it weren't gigantically misogynistic (every woman's problem in the film centres around how they have some kind of unrequited love for Scott (who is an extremely awful person on every level, but the story treats him as some kind of adorable infallible everyman (ie, a Mary Sue)) and a story that amounted to nothing at all.
One thing that annoyed me is that they don't really use the videogame tropes in any logical way. Why is 21,000 the amount of points that gets Scott the extra life? Why is it that the first evil-ex that he had difficulty only gives him a toonie and some pennies and the henchmen he has no trouble punching to death with a single blow explode into body-outlines of coins (and he only levels up at the very end for no real reason, just to add more videogame tropes into it).
To the movie's credit, they did use the music from Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past quite well, and certain transitions were legitimately interesting in how it employed certain ways of moving through scenes that are more at home in novels than movies, or finding a way of adding the very graphic character of the comic books to make a certain visual impact onscreen without becoming gigantically stiff and flat (like Watchmen or other films that just use the comics as storyboards). Some of the performances were good too; it takes talent on Michael Cera's part to make me so thoroughly hate his character within a minute of the film.
I heard in the books Scott is called to task on his bullshit far more often and actually grows and learns how to not be the worst person in the world (evidence this doesn't happen in the movie: He immediately befriends what is supposed to be the representation of everything that is evil and bad inside him; they're going to get waffles.)

I think we differ here in that I thought the film was way too fun to bother with worrying about the morality of its characters. I thought it was a comical, intentionally overexaggerated comment on the state of mind of society's teens/young adults being transfixed in a hallucination of video games and engaging in gossip, unintelligent, trivial "battles" between one another, etc, at the expense of actual intellectual and social progress. The so-called "character progress" in the film was a big joke, being represented by 1ups and points scored and "chilling" nightmares/dreams, fake deaths, advice from idiotic friends, etc (endless variations). I thought the movie was often hilarious, sometimes even relentlessly so.

I think it would have been fun if everyone wasn't a generally horrible person. But that's kind of an interesting point of view-- seeing it as some kind of meta-critique on essential shallowness of early-20-somthing-relationships or something.

(Fun thing to note: Someone actually de-friended me on facebook over me disliking Scott Pilgrim. :P)

(Also: Noting you just saw Gone With The Wind-- for your next dose of grandiose epic period film, you ought to check out Visconti's The Leopard.)

Re: de-friending you for that reason... that is absurdly silly :) That is actually symptomatic of the stereo-type the film itself is so loudly expressing! No wonder he/she felt so strongly about it!

Oh man, I've wanted to see The Leopard for forever. I keep forgetting to order it from my library. Thanks, I am going to go do that right away :)

It was the funniest thing ever to happen to me on facebook! He said "Zac, I don't appreciate your comments... Not everyone agrees with you!"-- but then an old friend from highschool commented "Ron, I don't appreciate your comment... Not everyone agrees with you!". So that was pretty badass.

I actually had a great chance to see The Leopard in 35mm at a theatre-- they were showing it for the anniversary of Italian Risorgimento-- and it was an awe-inspiring experience.
(in addition to amazing performances, tensely deliberate pacing, a highly discerning eye, yet a very loving view of people-- it has the cutest gigantic dog in it)

Re: facebook ... Lol!

Re: The Leopard ... just got it from the library and will be seeing it soon :)

Re facebook-- And that guy is now acting all buddy-buddy to me in a really weird way and suggesting movies for me to see after he blocked me specifically over not-liking a movie he liked. I should ask him what the hell sometime soon.

And Yaaaaaay I hope you like it.

Re: facebook... we live on planet Earth, people are silly...

Re: The Leopard, I knocked out Barry Lyndon first, which was good. I'm about 45 minutes into The Leopard and it so far seems like it will be the better of the two epics.

Ha, that reminds me that I need to see Gone with the Wind. I know it's not fair to judge something based on snippets, but I've seen very small pieces of the movie and can't fathom sitting through four hours of it. A 7 hour Bela Tarr film? No problem, but this might test my patience.

One of these days!

It's definitely not Satantango or Werckmeister Harmonies, but it is a good film. The superb (at times stunning) visuals and the charismatic performances of Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable, among some good character actors, keep it interesting. The whole production has a certain kind of charisma to it that you really don't see anymore. You do have to go into it with the mindset that you're going to be watching a very-Hollywood-esque film which if done well has a certain magic in itself, and Gone With the Wind is one of the better ones. As a matter of fact, the second 1/4th of it is a tour de force.

Large portions of Gone With The Wind were written by a man who would later basically invent psychological horror-- Val Lewton. So if you dug flourishes like the depot scene, what Lewton did when he got his own productions (The Seventh Victim, I Walked With A Zombie, Cat People...) might be worth checking out.
He's an interesting figure, one of the few producers who held more of a "directorial" hand in their films than the directors!

I think I've seen a Lewton movie a decade ago or so, some old horror film that was quite good. Thanks, I'll have to look into him a bit.

If you can find it, the book about him and his films "The Reality Of Terror" gives quite a good insight on them, if a little on the simple side, and sometimes kind of dumb. It's still the best-written book about Lewton.
His horror movies are neat just for how minimal they are. One of the founding fathers of "psychological horror" or even "symbolic horror"-- Cat People being more about loneliness than were-felines, I Walked With A Zombie being more about cultural memory than the undead, The Seventh Victim being more about failure than satanist murders, etc.

Sounds interesting, thanks. He's a director I'll have to check out more of.

**producer.

But still!

Blah :)

Greenaway's Belly of an Architect -great movie! I'd rate the film somewhere between an 87% and a 90%. I found the film about as human as an Antonioni film -about as stylish too. The cinematography (and, really, the entire pace of the film) is touching. I'd prob rate the film higher if the ending had moved me as much as many of the scenes within the film did.

I too can see the Antonioni comparison and, as well as some Fellini and a touch of Tarkovsky's Nostalghia (just a touch).

instead of movies and music, how about some artwork for this week:
http://pressimages.fondationbeyeler.ch/sites/default/files/fondation_bey... [my favorite painting]

I rate that one highly too - Dali is amazing :) Though right now I'm not really in paintings-mode...mainly films...

Barry Lyndon only 6.5? Why?

Because I thought it was an engaging, well-made film. The visuals were technically impressive, but although very accurately representing the period paintings of that era I don't find that style that visually extraordinary/powerful/emotionally resonant. The satire was slightly underplayed (intentionally) and remained lightly comedic throughout. The story kept me interested. The film was more effective as satire than drama. Had it been more of both I think it would have been much better. I probably would've rated it a 7/10, or perhaps higher, had Barry's downfall over the second 1/2 managed to move me more. If I had to pick a weakness of the film it was in the relatively unimaginitive editing/composition (whereas Kubrick is generally one of the greatest film composers ever) and which, for me, was too slow (given the less-than-amazing content) and failed to accumulate much momentum to the film. It just kind of moved along in a conservative manner - effective but not earth-shattering. What do you find amazing about the film?

I suppose that is what I enjoyed about it, it was constantly engaging, had several memorable scenes, and somehow seemed to cram several movie-length plotlines into one. But I do see your point, and can't really deny anything you said. I just finished L'Avventura, what did you think of that?

Just know that a 6.5 is, in my system, by no means a bad film. It's between "good" (6/10) and "excellent" or "partially amazing" (7/10). The average film is 5/10 and a 6.5 is far superior to that.

L'Avventura (7/10) ... I'm not sure the art of film would be the same without it. Emotionally, the film was quite forward-looking. Along with Hiroshima Mon Amour it really paved the way for a new kind of modern art film that emerged during the period, challenging directors to explore new intellectual and emotional complexities. I think it's a beautiful film. Antonioni really does an amazing job showing the void of communication between the characters, both in the landscapes and in their interactions. It's quite a profound film - with moods and an overall milieu that is fascinating and inexplicable.

Note: by Kubrick being one of the greatest "film composers ever" I am referring to the editing/structuring of his films, not music composition. Though you could actually say the same thing about his choices of music for his films.

I like how you pinpointed Barry Lyndon's lack of "momentum" throughout its second 1/2. I agree with you completely, and I would prob rate the film somewhere around an 87% (which seems to be roughly a 7/10 on your scale). In AsColdAsIce's defense, however, I would like to bring up one scene:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQsm4wfoTnk

This scene is easily one of the most emotional, moving scenes in the history of cinema, and for me, made Barry Lyndon worth while. If I were to rate this scene, I'd rate it a 99% as I find it to be as moving as the rape scene in Landscape in the Mist...which is also heartbreaking

While I don't agree with you that it is one of the most emotional, moving scenes in the history of cinema, I do completely agree that it is the most moving scene in the film, and the most moving of Kubrick's career.

Re: "momentum", not just the second 1/2, but the film in general. I actually thought it's second 1/2 was the superior of the 2 and almost made up enough ground to rate a 7/10 on my scale.

Fun thing about Element of Crime: Von Trier has since disowned that work, saying that it's "nothing but a Tarkovsky imitation."

Visually and in the pacing I can definitely see the resemblance. And there's no doubt Von Trier admires Tarkovsky (and of course Dreyer). Also, his next film, Medea, is very Dreyer-esque in execution (the original script is Dreyer), though Tarkovsy-esque visually - and one of the most stunning visual experiences in the history of film (visually its on par with Stalker) - though DO NOT watch the low quality "Facets" release (who also effed up Werckmeister Harmonies). I don't usually recommend watching films on youtube but in this case the site does have a good quality version of Medea posted by one of the users there (in 8 parts I think), and I recommend seeing it there.

What are your thoughts on the Andrei Rublev part where a horse is shot in the neck and thrown down a set of stairs during a battle scene? That was all real--no simulation. This is what Tarkovsky said about it:

"Compare it to a mosaic. You can stick your nose into some fragment, beat it with your fist, and yell: "Why is it black here? It shouldn't be black here! I don't like looking at black!" But you have to look at a mosaic from afar and on the whole, and if you change one color the whole thing falls apart." (a lot more is said here)

I think the film's an unmitigated masterpiece but I've never been able to get over the brutality--ethically, not aesthetically--of this scene. Seems unnecessary. But he was a genius and I'm not so I'll defer to him.

Well, from a purely ethical standpoint I don't agree with it. I feel bad for the horse every time I see it.

That said, as a filmed image, it adds to the amazing realism and choreography of that whole invasion/battle sequence.

I think that whole battle sequence through to the aftermath scene where Rublev is sitting in the church amongst all the dead bodies talking to an apparition of Theophanes is one of the most extraordinary portions of a film in Tarkovsy's career. Also, the scene where the man (Jesus?) is making his way up the snowy hills to be crucified, a crowd following him, and the woman crying all over him -that is (imo) the first sequence of Tarkovsky's career that thoroughly demonstrated the staggering cinematic genuis he would become (and was alredy becoming).

I agree with you that Andrei Rublev is a masterpiece in the context of film history (anything in the 7.5 range or above could be called such as these are still the top 200 [eventually probably more like 300], out of the gazillions of films that have been made).

I think the glimpses of what was to come occurred in Ivan's Childhood, and in Andrei Rublev we see him come into his genius. It's like Beethoven's 3rd. He finally came into his own and created a masterpiece; but the amazing part is he got even better after that. I don't think any other film captures the pain and torture of being an artist (Edvard Munch comes the closest) as well as Andrei Rublev did. The hot air balloon the film opens with is just about as good as anything he ever committed to film, but of course there's also the church, and the naked people in the forest, and that amazing scene where the bell is cast. The one image that has stayed with me is the horses at the very end. Somehow the plain and ordinary is turned into the sublime--echoes of Rembrandt.

I pretty much agree with everything you've said. Ivan's Childhood definitely shows an already great director. I think Rublev shows him becoming one of the greatest of all time. Solaris too. And then from The Mirror on he was one of the greatest artistic geniuses who's ever lived.

You mention later that you found the horses at the very very end of the film to be a really striking/staying moment for you-- you think removing the brutality toward the horse in that scene would remove from that feeling in some way? Like the seeing-the-mosaic-as-a-whole thing?
And as much as it is a somewhat weak excuse, the horse was going to be killed the following day anyhow, as far as I have read.

Hmm, interesting observation, it hadn't crossed my mind. I wouldn't be surprised if, subconsciously, the brutality of the dying horse amidst a war in black and white teased out how moving the simplicity of coloured horses in the rain are.

Yeah, I read about how the horse was taken from a glue factory or something. In any case, there's something gratuitous about watching a horse die in front of you in comparison to using its products for arts and crafts =).

I'm glad you find that interesting-- it makes sense to me and also relates back to Tarkovsky's kind of weirdly stated point about "the-mosaic-as-a-whole" or however he put it.

As I said, it's hardly a very compelling excuse. I wonder if it can be said that the lives touched by that film on a whole are worth that horse's treatment.

Marquee and AfterHours, I think you both make amazing observations. I recently watched Andrei Rublev for the first time, and for portions of the film, I was debating whether or not it should be considered his magnum opus. The hot air balloon scene was astounding, (for me) reminiscent of the opening scene in Fellini's 8 1/2 where the man flies away into the sky as his leg is attached to a rope held by a man near a beach. The Tatar invasion scene (...the horse scene) I found to be one of the most brutal, realistic and wholly powerful moments in the history of cinema -perhaps in the history of modern art- and for that, I can sacrifice a horse...though I do find Tarkovsky's doing so sad, I, at no time, became maudlin because of the scene. I will admit that the ending was a bit of a let down for me but not one worth compromising (much of) my rating of the film as a whole. The cinematography and the thematic expansion in Andrei Rublev are remarkable, but I'm curious as to both of your thoughts on the dialogue and the film score. I was blown away not only by the technicality of each character's vocabulary but also by the punch packed into each and every spoken word. And the film score: darkly whimsical!

AfterHours, I cannot understand how or why you would drop the film from a 7.6 to a 7.4 ...consequently placing it behind films like Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), The Killer (1989) and La Dolce Vita (1960) -not to mention suggested masterpieces (9/10) like Hush...Hush Sweet Charlotte (1965)- on your list. I'm not trying to critique your rating system at all. I'm just wondering what criteria sets the film behind all those mentioned as I find all those -and nearly all films ranked 7.8 (and lower) on your list to be of lesser quality overall. Give me a heads up! I just bought my Criterion Collection version of the film, have viewed it just 3 times and have yet to find discrepancies worthy of placing it as low as you do.

Andrei Rublev is a difficult film to rate because, throughout its running time it fluctuates from being one of the most masterful films ever made (and showing every bit the mastery Tarkovsky would exhibit later in his career), to employing scenes that, although are by no means badly directed or flawed on their own or anything of the sort, inhibit the momentum/transcendance of what's been built before, so to speak. None of this is flawed compared to 99% of all films ever made, but only relative when considering the difference between a 7.5 and a 9. Adding to the difficulty is that Rublev's scope gives it a significance and weight that can "cover" these so-called "relative flaws".

Without getting overly complex, after the scene where Rublev is speaking/confessing to the apparition of Theophanes (which I believe is around the 2 hr mark), we are left with the rest of the film: the scene back home where the mentally deficient girl gets taken away, and then the whole bell-maker sequence, and then the colorful ending observing Rublev's paintings. During this last 1 hr 25 minutes (approx) of the film, Rublev maintains a foothold of interest but doesn't particularly continue to transcend as it had done up until before that point (with some minor exceptions such as the aforementioned colorful climax and short sections of the bell-making sequence such as when the bell-maker breaks down in the mud about not knowing his father's secret).

Andrei Rublev has greater high points than Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Killer, La Dolce Vita, and even Hush...Hush Sweet Charlotte, but all these films are more consistent and end up being a more impressive experience overall (the first 3 barely so if even at all, and Hush...Hush Sweet Charlotte significantly so). That said, unless you're very familiar with all these films, they may not be the easiest ones to make a direct comparison because they're so different than Rublev. An easier comparison to a 9/10 might be something like Kusturica's Underground which is an intensely emotional and transcendant experience throughout its running time - that, at least to me, shows the difference between a 9/10 and Rublev more clearly. An easier comparison te see versus Raiders might be North by Northwest, to The Killer might be Aliens, and to La Dolce Vita might be Nashville - each have similarities and parallel emotional arcs to the other, only the 9/10 counterparts are clearly superior in (virtually) every way (imo).

A precise description of my criteria (which you may find helpful) could go:

"My selections are rated according to their singularity, degree and frequency of emotionally resonant and/or compelling content."

Andrei Rublev is an epic, and as in nearly all epics, the pace and contextual splendors within can be most accurately described as "sweeping." Sections of the film (like the bell-maker sequence) are extremely EXTREMELY symbolic (it would literally take pages and pages for me to fully explicate the relevancy of bell(s) in context with the thematic happenings within Rublev). I bring this up because even though mentioned sequences, like the latter, don't resonate as heavy visually -perhaps even emotionally- as say the Tatar invasion sequence, I can assure you that it is as necessary (thematically) as any in the film. Furthermore, it helps to conclude the "sweeping" pace and overall cinematic portrait that is Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublev...but, yes, I do fully agree with you that the film loses some momentum post the Theophanes apparition scene.

I am very surprised, however, that you allow consistency to take precedence over integrity. I'm fully aware that Raiders of the Lost Arc maintains an emotional consistency from it's 2/3 mark to its 3/3 mark that (perhaps) Rublev does not...just as I'm aware that Transformers maintains a consistency throughout that (perhaps) Wild Strawberries does not. But I would never sacrifice the profound effect (and overall cinematic integrity) the latter has on me for the consistent, compelling entertainment the former provided for me. I say this because films like Andrei Rublev, The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, etc., (though meandering and perhaps even boring in parts) are cinematic works of art -high art. They are films that stay with a man; they cause the viewer to examine and re-examine his life days, months, years after viewing; Films like Raiders... and The Killer are films, that although technically superb (revolutionary as in the case for Woo's The Killer), do not. They are cinematic treats that are used to entertain children and to influence film students. Though great, they don't affect the human spirit nearly as much as the masterpieces I previously mentioned.

And as far as Hush...Hush Sweet Charlotte goes...well I can tell you this: I own it, I've watched it numerous times, and at no point was my mind/spirit elevated to the peaks it touched while watching Andrei Rublev. To be completely truthful, I find Hush...Hush...to be an extremely sombre movie-going experience...though the acting and dialogue are extremely noteworthy, worth writing about critically.

I am very anxious to view Kusturica's Underground though. I can definitely see how viewing a film (comparable in experience) would allow for a hefty rating change: after viewing Andrei Rublev, I knew I immediately had to re-rate Lawrence of Arabia as Rublev is clearly better...though I do find both epics to be singular in aim and affect.

It's not about "integrity over consistency" at all.

"My selections are rated according to their singularity, degree and frequency of emotionally resonant and/or compelling content."

A film like Raiders of the Lost Ark isn't even making an attempt to be the type of film that Rublev is. In Spielberg's career, Schindler's List would fall more closely into that category. I am well aware of the symbolic meaning of the bell-making sequence, most notably that it is a microcosm of Rublev's own fate and turmoil as an artist and represents a spiritual and communal artistic awakening. It is an extremely important sequence to the movie. I do believe that had it used Eisensteinian montage, even the Tarkovsky preferred slow-mo kind (as in The Mirror), it would have elevated into a state of holy, emotional transcendence, and I'd probably be rating the film a 9 and we wouldn't be having this conversation.

We basically just view, and thus rate, films differently. I can find a ferociously intense and suspenseful film like Aliens to be just as awe-inspiring as a beautifully profound Tarkovsky or Angelopoulos film. I absolutely dock a film points if it is boring. How much of a so-called "work of art" it is means nothing to me if it bores me or fails to entice feeling. The result is what matters to me. "How significant an effect did it have upon me?" is the entire crux of my final analysis. I don't give a film "objective" credit. I don't find films like Wild Strawberries, Andrei Rublev or The Seventh Seal boring at all. I absolutely find something like Transformers pretty boring. I don't agree with you at all that Raiders or The Killer are used to entertain children and influence film students - even if they do. They are two of the most intense/exhilarating experiences in film history. I don't think it is necessarily a greater experience of the human spirit to be in "profound contemplation" versus "intensely exhilarated". Each is a transcendant, spiritual experience, even if arrived at by completely different means.

Fair enough. If you can live with rating The Killer as a finer work than Andrei Rublev, then so can I. We obviously have differing perceptions as to what is cinematically "intense." We most likely have similar perceptions as to what is "exhilarating." I think you've a fair understanding of my rating system...

On a less confrontational note, I'd like to suggest Robert Bresson to you. Marquee and Zacharyyy seem to be great admirers of his, and so now am I. I recently watched Pickpocket (1959), which was incredible, and am slowly but surely working my way through his catalogue. I'm sure Bresson's many more masterpieces, but being that I've seen just Pickpocket, I can recommend only it to you. It is awesome.

The difference between Rublev (as I inferred above) and the 7.5's is negligable. Most anything on my list from about 7.7 on down is not as secure in its positioning as most of what's above that. I'd say everything from 7.7 down could be +/- .1 or .2 points from what I've currently rated it (some are more certain than others), though I'm secure at this point that Rublev is no higher than a 7.5 on my scale.

I like the Bresson I've seen so far a lot, which is only Au Hasard Balthazar. I currently rate it 7.2/10 (just below my current list). I have plans to watch all the rest of his major films as I have a feeling he could have a few films to add to my 7.3+ Extended list. Including a rewatch of Au Hasard, Pickpocket is one of those, A Man Escaped, Lancelot Du Lac, etc.

To anyone who identifies more with my rock album choices than my film choices: if the following albums were all made by the same artist, how highly would you think of that artist?

-Faust-Faust (1971)
-The Velvet Underground & Nico-The Velvet Underground (1967)
-Third-Soft Machine (1970)
-Safe as Milk-Captain Beefheart (1967)
-One of Frank Zappa's 8/10 albums, such as Freak Out or Absolutely Free, etc [or possibly Uncle Meat (1969)]

That's what Orson Welles achieved in film (imo) with the following: Citizen Kane, Touch of Evil, The Magnificent Ambersons, Mr Arkadin, and Lady from Shanghai.

Out of curiosity, how many films do you actually watch per week?

Usually the same as what I post on here, so I'd say I average about 8-10 (a film/album can only make it on here if I watched/listened to it that week). Though, if I see one that I rate lower than 6/10 I don't share that here. I'm not much of a "critic". I'm more like an "enthusiast" in that I only promote or share films that I enjoy.

Yay albums are back!

Yep :) I'm reacquainting myself with 8.5's as well as listening to potential ones that I haven't yet heard.

Major changes are happening on my films lists. Here's why:

1) Within the last handful of months I've rewatched my entire top 200 (with the possible exception of a few) and many below that level, leading to various re-considerations and observations along the way, which are now coming to a head.

2) I recently began going back through my music list (8/10 - 8.5/10) and am realizing that my "scale" has been "off" in the same range for films. In other words, as I am now comparing 8/10-8.5/10 albums to my "Greatest Films - Extended" list, it seems like I've been underrating several films.

Anyway, already several upgrades have happened. I am going back through albums/films at a mad rate right now, and I estimate there will be many more changes on the way. I am not sure if I will keep pace with all the updates here, so if you're interested, I recommend keeping an eye on my "Greatest Films - Extended" list where they will be shown in full.

Since music is still on the menu here, I invite you to listen to Symphony No. 3 (1983) by Witold Lutosławski. It is unmistakably a work of genius. Scaruffi ranked it 8th on his list 'Most Significant Works of Music 1950-1990'.

[1/3]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK8gvqWEFpk&feature=player_embedded

[2/3]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP3ozM3pLBA&feature=relmfu

[3/3]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHpo3KV-8Yo&feature=player_embedded

You don't like Lutosławski?

Just forgot to get back to you. Thanks for the link. I'm pretty sure I've heard it before, and it was great - but it's been a few years. I may squeeze a listen or 2 into the next few days, but if not, I'll definitely be coming around to it when I go back through classical music.

“...when I go back through classical music.”

It’s good to hear that. I feel rather alienated on this website, since everyone around here is so involved with cinema.

Yes, should be quite soon that I'll be going back through classical. It will be fun to revisit so many favorites (many still unlisted on my classical list), as well as all the works I still need to discover :-)

I am interested to find out just how many 9's and 9.5's there are. Are there several in each sub-genre (concertos, symphonies, operas, sonatas, etc)? Or, are there just a sampling from each? Also, how many 9's and 9.5's are there in all of classical? 80? 100? 200? Etc... It will be fun :-)

Out of all the Scaruffi-influenced individuals around the web you were probably one of the few that actually made a serious stab at classical music. I could never understand why most others avoided it, since there are so many 9/10’s and 9.5/10’s just waiting around the corner.

As for me, I actually started my own impartial list a while back, though it has shrunk in size. I am spending the majority of my time re-evaluating the works in order to refine the list and improve its accuracy. I posted it on RYM (I can’t post a list on this website that includes links because the spam filters always block it):
http://rateyourmusic.com/list/lesbianwalrus/the_greatest_classical_music...

“I am interested to find out just how many 9/10's and 9.5's there are…”
For starters, there are several works in the top ten of Scaruffi’s 'MOST SIGNIFICANT WORKS OF MUSIC 1950-1990' that I would consider a 9.5/10, but I feel that that list starts becoming very inconsistent after ‘Faust’. I am trying to track down other 9.5/10’s of the twentieth century prior to 1950, so far I’ve got Mahler’s 9th symphony and Stravinsky’s ‘Le Sacre du Printemps’. If Bartók’s ‘Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta’ and Messiaen’s ‘Quatuor pour la Fin du Temps’ are not 9.5/10’s, then they at least come close IMO. Despite all of the knowledge I’ve acquired from various books that extensively cover classical music, I must confess that I haven’t been able listen to that many works. I think that is because of the required ‘re-listening factor’, in which a person must give a classical work many close and careful listens before he can fully understand and appreciate it. Thus as a result, exploring new works can be a time-consuming for some.

At any rate, I consider classical music to be the Mt Everest of music in terms of the sheer quantity of its masterworks. Not superior in terms of quality, but when an individual examines the entire 1000 year history of classical music, especially the last 300 years, one can’t help but be overwhelmed by the sheer vastness of its greatness. And to try to tackle all of its masterpieces may seem too daunting of a task for many. But I think it’s worth it. I am fairly confident that I will discover all the 9/10's and 9.5/10's out there, but the 8/10’s, on the other hand, are probably endless!

It probably helped that I was into classical music for years before I ever discovered Scaruffi, which is when I did the vast majority of my discovering. Classical is where my ideals for art were first met and those masterpieces are what I've based it on since, and why Scaruffi and I see eye to eye so often. I actually discovered Scaruffi's site in a search to try and find more rock music that was on the level of all the classical masterpieces that I'd heard. At first I didn't think too much of Scaruffi's site - its weak presentation didn't help to convince me of his choices/ratings. I'd heard and loved a handful of his rock/jazz masterpieces and agreed with all of them so I still kept it in the back of my mind. And then, within a few weeks or perhaps a couple months, Lukeprog, a user on this site, started promoting how amazing and emotionally powerful they were, so I jumped in to see what it was all about and found what I'd been looking for.

I think Scaruffi's 1950-1990 list is only partially updated. As you pointed to, much of it after Faust is clearly outdated/inconsistent with his other lists/ratings. Though relistens may or may not change my position, currently I rate Messiaen's Quartet... a 9.1/10 and Rite of Spring 9.0/10. Not sure what I'd rate the Bartok one but like I've said: I'll be going through classical soon.

I agree with your last paragraph.

Revisited Lutoslawski's Symphony #3 today and, yes, it is quite amazing :-) I'd probably rate it a 9/10 but I think this is only the 2nd time I've heard it before and I can see that it could potentially be a 9.5 if I became more familiar with it.

I’m really glad that you admired that work. It is indeed an incredible work and it only becomes more incredible with repeated listenings.

I also recommend György Ligeti’s ‘Double Concerto for Flute and Oboe (1972)’ It has a very, very strange, unsettling feeling to it. It’s like visiting a distant planet somewhere across the universe and observing some strange organism as it undergoes various stages of metamorphosis. It’s an unbelievable work. If you haven’t listened to it yet, you ought to. I recommend the recording by Claudio Abbado which is available on ‘Clear or Cloudy: Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon’. I’d upload it to YouTube, but I’m afraid of copyright infringement.

Thanks :-) I'll be going pretty full-fledged back into classical very soon - any day now - while still churning out film watching (though less than I am now) and probably some rock/jazz as well. I may get into a sort of rhythm and do all four pretty equally (if I can maintain such a balance), focusing on: (1) revisiting and discovering the 9's - 9.5's of classical (2) discovering any remaining 8 - 9's of film but mainly concentrating on the (probably) 100+ 7.3-7.7's still missing from my Extended List (3) many more 8's of Rock (4) some 9's of jazz, many more 8.5's of jazz. Sounds like fun to me :-)

Listen to Messiaen's Turangalila-symphonie (Riccardo Chailly's version on Decca is the best) and see if it doesn't completely blow your mind.

Thank you I'll check it out. I've never heard that one

How do you feel about Mozart's piano concertos? I've been working my way through them lately (I was only previously familiar with a couple) and they are astonishingly good, particularly the second half of them. No 21 was the most recent to floor me, yet again. I listen to Murray Perahia's interpretations.

It's been awhile, but I'll be revisiting them sometime relatively soon. I love all the major ones for sure. My favorite was always 21. 20 is probably my next favorite. Then 9, 24, 27 (in some order) and probably a few others, are all great. I've found Perahia to be the best too, and Brendel is also great.

I'm unsure if you've seen the Kino version of Greed, like I just did, and what did you think compared to the, *ahem*, original?

If you mean the reconstructed 4-hour version which is approximately 1/2 stills and 1/2 "live action", I think the 130-min studio cut is vastly superior - simply because movement is so key to the emotion and expressiveness of the film. Lots of emotional resonance in Greed comes from the intense eyes and facial expressions of the actors and their sudden volcanic emotional outbursts - neither of which stills could do enough justice to. Still, the 4-hour version is very important from a film study perspective - to know and appreciate the full scope of what Von Stroheim was going for - it just doesn't work nearly as well as cinema.

Just posted a review of Natural Born Killers in my "Guide to Greatest Films". May or may not be complete.

Dr Akagi - What an interesting film. I found this movie very entertaining in a very special way (especially the second part). Well, if there a few obscure ones like this, this list would be never completed. (If your purpose is that you would like to find all the films worths a 7.5/10 or higher)

Well, yes, I agree. Truly finding all films in the 7.5+ range is probably unrealistic. There are always obscure, never released films that I may never see. I imagine the list will be an ever-expanding venture - year-by-year offers its own set of 7.5's to discover. It's fun to try though :)

Color of Paradise: What an ending. I was absolutelly stunned.

Yea, truly amazing :)

You like it hot, don't you? :)

Well, if we're talking Marilyn Monroe (but more like circa 1950), then yes :)

Glad to see Duel. Spielberg's best, I think.

Yea, great film - masterful execution of suspense

http://letterboxd.com/samcookemate/list/my-top-200-films-of-all-time/

my top films of all time, opinion please? anything you think i am missing?

and please can you give me an honest opinion on my first draft of a short film i made for college.
sorry for the cheesy music and robotic voices in advance! ;)

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

Wow, one of the best lists I've ever seen! I love how you found so many uncommon film posters for your choices too. The only films that jumped out that I don't think were on there were Greenaway's The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover and Aliens (make sure its the original theatrical cut if you haven't seen it already). Other than those, see my Greatest Films - Extended List. Everything on there is highly recommended so anything you haven't seen I'd do so asap.

Can you please vote in my TOP 10 FILMS OF ALL TIME POLL?

I'll check out your short film in the next day or two. Do you want me to evaluate based on my usual criteria for film: "consistency and degree of compelling and/or emotionally resonant content"? Or, do you want me to evaluate based on its relative greatness to other amateur short films and taking into account that it's a first draft of a short film you made in college?

Can I jump on the university-film train too? :P
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXihnI--PWU&feature=plcp

(and speaking of Something Wild by Demme, you gotta find Something Wild by Garfein (it's an indie acting-heavy film that ,however, has cinematography by the guy who shot Metropolis)

Re: Something Wild... hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm... I'll see if I can find it, thanks :)

Re: university-film... interesting use of Godard-ian editing (Weekend) to disorient and turn the empty room into a "character", possibly a projection of the protagonists' feelings in the aftermath of his roommate leaving/ending badly?

Something Wild:
It has probably my favourite Saul Bass titles sequences http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqIEtV-IjP8 and something interesting to note about the Aaron Copland score:
On Copland's 80th birthday, the city of New York was having a celebration for him, and asked him what composition to play for his birthday, expecting him to ask for a huge orchestra-- He asked for a screening of Something Wild.
It was buried by its distributor for years and years after its one-week engagement release (despite rave reviews in europe) and is only now getting a DVD release. So it's probably easier to find now than ever.

university-film:
That is just the trailer-- I was mostly just being facetious since you were just solicited for personal film criticism before that-- I could show you it if you're interested though.

Man, that is possibly the greatest title sequence I've ever seen!

Pretty cool story about Copland. I'll try to get my hands on the film and see it. It sounds really interesting.

Re: your university film... I could check it out if its short and you have a link to it...

I checked your list on letterbox. It's easily one of the greatest I've ever seen. I'll be quick to disagree with your top 10 but definitely not your top 100, top 50, etc. Seems you didn't miss a film. Great call on 'the Color of Pomegranates.' I never knew exactly how to rank that one. Perhaps you rated it perfectly. I will keep that in mind.

Velliquetter, I have just seen this comment but thanks for the compliment on my lisy.
what is your top ten? is there anything I need to possibly reassess that is a little lower down than is in your opinion?

The Color of Pomegranates is just a gorgeous film with a harsh surrealist bent to it. Watch it again if possible when you can and let its pretty pictures wash over you, truly beautiful!

I have seen The Cook The Thief His Wife and Her Lover only once and while I did not think it was a masterpiece there was definitely something about it that made me want to give it another viewing or two.
As for Aliens I was never really interested in the whole franchise but after being dragged to see Prometheus I have an urge to see what all the fuss is about the films.
And just evaluate it based on other amateur short films taking into account its a first draft.
We were only given a day to shoot and a day to edit. It has been given mixed results in college due to nobody really understanding it. But i tell everyone it is a collection of images which I originally planned it to be.

i am aware i can do better, which is why I intend to do a fine art and film course at university. If I make anything else relatively soon I will be sure to take all criticisms into account to create a superior product.

Re: Cook... give it another shot, see what you think

Re: Aliens... if you see the 137 min theatrical release you're in for what may be the most intensely suspenseful and visceral film of all time.

Re: your short film... I thought it used Hitchcockian paranoia (focus on nervous hands, the mouth, etc) to show tension and then combined montage with the other actor becoming enthusiastic, along with the ascending music, to show the release of tension. Seems to be a depiction of "breaking the ice" when having a conversation with someone for the first time. Good job :)

picked up the four alien films boxset for a steal!
and i have just asked for my girlfriend to bring round The Cook... this weekend.

and thank you for the comments regarding my short film, its nice to see at least someone gets what I was trying to put across. my classmates thought i was being too pretentious or "weird" but it is just a montage showcasing conversation...

Wow, nice find. The first one, Alien, is quite good too. The 3rd and 4th are decent. But really, the second, Aliens, is vastly superior to all of them in terms of intensity and emotional resonance. Enjoy :)

Re: short film... you're welcome :)

thanks for the feedback.

have you heard any decent music lately and do you think that Joanna Newsom may have a definite 9 in her later in her career? or someone else such as Acid Mothers Temple or Gnaw Their Tongues? I feel that Have One on Me, La Novia or Electric Heavyland and Gnaw Their Tongues Rend Each Other Like Wild Beasts... are the closest thing the last 15 years has had to a masterpiece.

In a pop sense I feel the new Grimes album, Visions, is one of the best pop music albums I have heard since discovering Eno and alot of albums on Fastnbulbous, although that site is not as helpful and influential in my tastes, it seems to be alot more active nowadays.

Haven't heard Gnaw their Tongues yet... I think Newsom has the best chance at a 9/10, based on my opinion that she might already have one (Ys, possibly Have One on Me), and that she keeps expanding on her art. I think she may have to get a little more extreme to pull it off though - perhaps get some Meredith Monk or Diamanda Galas in her veins and whip up a storm of witchcraft. As she is, I'm not sure (so far) if her voice is quite strong/powerful enough to carry off a 9/10, or if her arrangements are consistently emphatic enough. If she upgrades the power of one (voice) or the other (arrangements), while maintaining the same or better level of ingenuity, she'll make a 9/10. If she does both simultaneously she might even surpass her influences (Astral Weeks, Blonde On Blonde).

I'll definitely keep Grimes in mind when I return to listening to rock music.

I used to believe that Ys was the superior of the two "major" Newsom albums but I have been playing Have One On Me almost religiously now for a month after finding it almost a bit too contemporary singer songwriterish (regina spektor came to mind!)

but after listening to it properly now time after time I have discovered new things within each of the discs and it is probably a solid 8.5/10 and will possibly rise even higher in my opinion with more and more listens. The whole mood around the album, like a cornucopia showing her versatility. I do feel however that, like you aid, she needs to get a little more "out there" but I am not sure if she will. Although her voice ha matured vastly from Ys to Have One On Me. Here's hoping she just keeps getting better and better!

Doubt she'll pass Astral Weeks or Blonde on Blonde even if she realises her full potential and just oozes every ounce onto an album, steady on man ;) haha... but if it has the capabilities to possibly surpass those monoliths then I cannot wait to be bowled over by it!

I doubt she will too - but it would be great if she did. I also find Have One On Me to be an 8.5 and I consider it only slightly less amazing than Ys at this point.

How do you rate American Pie? :D

It's been since 1999 when it was released in the theater that I last saw it so I'm not totally sure but probably around 5.5 or 6/10

Is there any famous film that you rate 5/10 or lower? I'm curious about your low ratings, too :)

I'm sure there are but not off the top of my head. When I see a film that I rate less than a 6/10, I rarely think about how far under a 6/10 I rate it or its exact rating - I just file it away as "under 6/10" so to speak. I'm not really here to promote movies I find to be "bad". Just the ones I like (6/10+), like a lot (7/10), or find amazing (7.5/10+).

good list !! watch all the series last month. Average rate for each film. out of that american pie is the best erotic comedy i have ever seen.

Damn, I've hardly had time to talk (type) about it, but it has been so friggin' amazing discovering (and rediscovering) all these films. Just looking through my Greatest Films - Extended List often brings goosebumps and makes me want to rewatch any film on there that I haven't seen recently! And here I thought I'd actually make the time to start going through music (particularly classical) again... More than likely I will get back into music at a later time. The way things are going, there's probably still another 100+ movies to add in the 7.3+ range. Yes, I know I said the same thing some 70-odd additions ago, hence the plus symbol :)

Just out of curiosity, AfterHours, but do you ever find rating art to be exhausting and/or frustrating?

No, and I think it's because years ago I very certainly and knowingly established my personal criteria and since then I've done my best to not veer away from this. I rate based on my own feelings, my experience as to how emotionally resonant/transcendant the work was, so naturally I get very personal and enthusiastic about my choices, and enjoy talking about them, writing about them, etc. I bet I would get quite frustrated/exhausted about it if I attempted to rate "objectively" or based on what I "think something should be" instead of what I felt it was. Example: Birth of a Nation is one of the most important/influential films in history so is therefore a 9/10. Not so fast for me. Maybe it is, and maybe it will be at some point. But right now the degree of emotional resonance/transcendance/amazement I felt towards the film was as on the level I attribute to films in the 7.5 range. I don't think there would be much lasting satisfaction in constantly trying to view art from a viewpoint that wasn't one's own.

I agree that the most sensible way to go about rating art is to measure it by one’s own subjective opinion. Any attempt at being objective - however well-intentioned - seems futile to me. To be objective, one would have to analyze an artwork from every perspective imaginable. And if that weren’t enough, one would have to understand that artwork to the absolute fullest extent - to the point where that person is doubtless as to the intrinsic worth of that given artwork and, thus, the rating that which that person applied to that artwork cannot be called into question nor could it ever be subject to change. A being with an all-embracing knowledge and understanding such as this can only be described as omniscient. And, to my knowledge, nobody in the history of mankind - not even the one formally known as Piero Scaruffi - can be considered to be omniscient.

Lol re: "not even the one formerly known as Piero Scaruffi" :)

[re-edited] Though I endorse the subjective approach to evaluating art, rating art, for me, has always been a tantalizing experience. I almost intuitively sense quality differences in music (these quality differences being of my own opinion, of course), but at every attempt I have made at rating music there is a re-occurring problem. Once I construct a system of ratings, there sets in this impulsive need to strengthen and improve the accuracy of the list as much as possible. And with each time I listen to a work, there is an overbearing need to pin down the exact rating that will most accurately illustrate the value of that given work as I see it. But I feel that listening to a work of music with this mind-set compromises my ability to truly understand it as an art - which in turn, compromises my ability to accurately rate the music in the first place - resulting in a vicious cycle where I inevitably crash and burn. However, when I analyze an artwork from a clear-minded perspective - free from the motive of trying to figure out what rating I should apply to it - I more readily sense its intrinsic value. And once I do enough of this, I have this strong desire to share my discoveries with others and then once again - you guessed it - it’s time to start rating music again. And the cycle repeats itself. And I don’t think that I’m the only person that this sort of thing happens to. I am admittedly jealous of how people such as you and Scaruffi seem to do it with such relative ease. Does it require a certain type of mind? Perhaps one that is not so obsessive? I hope that one day rating art will become easier for me, but, for the time being, I think I’ll just listen, understand and - most importantly - enjoy music.

You have an interesting point here. Occasionally, I step back a bit so to speak, but it's for different reasons than what you're describing. This last week, I was so blown away by Brazil that it was difficult to "move on" and watch anything else with my full attention, hence, only 6 entries. This often happens with new 9's or 9.5's, and occasionally with 8's or 8.5's (depending on what else I've been watching/listening to).

But, regarding "crashing and burning" and the cycle you describe... I can see how that could happen. I think a way out of this cycle could be: (1) establishing and maintaining certainty of one's criteria. (2) being totally unafraid to change one's mind upon a repeat viewing/listening, even changing it dramatically if that is the case. My goal is to be "accurate within my criteria", not to "maintain rightness or past assertions" (such as, after I realize I overrated or underrated something). One simply has to be okay with the possibility that a film/album can seem so amazing at the right time, but perhaps due to a lack of depth, has diminishing returns upon repeat viewing/listening. It's easy to be nostalgic and hold dearly onto past experiences. I usually give a film/album 2-3 more chances if it's held a certain rating for a while (especially if it's a high rating). I prefer to be quick in my decision but I still make sure I want to watch/listen to it before doing so (and am not just doing so only to see if it's rating has changed). Example: watching a slow, profound film when one is in the mood for something faster, explosive and invigorating can really foul up one's ratings. (3) It helps to keep building one's certainty of what one is doing by building an increasingly complete and thorough list. The more 9's (or 7's, 7.5's, 8's, 8.5's, etc) one has heard/seen, the more he/she will become certain of the degree of greatness within that ratings band. Sooner or later one becomes increasingly sensitive to differences and nuances (like, how the hell do you tell the difference between a 7.6 and a 7.7?), quicker and more decisive at rating/ranking and makes less and less "mistakes", because he/she has an increasing number of examples to compare to. This is especially important in determining the degrees of "amazing" from 7 or 7.5 on up. It's easy to be blown away by a film like Fargo (or an album like Arcade Fire's Funeral) and, out of admiration and being "in that cognizant moment of amazement", immediately want to attach a really high rating to it. But, the more one is familiar with all the ratings bands above it (8, 8.5 and so forth), the easier it is to take a second and compare it, because one can refer back to just how blown away he's been by others (Nostalghia, Rock Bottom, or Satantango, or Memento, or Spirit of Eden, or whatever). I'll be done with a film and know that it's a 7.5 or 8 or whatever the rating, and then to get an exact placement, I'll just look through the films in that ratings band (on my Extended List), one by one, mentally checking off if I think it's better (yes, yes, yes, no...) until I find where it should be placed (in between the last "yes" and the first "no").

Hope that helps a little. Let me know if you have any further questions or insight.

I agree with the points you made - especially the second one. I feel that a person should not become attached to certain ratings or invest energy trying to make a list of look nice, well-balanced and presentable to its viewers. And it’s not good when an author becomes attached to how his list looks because then that person will feel reluctant to change it - even if, by changing it, it would improve its accuracy. Accuracy should be the number one priority [by “accuracy”, I mean an accurate portrayal of one’s tastes]. So what if it seems a bit strange or unusual to rank some obscure modern work higher than some highly-acclaimed, famous work. It recalls a quote by Albert Einstein: “A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.” And as you said, a person should be completely unworried about changing ratings around. During re-evaluation, one should not be stifled by that need to "maintain rightness or past assertions" (as you put it). A person should approach an artwork with a clear mind - free from any preconceived expectations. Each new assessment should be independent from previous ones.

Exactly :)

“I prefer to be quick in my decision but I still make sure I want to watch/listen to it before doing so (and am not just doing so only to see if its rating has changed).”

I think this may have been what I was doing wrong. I notice now that whenever I didn’t rate music, I usually only listened to music when I wanted to. And I always completely submerged my mind into the work - thus I more readily sensed its emotional power. To approach art in an objective, emotionally detached manner never seemed natural to me. I like to lose myself in the art. I especially don’t want my listening experience to be diminished by that impulsive need to figure out what rating I should give it. And If I listened to a work when I didn’t really want to, but rather to pin down the rating of that work, it all seemed forced - thus compromising my ability to make a strong emotional connection to the work.

I think that's a very important observation. I too have observed this in myself before just as you are now, and yes, it makes a big difference when I follow it.

During the experience of watching/listening I do tend to mentally note resonant moments/parts/portions and after these I also mentally note ratings potential, but yes, the emotional connection is fully there first (to the degree of how much I am valuing the film).

I also no longer like lumping rated works into giant groups. Such as all works rated 8.5/10 - 8.9/10 being lumped into the 8.5/10 group and all works rated 9/10 - 9.4/10 being lumped into the 9/10 group. It fails to illustrate the many subtle quality differences amongst the various works and it can be often misleading to the viewers. For instance, when they see Stravinsky’s Pétrouchka lumped into the 8.5/10 group and both Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps lumped into the 9/10 group, they don’t realize it’s more like this: Pétrouchka - 8.9/10; Pictures at an Exhibition - 9.0/10; Le Sacre du Printemps - 9.4/10.

I now want to illustrate each individual rating straight down the line - 8.5/10, 8.6/10, 8.7/10, 8.8/10, 8.9/10… No longer do I want to mislead my viewers into thinking that works such as Riley’s A Rainbow in Curved Air and Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta are of equal value. I have re-done my rating system, making it more accurate at illustrating the values that I see in each work:

http://rateyourmusic.com/list/lesbianwalrus/the_best_classical_works_of_...

I like that way of rating better too. Amazing list :) Also, your beginners guide is very informative and helpful to those starting out.

thank you

Probably the only (mild) frustration comes from not seeing the full value that many others seem to of highly minimalistic, un-cinematic films such as Los Muertos (I rated a 6/10), The Wrestler (6/10), Silent Light (6.5/10) and A Taste of Cherry (6/10). In this case, these are my feelings but I'd like to be more appreciative of the qualities of these types of films and I feel like I could be missing something that would be useful to see in them and to appreciate them more.

It seems you don't often watch current movies, only a year after than it had been released (am I right?), but I must recommend The Grey. On the one hand it's a very tough surviver-thriller, but on the other side of the coin, it's lyrical and beautiful. Not a masterpiece, but not too much far away from it.

Yep, you're right. As a matter of fact, very often more than a year. These days I only go out to the movie theater maybe 5 times per year. I am just now starting to get through the films that seem the most interesting from the 2000's. I've heard about The Grey and it looked like it could be good.

I know you aint listening to too much music at this moment in time but when you get back round to it, I dunno if you've heard it but George Russell's Electronic Sonata for Souls Loved by Nature is one damn fine album, possibly a 9, sitting around 8.6 right now.

you're welcome man ;) lol

Thanks, I like Russell but I've never heard that one. When I get back into music...etc :)

Also, if you could create a mixtape showcasing you're eclectic taste in music, what would you put on it, in order and all that.
i am trying to make a mixtape to someone to show them what I listen to and kind of an insight into my mind and soul but i am having no look haha

Gawwwwdddd, I dunno, depends on the person really... think Escalator Over the Hill would pretty much do the trick (a bit of everything, both melodic and cacophonous, mainstream and avant-garde)....but I'll see if I can come up with something with several different artists, and get back to you

I just have watched Wild at Heart. Lynch one of the most sickest director, do you agree? :)

For sure :) though, he is so artistically brilliant that it doesn't come across as pointless like, say, Saw 3, or something

Of course not. Lynch is one of my favourite directors, too. Where's such a creepy atmosphere like in his movies? Maybe only in Trier's Kingdom, and some of Bergman's works.

If you're looking for really "sick", try Palfi's Taxidermia. :)

Oh man, I've already seen this brilliant piece of hungarian cinema! Well, I'm a Hungarian, so I'm very proud of filmmakers like Pálfy. I've come from a small country, but we have 4 films on this list. :) How many from Romania? Slovak? :D Or Austria? Oh, fuck Haneke...

Although I haven't seen a ton of Hungarian films, I imagine Tarr is probably your greatest filmmaker. Do you agree? Are there any other really great Hungarian directors that you've seen that maybe just haven't been distributed in the USA yet?

Unfortunatelly, I haven't seen many Hungarian films, too. But Tarr is definitely the most important director. Jancsó, Szabó, and now Pálfy are the well known filmmakers, but there are some obscure ones (of course, not in Hungary, here these filmmakers are classic): Fábri, Huszárik, Makk

Here's the 12 from Budapest, which films was selected as the best of Hungarian filmmaking. Surprisingly, there's no "Sátántangó", or any Tarr films. The list was created in 2000.

Szegénylegények (The Round-Up) – Miklós Jancsó (1965)
Szerelem (Love) – Károly Makk (1971)
Szindbád (Sinbad) – Zoltán Huszárik (1971)
Emberek a havason (Men on the Mountain) – István Szots (1942)
Valahol Európában (Somewhere in Europe) – Géza von Radványi (1947)
Megáll az ido (Time Stands Still) – Péter Gothár (1981)
Hyppolit (Hyppolit) – István Székely (1931)
Körhinta (Merry-Go-Round) – Zoltán Fábri (1955)
A kis Valentino (Little Valentino) – András Jeles (1979)
Az én XX. Századom (My 20th Century) – Ildikó Enyedi (1989)
Apa (Father) – István Szabó (1966)
Hannibál tanár úr (Professor Hannibal) – Zoltán Fábri (1956)

Thx :) I'll look into these :)

Have you seen Woman in the Dunes? I definitely recommend it if you haven't.

No, but I plan to. Thx :)

Oh man, this is unbelievable! Better than Nostalghia, the second best film of all time? I really need to rewatch this film!

Yes, just make sure it's the "Final Cut" (142 min)!!! :) Previous version is probably a high 8.5 or low 9

Of course I watched the Direcor's cut. And can I have a question: where the hell did you found the 140 min version of Greed? I'm really interested in this film, but I just can't find it, just the stupid 4 hour reissue. It can be the second best silent film I've seen. Or can it beat Metropolis? I don't think so. :)

Re: Brazil... The reason I check is there is a "Director's Cut" that Gilliam did shortly after the original release of the film which is 132 minutes that many people confuse as the ultimate version of the film. A few years ago Gilliam released the "true" director's cut, his original version of the film, called "The Final Cut", which I believe can only be found on Criterion, at 142 minutes. To this day, most of the reviews of the film are still the 132 min version, so apparently the 142 min Final Cut still hasn't been seen all that much (for awhile I think it was only available within an expensive boxed set [that's how I got it] but it may be available individually by now). The 142 min version is perhaps the most astonishing experience in the history of cinema. Every sequence is exploding off the screen in vibrant visions and spectacles, with so many ideas, gags, references, themes and emotions in each scene, going off on tangents, and in simultaneous collision with one another, that the sheer audacity, ambition and panoramic resonance of the film leaves me overwhelmed, invigorated, and completely stunned.

Re: Greed... currently it is only on VHS :( ... I used to own it until it got old and started stalling/skipping, but the last few times I watched it I had it ordered through my library system. ... VHS is the only way to see the studio version for now, but I really hope Criterion releases it on DVD asap.

Brazil - I have the longer version. But I can't imagine that 10 min can increase the rating so much. What parts are only in this longer version?

Greed - OK, so I have to wait for a Dvdrip. Youtube has this version, but not with the original English subtitles, so it sucks. :)

Re: Brazil... it's been 6-7 years since I've seen the previous 132 min version so maybe I'd rate it higher now if I revisited it, but from what I remember, the scenes added on, and rearranged, make a significant difference in Gilliam successfully getting across all of his points fully, as well as the overall coherence and editing/structure of the film.

TDK doesn't worth a 7.5/10? I think it's the best comic adaptation, after Sin City.

While I thought it was better than Sin City (except visually), and I'd need to see it again to be more certain, at this point I'd say, to be exact, that I thought it was a 6.8/10 - 7.0/10. It was constantly alternating between greatness and "big budget Hollywood cliche" (Example: Batman and Catwoman stop and make out despite running out of time while the nuclear bomb is set to explode). The genuine sense of danger and tension (rare for a superhero movie), its ambition and scope, the main thematic thrust of it, was quite impressive though. Bane is one of the great, most intimidating villians in film history and stole every scene he was in.

No, I mean the previous Batman film, The Dark Knight. This film is everything except a big budget Hollywood cliche. And, though I haven't seen Tom Hardy as Bane, I don't think that it could be as powerful and evil as Heath Ledger's Joker.

I haven't seen Dark Knight since it came out in theaters but from memory I thought this latest one was slightly better - though I'd have to see Dark Knight again to be sure - its very close (at the time I thought of Dark Knight as a high 6.5, nearly a 7). Heath Ledger was great as the Joker, but you may end up being surprised at Hardy as Bane.

Check out Nicole Dollanganger. "Coma Baby" and "Hair Locket". Raw and haunting.

Thx :) never heard of her before. She's quite good. The vulnerability in her voice is a weapon, especially when it wavers/shakes in pitch. Maybe she could end up making something to rival some of Germano's albums.

No updates. Watching the olimpic games? 4 Hungarian golds! :) I hope you could defeat China in the medal count.

I am keeping up on the games. Usain Bolt, Phelps, and the 83-point destruction by the USA b-ball team were impressive. Wish Federer would've beat Murray though. But really, I'm only following them here and there. Mainly, I've just been so profoundly stunned and "in a daze" about Citizen Kane that I've had difficulty seriously interesting myself in any other films at the moment. I'm not sure if I've ever been so blown away by a film before, and possibly not this blown away by any work of art since Shostakovich's 15th, Mahler's 9th, and Beethoven's 9th. I have also been working on a new review/analysis of Citizen Kane, which has consumed much of my film watching time over the last couple days. Hopefully, I'll be done soon, and I can move on... :)

I think you watch too much 9/10 films for a week. Masterpiece follows masterpiece. If you watch 6,5/10 - 7/10 films for a month, you will be blown away even with a 8/10. And there's a bunch of entertaining cinema, which isn't really good, but the best for relaxing. For example Rodriguez, who maybe isn't the best director ever, but he is one of my favourite filmmaker, because his films are so much fun (except the stupid kid films)

Off: Hungary - USA water polo 11-6. At last our team started to play. :)

Well, I never thought it would be recommended I watch fewer masterpieces! :) I do get blown away by 8's already, and my Extended list features about 300 7.5+ films alone. In the process of discovering those, I end up watching hundreds of additional 7's. Anything 7.3+ is a film I found to be an amazing experience. Really, even 6.8 to 7.2 is relatively amazing - amazing in parts/portions. 7.3 could be said to be the point I feel a film is worth being called one of the greatest films of all time (though still far below all time masterpieces). +/- 0.5 between ratings is when the gap starts becoming "significant". The gap between, say The Truman Show (7.3) (even though a really great film), and something like Blue Velvet (8.8), 2001 (9.0), or Citizen Kane (9.3 - 9.5), is HUGE. Or, even something like Schindler's List (7.8) and Underground (9.0) - very large gap. Or, Memento (8.0) and Taxi Driver (8.8) - getting closer, but still a significant gap.

Go...umm...water polo! Hungary or bust! :)

Which version of Arkadin did you watch? I saw the Criterion edition and I can't say I cared much for it. At least it looks good, I suppose.

I think I've seen 2 or 3 versions, and they were each great (Criterion is a must for the proper visual quality). The version I recommend most is the "Comprehensive" version (105 min), which seems to be the closest to Welles' original vision. As with all of Welles' best, there is much more going on than the primary plotline or than what immediately meets the eye. No other director is that close to him as regards editing, or how much meaning he gets into his shot selection - how many different purposes so many of the shots serve. And no one can even begin to touch him for black and white cinematography/visuals. He is the exact opposite of the "empty" technician/stylist. His best films have so many facets/layers of depth... They build up their own rules, their own new language and, often subjective, "symbology", becoming extraordinary works of art bursting the seams of cinema in several ways simultaneously.

I had Mr. Arkadin at a 7.5 for its first 2, maybe 3, viewings. On the 3rd, I think, is when it exploded into a masterpiece (or near-masterpiece...currently 8.6/10, but considering upgrading it to 8.8+). Can't say whether that will happen for you, but if it does, the end result is one of the greatest films ever made.

I think the fact that it was incomplete hurt it, films are bound to be weaker if they're finished by anyone but the director himself (unless you're Ebert, who believes Harvey Weinstein could have improved Tarkovsky's oeuvre... but I digress). I actually do like the basic premise, and the way it kind of parodies his debut; but the execution is severely flawed. I think there're points of interest, mostly visually; but I found it to be a narcissistic mess overall. Too caught up in itself, too knotted to be considered anything but a minor work, in my opinion.

I did see The Dark Knight Rises, I thought it was fun but I can't call it great--and like the others it dragged in parts and was fairly stupid. For the most part, though, it was engaging, and I think Bane did a great job in terrorizing the city, it was palpable. What did you think of it?? I saw the recommendation for Woman in the Dunes above, I co-sign that.

I haven't really watched much, though, aside from random blockbusters (ie. The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man, 21 Jump Street (!) etc) and the Olympics. I've been doing a lot of reading, which seems to be a personal theme of 2012... working my way slowly, but surely, through some Shakespeare plays (King Lear has been haunting me for the last couple of weeks, greatest artwork ever???!) and late period Henry James' short stories.. currently reading Moby Dick. But I realize I'm going off-topic.

A few things I've been enjoying recently that are probably more relevant to your interests are Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, Chopin's Preludes and--my latest, and greatest purchase--which you would probably love, given your taste for exceedingly expressive music: Wilhelm Furtwangler's 107 disc Legacy collection (you can get it substantially discounted through Amazon's sub-sellers; it's a bargain, really). When you're back on your classical kick (hopefully soon!) I think his work will bring you back in nicely.

Re: Arkadin... I just watched it again last night and am now upgrading it to a 9/10, so I suppose our divide on Welles just got a little wider... :)

Re: DKR... thought the same as you... I rated it a low-7 (6.8/10)

Re: Furtwangler... you're probably spot on there - I think he is perhaps the greatest conductor ever :)

Btw, what's new in the filmgoing/watching world for you? Is there anything you've seen lately that you recommend? Dark Knight Rises?

Have you seen Chimes at Midnight? If not, I have a feeling you got a masterpiece coming your way, that's Welles' greatest achievement to me. It has maybe my favorite battle scene. I think it stands out, within his oeuvre, because it wasn't so emphatically technical; there's a deep, warm sensibility throughout that, I feel, his other films lack. Probably my favorite cinematic Shakespeare interpretation, I'm not sure I like the Olivier films as much, even.

I have and I really liked it. The battle scene is indeed incredible (in many ways, predicting Peckinpah's Wild Bunch) and I loved the beautifully composed, balletic sense of movement throughout the scenes. I rated it a 7/10 at the time, though unfortunately I saw it on crappy quality, so a rewatch may change that. I heard it is being remastered and re-released very soon. I'm on the lookout for it! :)

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