Friday, January 4, 2013

The Year of Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beasts of the Southern Wild is a amazing debut film by director Benh Zeitlin, from a play by Lucy Alibar, a fellow writer that Zeitlin met in a writer's workshop as a teenager. The unlikely star of the film is six year old Quvenzhané Wallis, who had to pretend to be six when she was five to beat out 4,000 others for this part in auditions. Her character is to be brave and strong, so Nazie, as they call her, said she was that way in the audition at a local library.

The basic story is that of a motherless girl called Hushpuppy in a bayou region of an island in the Mississippi River delta area of Louisiana, the part past land's end, trying to survive amid poverty, separated from societal infrastructure, with only a handful of other residents for interaction and diversity. It's a stark, primitive existence, without any modern pleasures.

Her father is brilliantly played by New Orleans 7th ward café owner, Dwight Young, also with no previous acting experience, and who already has won two awards for best supporting actor. He plays dad Wink, who has heart trouble, and knows he won't be around while Hushpuppy grows up, so he is raising her to be the man. He demand of her "who's the man?" and she flexes her biceps and says "I'm the man!" This is probably going to be repeated often by fans of this film.

Her name is Hushpuppy likely because she feeds all the animals, their only source of food other than the river and gulf, where they catch catfish, crawfish, crabs, and other local bounty. Like everyone in low coastal areas, these few residents of an area known as The Bathtub are constantly threatened by storms, flooding, and global melting, which will easily inundate these low lying areas.

This is the best made coming-of-age story since To Kill a Mockingbird, and Wallis' performance is much tougher and more demanding than Mary Badham's, and seems more natural - you get the feeling that Nazie is not far out of her element in boats and mud in the delta.

Rather than ruin this film by too much story or analysis, as it's a magical journey of myth-making proportions, I'll let you see through these links the impact of this film, which Barack Obama called "a spectacular film - even my 4 year old niece was captivated".

Awards and Nominations
Beasts currently leads with 35 (six so far for Nazie Wallis), including wins at Sundance, and four at Cannes (next high film is Zero Dark Thirty at 21, The Master with 20, and Argo with 19):

The film page at Facebook, where people are telling their stories of this film's impact on their families or children, as well as many other links.

Unfortunately,  Beasts is debuted at Sundance last January, and often an early release in a film season loses Oscar® attention to films timed to attain academy recognition by being released in the last two calendar months of a year, which this year would include the films Life of Pi, The Hobbitt, and Lincoln. That would be a shame for Nazie Wallis, as she has given the child performance in cinema history, and she deserves the lead actress Oscar®.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

School Security: Deputized Security Officers

Deputized Security Officers 

My idea is a deputized security person: a plainclothes officer on site watching monitors of each entrance at a school, can spot intruder, notify police, hopefully take out the shooter (head shot, they wear body armor), or occupy them until backup.

A sonic gunshot detector is easy, wireless alarm to police IF a shot occurs in a school so they know right away, that should be minimum.

If multiple shooters, say four at four different doors), the DSF officer makes a decision to coordinate from within the security room or do what he can solo because with the advantage that he knows where each is, he can at least slow them down, plus he's in wireless contact with police throughout.

Parents (through the PTA) can take donations for the initial security system, not that much - you can likely find retired volunteers like myself that won't need a salary.. maybe two four-hour a day volunteers, it may be stressful and you don't want to leave. A microwave and fridge should be in the room, and hopefully close to a restroom.. Let's face it, if thousands of small retailers can have these security systems to save their merchandise then WE can do this to SAVE KIDS - A NO BRAINER  - WE CANNOT SAY THIS IS TOO EXPENSIVE, NO EXPENSE IN THIS AREA IS TOO MUCH. The kids will know they have a helpful watcher ON SITE, hopefully in a hidden location not easily cased by someone planning an attack.. eventually there'll be a coordinated terrorist attack and this will help with that as well.

In Peter Berg’s film KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, after the first responders showed up to an attack by shooters in an SUV on a softball game, the terrorists had a bomb ready as an arriving ambulance, and set off a secondary explosion that killed another few hundred emergency personnel, including the FBI officer in charge, the first attack was just a draw for that.. everyone needs to keep that in mind as well.

Of course, these will be trained personnel with no history of any dangerous mental conditions (hey, we've all had the blues) just like you would for any security officer that may require arming.. you can likely get lots of ex law enforcement and ex-military as volunteers.. fight fire with fire, this are assaults, we can't wait until after the fact to send 500 armed police in, at that point its just another waiting target and lots of overtime pay. 

Someone mentioned the idea of arming teachers who qualify is also a good augmentation to the Deputized Security Officer, but of course they will not have monitors or body armor so the teacher will possibly be another victim, less likely for the DSO, but any additional firepower will help and slow down the attackers.
Also getting a wireless radio system on each custodian is a good idea, so they can also communicate with law enforcement - this technology is cheap nowdays and we are the technology kings so we can do it.

If I was a DSO, I'd want both a pistol and a sniper rifle w a scope, it may take a head shot from a distance to take out a shooter, but the pistol may be your only option depending on the situation and how fast you have to respond.. if possible the security room can double as a sealed panic room if say it's a coordinated assault w multiple shooters and the DSO can best help by coordinating police from within from a secure location with multiple camera eyes.

So far, no group of terrorists have done this, but YOU KNOW THAT'S COMING - we have to prep for that NOW, don't wait until after the fact because "the feds cut our state budget" --- GET PEOPLE TO PAY - IT'S OUR KIDS, WE CAN PAY FOR THIS, screw the budgets.

Friday, October 26, 2012

My Five Best Photo Contest Entries

I just entered these five photos of mine at the 1x photo site for their contest. My categories are Landscape (Sunset Fisherman at Grizzly Island Wildlife Refuge), Nature (Blackbirds on a Bench), Architecture (Nieman Marcus Holiday Ceiling, Leila's - Curtain Dance), and Street (Hudson Peach Farms Halloween Decor)

Please check out their site in case there are viewer votes! I don't know, it's in German, lol.. plus I can't vote if I'm a contestant. I need fame, adulation, and some lettuce - show me the manna.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Top Ranked Black and White Films

All Ranked Black and White Films, and more (2011 Edition)
I dipped down to the top 1200 films to create a bigger list of bw titles, as only 298 made the top 1000.

Production still from Lang's Metropolis

BW rank - Title (Year) - Director - Overall Rank
1. Seven Samurai, The (1954) Kurosawa, Akira #2
2. Metropolis (1927) Lang, Fritz #7
3. Modern Times (1936) Chaplin, Charles #9
4. Night of The Hunter, The (1955) Laughton, Charles #10
5. Citizen Kane (1941) Welles, Orson #11
6. Psycho (1960) Hitchcock, Alfred #14
7. M. (1931) Lang, Fritz #16
8. It's a Wonderful Life (1946) Capra, Frank #17
9. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) Kubrick, Stanley #18
10. Sunset Boulevard (1950) Wilder, Billy #19
11. Bicycle Thief, The (1949) De Sica, Vittorio #21
12. Third Man, The (1948) Reed, Carol #23
13. Raging Bull (1980) Scorsese, Martin #25
14. City Lights (1931) Chaplin, Charles #27
15. Rashomon (1950) Kurosawa, Akira #29
16. Seventh Seal, The (1956) Bergman, Ingmar #31
17. Passion of Joan of Arc, The (1928) Dreyer, Carl Theodor #34
18. General, The (1927) Keaton, Buster/Clyde Bruckman #35
19. 400 Blows, The (1959) Truffaut, François #37
20. Touch of Evil (1958) Welles, Orson #38
21. 8½ (1963) Fellini, Federico #40
22. All About Eve (1950) Mankiewicz, Joseph L. #41
23. On the Waterfront (1954) Kazan, Elia #42
24. Sunrise (1927) Murnau, F.W. #43
25. Gold Rush, The (1925) Chaplin, Charles #48
26. Au Hasard Balthazar (1966) Bresson, Robert #50
27. Duck Soup (1933) McCarey, Leo #53
28. Notorious (1946) Hitchcock, Alfred #54
29. Casablanca (1942) Curtiz, Michael #55
30. Battle of Algiers, The (1966) Pontecorvo, Gillo #60
31. Pather Panchali / Apu Trilogy I (1955) Ray, Satyajit #62
32. Rules of the Game, The (1939) Renoir, Jean #63
33. Some Like it Hot (1959) Wilder, Billy #66
34. Manhattan (1979) Allen, Woody #67
35. King Kong (1933) Cooper, Merian C./Ernest B. Schoedsack #68
36. Sherlock Jr. (1924) Keaton, Buster #69
37. Double Indemnity (1944) Wilder, Billy #71
38. Jules et Jim (1961) Truffaut, François #73
39. La Dolce Vita (1960) Fellini, Federico #74
40. Tokyo Story (1953) Ozu, Yasujiro #76
41. Umberto D (1952) De Sica, Vittorio #80
42. Manchurian Candidate, The (1962) Frankenheimer, John #81
43. Apartment, The (1960) Wilder, Billy #82
44. Ugetsu (1953) Mizoguchi, Kenji #85
45. Persona (1966) Bergman, Ingmar #86
46. L'Atalante (1934) Vigo, Jean #88
47. Paths of Glory (1957) Kubrick, Stanley #91
48. Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The (1948) Huston, John #93
49. Man With a Movie Camera, The (1929) Vertov, Dziga #95
50. Ikiru (1952) Kurosawa, Akira #101
51. Maltese Falcon, The (1941) Huston, John #103
52. Wild Strawberries (1957) Bergman, Ingmar #104
53. High Noon (1952) Zinnemann, Fred #106
54. Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The (1962) Ford, John #107
55. Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922) Murnau, F.W. #112
56. La Strada (1954) Fellini, Federico #114
57. 12 Angry Men (1957) Lumet, Sidney #116
58. Battleship Potemkin (1925) Eisenstein, Sergei #123
59. Masculine-Feminine (1966) Godard, Jean-Luc 126
60. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) Mulligan, Robert #130
61. Great Dictator, The (1940) Chaplin, Charles #131
62. Magnificent Ambersons, The (1942) Welles, Orson #132
63. Repulsion (1965) Polanski, Roman #139
64. Ordet (1955) Dreyer, Carl #143
65. Grapes of Wrath, The (1940) Ford, John #144
66. His Girl Friday (1940) Hawks, Howard #147
67. Intolerance (1916) Griffith, D.W. #148
68. Lady Eve, The (1941) Sturges, Preston #149
69. Rebecca (1940) Hitchcock, Alfred #153
70. Big Sleep, The (1946) Hawks, Howard #154
71. Sweet Smell of Success (1957) Mackendrick, Alexander #156
72. Strangers on a Train (1951) Hitchcock, Alfred #157
73. Streetcar Named Desire, A (1951) Kazan, Elia #158
74. Breathless (1959) Godard, Jean-Luc #159
75. It Happened One Night (1934) Capra, Frank #160
76. Greed (1924) von Stroheim, Erich #161
77. Birth of a Nation, The (1915) Griffith, D.W. #162
78. Yojimbo (1961) Kurosawa, Akira #163
79. Wages of Fear, The (1952) Clouzot, Henri-Georges #168
80. My Life to Live (Vivre sa vie) (1963) Godard, Jean-Luc #171
81. Nights of Cabiria (1957) Fellini, Federico #172
82. Best Years of Our Lives, The (1946) Wyler, William #175
83. Gospel According to St. Matthew, The (1964) Pasolini, Pier Paolo #176
84. Hard Day's Night, A (1964) Lester, Richard #181
85. L'Avventura (1960) Antonioni, Michelangelo #183
86. Man Escaped, A (1956) Bresson, Robert #188
87. Blue Angel, The (1930) von Sternberg, Josef #196
88. Grande Illusion, La (1937) Renoir, Jean #197
89. Hustler, The (1961) Rossen, Robert #207
90. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) Capra, Frank #209
91. Last Year at Marienbad (1961) Resnais, Alain #213
92. Diaboliques, Les (1955) Clouzot, Henri-Georges #214
93. Un Chien Andalou (1929) Buñuel, Luis #216
94. Bringing Up Baby (1938) Hawks, Howard #218
95. Rocco and His Brothers (1964) Visconti, Luchino #223
96. Kid, The (1921) Chaplin, Charles #226
97. Eyes Without a Face (1959) Franju, Georges #229
98. Viridiana (1961) Buñuel, Luis #231
99. Andrei Rublev (1966) Tarkovsky, Andrei #238
100. Killer of Sheep (1977) Burnett, Charles #239
101. Sansho the Bailiff (1954) Mizoguchi, Kenji #240
102. Palm Beach Story, The (1942) Sturges, Preston #242
103. Throne of Blood (1957) Kurosawa, Akira #244
104. Hiroshima mon amour (1959) Resnais, Alain #246
105. Broken Blossoms (1919) Griffith, D.W. #247
106. Mon oncle (1958) Tati, Jacques #251
107. L'Âge d'or (1930) Buñuel, Luis #263
108. Shadow of a Doubt (1943) Hitchcock, Alfred #264
109. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) Milestone, Lewis #266
110. Shadow of a Doubt (1943) Romero, George A. #267
111. Band of Outsiders (Bande à part, 1964) Godard, Jean-Luc #268
112. Paisan (1946) Rossellini, Roberto #280
113. Stagecoach (1939) Ford, John #283
114. L'Eclisse (1962) Antonioni, Michelangelo #286
115. Rome, Open City (1945) Rossellini, Roberto #291
116. Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The (1919) Wiene, Robert #292
117. World of Apu, The (1959) Ray, Satyajit #297
118. Les Enfants du paradis (1945) Carné, Marcel #305
119. Brief Encounter (1945) Lean, David #310
120. Diary of a Country Priest (1950) Bresson, Robert #312
121. Last Picture Show, The (1971) Bogdanovich, Peter #313
122. My Darling Clementine (1946) Ford, John #316
123. Pandora's Box (1928) Pabst, G.W. #319
124. Roman Holiday (1953) Wyler, William #320
125. Trouble in Paradise (1932) Lubitsch, Ernst #323
126. Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928) Keaton, Buster/Charles F. Reisner #331
127. To Be or Not to Be (1942) Lubitsch, Ernst #332
128. Philadelphia Story, The (1940) Cukor, George #340
129. Golden Coach, The (1952) Renoir, Jean #345
130. October (1927) Eisenstein, Sergei #347
131. I Vitelloni (1953) Fellini, Federico #348
132. Vampyr (1932) Dreyer, Carl #349
133. Napoléon (1927) Gance, Abel #354
134. La Notte (1961) Antonioni, Michelangelo #357
135. Exterminating Angel, The (1962) Buñuel, Luis #365
136. Killing, The (1956) Kubrick, Stanley #366
137. I Was Born, But… (1932) Ozu, Yasujiro #370
138. 39 Steps, The (1935) Hitchcock, Alfred #372
139. Earth (1930) Dovzhenko, Alexander #375
140. Forbidden Games (1951) Clément, René #383
141. Pépé le Moko (1937) Duvivier, Julien #384
142. In a Lonely Place (1950) Ray, Nicholas #392
143. Freaks (1932) Browning, Tod #394
144. Gertrud (1964) Dreyer, Carl #398
145. Top Hat (1935) Sandrich, Mark #401
146. Anatomy of a Murder (1959) Preminger, Otto #405
147. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) Nichols, Mike #406
148. Night and Fog (1955) Resnais, Alain #414
149. Los Olvidados (1950) Buñuel, Luis #420
150. White Heat (1949) Walsh, Raoul #422
151. Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) Deren, Maya #427
152. Shoot the Piano Player (1960) Truffaut, François #428
153. Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948) Ophüls, Max #433
154. Faces (1968) Cassavetes, John #435
155. Night at the Opera, A (1935) Wood, Sam #436
156. Orpheus (1950) Cocteau, Jean #440
157. Aparajito (1956) Ray, Satyajit #443
158. Le Million (1931) Clair, René #448
159. High and Low (1963) Kurosawa, Akira #450
160. Shadows (1959) Cassavetes, John #452
161. Late Spring (1949) Ozu, Yasujiro #454
162. Strike (1924) Eisenstein, Sergei #455
163. Mr. Hulot's Holiday (1953) Tati, Jacques #459
164. Frankenstein (1931) Whale, James #467
165. Ninotchka (1939) Lubitsch, Ernst #473
166. Rififi (1955) Dassin, Jules #474
167. Asphalt Jungle, The (1950) Huston, John #475
168. Lolita (1962) Kubrick, Stanley #476
169. Great Expectations (1946) Lean, David #482
170. Ivan the Terrible, Part One (1944) Eisenstein, Sergei #485
171. Fallen Idol, The (1948) Reed, Carol #491
172. Mouchette (1967) Bresson, Robert 497
173. Crowd, The (1928) Vidor, King #502
174. To Have and Have Not (1944) Hawks, Howard #506
175. Last Laugh (1924) Murnau, F.W. #508
176. Alexander Nevsky (1938) Eisenstein, Sergei #510
177. Closely Watched Trains (1966) Menzel, Jirí #512
178. Winter Light (1962) Bergman, Ingmar #513
179. 42nd Street (1933) Bacon, Lloyd #514
180. Scarface (1932) Hawks, Howard #519
181. White Ribbon, The (2009) Haneke, Michael #522
182. How Green Was My Valley (1941) Ford, John #529
183. Voyage in Italy (1953) Rossellini, Roberto #533
184. Chimes at Midnight (1966) Welles, Orson #539
185. Lola (1961) Demy, Jacques #540
186. Alphaville (1965) Godard, Jean-Luc #545
187. Day of Wrath (1943) Dreyer, Carl #547
188. Ivan the Terrible, Part Two (1946) Eisenstein, Sergei #552
189. Silence, The (1963) Bergman, Ingmar #554
190. Smiles of a Summer Night (1955) Bergman, Ingmar #559
191. Monsieur Verdoux (1947) Chaplin, Charles #560
192. Shop Around the Corner, The (1940) Lubitsch, Ernst #561
193. Le Jour se lève (1939) Carné, Marcel #562
194. Big Heat, The (1953) Lang, Fritz #563
195. Ace in the Hole (1951) Wilder, Billy #566
196. Place in the Sun, A (1951) Stevens, George #575
197. Ivan's Childhood (1962) Tarkovsky, Andrei #579
198. Germany, Year Zero (1947) Rossellini, Roberto #580
199. Music Room, The (1958) Ray, Satyajit #582
200. Only Angels Have Wings (1939) Hawks, Howard #584
201. Ben-Hur (1926) Niblo, Fred #594
202. Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962) Varda, Agnès #599
203. Mildred Pierce (1945) Curtiz, Michael #600
204. Nanook of the North (1922) Flaherty, Robert #603
205. Swing Time (1936) Stevens, George #605
206. Tabu (1931) Murnau, F.W. #607
207. Triumph of the Will (1935) Riefenstahl, Leni #615
208. Cat People (1942) Tourneur, Jacques #616
209. Story of the Late Chrysanthemums, The (1939) Mizoguchi, Kenji #618
210. Faust (1926) Murnau, F.W. #619
211. Crime of Monsieur Lange, The (1936) Renoir, Jean #621
212. Lady from Shanghai, The (1947) Welles, Orson #622
213. Lady Vanishes, The (1938) Hitchcock, Alfred #623
214. Miracle in Milan (1951) De Sica, Vittorio #631
215. Make Way for Tomorrow (1937) McCarey, Leo #634
216. Odd Man Out (1947) Reed, Carol #635
217. Life of Oharu, The (1952) Mizoguchi, Kenji #636
218. Floating Clouds (1955) Naruse, Mikio #638
219. Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960) Reisz, Karel #639
220. Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler (1922) Lang, Fritz #641
221. Detour (1945) Ulmer, Edgar G. #644
222. Salvatore Giuliano (1961) Rosi, Francesco #646
223. El Verdugo (1963) Berlanga, Luis García #648
224. My Night at Maud's (1969) Rohmer, Eric #650
225. Day the Earth Stood Still, The (1951) Wise, Robert #656
226. Scarlet Empress, The (1934) von Sternberg, Josef #666
227. Wind, The (1928) Sjöström, Victor #675
228. Cameraman, The (1928) Keaton, Buster/Edward Sedgwick #677
229. Man of Aran (1934) Flaherty, Robert #678
230. Limelight (1952) Chaplin, Charles #683
231. El (1952) Buñuel, Luis #684
232. Navigator, The (1924) Keaton, Buster/Donald Crisp #687
233. It's a Gift (1934) McLeod, Norman Z. #688
234. Wedding March, The (1928) von Stroheim, Erich #692
235. Accattone (1961) Pasolini, Pier Paolo #695
236. Charulata (1964) Ray, Satyajit #697
237. Olympia (1938) Riefenstahl, Leni #701
238. Loves of a Blonde (1965) Forman, Milos #702
239. I Am Cuba (1964) Kalatozov, Mikheil #705
240. Canterbury Tale, A (1944) Powell, Michael/Emeric Pressburger #709
241. Mother (Mat, 1926) Pudovkin, Vsevolod #714
242. Don't Look Back (1967) Pennebaker, D.A. #716
243. Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) Capra, Frank #725
244. Witness for the Prosecution (1957) Wilder, Billy #726
245. Servant, The (1963) Losey, Joseph #730
246. Pyaasa (Thirst, 1957) Dutt, Guru #733
247. Zelig (1983) Allen, Woody #739
248. Our Hospitality (1923) Keaton, Buster/John Blystone #740
249. Through a Glass Darkly (1961) Bergman, Ingmar #742
250. Plaisir, Le (1951) Ophüls, Max #745
251. Memories of Underdevelopment (1968) Alea, Tomás Gutiérrez #747
252. La Commune (Paris, 1871) (2000) Watkins, Peter #754
253. Gun Crazy (Deadly is the Female, 1950) Lewis, Joseph H. #758
254. Cloud-Capped Star, The (1960) Ghatak, Ritwik #772
255. Happiness (1934) Medvedkin, Aleksandr #774
256. Blood of a Poet, The (1930) Cocteau, Jean #778
257. They Were Expendable (1945) Ford, John #781
258. In Cold Blood (1967) Brooks, Richard #782
259. Love Me Tonight (1932) Mamoulian, Rouben #784
260. Quai des Orfèvres (1947) Clouzot, Henri-Georges #788
261. Hidden Fortress, The (1958) Kurosawa, Akira #789
262. Piccadilly (1929) Dupont, Ewald André #792
263. La Terra trema (1948) Visconti, Luchino #794
264. I Know Where I'm Going! (1945) Powell, Michael/Emeric Pressburger #799
265. Terra em Transe (1967) Rocha, Glauber #809
266. Mafioso (bw, 1962) Lattuada, Alberto #812
267. Henry V (1944) Olivier, Laurence #815
268. Seven Chances (1925) Keaton, Buster #827
269. Foolish Wives (1922) von Stroheim, Erich #839
270. Europa '51 (1952) Rossellini, Roberto #842
271. Cranes Are Flying, The (1957) Kalatozishvili, Mikheil #846
272. Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) Ford, John #866
273. Harakiri (1962) Kobayashi, Masaki #867
274. Miracle of Morgan's Creek, The (1944) Sturges, Preston #869
275. I Walked with a Zombie (1943) Tourneur, Jacques #870
276. Devil is a Woman, The (1935) von Sternberg, Josef #878
277. Virgin Spring, The (1960) Bergman, Ingmar #884
278. Pickup on South Street (1953) Fuller, Sam #888
279. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) Kramer, Stanley #889
280. Children of Hiroshima (1952) Shindô, Kaneto #891
281. Que viva Mexico! (1932) Eisenstein, Sergei #893
282. Circus, The (1928) Chaplin, Charles #895
283. Spring in a Small Town (1948) Fei Mu #909
284. Bob le flambeur (1956) Melville, Jean-Pierre #910
285. La Chienne (1931) Renoir, Jean #913
286. Stalag 17 (1953) Wilder, Billy #929
287. There's Always Tomorrow (1956) Sirk, Douglas #930
288. Ossessione (1943) Visconti, Luchino #940
289. Bad and the Beautiful, The (1952) Minnelli, Vincente #945
290. Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne (1945) Bresson, Robert #950
291. Red Beard (1965) Kurosawa, Akira #963
292. Innocents, The (1961) Clayton, Jack #973
293. Sawdust and Tinsel (1953) Bergman, Ingmar #976
294. Touchez Pas A Grisbi (1954) Becker, Jacques #978
295. Angel (1937) Lubitsch, Ernst #981
296. Hour of the Furnaces, The (1968) Getino, Octavio & Fernando E. Solanas #982
297. From Here to Eternity (1953) Zinnemann, Fred #993
298. Control (2007) Corbijn, Anton #999
299. Big Risk, The (1960) Sautet, Claude #1005
300. Misfits, The (1961) Huston, John #1006
301. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) Siegel, Don #1010
302. Stromboli (1950) Rossellini, Roberto 1013
303. Duel in the Sun (1946) Vidor, King #1024
304. Barren Lives (1963) Dos Santos, Nelson Pereira 1029
305. Storm Over Asia (1928) Pudovkin, Vsevolod #1031
306. Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005) Clooney, George #1034
307. Salesman (1968) Maysles, Albert/David Maysles/Charlotte Zwerin 1046
308. Tarnished Angels, The (1957) Sirk, Douglas 1050
309. La Haine (1995) Kassovitz, Mathieu #1067
310. Woman in the Window, The (1944) Lang, Fritz #1070
311. Hallelujah! (1929) Vidor, King #1073
312. They Live by Night (1948) Ray, Nicholas #1091
313. Trial, The (1962) Welles, Orson #1092
314. Gilda (1946) Vidor, Charles #1095
315. Harvey (1950) Coster, Henry #1098
316. Thing from Another World, The (1951) Nyby, Christian/Howard Hawks #1099
317. Design for Living (1933) Lubitsch, Ernst #1106
318. Othello (aka Tragedy of Othello, 1952) Welles, Orson #1111
319. Fires Were Started (1943) Jennings, Humphrey #1114
320. Outskirts (Okraina, 1933) Barnet, Boris #1117
321. Firemen's Ball, The (1967) Forman, Milos #1121
322. Anatahan (1953) von Sternberg, Josef 1126
323. Big Parade, The (1925) Vidor, King #1127
324. Barefoot Contessa, The (1954) Mankiewicz, Joseph L. #1134
325. Holiday (1938) Cukor, George #1157
326. Branded to Kill (1967) Suzuki, Seijun #1158
327. Hour of the Wolf (68) Bergman, Ingmar #1160
328. Blair Witch Project, The (1999) Myrick & Sanchez #1162
329. Billy Liar (1963) Schlesinger, John #1163
330. La Ronde (1950) Ophüls, Max #1166
331. I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932) LeRoy, Mervyn #1174
332. Morocco (1930) von Sternberg, Josef #1175
333. Tom, Tom the Piper's Son (1969) Jacobs, Ken #1176
334. Wagon Master (1950) Ford, John #1185
335. Unfaithfully Yours (1948) Sturges, Preston #1189
336. Under the Roofs of Paris (1930) Clair, René #1195
337. Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach, The (1968) Straub, Jean-Marie #1196
338. Moonfleet (1955) Lang, Fritz #1199
339. Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959) Dutt, Guru #1202
340. Shame (Skammen, 1968) Bergman, Ingmar #1224
341. Flowers of St. Francis, The (1950) Rossellini, Roberto #1234
342. Liebelei (1933) Ophüls, Max #1235

Night of the Hunter, actor Charles
Laughton's only film as director

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Top 100 Holocaust Films

[First published for Jewish Heritage Month, for my Jewish friends. No matter what your religion (or lack of one) everyone deserves justice and dignity in life, that should be basic human right that we all should fight for vigilantly]

I received this following message via email on 4/17/2012, and did not know about this observance in Israel, so I'm sure many of you don't as well, so I wanted to repeat this here: "Tomorrow evening is in Israel what we call Yom HaShoa, Holocaust Day. The Memorial day for the Jews who perished then. While it is not a holiday, light memorial candles for the known and unknown members of our families and others who died at the time. No music is heard and nothing that could be termed entertainment is open (e.g. bars, gyms) and the TV program only shows films related to the holocaust. (Which is one of the reasons I have seen so many of those that you list). - Adriana Marin Grez 

She also suggests that if possible, we donate to a holocaust survivors charity, as many survivors are still alive and living below poverty level. Here's a legitimate one in Israel: The Zdaka Center

Holocaust Films

These are all the holocaust films I found in my research, both ranked and unranked. I'm sure I've missed some, and some are borderline, see the note below the list. Many of these will not be for children, and some are definitely not for the squeamish, as this is about as horrifying as mankind can become.

RANKED [updated 4.17.12]

1. Schindler's List [Spielberg, 1993] #30 [photo top]
2. Shoah [Lanzmann, 1985] #98 Up since 2009
3. The Pianist [Polanski, 2004] #142 New since 2009
4. Army of Shadows [Melville, 1969] #277 Up since 2009
5. Downfall [Hirschbiegel, 2004] #327 New since 2009
6. Triumph of the Will [Riefenstahl, 1935] #614 Down since 2009 - this propaganda film shot by actress Leni Riefenstahl at Hitler's 'request' is tough to watch but demonstrates the power of both patriotism and propaganda. Everyone should see this so you can see how people can be manipulated by the media - Riefenstahl apologized after the war but I think she made a necessary record of evil for everyone to see, and like many, she was optimistic and bought into the disinformation and deception
7. Night and Fog [Resnais, 1955] #413 Up since 2009
8. Life is Beautiful [Begnini, 1997] #445 Up since 2009
9. Come and See [Klimov, 1985] #491 This terrific film is moving up in ranking; the same story was filmed in English as Defiance, but this is the more harrowing and passionate film
10. Au Revoir Les Enfants [Malle, 1987] #872 Up since 2009
11. Hitler: A Film from Germany [Syberberg, 1977] #1219 Down since 2009

Ironically, Oskar Schindler was a failed capitalist who saw an opportunity to succeed with cheap Jewish labor in WW2, and only later developed a conscience.

Shoah is absolutely gut-wrenching, interviews with survivors from both sides, and not for the squeamish; it has some horrifying descriptions, but is a 9 1/2 hr masterpiece of devotion to a cause.

Triumph of the Will from the brilliant actress turned director Leni Reifenstahl doesn't deal with the holocaust directly, but one can see the roots develop in this brilliant piece of propaganda filmmaking which shows the rise to power of the Nazis. The film was so successful worldwide that Time Magazine awarded Hitler "Man of the Year" in 1935! Her Olympia documented the 1936 summer Olympics held in Berlin, which was to be a showcase for the superiority of the German race; even though American sprinter Jesse Owens stunned this image by sweeping his races, the Germans did win the most medals overall. However, during this period public anti-Semitism was hidden away briefly to fool the athletes and press by showing a false and peaceful Berlin.

Army of Shadows is an engrossing film of the French underground, based on a true story. Come and See is a harrowing Russian film of the Nazi invasion of Belorus, a defenseless agrarian region of small villages that became the scorched earth. It was the massive effort it took by the army to destroy a populace here that led to the invention of what the Nazi command called "the final solution".

UNRANKED (alphabetical)

1. A Generation Apart [1984]
2. A Secret [2007]
3. Adam Resurrected [2008]
4. All My Loved Ones [2000]
5. America and the Holocaust [1994]
6. Angry Harvest [1985]
7. Anne Frank Remembered [1995]
8. Anne Frank: The Life of a Young Girl []
9. Anne Frank: The Whole Story [2001]
10. Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State [2005]
11. Autumn Hearts: A New Beginning [2007]
12. Billy Graham: The Hiding Place [1975]
13. Bonhoeffer [2003]
14. Bonhoeffer: Agent of Grace [2000]
15. Boy in the Striped Pajamas, The [2008]
16. Boys From Brazil, The [1978]
17. Century of Simon Wiesenthal, The [1994]
18. Charlotte Gray [2001]
19. Children of Chabannes, The [1999]
20. Civilization and the Jews [1984]
21. Conspiracy [2001]
22. Counterfeiters, The [2007]
23. Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler, The [2009]
24. Dear Mr. Waldman [2006]
25. Defamation [2008]
26. Defiance [2008]
27. Devil's Arithmatic, The [1999]
28. Diary of Anne Frank, The [1959]
29. Diplomats for the Damned [2008]
30. Drancy Avenir [1997]
31. Edges of the Lord [2001]
32. Ever Again [2006]
33. Everything Is Illuminated [2005]
34. Fate Did Not Let Me Go [2003]
35. Fateless [2005, Hungary] - love this story, of a kid who survives the camps, enjoys the comraderie of being with his people; for him it was an asylum from the war - amazing!
36. Forgiving Dr. Mengele [2006]
37. Frontline: Shtetl [1996]
38. Fugitive Pieces [2007]
39. Garden of the Finzi-Continis, The [1970]
40. God On Trial [2008]
41. Good Evening Mr. Wallenberg [1990]
42. Goodnight, Mister Tom [1998]
43. Hidden Child, The [2007]
44. Hidden Heroes [1999]
45. Hiding Place, The [1975]
46. Holocaust: Dachau and Sachsenhausen [2005]
47. Holocaust: Ravensbruck and Buchenwald [2006]
48. Holocaust: The Liberation of Auschwitz [2005]
49. Holocaust: The Liberation of Majdanek [2006]
50. Holocaust: Theresienstadt [2005]
51. I Have Never Forgotten You [2006]
52. I'm Still Here [2008] 53. Imaginary Witness [2004]
54. Incident at Vichy [2002] 55. Inheritance [2006]
56. Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport  [2000] #1542
57. Jacob the Liar [1975]
58. Jakob the Liar [1999]
59. Kapó [1959] Italy
60. Last Days, The [1998]
61. Left Luggage [1998]
62. Lies and Whispers [1998]
63. Long Way Home, The [1997]
64. Making Choices [1005]
65. Man in the Glass Booth, The [1975]
66. Massacre in Rome [1973]
67. Maximilian: Saint of Auschwitz [1995]
68. Memory Thief, The [2007]
69. Miracle at Midnight [1998]
70. Miriam [2006]
71. My Heart is Mine Alone [1997]
72. Nazi Officer's Wife, The [2003]
73. Ninth Day, The [2004]
74. November Moon [1984]
75. Pawnbroker, The [1965]
76. Rape of Europa, The [2007]
77. Reader, The [2008] #2175
78. Rose Garden, The [1989]
79. Rotation [1949]
80. Secret Lives: Hidden Children and Rescuers[2003]
81. Secrets of the Dead: Escape from Auschwitz [2008]
82. Shadows in Paradise: Hitler's Exiles [2008]
83. Shop on Main Street, The [1965]
84. Sophie Scholl: The Final Days [2005]
85. Sophie's Choice [1982]
86. The Sorrow and the Pity [1969]
87. Steal a Pencil for Me [2007]
88. Triumph of the Spirit [1989]
89. Verdict on Auschwitz [1993]
90. Voyages [1999]
91. Watermarks [2005]
92. Who Betrayed Anne Frank? [1998]

Thanks to Adriana Marin Grez, who suggested the addition of these films, which I will add here first, along with her descriptions, as I haven't seen any of these myself:

1) The Round Up ( French: La Rafle ) is a 2010 French film directed by Roselyne Bosch and produced by Alain Goldman. Based on the true story of a young Jewish boy, the film depicts the Vel d'Hiv roundup, the mass arrest of Jews by French police who were Nazi accomplices in Paris in July 1942.

2)  A Square of Sky (German: Ein Stueck Himmel)  is a 1982 television series (10 episodes) based on the australian book "A square of sky" written by Janina David, who survived as a child the Warsaw ghetto and its upraising. She was saved by being smuggled out of the ghetto and into a christian convent.

3) The Summer of Aviya . ( Hebrew: הקיץ של אביה ‎, translit. Ha-Kayitz Shel Aviya). The 1989 film is based on a Hebrew language book that became a bestseller. The 1985 autobiographical novel by theater actress Gila Almagor is a memoir of Almagor's childhood and provides insights into Israeli society in the early post-state period.

4) New Land . A 1994 israeli film by Orna Ben Dor, in Hebrew with English subtitles.
It tells the story of 8 year old Anna, who travels from war ravaged Europe to Israel after World War II and their only posessions is a soiled teddy bear and a picture of their mother. Anna wanders the refugee camp searching for her mother, who she hopes also escaped the Nazis, she meets all sorts of characters with painful and colorful stories of their own.

5) Blessed is the Match:Life and Death of Hanna Senesh
At age 22, Hannah Senesh was safe in Palestine in 1944 when she joined the only military rescue mission for Jews during the Holocaust. She was one of only two women to take part in the mission. One of the reasons she did it, was because her mother and brother were stuck in Hungary and she wanted to get them out.

6)   Tadeusz Pankiewicz (a Polish film).
It tells the story of the Polish roman catholic pharmacist, who found his "Under the Eagle" apothecary suddenly in the middle of the Krakow ghetto when the Nazis set it up.  The pharmacy became a meeting place for the ghetto's intelligentsia, and a hub of underground activity. Pankiewicz and his staff risked their lives to undertake numerous clandestine operations: smuggling food and information, and offering shelter on the premises for Jews facing deportation to the camps.

7) A Film Unfinished .
In May 1942 -- two and half years after the Warsaw Ghetto was established and shortly before the Nazis sent the Ghetto's first 300,000 Jews to the extermination camp of Treblinka -- the Reich dispatched a crew of German soldiers to film Jewish life in the Warsaw Ghetto.
Their perverse propaganda goal: to record for posterity examples of the religious practices and "sub-human culture" of the soon to be eliminated judische Rasse , everything from a circumcision ceremony to a burial service; from the extreme poverty of the many to the supposed lack of concern of those few Jews who still had some assets.


Escape From Sobibor (1987, d. Jack Gold) - UK/Yugoslavia; another starring Rutger Hauer, w Alan Arkin
Sarah's Key (2010, d. Gilles Paquet-Brenner) - France; stars Kristen Scott Thomas
Levin und Gutman (1983) - listed at IMDB as a German TV series
Jona che visse nella balena (Jonah Who Lived in the Whale, 1993, d. Roberto Faenza) - Italy

[I just saw the trailer for NO PLACE ON EARTH, 2012, Germany, dir by Janet Tobias - that definitely looks to belong on this list; a documentary, it tells the story of a small band of Russian Jews in the Ukraine who hid in a cave for 18 months to escape the Nazis, and some lived to tell about it, and also appear for interviews in this film; I can't imagine being underground in a Russian winter, or never seeing the sky - I'll have to see this and report back w a review -- Jose, 10/31/13]

Additional Notes:


Of this list, I would definitely rank the films Garden of the Finzi-Continis and The Shop on Main St., also the Oscar®-winning true story about using imprisoned Jewish forgers to print U.S. and British currency in  The Counterfeiters.

Other films may belong here, some of these may not. I thought about Seven Beauties but since it was about POW's and not the holocaust directly, I didn't include it, but it also helps paint another portrait of the nightmare.

The Night Porter was about the long-lasting effects of the war on a former prisoner and her torturer, brilliantly played by Charlotte Rampling and Dirk Bogarde, directed by Liliana Cavani, also not included above as it had nothing directly to do with the holocaust, though Rampling's character was a teenaged Jewish girl selected for sexual experiments due to her sensual beauty, similar to Susan Strasburg's character in Pontecorvo's Kapo. This was really more an esoteric love story based on sado-masochism than anything else.

I would also rank Nowhere in Africa (Oscar® for foreign language film), about a Jewish mother who takes her daughter to Kenya to escape the war. There the war seems almost non-existant, so this becomes a story more about different cultures mixing than anything more catastrophic. It's a beautiful film, on the same level (and better in some ways) as best-picture winner Out of Africa. In fact, it's currently one of my top 100 favorite films.

Inglourious Basterds (2009)? does this belong - I think with an Oscar®-winning character created by Christolph Waltz called "The Jew Hunter", this dark fantasy warrants inclusion, even with Brad Pitt's ridiculous Southern accent. Though, of course, the kicking shoe in this one was on the other foot. Being a fantasy, and another 'revenge' film as well, this film likely offended as many people as it pleased.

[Note: This post has now been viewed 86,000 times, as of 10/31/13]

Friday, March 9, 2012

DVD Movies For Sale

I'm starting to sell part of my personal dvd collection, I just have too many now.. If marked "like new", they were played once; the others are all in very good condition.

I'm putting them on EBay, but since they take a cut, I can sell them here for less, also through PayPal.. All are widescreen format unless marked otherwise.

Prices include shipping. Click any image for a full-sized view and you can scroll through them from there (these are actual scans of my own covers; check The Majestic for proof).

Here are the ones I currently have for sale:

Hidden Fortress (d. Akira Kurosawa, 1958, bw, 139m) - acknowledge by George Lucas as an influence on Star Wars, this Kurosawa classic is a tale of a general and a princess who must smuggle a fortune out while dodging enemy clans and assisted by two bumbling peasants. I played this once, to move it onto my computer. This is a new 16x9 (widescreen) transfer.

Like new - price: $9.00 SOLD

One-Eyed Jacks (d. Marlon Brando, 1961, 141m) - Brando's epic western, which he directed and starred in, along with Karl Malden and Ben Johnson. This has to be the only western filmed in Monterey and Carmel, California, with some scenes on the beach.

This is a very long western, at nearly two and a half hours, and is definitely not your average western fare.

Like new - price: $5.25

Zardoz (d. John Boorman, 1974, 105m) - very interesting science fiction, in which a group of scientists and elitists live in a domed, protected city on a largely barbarous planet. Sean Connery lives among the barbarians, who constantly receive weapons via a giant floating head, a "god" known as Zardoz. Connery infiltrates the city to solve it's mysteries, and naturally becomes a sex-object with the isolated females.

Like new - price: $4.75

The Scorpion King (d. Chuck Russell, 2002, 92m) - wild adventure fantasy much like Raiders of the Lost Ark and the old Saturday matinee serials. This one involves Egyptology, mummies coming to life, and a pantheon of special effects. Stars The Rock and Kelly Hu

Like new - price: $4.00
Total Recall (d. Paul Verhoeven, 1990, 113m) - classic Schwarzenegger science fiction, this one based on a story by Philip K. Dick, author of Blade Runner, Minority Report, and The Adjustment Bureau. In examining the memory implants of a man about a vacation on Mars, it turns out he may have actually gone there.

Like new - price: $4.00

The Sixth Day (d. Roger Spottiswode, 2002, 123m)  - apocalyptic science fiction tale given "Two Thumbs Up" by Ebert and Roper. Another of Schwartzenegger's classic action based SF films. Here he plays an ace pilot that was illegally cloned by a corporation. Co-starring Robert Duvall.

Very good condition - price: $4.00

Solaris (d. Steven Soderbergh, prod. by James Cameron, 2002, 99m) - the classic Russian science fiction novel by Stanislaw Lem is refilmed here for the west, in English, starring George Clooney. Given "Two thumbs up" by Ebert and Roeper, this story is about a lonely space station orbiting a mysterious living planet, there to study it for signs of life.

Like new - price: $4.75

The Majestic (d. Frank Darabont, 2001, 152m) - from the director of Shawshank Redemption comes one of Jim Carrey's best performances, with "Two thumbs up" from Ebert and Roeper. This is a "valentine's to the movies" and one man's quest for his personal identity. Carrey plays a Hollywood screenwriter whose memories are erased by an auto accident.

Very good condition - price: $4.00

Austin Powers in Goldmember (d. Jay Roach, 2002, 94m) - the third film in the Austin Powers series is a hilarious spoof of James Bond films. One of the best lines: "I will kill you in an excrutiatingly slow manner giving you plenty of time to escape", which was typical of the 007 series (no one ever thought to just shoot him at point blank range). This one also stars Beyoncé, Michael Caine, Michael York (Major Exposition), Robert Wagner (No. 2), and of course, Verne Troyer as Mini-me.

Very good condition - price: $4.00

"I put the grrr in swinger, baby!" - Austin Powers

The Count of Monte Cristo (d. Kevin Reynolds, 2002, 131m) - the director of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves here updates another classic novel and film, giving us a credible film version for the first time. Stars Jim Caviezal, Guy Pearce, and Richard Harris.

Very good condition - price: $4.00 SOLD

The Time Machine (d. Simon Wells, 2002,  96m) - a modern update of the classic H.G. Wells novel, this time with CGI special effects that makes it look like a real science fiction movie for once, making this easily the best filmed version of the novel. Stars Guy Pearce, Samantha Mumba, and Jeremy Irons.

Very good condition - price: $4.75

The Talented Mr. Ripley (d. Anthony Minghella, 1999,  138m) - Gripping crime suspense, as Matt Damon becomes a hanger-on, with Jude Law spending his family's money in Italy, while girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow is first attracted then disturbed by the title character. A remake of the French classic Purple Noon.

Like New - price: $4.75

Local Hero (d. Bill Forsyth, 1983,  111m)
Comedy with a point has corporate lackey Peter Riegert (Animal House, Crossing Delancey) sent to a small coastal community in Scotland to buy it for a giant oil company, headed by capitalist Burt Lancaster. Once there, he begins to wonder if unbridled capitalism is such a great thing, compared to life in a small idyllic locale. Dvd contains both full frame and widescreen editions. A small gem of a film

Like New - price: $4.00 SOLD

Y Tu Mamá También  (d. Alphonse Cuaron, 2002,  105m)
Super young director Cuarón (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Little Princess) has created a sexy, erotic romance involving two men and a woman. Stars Gabriel García Bernal (Babel, Motorcycle Diaries) and Maribel Vardú

Like New - price: $4.75

INXS: The VIdeo Hits Collection  (2002,  105m) - all their best, 20 in all, featuring Don't Change, Need You Tonight, The One Thing, What You Need, Devil Inside

Like New - price: $4.75

Stevie Ray Vaughan: Live from Austin, Texas  (2002,  105m) - the blues rock master at his best

Like New - price: $4.00

I also sold The Night Porter and The Unbearable Lightness of Being (on EBay), both romances, one with Charlotte Rampling painfully in love with Nazi sadist Dirk Bogarde, the other with doctor Daniel-Day Lewis juggling Juliette Binoche and Lena Olin in Czechoslavakia.. both very erotic.. Going and gone..

I also sold the Coen Brothers 1990 crime classic, Miller's Crossing.

To buy any, send me an email first so I can remove it from Ebay, then pay through PayPal (using my email address,, just give me the title you want, and your mailing information. I'll send it out usually the next business day, USPS first class, and it should arrive in 2-3 business days.

Due to savings on shipping:
  • buy 2, take $1.00 off
  • buy 3, take $2.00 off
  • buy 4, take $3.00 off
  • buy 5, pay for 4 (get the lowest priced one free)