Thursday, June 4, 2009

Most Critically Acclaimed Films by Country

Updated 6.04.09 [I pulled these from the excellent list compiled at the site They Shoot Pictures, Don't They? - they collated the top 1000 films from over 1800 other lists and critics lists, I have a link to the list on the sidebar, under "Film Sites", also added to the bottom of this post - Jose] This list is about 140 films - how many have you seen? I highlighted my favorites of these in BLUE [40 of the 140] Top Critically Ranked Films for Each Country Shows title, rank in top 1000, director - I also show some higher-ranked joint country efforts, there are really too many combos of those to show them all. Algiers-France: Battle of Algiers (95) - Gillo Pontecorvo Argentina: The Hour of the Furnaces (519) - Octavio Getino & Fernando E. Solanas Australia: 1. The Piano (261) - Jane Campion 2. The Road Warrior (Mad Max 2) (391) - George Miller 3. Picnic at Hanging Rock (526) - Peter Weir 4. Walkabout (648) - Nicholas Roeg 5. The Year of Living Dangerously (876) - Peter Weir Belgium: Deanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxellse (141) - Chantal Akerman Brazil: Black God, White Devil (323) - Glauber Rocha Brazil-France: Black Orpheus (863) - Marcel Camus Brazil-Ger-France: City of God (778) - Fernando Meirelles Canada: 1. Wavelength (339) - Michael Snow 2. Dead Ringers (439) - David Cronenberg 3. Videodrome (505) - David Cronenberg Canada-France: Atlantic City (749) - Louis Malle China: 1. Spring in a Small Town (480) - Fei Mu 2. Yellow Earth (642) - Chen Kaige 3. Red Sorghum (702) - Zhang Yimou China-Taiwan-U.S.: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (822) - Ang Lee Cuba: Memories of Underdevelopment (376) - Tomas Gutierrez Alea Czechoslavakia: Closely Watched Trains (351) - Jiri Menzel Denmark: Ordet (34) - Carl Dreyer Denmark-Swe-Fr-Neth-Norw: Breaking the Waves (383) - Lars von Trier France: 1. Rules of the Game (3) - Jean Renoir 2. L'Atalante (16) - Jean Vigo 3. The Passion of Joan of Arc (17) - Carl Dreyer 4. La Grande Illusion (25) - Jean Renoir France-Germ: Vampyr (183) - Carl Dreyere France-Germ-Italy: 1900 (267) - Bernardo Bertolucci France-Iran-W.Germ: F for Fake (318) - Orson Welles France-Italy: Contempt (56) - Jean-Luc Godard France-Japan: Hiroshima mon amour (96) - Alain Resnais France-Spain: Tristana (349) - Luis Bunuel France-W Germ: Wings of Desire (247) - Wim Wenders Germany: 1. M (53) - Fritz Lang 2. Metropolis (70) - Fritz Lang 3. Aguire: The Wrath of God (91) - Werner Herzog 4. Nosferatu (105) - F.W. Murnau 5. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (144) - Robert Wiene Hong Kong: Chungking Express (328) - Wong Kar-Wai Hong Kong-China: Farewell, My Concubine (551) - Chen Kaige Hong Kong-France: In the Mood for Love (344) - Wong Kar-Wai Hungary: The Round-Up (673) - Miklos Jancso Hungary-Germ-Switz: Satantango (343) - Bela Tarr India: 1. Pather Panchali (59) - Satyajit Ray 2. The World of Apu (165)- Satyajit Ray 3. The Music Room (192)- Satyajit Ray 4. Aparajito (289)- Satyajit Ray 5. Charulata (324)- Satyajit Ray [Where is Mira Nair? and others, they have lots of great films!] Iran: Close-Up (191) - Abbas Kiarostami Iran-Fr-Switz: A Moment of Innocence (412) Mohsen Makhmalbaf Italy: 1. 8 1/2 (5) - Federico Fellini 2. The Bicycle Thief (14) - Vittorio De Sica (I prefer his Umberto D.) 3. La Dolce Vita (26) - Federico Fellini 4. La Strada (50) - Federico Fellini 5. The Leopard (66) - Luchino Visconti Italy-France: L'avventura (38) - Michelangelo Antonioni Italy-Fr-Germ: The Conformist (65) - Bernardo Bertolucci (Great Film!) Italy-Spain: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (187) - Sergio Leone Italy-UK: Blow-Up (197)- Michelangelo Antonioni Italy-US: Once Upon a Time in the West (73) - Sergio Leone Italy-W.Germ: Germany, Year Zero (236) - Luchino Visconti Japan: 1. The Seven Samurai (9) - Akira Kurosawa 2. Tokyo Story (10) - Yasujiro Ozu 3. Rashomon (19) - Akira Kurosawa 4. Ugetsu monogatari (54) - Kenji Mizoguchi 5. Ikiru (81) - Akira Kurosawa Japan-China: Ju Dou (735) - Zhang Yimou Japan-Hong Kong: Princess Yang Kwei Fei (617) - Kenji Mizoguchi Japan-Russia: Dersu Uzala (451) - Akira Kurosawa Korea: Oldboy (816) - Chan-Wook Park Mali: Yeelen (725) - Souleymane Cisse Mexico: 1. Los Olvidados (109) - Luis Bunuel 2. The Exterminating Angel (120) - Luis Bunuel 3. El (315) - Luis Bunuel [Hey, isn't Bunuel actually French? Do any native Mexicans make movies? Gregory Nava?] Mexico-US: Que viva Mexico! (473) - Sergei Eisenstein New Zealand: Angel at My Table (532) - Jane Campion Poland: 1.Ashes and Diamonds (118) - Andrzej Wajda 2. Dekalog (132) - Krszystof Kieslowski 3. A Short Film About Killing (631) - Krszystof Kieslowski Russia (see also 'USSR', for Soviet era films): 1. Battleship Potemkin (8) - Sergei Eisenstein 2. Andrei Rublev (41) - Andrei Tarkovsky 3. The Mirror (69) - Andrei Tarkovsky 4. Stalker (125) - Andrei Tarkovsky 5. Earth (134) - Alexander Dovzhenko Russia-France: Burnt by the Sun (885) - Nikita Mikhalkov Senegal: Xala (554) - Ousmane Sembene Spain: 1. Viridiana (68) - Luis Bunuel 2. The Spirit of the Beehive (194) - Victor Erice 3. Land Without Bread (586) - Luis Bunuel 4. Law of Desire (672) - Pedro Almodovar Spain-France: All About My Mother (635) - Pedro Almodovar Spain-Italy: El Verdugo (277) - Luis Garcia Berlanga Spain-Switz: Chimes At Midnight (124) - Orson Welles Sweden: 1. Persona (40) - Ingmar Bergman 2. The Seventh Seal (52) - Ingmar Bergman 3. Wild Strawberries (57) - Ingmar Bergman 4. Fanny & Alexander (74) - Ingmar Bergman [Well, Lasse Hallstrom's "My Life as a Dog" made the list, but seemingly after every mediocre film Bergman made, and there were many; most of them, in fact, although these four are his best.. Watch "Dog", far more enjoyable - Jman] Taiwan: The Time to Live and the Time to Die (287) - Hsiao-Hsien Hou Taiwan-Japan: Yi Yi (597) - Edward Yang United Kingdom: 1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (4) - Stanley Kubrick 2. Lawrence of Arabia (13) - David Lean 3. The Third Man (24) - Carol Reed 4. Dr. Strangelove (39) - Stanley Kubrick 5. Barry Lyndon (92) - Stanley Kubrick 6. A Clockwork Orange (93) - Stanley Kubrick United States (has 458 of the top 1000) 1. Citizen Kane (1) - Orson Welles 2. Vertigo (2) - Alfred Hitchcock 3. The Godfather (6) - Francis Coppola 4. The Searchers (7) - John Ford 5. Singin in the Rain (11) - Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly 6. Sunrise (12) - F.W. Murnau (silent but great!) 7. Casablanca (15) - Michael Curtiz 8. Raging Bull (18) - Martin Scorsese 9. The Godfather Part II (20) - Francis Coppola 10. Touch of Evil (21) - Orson Welles [I much prefer Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons to this, even Kane, and it's also high on this list, at #43 but falling annually. I also prefer Godfather II to the first - add DeNiro and Strasburg and time shifts to a young Don Corleone in Italian, much more artistic a film to me] US-Australia: The Matrix (733) - Andy & Larry Wachowski US-Germany: Dead Man (445) - Jim Jarmusch US-India: The River (219) - Jean Renoir US-New Zealand: Lord of the Rings I (860) - Peter Jackson [Not sure why Rings III isn't here actually, instead of part I] USSR 1. The Man with a Movie Camera (97) - Dziga Vertov 2. Alexander Nevsky (217) - Sergei Eisenstein 3. Strike (284) - Sergei Eisenstein 4. October (292) - Sergei Eisenstein 5. The Colour of Pomegranate (382) - Sergei Parajanov USSR-Cuba: I Am Cuba (446) - Alexander Dovzhenko [Must've been made before the psychotic 'trade embargo'! can we be more petty?] US-UK: The Big Lebowski (777) - Ethan and Joel Coen [Argh - one of their worst! give me Raising Arizona anytime] West Germany: 1. In a Year with 13 Moons (335) - Rainer Werner Fassbinder 2. The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (484) - Werner Herzog 3. Fitzcarraldo (575) - Werner Herzog [Even the documentary about this, Burden of Dreams, is a great film as well; but the best German film to me is now The Lives of Others, 2006, with the comedy Goodbye, Lenin! close behind] Yugoslavia: Time of the Gypsies (561) - Emir Kusturica Irony: Alfred Hitchcock, a British director, is usually listed hightest for Vertigo (or sometimes Psycho), made in the U.S after he came to Hollywood. Stanley Kubrick, an American director, made his best films (2001, Dr. Strangelove, A Clockwork Orange) in the U.K. Of all the films that get listed in the top 10, I'd put 2001 above them all. In spite of a lack of pace, it had more influence on the entire industry than Kane or Vertigo; none of the others was authored by Arthur C. Clarke either, the most visionary author of the century. He co-created radar for the British, and predicted (in the 40's) telecom satellites circling the globe. For the full list of 1000 critically ranked films: They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?

8 comments:

Ebrahim Kabir said...

In India we've had people in the same league as Ray. Ghatak, Adoor Goapalakrishnan, Mirnal Sen are too name a few.

You could read more about Ritwik Ghatak and his cinema in our new issue online

Jose Sinclair said...

Thanks for the infomation, Ebrahim! We need to see more Indian films, and now that we have Netflix and Blockbuster mailing these foreign films to us, they are finally available to everyone. Previously, they only ran in big cities and maybe a few universities; those of us in rural areas had no other options until now.

With the large number of films being produced in China and India, we can only assume that we are missing many great films in our hemisphere...

We'll check out the other great Indian directors that you've listed. Ironically, Ray's Pather Panchouli is not yet available at Netflix...

Arvind S. said...

Indians have one of the greatest set of directors. Few bozos would never get to know that,i guess. But, i am absolutely sure that u r not a bozo. Try finding about, Anurag Kashyap, Mahesh Bhatt, Kamal Haassan, Mani ratnam, Adoor Goapalakrishnan.

Broto said...

I find the comment (scribbled just below the Indian movies list) irritating and a remark carelessly thrown by an ignorant.Sorry if I'm being rude but I had no other way to express my disgust.If you are not yet through the world of indian cinema who gives you the right to comment on it....and that too in such a way!!!I wish you had learnt manners.Seeing your list I feel that you're yet to experience a lot about international movies.You've skipped many important points which could actually be considered as milestones of the golden screens.Try to feel the films you see....you still have a lot to learn.

Jose Sinclair said...

Hey, Broto -
Grab a dictionary, look up the word "sarcasm".. Obviously, you missed my point: THERE ARE SO MANY GREAT FILMS from INDIA, why do the critics only pick RAY'S??

unreal, man - you really must get a better GRIP on the LANGUAGE, or get thicker skin! I love Indian films myself, and think more directors than just ONE should be honored on the lists..

Jose Sinclair said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sugat said...

Indian movies are the most overrated films of the world. If you look carefully most films are copied from the west. The directors and actors who claim that they are the legends, the greatest and best in India shamelessly admit that the stories have been "adapted" from western movies. Please people open your eyes and dont get fooled by this Indian industry... and that is what it really is and nothing more. What a beeping disgrace !!!

Jose Sinclair said...

Sugat.. that may be so, but Spielberg created E.T. from an abandoned Indian film project, so it sometimes works both ways..

I'll have to admit that most Indian films are exaggerated and lack subtlety, just like U.S. films compared to those from the United Kingdom..

I think the best foreign language films are from Italy first, China second, France third..

For the number of films they produce, India and Russia should have more "all-time" great ones than they do..

As long as people keep their own cinema alive, then they'll get better as people learn over time what makes great art vs what is popular, which is always the "lowest common denominator", and by definition "average"..

thanks for the comments! -- Jose