Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Multiple Acting Oscars®

These actors and families have won more than one Oscar®

Four Katherine Hepburn (Morning Glory, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, The Lion in Winter, On Golden Pond) - I would argue that they missed her best early peformance in Adam's Rib, while only Golden Pond was a standout among her wins. Three Each Ingrid Bergman (Gaslight, Anastasia, supporting for Murder on the Orient Express) - I think they were more entranced by her beauty than her talent photo right Jack Nicholson (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, As Good as It Gets, supporting for Terms of Endearment) - and they missed Five Easy Pieces, arguably his best, most subtle performance

Walter Brennan (all supporting: Come and Get It, Kentucky, The Westerner, all in a 5 yr span, 36-40)

Actor twice: Marlon Brando (On the Waterfront, The Godfather) - and he was the only non-winner in A Streetcar Named Desire photo left Gary Cooper (Sergeant York, High Noon) Daniel Day-Lewis (My Left Foot, There Will Be Blood) - and they missed his best in Gangs of New York, when he won 17 awards for Bill the Butcher Tom Hanks (Philadelphia, Forrest Gump) Dustin Hoffman (Kramer vs Kramer, Rain Man) - his own fave and mine is still Ratso Rizzo in Midnight Cowboy Fredric March (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Best Years of Our Lives) - one of the best, deserved another for his last, Seven Days In May Sean Penn (Mystic River, Milk) Spencer Tracy (Captains Courageous, Boys Town) - not exactly his best peformances, Adam's Rib was my favorite, impeccable comedy photo right

Actress twice: Luise Rainer (The Great Ziegfeld, The Good Earth) Bette Davis (Dangerous, Jezebel) - maybe the greatest ever, could've also won for All About Eve, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? photo right Ingrid Bergman (Gaslight, Anastasia) Vivien Leigh (Gone with the Wind, A Streetcar Named Desire) Olivia de Haviland (To Each His Own, The Heiress) Elizabeth Taylor (Butterfield 8, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) Glenda Jackson (Women in Love, A Touch of Class) Jane Fonda (Klute, Coming Home) Sally Field (Norma Rae, Places in the Heart) Jodie Foster (The Accused, Silence of the Lambs) Hilary Swank (Boys Don’t Cry, Million Dollar Baby) - she joins Vivien Leigh as 2 for 2 in this category Both lead and supporting Oscars Robert De Niro (Raging Bull, supporting for Godfather II) photo left Gene Hackman (French Connection, supporting for Unforgiven) Jack Lemmon (Save the Tiger, supporting for Mister Roberts) Kevin Spacey (American Beauty, supporting for The Usual Suspects) Denzel Washington (Training Day, supporting for Glory) Helen Hayes (Sin of Madeleine Claudet, supporting for Airport) Jessica Lange (Blue Sky, supporting for Tootsie) Maggie Smith (Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, supporting for California Suite) Meryl Streep (Sophie’s Choice, supporting for Kramer vs Kramer)

Supporting actor twice: Anthony Quinn (Viva Zapata, Lust for Life) Peter Ustinov (Spartacus, Topkapi) Melvyn Douglas (Hud, Being There) Michael Caine (Hannah and Her Sisters, The Cider House Rules) Jason Robards (All the President’s Men, Julia) Supporting actress twice: Shelly Winters (The Diary of Anne Frank, A Patch of Blue) photo rt. Diane Wiest (Bullets Over Broadway, Hannah and Her Sisters) Most nominations for actor Spencer Tracy (9) Laurence Olivier (9) Paul Newman (8) Peter O'Toole (8) – with no wins, a record Jack Nicholson (8) Marlon Brando (7) – four were consecutive, 51-54, still a record Dustin Hoffman (7) Jack Lemmon (7) Richard Burton (6) - with no wins Gary Cooper (5) Tom Hanks (5) Robert De Niro (5) Fredric March (5) Paul Muni (5) Al Pacino (5) Gregory Peck (5) Sean Penn (5) James Stewart (5) Henry Fonda (76) is the oldest winner, On Golden Pond. Adrien Brody (29) is the youngest winner, The Pianist. Jackie Coooper was the youngest nominee at 9 for Skippy. Richard Farnsworth was the oldest nominee at 79 for The Straight Story. Most supporting actor nominations Walter Brennan (4), Arthur Kennedy (4), Jack Nicholson (4), Claude Rains (4) Most Best Actress Nominations Meryl Streep (12) – a record total 15 nominations when supporting is included (photo right) Katharine Hepburn (12) Bette Davis (10) Greer Garson (7) Ingrid Bergman (6) Jane Fonda (6) Deborah Kerr (6) - with no wins Norma Shearer (6) Sissy Spacek (6) Anne Bancroft (5) Ellen Burstyn (5) Audrey Hepburn (5) Susan Hayward (5) Jessica Lange (5) Shirley MacLaine (5) Susan Sarandon (5) Elizabeth Taylor (5) Irene Dunne (5) Jessica Tandy (80) is the oldest winner, Driving Miss Daisy (photo left); also the oldest nominee, beating Dame Edith Evans (also 80 in The Whisperers) by half a year. Marlee Maitlin (21) is the youngest winner, Children of a Lesser God. Keisha Castle-Hughes (13) is the youngest nominee, The Whale Rider, and winner of 5 international awards. Most Supporting Actress nominations Thelma Ritter (6) - with no wins Ethel Barrymore (4), Lee Grant (4), Agnes Moorehead (4), Geraldine Page (4), Maureen Stapleton (4), Maggie Smith (4)

Tatum O’Neal (10) is the youngest supporting actress winner, Paper Moon, photo right. Anna Paquin was one year older in The Piano. Tatum should have been in the lead actress category, she's in nearly every scene in the movie. Peggy Ashcroft (77) is the oldest supporting actress winner, A Passage to India. Gloria Stuart (87) is the oldest nominee, The Titanic. O’Neal is the youngest. The only brother and sister to win Oscars: Lionel Barrymore (supporting for A Free Soul), Ethel Barrymore (supporting for None But the Lonely Heart). Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, and Julia Roberts each need their brothers to win now. Winning father-daughter combos: Henry Fonda (On Golden Pond), daughter Jane Fonda (Klute, photo left, Coming Home)

Jon Voight (Coming Home), daughter Angelina Jolie (Supporting for Girl, Interrupted)

Liza Minelli (Cabaret), is the only acting winner whose parents, Judy Garland and Vincente Minelli (director, An American in Paris), both won Oscars®

Three generation winners: Walter Huston (supporting actor for Treasure of the Sierra Madre), son John Huston (director and writer of Treasure of the Sierra Madre), grand-daughter Angelica Huston (supporting actress winner for Prizzi’s Honor, directed by her father John) Carmine Coppola (music for The Godfather), son Francis Ford Coppola (director of Godfather II), grand-daughter Sofia Coppola (writer of Lost in Translation). If you add in Francis’ nephew Nicholas Coppola (aka Nicholas Cage), add his best acting Oscar (Leaving Las Vegas).

Photos courtesy of

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

200 Great Directors' Best Films

These are the top rated films of each director listed by a consensus of critics polls, I’ve included my choices below those if they differ. I included some directors who only had one great picture, such as Laughton, Beatty, Attenborough, if I considered that one film important enough. [Updated: 8.28.09*] Allen, Woody: Manhattan (1979) US (photo rt) – I prefer Hannah and Her Sisters Almodóvar, Pedro: All About My Mother (1999) Spain-France Altman, Robert: Nashville (1975) US – My pick: McCabe and Mrs. Miller Anderson, Paul Thomas: Boogie Nights (1997)* Angelopoulos, Theo: The Travelling Players (1975) Greece Antonioni, Michelangelo: L’Avventura (1960) Italy-France Aronofsky, Darren: Requiem for a Dream (2000) US - many prefer Pi, not me Ashby, Hal: Harold and Maude (1972)US Attenborough, Richard: Gandhi (1982) UK - worth the two decades he spent Beatty, Warren: Reds (1981) US Beresford, Bruce: Driving Miss Daisy (1989) US - many prefer Breaker Morant Bergman, Ingmar: Persona (1966) Sweden Bertolucci, Bernardo: The Conformist (1969) Italy-France-Germany Bogdanovich, Peter: The Last Picture Show (1971) US Bondarchuk, Sergei: War and Peace (1968) Russia Boyle, Danny: Trainspotting (1995) UK – mine: Slumdog Millionaire Bresson, Robert: Au hasard Balthazar (1966) France Brest, Martin: Midnight Run (1988) US – good, but I like Going in Style Brooks, Mel: The Producers (1968) US Buñuel, Luis: Viridiana (1961) Spain – I prefer The Discrete Charm of the Bourgeousie Burton, Tim: Edward Scissorhands (1990) - I like Big Fish better Cameron, James: The Terminator (1984) US – I like Aliens and Terminator 2 Camus, Marcel: Black Orpheus (1959) Brazil-France Capra, Frank: It's a Wonderful Life (1946) US – I prefer Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Carné, Marcel: Les Enfants du paradis (1945) France Cassavetes, John: A Woman Under the Influence (1974) US Cavani, Liliana: The Night Porter (1973) Italy Chaplin, Charles: City Lights (1931) US – I guess I’d pick Modern Times Chen Kaige: Farewell, My Concubine (1993) Hong Kong-China Cimino, Michael: The Deer Hunter (1978) US – he did another film? Clément, René: Forbidden Games (1951) France Clouzot, Henri-Georges: The Wages of Fear (1952) France-Italy Cocteau, Jean: La Belle et la bête (1946) France Cooper, Merian C./Ernest B. Schoedsack: King Kong (1933) US - admirable effects, stupid story Coen, Joel and Ethan Coen: Fargo (1995) US – close, I’ll go with Raising Arizona Coppola, Francis: The Godfather (1972) US – I like Godfather II best (photo rt) Cukor, George: The Philadelphia Story (1940) US – close, I’ll take My Fair Lady Curtiz, Michael: Casablanca (1942) US Darabont, Frank: The Shawshank Redemption (1994) US De Palma, Brian: Carrie (1976) US De Sica, Vittorio: Bicycle Thieves (1948) Italy Demme, Jonathan: The Silence of the Lambs (1991) Deren, Maya: Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) US Dieterle, William: Portrait of Jennie (1948) US Donen, Stanley/Gene Kelly: Singin' in the Rain (1952) US Dovzhenko, Alexander: Earth (1930) Russia Dreyer, Carl: The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) France Eastwood, Clint: Unforgiven (1992) US – Good, but I prefer Mystic River Egoyan, Atom: The Sweet Hereafter (1997) Canada Eisenstein, Sergei: Battleship Potemkin (1925) Russia Fassbinder, Rainer Werner: Ali - Fear Eats the Soul (1974) Germany Fellini, Federico: 8½ (1963) Italy Fincher, David: Fight Club (1997) US - I still prefer The Game Flaherty, Robert: Nanook of the North (1922) US Fleming, Victor: Gone with the Wind (1939) US – gimme the giant girl in Wizard of Oz Ford, John: The Searchers (1956) US – argh, I’ll take Mister Roberts Forman, Milos: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) US – I like Amadeus Fosse, Bob: Cabaret (1972) US – I think All That Jazz was more interesting Frankenheimer, John: The Manchurian Candidate (1962) - my pick: The Train Frears, Stephen: Dangerious Liaisons (1988) US Friedkin, William: The Exorcist (1973) US – yuck, French Connection is far better Gance, Abel: Napoléon (silent, 1927) France Gilliam, Terry: Brazil (1985) UK (photo rt) Godard, Jean-Luc: Breathless (1959) France Griffith, D.W.: Intolerance (1916) US Hallström, Lasse: My Life as a Dog (1985) Sweden Hamer, Robert: Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) UK Hawks, Howard: Rio Bravo (1959) US – r.u. kidding? His Girl Friday Herzog, Werner: Aguirre - The Wrath of God (1972) Germany – I like Fitzcarraldo Hitchcock, Alfred: Vertigo (1958) US Howard, Ron: A Beautiful Mind (2003) US - my pick: Parenthood Hughes, John: Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) US Huston, John: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) US - mine: The Maltese Falcon (42)* (photo bottom) Ivory, James: A Room With a View (1986) US Jackson, Peter: The Lord of the Rings (trilogy, 2001) US-New Zealand Jewison, Norman: In the Heat of the Night (1967) US Kaufman, Philip: The Right Stuff (1983) US Kazan, Elia: On the Waterfront (1954) US (photo rt) Keaton, Buster/Clyde Bruckman: The General (1926) US Kiarostami, Abbas: Close-Up (1989) Iran Kieslowski, Krszystof: Dekalog (Decalogue, 1988) Poland Kubrick, Stanley: 2001 - A Space Odyssey (1968) UK Kurosawa, Akira: The Seven Samurai (1954) Japan Lang, Fritz: M (1931) Germany Laughton, Charles: Night of the Hunter (1955) UK - his only film as director Lean, David: Lawrence of Arabia (1962) UK Lee, Ang: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2002) China-Taiwan-US - he's underrated Lee, Spike: Do the Right Thing (1989) US Leone, Sergio: Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) Italy-US – I much prefer Once Upon a Time in America, the long version LeRoy, Mervyn: Goldiggers of 1933 (1933) Lester, Richard: A Hard Day's Night (1964) UK Levinson, Barry: Diner (1982) US Losey, Joseph: The Servant (1963) UK Lubitsch, Ernst: To Be or Not to Be (1942) US – give me Trouble in Paradise Lucas, George: Star Wars (1977) US Lumet, Sidney: Network (1976) US Lynch, David: Blue Velvet (1986) US Mackendrick, Alexander: The Sweet Smell of Success (1957) US (photo rt) Malick, Terrence: Days of Heaven (1978) US Malle, Louis: Lacombe, Lucien (1974) France – my pick: Atlantic City Mankiewicz, Joseph L.: All About Eve (1950) US Marker, Chris: La Jetée (1962) France Mazursky, Paul: Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969) US - never liked this, loved Enemies-A Love Story McCarey, Leo: Duck Soup (1933) US McLeod, Norman Z.: It's a Gift (1934) US Meirelles, Fernando: City of God (2002) Brazil-Germany-France Mendes, Sam: An American Beauty (1999) I like 2008's Revolutionary Road Milestone, Lewis: All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) US Miller, George: The Road Warrior (aka Mad Max 2) (1981) Australia Minghella, Anthony: The English Patient (1996) US Minnelli, Vincente: The Band Wagon (1953) US – I like Meet Me in St. Louis Mizoguchi, Kenji: Ugetsu monogatari (1953) Japan Morris, Errol: The Thin Blue Line (1988) US - I prefer the pure documentary Fast, Cheap and Out of Control Mulligan, Robert: To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) US Murnau, F.W.: Sunrise (silent, 1927) US *Best Silent* Nair, Mira: Salaam Bombay! (1988) India Nichols, Mike: The Graduate (1967) US (photo rt) Nolan, Christopher: Memento (2000) US Ophüls, Max: Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948) US Ozu, Yasujiro: Tokyo Story (1953) Japan Pabst, G.W.: Pandora's Box (silent, 1928) Germany Pakula, Alan J.: All the President's Men (1976) US Pasolini, Pier Paolo: The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964) France-Italy Peckinpah, Sam: The Wild Bunch (1969) US Penn, Arthur: Bonnie and Clyde (1967) US Pennebaker, D.A.: Don't Look Back (1967) US Polanski, Roman: Chinatown (1974) US Pollack, Sydney: Tootsie (1982) US Pontecorvo, Gillo: The Battle of Algiers (1965) Algeria-Italy (photo rt) Powell, Michael/Emeric Pressburger: A Matter of Life and Death (1946) UK – I think I prefer The Red Shoes, and A Canterbury Tale Rafelson, Bob: Five Easy Pieces (1970) US Ramis, Harold: Groundhog Day (1993) US Ray, Nicholas: Johnny Guitar (1954) US – easily In a Lonely Place Ray, Satyajit: Pather Panchali (1955) India Reed, Carol: The Third Man (1949) UK – I actually prefer Outcast of the Islands Reiner, Rob: This Is Spinal Tap (1984) – my pick: When Harry Met Sally Reisz, Karel: Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960) - I love Morgan! Renoir, Jean: The Rules of the Game (1939) France – like many others, I prefer La Grande Illusion; they’re close in the poll Resnais, Alain: Last Year at Marienbad (1961) France-Italy – not a big fan, but Hiroshima, Mon Amour over this Richardson, Tony: Tom Jones (1963) UK Riefenstahl, Leni: Triumph of the Will (1935) Germany (Nazi) Ritt, Martin: Hud (1963) US - although Norma Rae is more inspirational Rivette, Jacques: Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974) France Roeg, Nicolas: Don't Look Now (1973) UK – I vastly prefer Walkabout, even Performance Roehmer, Eric: My Night at Maud's (1969) France Rossellini, Roberto: Voyage in Italy (1953) Italy Rossen, Robert: The Hustler (1961) US Salles, Walter: Central Station (1998) Brazil-France - a tossup, or: The Motorcycle Diaries Sandrich, Mark: Top Hat (1935) US - I prefer the hilarious The Gay Divorcee Sayles, John: Lone Star (1995) US Schlesinger, John: Midnight Cowboy (1969) US Scorsese, Martin: Raging Bull (1980) US – right, but Taxi Driver is close Scott, Ridley: Blade Runner (1982) US – yes, but Gladiator is close Sharpsteen, Ben: Fantasia (1940) US Siegel, Don: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) US Singer, Bryan: The Usual Suspects (1995) US Sirk, Douglas: Written on the Wind (1956) US Sjöström, Victor: The Wind (1928) US Spielberg, Steven: Jaws (1975) US – over E.T., Close Encounters, Schindler’s List? I even liked Minority Report, Raiders/Lost Ark, Pvt. Ryan more.. Stanton, Andrew: Wall-E (2008) US - not listed yet, I added him for this and Finding Nemo Stevens, George: Shane (1953) US Stone, Oliver: JFK (1991) US - me and Oscar prefer Platoon Sturges, John: The Magnificent Seven (1960) US Sturges, Preston: The Lady Eve (1941) US Szabó, István: Mephisto (1981) Hungary Tarantino, Quentin: Pulp Fiction (1994) US – inspired by Wong Kar-Wai Tarkovsky, Andrei: Andrei Rublev (1966) Russia (photo rt) Tati, Jacques: Playtime (1967) France Tornatore, Giuseppe: Cinema Paradiso (1988) Italy-France Tourneur, Jacques: Out of the Past (1947) US Truffaut, François: Jules et Jim (1961) France Vidor, King: The Crowd (1928) US Vigo, Jean: L’Atalante (1934) France Visconti, Luchino: The Leopard (1963) Italy – not a fan of this, give me Death in Venice von Sternberg, Josef: The Blue Angel (1930) Germany von Stroheim, Erich: Greed (1924) US von Trier, Lars: Breaking the Waves (1996) Denmark-Sweden Wajda, Andrzej: Ashes and Diamonds (1958) Poland Washowski Brothers, Andy and Larry: The Matrix (1999)* Weir, Peter: Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) Australia – I like Fearless, many like Witness Welles, Orson: Citizen Kane (1941) US Wertmuller, Lina: Seven Beauties (1976) Italy - first woman director nominated for best directing Oscar® Wilder, Billy: Some Like it Hot (1959) US – good but mine: Sunset Boulevard (photo rt) Wise, Robert: West Side Story (1960) US - co-dir w Jerome Robbins Wong Kar-Wai: Chungking Express (1994) Hong Kong – and the sequel Fallen Angels Wyler, William: The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) US Zemeckis, Robert: Back to the Future (1985) US Zhang Yimou: Raise the Red Lantern (1991) Hong Kong – my pick: Hero, one of my favorite films, China’s top grossing Zinnemann, Fred: High Noon (1952)US Note: Currently at 182, I intend to add to this list until I have at least 200 directors The Maltese Falcon (Huston, 42)

Monday, June 22, 2009

World's Best Comedy Films

[* = new additions]
  • Airplane!
  • Auntie Mame
  • Babe
  • Baby Boom
  • Beautiful Girls*
  • Beetlejuice
  • Being John Malkovich
  • Born Yesterday
  • City Slickers
  • Clueless
  • Dr. Strangelove (bw)
  • Driving Miss Daisy
  • Duck Soup (bw)
  • Ghostbusters
  • Going in Style
  • Good Bye, Lenin!* (Germany)
  • A Great Wall
  • Hannah and Her Sisters*
  • Heathers
  • Kind Hearts and Coronets (bw)
  • M*A*S*H
  • Midnight Run
  • Mister Roberts
  • Parenthood
  • The Producers (original)
  • Raising Arizona
  • The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming!
  • Singles
  • Thank You For Smoking
  • The Thin Man (series)
  • Tootsie
  • Wall-E*
  • When Harry Met Sally*
Runners-Up: Animal House, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Gung Ho!, La Cage Aux Folles (France), A Night at the Opera*, Smoke Signals, The Sunshine Boys, The Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe (Italy), Young Frankenstein The Thin Man series is hard to classify, is it crime/mystery or comedy? It certainly stood out for the cleverly sarcastic repartee of the two characters, Nick and Nora Charles, expertly played by William Powell and Myrna Loy. The first two in the series are the best; the thin man actually refers to a victim, not to William Powell, and the dog Asta is the true scene stealer of the series. In all honesty, I like the series for its bizarre romance (he's always leaving her with ex-cons he helped put away), but without their humor they would be droll mysteries indeed. [Updated: 6.22.09]

Is Ghostbusters the Greatest Comedy?

I thought this post at Obsessed With Film was good enough to repeat the link, check this out: 50 Reasons Why Ghostbusters just might be the greatest movie of all time and maybe one reason why it isn't I wouldn't go as far in my accolades but it is a very funny spoof of science-fiction films and religions, directed by Ivan Reitman, and starring Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, and Sigourney Weaver - but this is Bill Murray's attitude and film all the way. "We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!" "He slimed me!" "It's a free-form, autonomous, floating vaporous apparition." "I've worked in the private sector, they expect results!" "Ok, so she's a dog." "Normally you don't get that type of behavior out of a major appliance." "Real old testament wrath of God type stuff.." "Well, let's say this Twinkie represents the normal amount of psychokinetic energy in the New York area. Based on this morning's reading, it would be a Twinkie thirty-five feet long, weighing approximately six hundred pounds." "Man, that's one big twinkie." "I'm studying the the effect of negative reinforcement on ESP ability." "The effect? I'll tell you what the effect is, it's pissing me off!"

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Best Dance Scene Ever: Carmen

The rehersal scene for the tobacco factory fight in Carlos Suara's flamenco Carmen. Choreographed by Antonio Gades, this is the most exciting dance scene in any film, in my opinion (but I could be wrong..)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mozart on the Floor Piano

We're moving all these videos to Small Cinema, please check there for more

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Camera Man: the Human Camera

Stephen Wiltshire has been called the "Human Camera." In this short excerpt from the film Beautiful Minds: A Voyage into the Brain, Wiltshire takes a helicopter journey over Rome and then draws a panoramic view of what he saw, entirely from memory.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

100 Quotes in 200 Seconds Video

[Thanks to Beth G for finding this one, she's a fellow cinemaniac]

Oscar Snubbed Film Classics

Many of my favorite films and all-time classics got no Oscars®, such as Dr. Strangelove, Memento, Being John Malkovich, Gangs of New York (Scorsese’s most ambitious), and Pulp Fiction, still Tarantino's best. Most of these are much more daring and memorable than the winners, each is a classic. [Many of these are linked to my reviews at '1000 Dvds to See'] Dr. Strangelove - to me, possibly the best comedy of all time, and up there with 2001 for a Kubrick achievement; both are best of their genres, and Peter Sellers also deserved an Oscar® for this, playing three parts. Kubrick also wanted Sellers to play the bomber pilot, but he declined saying "I'll be onscreen for every scene, the audience will tire of me", so Slim Pickens made this role into a film classic (photo rt.), and a young James Earl Jones was the navigator, while a young George Scott was war hawk General Turgid. Now #27 on the IMDB top 250 (viewer rated). "Gentlemen, there's no fighting here, this is the war room!" Hero - the incredible Zhang Yimou film is the highest grossing in Chinese history and lost the Foreign Language Oscar® to Nowhere in Africa (also a great film) and got nothing at all. This is an all-time top ten film for me, and was even used by Bose in commercials for its surround sound system. Out of the Past - the quintessential film noir from director Jacques Tourneur, with superb acting from Robert Mitchum and Kirk Douglas (his 2nd film). 22-year old Jane Greer was the archetypal femme fatale (and Howard Hughes girlfriend to boot!) This was also an homage to cigarette smoking, as they lit up whenever things got tense. (photo left) "The view's no good unless you have someone to share it with." City of God - Fernando Meirelles received a deserved nomination for director of this Brazilian masterpiece, and the film got 3 other nominations (incl. cinemagotraphy and editing, but not one for Best Foreign Film, which it should have easily won. Now near the top of all major film lists. Pulp Fiction - Tarantino's crime classic, told in 3 parts jumbled up chronologically, was inspired by Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai's films Chungking Express and the sequel Fallen Angels, which were supposed to be one film but were so long (four hours) that Wong released them as two films. Lost best picture to Forrest Gump, because sometimes you get a chocolate you don't like so much. Once Upon a Time in America - Leone’s finest achievement and a worthy successor to the two Godfather films, and even longer at nearly four hours. It received NO nominations! With De Niro, James Woods, Tuesday Weld. (photo rt.) Note: avoid the 2-hr US theatrical version! Minority Report - terrific Spielberg film about an anti-crime unit in the future that can predict a crime and arrest the criminal beforehand. Based on a Philip K. Dick story, same author whose novel was used for the film Blade Runner, though the title was bought from an unrelated book - the phrase was never used in Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Being John Malkovich - before winning an Oscar® for the screenplay Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, screenwriter Charles Kaufman penned this bizarre classic in which John Cusack discovers a portal in his half-floor sized office that leads entrants into the mind of actor John Malkovich for 15 minutes. Very unusual and interesting concept, at least got a screenplay nomination. Memento - winner of five Indie Spirit awards, including best picture and director, this breakthrough film from Christopher Nolan (Batman Begins, Dark Knight) goes chronologically backwards as Guy Pierce tries to solve a crime that left him with short-term memory loss, so he tattoos important clues on his body and takes photos of people in his life so he can remember them. (photo rt) The Color Purple - from Alice Walker's bestseller, this was Spielberg's first "serious" film, in his own words. The story involves the bond between sisters, and how one, played by Whoopi Goldberg, has to endure a masochistic, domineering husband (Danny Glover) in order to find her own self-worth and independence. Received a record 11 nominations without a single win. Gangs of New York - one of Scorsese's most ambitious films, about a violent period in New York history when the five points area was a battleground of immigrant gangs. Historically accurate, based on a history book, this was also the only time the U.S. military (both navy and army) was called on to fire on its own citizens. Staggering crowd scenes and in Daniel-Day Lewis' Bill the Butcher, my favorite screen villain. List of great movies that didn't win any Oscars® The Color Purple (Spielberg -11 nominations, a record for NO wins) Gangs of New York (Scorsese - 10 nominations, photo rt.) It’s a Wonderful Life (Capra - a flop when released, gained popularity when the copyright expired and tv stations showed it for free) Angels With Dirty Faces (38, Michael Curtiz) Blade Runner (Ridley Scott) The French Lieutenant's Woman (Karel Reisz) Dr. Strangelove (Stanley Kubrick) Auntie Mame (Morton Da Costa) 12 Angry Men (Sidney Lumet) The Maltese Falcon (John Huston's first) The Shawshank Redemption (Frank Darabont) Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (38, David Hand, the first feature length animation film) The Caine Mutiny (54, Edward Dmytryk) My Man Godfrey (36, Gregory La Cava) Rebel Without A Cause (Nicholas Ray) Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder) The Witness for the Prosecution (Billy Wilder) Anatomy of a Murder (Otto Preminger) The Birdman Of Alcatraz (John Frankenheimer) Taxi Driver (Scorsese) photo left Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (58, Richard Brooks) Brief Encounter (David Lean, who did win two Oscars afterwards) Seabiscuit (remake) Das Bööt (Wolfgang Peterson, who originally wanted Paul Newman) Empire Of The Sun (Spielberg) Scarface: Scourge of the Nation (31, Hawks) Psycho (Hitchcock, who admitted using Hershey's chocolate syrup for blood!) The Remains of the Day (James Ivory) Five Easy Pieces (Bob Rafelson) Lenny (Bob Fosse) City of God (Fernando Meirelles, Brazil, four nominations) Good films with NO nominations Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 28) Freaks (Tod Browning, 32) King Kong (33, Cooper and Schoedsack) Kind Hearts And Coronets (Robert Hamer) His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks, who never won) Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur) The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, his only film as director, with Robert Mitchum as a fake, homicidal preacher with "Love" and "Hate" tattooed on his fingers) photo - note the church look implied by the lighting High Sierra (Raoul Walsh) The Searchers (John Ford, who did win three for directing, a record) The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 61) A Face in the Crowd (Elia Kazan) The Servant (Joseph Losey) The Life and Death Of Colonel Blimp (Powell/Pressburger) Repulsion (Roman Polanski) Touch Of Evil (Welles) Whistle Down the Wind (Bryan Forbes) photo left Lord of the Flies (Peter Brook) Once Upon A Time In America (Sergio Leone, his most serious effort at nearly four hrs) Beautiful Girls (Ted Demme) Mean Streets (Scorsese) [Only Special Effects Oscars®, at least they got something] 2001: A Space Odyssey - epic science fiction story about the evolution of man into a spiritual being, was mostly done in silence to simulate the loneliness and quiet of space. Stanley Kubrick's best work forever changed the way SF films looked, as from then on they had to look realistic. This film made Star Wars and Close Encounters possible. #3 on the critics consensus top 1000. Babe - perhaps the finest family film and animal film both did win for Special Effects, but will remembered and watched long after the over-blown and dreary Braveheart; Babe had the real heart that year, and actually caused pork sales to plunge. For me, this was the absolute worst best picture ripoff of all time. Possible articles to follow: - Snubbed directors, who include Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks (His Girl Friday), Stanley Donen (Singin in the Rain), Ingmar Bergman, Frederico Fellini, Lena Wertmuller, George Lucas - Snubbed actors, like Peter O'Toole, Peter Sellers, Robert Mitchum, and Edward G. Robinson (photo rt), who was never even nominated! Would a supporting win for Double Indemnity or A Boy Ten Feet Tall have been too much to ask?

Monday, June 8, 2009

MysteryGuitarMan: Flight of the Bumblebee

MysteryGuitarMan: he says this is 1600 images that were taken 30 seconds apart.. good editing! Watch for the sun going down in the background, ..twice! This is a great example of stop-frame animation, a film produced from many still shots.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Great Film Roles Refused

These famous roles were all refused by the directors first choice, making someone else famous or more so as a result. The Maltese Falcon – George Raft was well-known for turning down roles that made Bogart’s career: High Sierra (41), Maltest Falcon (42), Casablanca (42). He refused Falcon because he didn’t want to work with first-time director John Huston! As for High Sierra, Paul Muni also turned down the part. Casablanca – the role of Ilse was first offered to Hedy Lamarr, who refused as the script was not finished. Ingrid Bergman turned this into the role of a lifetime, and of course the film won best picture and remains a legendary classic of romance. By the way, the phrase "Play it again, Sam" was never spoken, but did become the title of a Woody Allen spoof on Bogart's sex appeal. Lawrence of Arabia – David Lean’s first choice was Marlon Brando, who decided to make another film first, luckily for us after seeing his British officer in Mutiny on the Bountry remake. Rather than wait, Lean went with little-known stage actor Peter O’Toole, who turned in the performance of a lifetime, in one of the best films ever made, winning 7 Oscars, including best picture. This movie also was instrumental in inspiring Martin Scorsese to become a director. The Man With the Golden Arm – another part turned down by Brando, this one reviving the career of Frank Sinatra in a gritty role as a heroin addict. Brando may have performed it better, but Sinatra looks more the part for this. Brando won an Oscar for On the Waterfront (best actor), while Sinatra won one for From Here to Eternity (supporting actor). It Happened One Night – one of my favorite goddesses, the queen of cool Myrna Loy turned down the part of the runaway heiress that won Claudette Colbert an Oscar. In fact, the film was the first (until Cuckoo's Nest) to win the big four of actor, actress (Gable), director (Frank Capra) and picture. I have to believe that Myrna (The Thin Man series) would have been even better in this part, no one shows disdain of maleness quite like her. The Graduate – Robert Redford was first offered the role of Benjamin Braddock by Oscar-winning director Mike Nichols, but he felt that he couldn’t portray the naïve college grad, which of course made star Dustin Hoffman famous. Overall, the casting was excellent, including Buck Henry in a small part as the desk clerk at the hotel where Braddock went for the affair. Giant – Alan Ladd felt that he was too old to play Jett Rink, who was ironically aged with makeup anyway, in the multi-generational epic Giant. The role, of course, went to James Dean, who was nominated for a record two posthumous Oscars (East of Eden was the other), as all three of his films were released after his death in a car wreck. He was driving at a high speed when a car pulled out in front of him on the highway; ironically his passenger only had minor injuries. Sunset Boulevard – Billy Wilder’s scathing noir about the seedy side of Hollywood stardom was first offered to Montgomery Clift, who declined thinking his fans wouldn’t buy him in the part. William Holden was excellent and totally believable as a screenwriter willing to sell his affection for another chance at success. Once again, the entire cast was perfect, especially director Erich von Stroheim as Norma’s idolizing butler and former director. (I was eMailed that Wilder first wanted Mae West for Swanson's role - yikes!) Gone With the Wind – the role of Scarlett was first offered, understandably, to Bette Davis, who had played southern belles before with great success. Thinking she would be co-starring with Errol Flynn, she refused. Vivien Leigh, wife of Laurence Olivier, won her first Oscar in the role; her second would be in A Streetcar Named Desire. The Wizard of Oz – the title part was actually written and tailored for W.C. Fields, who reportedly turned down the part because he wanted 100k and the most that MGM would offer was 75k. It seems like such a small amount for the connection to have been missed, and in fact, Fields’ agent actually said he really wanted to work on the script for You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man instead. My Fair Lady – rather than come out of retirement, James Cagney refused the part offered as Alfred P. Doolittle, father of Eliza. Performing two musical numbers with style and humor (With a Little Bit of Luck, and Get Me To the Church), Stanley Holloway turned in the performance of his career and received the Oscar for supporting actor. The scene where he haggles with Rex Harrison over payment for his daughter is classic. Once again, the audience got lucky here! Bonnie and Clyde – the original actress offered the role of Bonnie was Jane Fonda, but she was married to Roger Vadim at the time, making cult hits Barbarella and The Game Is Over, and didn’t want to come to the states to make films. She ended up doing just that a year later, making They Shoot Horses, Don’t They in 69, which got her first Oscar nomination and moved her up into the ranks of serious drama. Meanwhile, Faye Dunaway used the role of Bonnie to vault into stardom, getting her first Oscar nomination. She would later win for Network, while Fonda won two, for Klute and Coming Home. Ben-Hur – the title role was first turned down by Burt Lancaster, whose athleticism and build would have been perfect for this. Instead, Charlton Heston won his only Oscar in Wyler’s record-setting 11 Oscar movie. Heston had taken a supporting part in Wyler’s The Big Country just before this, so he was due a starring role. All actors wanted to work with Wyler, whose was notorious for winning Oscars, as his films were nominated for a record 127 Oscars, winning a record 39. The Three Faces of Eve – choosing her roles very selectively, Eva Marie Saint turned this role down (in spite of her name!), and Joanne Woodward turned in the performance of her career as a women with at least three distinct personalities, winning her only Oscar as best actress. Of course, she later married actor Paul Newman, who won his only Oscar for The Color of Money, a reward for a career of distinctive roles.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Evolution of Dance

Director Point Totals in Critics Top 1000

I totalled up all the films for each listing in the critics top 1000, and these are the resulting point totals, not that I agree with the results. I decided to go to 120 rather than 100 because of some of those just out of the 100, like Yimou, Cimino, Campion, Reifenstahl, Eastwood.
Photo courtesy of

      Director                       Points
    1.Hitchcock, Alfred - US          10091
    2.Ford, John - US                  9836
    3.Buñuel, Luis - Spain             9305
    4.Godard, Jean-Luc - France        8474
    5.Kubrick, Stanley - US-UK         7974
    6.Fellini, Federico - Italy        7698
    7.Kurosawa, Akira - Japan          7629
    8.Hawks, Howard - US               7504
    9.Bergman, Ingmar - Sweden         7191
   10.Chaplin, Charles - US            6896
   11.Powell, Michael - UK             6452
   12.Renoir, Jean - France            6270
   13.Bresson, Robert - France         6165
   14.Lang, Fritz - US                 6014
   15.Scorsese, Martin - US            5809
   16.Welles, Orson - US               5757
   17.Visconti, Luchino - Italy        5703
   18.Eisenstein, Sergei - Russia      5497
   19.Tarkovsky, Andrei - Russia       5259
   20.Keaton, Buster - US              5155
   21.Rossellini, Roberto -  Italy     5098
   22.Antonioni, Michelangelo - Italy  4838
   23.Wilder, Billy - US               4726
   24.Mizoguchi, Kenji - Japan         4477
   25.Spielberg, Steven - US           4456
   26.Dreyer, Carl - Denmark           4442
   27.Truffaut, François - France      4350
   28.Lubitsch, Ernst - US             4271
   29.Ophüls, Max - France             4268
   30.Murnau, F.W. - US                4266
   31.Ray, Satyajit - India            4214
   32.Coppola, Francis - US            4196
   33.Huston, John - US                4152
   34.Resnais, Alain - France          4131
   35.Cassavetes, John - US            3931
   36.Lean, David - UK                 3911
   37.Allen, Woody - US                3793
   38.Altman, Robert - US              3670
   39.Ozu, Yasujiro - Japan            3567
   40.Fassbinder, Rainer Werner – Ger. 3534
   41.von Sternberg, Josef - US        3450
   42.Ray, Nicholas - US               3424
   43.Sturges, Preston - US            3378
   44.Sirk, Douglas - US               3336
   45.Pasolini, Pier Paolo - Italy     3182
   46.Kieslowski, Krszystof - Poland   3165
   47.Peckinpah, Sam - US              3029
   48.McCarey, Leo - US                2985
   49.Kiarostami, Abbas - Iran         2953
   50.De Sica, Vittorio - Italy        2952
   51.Minnelli, Vincente - US          2944
   52.Kazan, Elia - US                 2923
   53.Griffith, D.W. - US              2918
   54.Polanski, Roman - UK             2912
   55.Bertolucci, Bernardo - Italy     2872
   56.Wenders, Wim - Germany           2842
   57.Leone, Sergio - Italy-Spain      2627
   58.Forman, Milos - US               2624
   59.Capra, Frank - US                2622
   60.Lynch, David - US                2596
   61.von Stroheim, Erich - Germany    2491
   62.Cukor, George - US               2490
   63.Donen, Stanley - US              2423
   64.Vidor, King - US                 2414
   65.Wyler, William - US              2407
   66.Tati, Jacques - France           2368
   67.Scott, Ridley - UK               2338
   68.Tourneur, Jacques - UK           2264
   69.Melville, Jean-Pierre - France   2240
   70.Hou Hsiao-Hsien - Taiwan         2162
   71.Cocteau, Jean - France           2146
   72.Lumet, Sidney - US               2141
   73.Herzog, Werner  -   Germany      2138
   74.Coen, Joel and Ethan - US        2090
   75.Curtiz, Michael – US             2056
   76.Rohmer, Eric – France            1978
   77.Demy, Jacques - France           1971
   78.Malick, Terrence - US            1953
   79.Fleming, Victor - US             1898
   80.Reed, Carol - UK                 1866
   81.Cameron, James - US              1852
   82.Roeg, Nicolas - UK               1848
   83.Rocha, Glauber - Brazil          1810
   84.Stevens, George – US             1808
   85.Wong Kar-Wai - Hong Kong         1802
   86.Vigo, Jean – France              1765
   87.Flaherty, Robert - US            1756
   88.De Palma, Brian - US             1755
   89.Wise, Robert - US                1740
   90.Carné, Marcel - France           1711
   91.Mankiewicz, Joseph L. - US       1706
   92.Sharpsteen, Ben – US             1699
   93.Clair, René - France             1698
   94.Pabst, G.W. – Germany            1697
   95.Marker, Chris - France           1629
   96.Rivette, Jacques - France        1517
   97.Lucas, George - US               1482
   98.Tarantino, Quentin - US          1471
   99.Jarmusch, Jim - US               1440
   100.Whale, James - US               1432
   101.Romero, George A. - US          1407
   102.Gilliam, Terry – UK             1346
   103.Weir, Peter – Australia         1337
   104.Cronenberg, David - Canada      1325
   105.Angelopoulos, Theo - Greece     1301
   106.Fosse, Bob - US                 1296
   107.Clouzot, Henri-Georges - France 1259
   108.Jennings, Humphrey - UK         1255
   109.Riefenstahl, Leni - Germany     1230
   110.Campion, Jane - Australia       1227
   111.Eastwood, Clint - US            1225
   112.Cimino, Michael - US            1220
   113.Reiner, Rob - US                1209
   114.Walsh, Raoul - US               1192
   115.Zhang Yimou - Japan-China       1183
   116.Zinnemann, Fred - US            1172
   117.Friedkin, William - US          1150
   118.Edwards, Blake - US             1098
   119.Hand, David - US                1079
   120.Parajanov, Sergei - USSR        1071

These are interesting results to say the least. I've always thought of Hitchcock as more of a popular than artistic director. I'm always surprised by the admiration for Godard - for me he's akin to root canal work, ie 'painful to sit through'. At least Kubrick is near the top (probably my favorite), and Scorsese is just ahead of Welles - yippee! He has a much longer and valuable filmography already, and is still active. Glad that Buster Keaton showed so well, and Micheal Powell (11th), and that Spielberg is top 25 also. Shouldn't Billy Wilder be a little higher than 23rd though? I always find Chaplin ranked to highly also, and Howard Hawks - he's ahead of William Wyler? Are you kidding? David Lean is too low at 36, and Elia Kazan is way too low at 52. WHO the heck is Ben Sharpsteen to come in 92? David Cronenberg, too high at 104th, in spite of Dead Ringers - he's ahead of Campion, Eastwood, Friedkin, Reifenstahl, Yimou, and Zinnemann! "That's just my opinion, I could be wrong!" Note: Once again, The Critics 1000 list we used was the one at They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

10 New Film Reviews

We recently reviewed these 10 films at both 1000 DVDs to See and 1000 Great Films The Memory Loss Tapes (2008) - terrific documentary Close-up (1990) - touching but propaganda In Bruges (2008) - inventive, entertaining killer thriller John Adams (2008) - historical epic tv mini-series, 13 Emmys Man On Wire (2008) - well-crafted, not so suspenseful, see the cover Milk (2008) - excellent mythic history of politician Harvey Milk Ugetsu (1953) Japan, bw - spooky Japanese medieval war fable Kinamind (2005) Denmark - touching immigrant romance story Shallow Grave (1994) - fun, twisty suspense from Danny Boyle Mrs. Miniver (1942) bw - Wyler's classic war story of England, winner of Best Picture; it's pro-war tone is a good bookend for the anti-war best picture The Best Years of Our Lives, released 4 years later. Caution ahead! Films to avoid: Doubt - much ado about nothing, good acting but not much else; Meryl Streep is a freaky minion of Satan, a self-righteous wrath of god dispenser that is too medieval for public safety - I say "burn the witch", that'll put the fear of god in her! The Exterminating Angel - Bunuel's farce about a bunch of Mexican aristocrats who come to a dinner party and can't seem to leave; it becomes claustrophobic and maddening over time - just burn the house down already! Targets - early Peter Bogdanovich psycho film about a man with a bunch of weapons and ammo who starts shooting people on an L.A. freeway; Boris Karloff is the only attraction here! You and Me and Dupree - terrible comedy with a wasted cast

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?