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Out of all of the Criterions I own or have watched, these are my top 10. I won't even try to account for all of the omissions, except to say that these are the films that first came to mind.
Ever since I first saw this film I've wanted both, to be these people and to make a film with them in it.
Call me crazy, but I think this is the best "Canadian" movie ever made. I first saw it on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) when I was in Middle School. It's a totally distinct world, blending the benzedrine-fulled world of the Beats with some weird Toronto-Tangiers backdrop. The atmosphere of this film is incredible as is the soundtrack: the Coleman-Shore collaboration is one of the most daring, yet most appropriate soundtracks ever, sounding as if it were being played by some session-tenor player in the apartment upstairs, bleeding through the walls as we lie strung out in the afternoon.
No film has ever looked this good. Shot with natural lighting (for the most part) in the middle of Alberta, by a cast and crew that grew increasingly distrustful of it's director. No film has ever given the exhausting and hopeless life of lower class laborers so much poetry.
There are no trenches and no military fatigues and yet this film expresses the basic forumla of war more clearly than any war movie I've seen: sacrifice everything, expect nothing.
This is just a perfect American movie. All of the mythology and religion that have become so cliched and exploited over the years are challenged and in the end - strangely validated.
I feel exactly like Jack Nicholson in this movie, minus the charm and talent.
Godard's most concise, controlled and eloquent film. I will follow the man through any rant or diversion or indulgence because I know it will change the way I look at things, and make me a better filmmaker.
I love Werner Herzog and most of what he does. But this movie made me reconsider what can be done with "traditional" documentary-making.
My friend had nightmares for weeks after watching this movie and reading the novel it was based on. It is the most sickly, pale-faced, grotesque portrayal of corporate excess and identity crisis. It's an absolute nightmare.
Rohmer spent months preparing and rehearsing his films. Every shot looks exactly as it should be. He is also a fantastic writer. This short film expresses more than most features.