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Spiritual Poets

by qpeeples

Created 07/16/12

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These films don't tell stories in the traditional sense. They create a sense of transcendent wonder by other means; sound, editing, color manipulation and temporal manipulation. Their meaning is not always immediately apparent, but you will still be thinking about them days, even years after.

19 comments

  • By Mark R. Young
    December 21, 2012
    04:37 PM

    An excellent list. I've seen all of these except "Mood" and "Cranes," both of which I should give a try. Very appropriate that Tarkovsky and Malick are here - "The Tree of Life" should easily be on this list if that ever gets a Criterion treatment. I hope Criterion gets the rights to Tarkovsky's "Nostalghia" as well.
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  • By Sidney
    December 21, 2012
    04:59 PM

    I'm glad you included "Stranger Than Paradise", which is essentially a film about really nothing, but which really means something.
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  • By Mark Nave
    December 23, 2012
    09:17 PM

    Your list compelled me to pop Andrei Rublev in the DVD player today for the first time in a long time And that's the reason for lists, isn't it? I'd like to suggest a title not often mentioned, but one that might fit into your theme: The Burmese Harp, about a Japanese soldier turned Buddhist monk who makes it his life mission to sanctify Japan's war dead after World War II. First saw it at 13 and have returned to it many times since.
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    • By qpeeples
      December 12, 2013
      11:44 AM

      Ah, yes! The Burmese Harp is a favorite! Thanks for reminding me!
  • By Sleestak
    December 23, 2012
    11:29 PM

    Sounds as if you are a Tarkovsky nut. Andrei Rublev, and Solaris are the two films in my collection I have viewed more than any other. (probably around 30 each) Excellent list. You have Been spared the wrath of Caligula-Bob and been summoned to the position of Consul.
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  • By Eric Levy
    December 24, 2012
    05:29 AM

    What a terrific list! We share several favorite films/directors. Others that would appear on my own list would include Jean Renoir (THE RIVER), Robert Bresson (PICKPOCKET, A MAN ESCAPED), and Powell/Pressburger (A CANTERBURY TALE).
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    • By qpeeples
      December 12, 2013
      11:45 AM

      I know, I know! I can't believe I forgot Bresson!
  • By Christian Cowart
    December 27, 2012
    02:49 PM

    I would like to thrown Walkabout out there just for the poetic imagery comparing modernity with the savage. Great list though!
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  • By Michael Brakemeyer
    December 28, 2012
    02:13 PM

    Excellent choices...totally agree with Wings Of Desire and Mishima: A Life In Four Chapters. I'm just now beginning to appreciate Tarkovsky and his vision. You could always add more to this list, but these are a great starting point.
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  • By futurestar
    January 06, 2013
    09:13 PM

    We share a love of Andrei Rublev which changed what and how I think about cinema as a whole. Malick is my second favorite, then you included the great Polish director plus Chris Marker whom we lost this past year. He was so close to Tarkovsky he was chosen to film the family rejoined in a modern Paris after six years of exile from Russia, his son and mother. These will be the final and lasting images we will ever see of the entire Tarkovsky family. He so trusted Chris Marker and in turn Chris made a lasting documentary tribute - One Day In The Life Of Andrei Arsenevich as a visual love letter to the master of his craft and untimely departure. A greater honor could not be made. We are the lucky recipients of both their life works as we can watch them again and again. Gaining something anew with each viewing such is their depth and poetic power.
    Reply
  • By Mary1
    February 21, 2013
    12:09 AM

    Excellent list. Blue is my hands down favorite of the Three Colors Trilogy.
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  • By Sam Rasnake
    March 01, 2013
    11:17 PM

    An amazing list - Couldn't argue with any of these.
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  • By Theo
    March 24, 2013
    08:26 AM

    All I would add would be L'eclisse, which is a perfect example of visual storytelling. Wings of Desire is my favorite movie of all time, I'm so glad you listed it. Paris, Texas, is also worth a mention.
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    • By qpeeples
      December 12, 2013
      11:46 AM

      Ah, see? I totally spaced on Antonini, too! Thanks for the reminder!
  • By Prudence
    March 28, 2013
    01:54 AM

    For a second I thought I had stumbled upon a list I had created long ago! I would include these - ZERO DE CONDUITE LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD MIRROR or STALKER
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  • By Rififi
    April 01, 2013
    11:47 PM

    Ugetsu would be on my list - though the story is akin to Greek Tragedy, but the visuals are haunting, and.....perhaps Kathartic is a more appropriate word than transcendent. I might add Ingmar Bergman's "Seventh Seal" and Fellini's "Bicycle Thief" to my own list, not sure if those are mentioned in this discussion or not. Solaris and Andrei Rublev are certain to fit into the "transcendent" narrative, in my opinion. And all of what I am saying is, of course, derived from my opinion and taste.
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    • By Rififi
      April 02, 2013
      12:59 AM

      Excuse me, the correct title for Bicycle Thief is "Bicycle Thieves".
  • By futurestar
    April 02, 2013
    06:45 PM

    So glad Criterion finally released Badlands with great support materials. Catching up Jack Fisk and Sissy Spacek fill in a lot of the blanks we wished to know upon this initial release. This is the project where they met, fell in love, and are still bonded closely to this day. Their nephew was our go between on TOL and is on his own way to fulfilling his own film visions - Mark Spacek. I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to work directly with Jack Fisk finding picture cars over an 80 time line for Tree of Life. Striving to please a very exactly challenge set forth by both Terrence Malik and his ever faithful stalwarts since this film # one. The production design of Jack Fisk has been paramount and a steady keel of wonder and awe. The last bit of irony in all these coincidences is I went to high school in Texas - the same sports district as she and lived right across the other side of Lake Tawakoni, graduating the same year. Life is full of surprises and wonder. Malick is a director capable of cinematic visual poetry and proves it time and again. Lucky we be.
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  • By Peter_Wilson
    January 07, 2014
    06:04 PM

    Love the list. Excellent work putting it together. Check out my lists if you find the time.
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