The Rules of the Game
Are we bored with this list yet?
Cinema is most often analogized with dreaming (see Hollywood as “dream factory”), but it is also a kind of remembering: it manufactures an immediate past, and thus makes us retrospectively and prospectively older. Bergman’s Wild Strawberries starts with a dream and ends with a memory, aligning its beauty with the beauty of its seventy-seven-year-old star, the great Swedish actor and director Victor Sjöström.
Another classic of world cinema with old people. Yawn.
Vittorio De Sica
Really? Another canonical film about an old guy? At least it costars a dog.
News from Home
This is supposed to be one of those good-for-you, demanding, feminist, kind-of-structuralist, avante-garde, check-it-off-the-list, Brown-semiotics-major-required-viewing films. Perhaps it’s all of those things. It’s also profoundly moving, original, and, weirdly, entertaining.
Brian De Palma
Close-up and Blow Out make a great double feature, mainly because their titles sound so cool together but also because you can’t find two better examples of wickedly smart and politically alive “self-referential” cinema that couldn’t be less doctrinaire. Also, because including Brian De Palma proves I’m not a total snob and allows me to plug one of the funniest and most intelligent books of film theory of the past decade, Chris Dumas’s Un-American Psycho.
André Gregory and Wallace Shawn’s Top 10
Theater directors, filmmakers, writers, actors, and longtime friends André Gregory and Wallace Shawn have collaborated on three movies together: My Dinner with André (1981), Vanya on 42nd Street (1994), and A Master Builder (2014).