Going at it Alone

by MrCannon

Created 01/16/13

Edit List

Sometimes we have to do things ourselves. These are the faces, bodies, and souls, or in short, 'Individuals' that struggle to fight by themselves.

  • The queen of the French New Wave, Agnes Varda imprints a tragic road trip wandering of Mona, a drifter passing through the lives of various citizens, going from one to another, toward a path of her own desolation and destruction. With Mona's sassy pessimism, it mirrors the alienating landscapes, add the personal views of her aquaintances shape this almost 'Citizen Kane' style narrative tale of fate, with an end as clear as it is a mystery.

  • New York City born director/actor Allen Baron pulls the trigger back on American 60's cinema with this paranoid and deadly neo-realistic noir mission of 'Baby Boy' Frankie Bono (played by Allen Baron), a hitman hired to trail a gang boss during Christmas time in New York City, his job becomes compromised when an old flame comes into his path. A Stylistic and gritty take on the play-it-cool films of the 50's, plus with the god-like voice over of Lionel Standler. This is a tough and beautiful depiction of NYC, and a individual dealing with the fact that loneliness is a personal dispute that can only be fought in your own corner.

  • Bergman yet again pulls at our heartstrings with this lucid like journey of an elderly Doctor, while waiting to accept a honorary award, he takes a personal road trip into his past trying to find understanding and optimism for the present. Swedish director Victor Sjostrom plays the nostalgic doctor who wanders through nightmares, to dreams, and reality, to his inevitable fate with his own mortality. This is Bergman's graceful window into a lost soul.

  • Forget what you knew about gangster genre, the master of existential American gangsterism Jean Pierre Melville will toughen your senses, introducing you to Jef Costello, a silent, cooly and samuri natured hitman who becomes the target of exposure from the law. This is Melville's paramount and meticulous vision of a man fighting alone to find solitude.

  • Individual suffering stands alone in Bresson's tragic  claustrophobic perception of youth as we track the life of Mouchette, a young girl forced to take care of her ailing mother, her baby brother, and her alcoholic father while trying to live a normal existence. Religious ideals and sexual tension are pulled through a disillusioned girl who finds no escape while fate leans like a phantom in Bresson's unconventional display of societial desperation and spiritual destruction embodied into a wandering alienated soul.

  • Heads up, or you might have to cross the man himself. Tetsu, a lone gangster gone straight, tries to clear the name of his former boss from a murder set up, created by a rival gang. Shot in candy colors, with strokes of hip gangsterism, Seijun Suzuki sneaks up on Japanese 60s cinema with a political shot to the rising modernism in Post-war Japan.

  • Love kills in Suziki's sinister missions of Haneda, a precision hired gun and number three killer in his rank with a pension for inhaling boiled rice and a suicidal beauty he can't stop thinking of. Fatigue and paranoia latch on after he kills the wrong target, setting Haneda up as the next one. Suzuki pulls off a off-beat new wave style blast of deconstruction of the individual conscience and filmatic image, as well as a lucid and nightmare path to a personal hell in which violence and post-war modernism fight it out to the death.

  • The evils of war cannot compare to the torture of lost youth, clear the ruble to reveal a young boy who befriends a his suspicious school teacher that becomes involved in the black market. Rossollini's war torn tale, is a devastating and bombarded vision of the effects of war, and what it has for someone who fights alone.

  • Those who look to the past will always be trapped. That perception rings true in Louis Malle's clausterphobic suffering wanderings of Alain, a not so cured patient who on one day reaches out to old friends, acquaintances, and old flames while leading himself toward a devistating invevetable fate. Malle shows a intimate and bressonian view of Paris as well as a adolescence destroyed until there is nothing left, in retrosepction, a personal animostiy of bohemian and bourgeois nothingness from the past of Malle's himself, while showing an embrace of life or becoming a victim of the past.

  • Enter the dimly lit corridor of the mind of Fisher, a detective who resides in cario, goes through a session of hypnosis that brings him back to his old territory in a ambiguous Europe. Fisher floats through a surreal post-apocoliptic wasteland of a city, in search for a serial killer that has resurfaced again, or may be a copycat. Working his method, Fisher does his own work by tracing the steps of killer, in hopes to predict his next move. Von Triers anarchic and nightmarish vision is a terrifying and unsettling pathway toward division of the self.

  • Check the receiver, some way or another, the message will get through. Lodge Kerrigan's haunting character study of lost love, takes you into the eyes of an individual who is on the hunt for reconnecting with his lost daughter, after he is released from a mental institution. A road trip into scrambled memories, unsettling illusions, and unshakable paranoia. This skin grafted expedition into time is a almost silent roadway leading to an errie finale that still gets under the skin.

  • Prepare for a internal war in the shoes of a con-man Emanuele Bardone (played by Vittorio Di Sica) cons families to pay him to find information of they're loved ones who are lost in battle. When he is caught for his illegal activities, a nazi colonel forces Bardone to play a dead partisan general in a political prison, in order to find out crucial information. With real war torn locations, the Rossolini is known for capturing the effects of war on its victims, this is a ironic and humanistic vision of a man who's nature changes in order of strength and self-sacrifice to show true evil its face.

  • Your sympathy is required for Umberto, a elderly man, pensionless. living under the roof of a devilish landlord, determined to throw him out. Umberto does anything he can to stay, surviving with his fathful dog, Flike, and his close friendship with a young housekeeper. De Sica plays in the transition of post-war Italy, to the lonely wanderings of a man searching for help without losing faith, or his dignity.

  • Redemption is far off in this comically biblical tale of martyrdom, when Hazel Motes, comes back from the army, takes up becoming a priest for his 'Church Without Christ'. Running into locals of a small town that agitate Hazel's brash ideals. Adapted from Flannery O' Conners story, John Huston preaches a fearful passage of innocence gone bad.

  • Your spirt will wander through this emotional archway of love and loss. Satyajit Ray creates a moody and musical atmosphere with intimate and tragic song that sings of a fading aristocrat isolating himself in his crumbling mansion, sifting through his memories of family, wealth, and of course, his love for music. With the backdrop of India going though a economic transition, we take a look at a man who lives his life by tradition, but who refuse to grow in a modern world.

  • Temptation is a bitch, and literally. Simon, a man considered a saint by his followers for his patient standing on a pedestal for six years to show his love for god. Evil plays when the devil disguised as a woman tempts Simon to come down from his position. Bunuel mocks religion and idealism in this surrealist comedy of man's human nature.

  • Faith and acceptance are hard to come by. A young priest is hired to work in a small village in his first parish. When the congregation welcome mat is pulled out from underneath him, he goes to extremes to win faith over hopelessness, even while he is suffering from a unknown illness. Bresson unifies the image and sound organically, to render a portrait of loliness searching for god in the most innocent of hearts.

  • Having strength to survive is one thing. Doing it alone, that's bravery into uncertain terrain, that can bring you to heaven or hell. With striking realism, Robert M. Young's respectably films an intimate point of view of a Mexican immigrant Roberto Ramirez, who jumps the boarder to support his wife and Newley born son. Shooting from low angles to keep us at ground level with Roberto, and never letting us go above him, gives this picture of immigration in America a humanistic view into the vein of an innocent seeing the truth face to face.

  • Freedom can only be achieved if we have the faith. Faith is tested to its limits in Bresson's well knotted plans of a French resistance prisoner who meticulously plots his escape from a well guarded prison. The integral nature of freedom of the soul and mind are at stake as the film eliminates all forms of aesthetic, using sound and image as tools and dangers for the prisinor gives Bresson a chance to achieve one of the finest films about spritual entrapment and the inner struggle to break free of the intimate prison, doubt and death.

  • Growing up isn't easy, just ask Antoine Doinel, a rebellious child who battles against the wishes of his fatigued parents and tyrant teachers to escape to personal freedom. Truffaut places his nostalgic love for true cinema (specifically Jean Vigo) as what it intimately means to us, as well as a ascetic breaking approach to adolescence is a personal and inescapably alienating portrail of childhood that can be impressionable as it is disastrous.

  • Even fools need love in Fellini's odessey of Cabiria, a tough and stubborn prostitute that searches head over heals for a chance to change her life and truthfully find love. Fellini gracefully hectic and tragically comedic as ever explores the nature of isolation and hope in a heartbreaking tale of a woman who disassociates herself with a modern world to find a true path to self-love, even if it means to brush off the past to find grace.

  • The nature of political junction in american society in the 60's has its devious nature, as discovered by Arthur Wilson, an aged banker who is lost in desire to change his life becomes part of a classified medical procedure to gain his youth back, but not without a catch. Frankenheimer's Wellsian claustrophobic decent into corridors to a American nightmare that shows a isolated individual's desires lulled then wiped clean where freedom is a mask for control, and subversity undermines us all, even this film itself.

  • Without inspiration, what is the use for expression? A question so dauntingly asked in Satyajit Ray's chamber drama set thought the looking glass of a lonely house wife, while her distant husband who works as a newspaper editor. Her monotonous world opens when her artistic cousin-in-law comes to stay with them leading her toward a radical change. Set during the backdrop of India in the 1800's as England was bearing down on the Indian government, Rays film about fascination, existence and confined emotions in its individuals and its society is a silent and seductive view into a woman's fight for love and self-expression, and some of the most alluring uses of gestures committed to celluloid.

  • If Leigh's films (on one level) are pure statements of emotion, then this one will really have you on a wave of them. Johnny is a witty, negative, cynical, and darkly comical character who ventures through London for shelter through others especially a old flame Louise, who still burns as does Johnny lets burn. Leigh's bressonian and unconventionally empathetic character study of man knee deep in mundane modernism captures how well or how disastrous one will deal with consequences and the nature of free will.

  • With the saying, "nothing is perfect" this bitter tale of a Jeanne, a stay-at-home mother and perfectionist making a exrta Euro by the occasional prostitution finds no truth to the quote. Akernman's bottled and boxed cinematic experiment shot in bold real-time is told with calculating modernism. Where perfection is a illusion and a woman realizing it with a time bomb ticking.

  • Love can make us do extraordinary acts. Bess, a devout christian living a unconventional and personal relationship to god becomes dire when her husband is injured in a work accident. Bess must now test her faith to its most frightening edge. Dogme 95 creator Lars Von Trier sent intetnational cinema to its knees with a radical breakdown of cinematic language, carrying a spiritual riptide that has close reminiscent of Dreyer's spiritual protaganist of "Passion of Joan of Arc" to the mystic finale of "Ordet". Following a woman who is tragically hypnotized by love without boundaries.

  • Communication with others can lead to misinterpretation if they cannot see themselves in another. journeying across poverty stricken wastelands of Iraq is a jeep driving man who searches for someone to bury alive in exchange for a large sum of money that will clearly help their troubles. Kiarostami plays against political angst and lonliness to a humanism experiential test of love and life, and if it still exists in a society lost in turmoil.


  • By Craig J. Clark
    August 16, 2013
    08:11 AM

    With the addition of Seconds to this list, you should also consider Hiroshi Teshigahara's The Face of Another. Considering they were made the same year, you may find some striking similarities between them.
    • By MrCannon
      August 16, 2013
      11:50 PM

      Good suggestion and great film. I just realized I need to add Mike Leigh's NAKED. Thanks Craig. Love your Devil in the Details list.
  • By MrCannon
    August 16, 2013
    06:19 PM

    Good suggestion and great film. I just realized I need to add Mike Leigh's NAKED. Thanks Craig. Love your Devil in the Details list.
  • By David Holmes
    April 01, 2014
    01:37 AM

    A wonderful list with an interesting and poignant theme. If I were to add a film, it might be Kes by Ken Loach: an iconic portrait of a soulful, yet troubled child who is at every turn abused and/or misunderstood by his distracted family and the coldly number-crunching public-education system.
  • By Gaydn_Deceased
    June 23, 2014
    12:05 AM

    I might suggest "Yojimbo", and I'm sure other Samurai movies could fit as well.
  • By Eric Levy
    September 10, 2014
    10:46 AM

    In addition to JEANNE DIELMAN, Akerman's JU TU IL ELLE, and LES RENDEZ-VOUS D'ANNA would fit.
    • By Eric Levy
      September 10, 2014
      10:47 AM

      As would PARIS, TEXAS.
  • By HUSKY
    March 26, 2017
    05:55 PM

    This list has almost all of my favorite films/directors on it! Nice!