by Venanzo

Created 08/15/17

Edit List

Criterion films I've seen so far in 2017, ranked according to my whims.

  • Watching this is sheer joy, an effortless film about all the effort that goes into art. It's funny, stupid, and childish, and I doubt I'll see a better film this year.

  • I've got to watch this again. It gives you that religious feeling.

  • I don't know, it's like Dickens or something. Unquestionably great, but exhausting. A film that makes up for all the terrible films you've ever seen. Strangely uninspiring though, perhaps because it's so well done and so inspirational that it already feels like an essential part of the world you're trying to capture. It feels like the sort of film that has to exist.

  • Despite three hours of Barry Lyndon, in which we see him play everything from the victim to the hero to the drunk, he remains unknowable. Is it a critique of societies that lack social mobility? Is it making fun of romantic epics that treat all of their characters as pure and virtuous? Is it a celebration of the elegance of the upper classes? Probably all of these things, but it's also beautiful, moving, and despite its reputation very easy to watch.

  • This may well challenge the title for my favourite Tarkovsky film, Stalker. Confusing, dry, and obscure, a bleak epic that has one of the most moving final chapters in cinema.

  • The first in the Apu trilogy isn't really about Apu at all, but rather a harrowing story of three generations of women struggling in poverty. Beautiful and tragic. It's perfect.

  • A short story collection combining everything I love about Italy. The mix of sex and religion is typically Italian, and often very funny.

  • Subtle and moving, Ozu does quiet character work to perfection here.

  • Deeply erotic, beautiful visuals - it's all painted! How did British film go from this to mid-20th-century mood pieces? The close-ups are particularly mesmerising. Sure, there are some dated parts, but it holds together wonderfully and the finale is a perfect marriage of score, pacing, and action.

  • The food film about film, and sex, about love, about cooking, about everything to do with food. Funny and visually stunning. This film makes me happy.

  • The dialogue in this film puts most movies, and most of life, to shame.

  • A beautiful empty world.

  • Eureka!

  • Mad and the only sensible way to shoot a city.

  • Falling in love captured perfectly on film.

  • What is she thinking?

  • Tragedy through a keyhole.

  • I have no idea what this was.

  • Truffaut's having so much fun you forgive the fact it doesn't make a lick of sense.

  • What seems simplistic turns bravura and strange, maybe his best film.

  • I don't what to think about this film. It's obviously brilliant, and when it gets to the third hour it becomes incredibly confident and feels self-assured. The earlier portions of the film seem slightly hesitant, it's very slow in parts, and very sombre, but it's never really clear why. Many of the characters, like the priest, disappear from view, while others give long abstract speeches that feel very written. It's a novel, it's a play and a film, but it never really feels like these three mediums at the same time. This isn't to say that it's disjointed, but it is bizarre. I'm going to have to watch it again.

  • Surprisingly melodramatic considering neorealism's reputation, but incredibly affecting.

  • A very clever film, one I immediately want to go back to. Not entirely sold on the ending though, it's a little rushed, a little too neat.

  • Silly, stylish, funny, cool.

  • An astounding child performance.

  • I loved the climb to the top, which is rightfully famous, but the smaller moments in the first half are maybe even funnier.

  • I didn't like this film, but I loved the middle half, Fritz Lang, all of the actors, especially Parlance, the music, the way it was shot, the style, the messiness of it, but it didn't really click with me. I need to watch it again.

  • Quite clearly based on a short story and thus only able to cover a little ground, it's a simple but pleasurable film. There are some beautiful scenes, but ultimately it's the musical performances (especially the final one) that are sublime and the reason to watch.

  • Anarchic, but maybe a little sentimental about its punk rock spirit?

  • Once you get over Grant's terrible hat, this is a pretty great film. Hawks' ridiculously masculine world view is presented with excitement and humour, while Grant's charm makes the whole thing a very easy watch.

  • A riot. There are some great unsympathetic performances here, and while the plot is a total mess it's pretty fun all told.

  • Stunning and cold, there may be no better case for why romantic expression is empty

  • Even without the fact we now know the Nazis were coming, this film is shocking for its display of how ordinary life in 1930s Berlin was. Dates, naps, and picnics, it's a breeze of a film, a bit like a Sunday.

  • Sweet and funny.

  • What an odd film. Watching it in 2017 I'm struck by how mad, how narcissistic Catherine is. It's like a short story by Mark Twain where a lot of awful things happen, but because they're told in an amusing fashion, and the things in question are so often surreal, I was left more amused than saddened.