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10 More of My Favorite Criterion Films

by MarkoAndric76

Created 09/12/17

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Part 2

  • David Lynch's films are a disturbing, intense, head trip. But a rewarding one all the same, compared to others. And nowhere did he perfect this more than in Mulholland Dr.

  • Of all the classic Japanese masters of the 40's and 50's, Ozu has always stood out for me. Compared to the exciting historical Samurai films, Ozu's intimate family-based films feel like impressionistic paintings, with common themes recurring in each film yet interpreted ever so slightly in new ways so as to make each experience of his single plot unique each time. Late Spring was a classic example of this. Not just for the apple peeling scene but with the scenes of trains into the city representing modernity, the drinking of tea, etc.

  • This is a fantastic goldmine of a box set. Three of Rossellini's greatest films, including the masterpiece JOURNEY TO ITALY, included with Italian versions, great extra features and a booklet with informative essays by the best film scholars. Journey to Italy has a wonderful audio commentary by Laura Mulvey. I recommend watching the film with the commentary at least once to anyone who buys this set. One of the best sets from Criterion, containing three of the best films ever made.

  • Along with Vigo and Carne, Renoir laid the foundations for French cinema. And nowhere did he do this better than in The Rules of The Game. Its send up of French aristocratic vanity and social expectations culminating in the chaotic party at the Chesnay country estate feels every bit as hilarious and fresh as it did in 1939. This lovely edition carries the reconstructed 108 minute version that was aired in the 1950's. Anyone who loves French cinema needs to see this film.

  • As I noted in my previous list, Godard is my favorite filmmaker, hands down. These six films from the 60's are all masterpieces in their own way and for different reasons. There isn't much to say about them that hasn't already been said better by film critics and scholars. They are all favorites and should be tied on any list.
    2 OR 3 THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER anticipates many of the cultural criticisms of Godard's radical phase but is so much more than that. Its fantastic shots of industrialized urban Paris, its monologues of modern women enamored of 60's consumer culture, and that famous shot of swirling black coffee. Not to mention a reference to one of my favorite French novels, Bouvard and Pecuchet. This film encompasses both Godard's radical Marxist critique of French society and the New Wave techniques that defined his 60's films. The best of two phases of Godard's work. And that's why its one of my favorites.

  • The children of Marx and Coca Cola - and Jean Pierre Leaud is one of them. What more can I say?

  • The first of Godard's masterpieces, its jump shots and call backs to classic Hollywood gangster films still feel as fresh today as they did in 1960.

  • Godard's last film with his muse Anna Karina, Anna goes out of the Godardverse with a bang as she plays not a damsel but a hardboiled detective straight out of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. Doesn't get enough love among Godard afficionados imo but it deserves so much more.

  • This sexually provocative attack on Catholic morality is perhaps Bunuel's best film. Silvia Pinal shines in it. The final scene of a threesome, shot in imitation of the Last Supper, is one of the most memorable shots in cinema.

  • Bresson's film about a POW trying to escape a Nazi prison is a masterful testament to the endurance of the human spirit in the face of life-threatening odds. The Shawshank Redemption pales in comparison.

  • Kiarostami's 1997 masterpiece not only is a tribute to life in the face of despair but its also a wonderful testament to Kiarostami's transition away from film to video at the time, as shown by its final credits scene. Plus it mastered the long shot like no other filmmaker could do since.

  • I never really watched or had much interest in Ingmar Bergman until I watched Persona. The use of space, the black and white scheme and the psychological dissociation between the two main characters made for a very thought provoking, interesting viewing experience that has since sparked in my interest in a highly regarded filmmaker I had hitherto didn't care for.

  • Preston Sturges' screwball comedy is the best and it really shone in The Lady Eve. Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda are hilarious together and that scene where she tells of her loves to a bewildered and horrified Fonda whom she has married under a secret identity for revenge keeps me in stitches.