breaking ground

by maha1

Created 07/10/12

Edit List

These are some of the movies which really started my love of foreign and relatively un-mainstream material. Made me realize that there was so much more pleasure and enlightenment and sheer aesthetic joy available to anyone willing to check out some real auteurs...

  • So sexy, subversive, profound mediation on civilization and its discontents as well as the frustration of the unevolved male psyche.

  • Perhaps the very first movie I picked up and sort of made myself to watch just because of the cover. Watched it twice- once through the whole way, then with the feature commentary. What's in the box? What's real? What's a dream? Why does the crippled husband stand up at the end? Who knows? Why does it matter?

  • the ending made up for all the confusion and disorientation I felt watching this as a rookie viewer. I liked it, but it all seemed too busy and crowded and incomplete to really bring it home. Then the dance around the unbuilt film set, hand in hand, everyone in your life, every part of your own personality, in the endless stream of life...beautiful.

  • This movie is a piece of dynamite of compassion, verve, and steely-eyed social insight. People put a lot of emotional baggage onto Lee and this movie, but the truth is it's so much more complex, wise and downright funny than the haters seem to think. His career hasn't been as consistent as it might have been, but the truth is this is a masterpiece. I heard Barack and Michelle Obama saw it on their first date.

  • Flawless- dramatic, tense, engaging and ideal to introduce people to the accessible wonders of foreign film.

  • Watched this and it blew my mind. I'd never seen anything like it before- those silences, empty spaces, the raw humanity on objective, unjudging display. I absolutely have to write about this some day in greater detail.

  • I'd always heard it was a classic, etc, blahblahblah. I watched it and didn't really get it, but then I decided to check out the commentary and it was a wonderful experience with a witty, erudite and approachable professor (not a Criterion edition, unfortunately) who explained that Godard liked to film people "hanging out"- and suddenly it clicked.

  • Took me a couple of viewings to really appreciate it and then it became one of the most vivid, painful, and deeply informative movie experiences of my life. Absolutely one of my top ten films of all time, no question.

  • maybe its wrong, but I really really related to Antoine Doinel. Is it me, or is this the entire point of the movie's greatness?

  • Never realized a movie could be like this- intellectually engaging, beautifully shot and profound and searching as any classic literature could ever be. The ending is humanistic, a subtly moving affirmation of solidarity and commitment to mutual dignity that offsets the relativism and amorality we just saw run riot for the past hour or so. A work of art that is as complex as it is simple: timeless.


  • By Zachary Kinsler
    August 07, 2012
    10:25 PM

    youve got a killer collection! how did you end up liking play time? got anything you'd recommend?
  • By maha1
    October 11, 2012
    03:01 PM

    Thanks, man, I'm glad to hear it. I don't know what you're into, film-wise, but 'd say check out: The Killing, In The Mood For Love, Days of Heaven, The Exterminating Angel, Le Circle Rouge and The Naked Kiss for starters...all of which are beautifully shot, extremely interestingly written and fun as hell. Good luck!
  • By Theo
    April 17, 2013
    12:10 PM

    Nice list! L'eclisse is one of my favorites. It really shows the different possibilities that you can create with film. 400 Blows is great, but personally, Jules and Jim is my favorite Truffaut. I never really understood why Breathless was considered so great, besides the fact that it started the career of an amazing director. Maybe I should check out that commentary. 8 1/2 is mind blowing; definitely one of my favorites. Do the Right Thing is also wonderful. Still need to see Rashomon, Wages of Fear, Contempt, Belle de Jour, and That Obscure Object of Desire. Have you seen L'avventura? For me, it's the perfect movie. It makes a point through film art, there's plenty of beautiful imagery, lots of symbolism, everything is quiet and subtle, and it really makes you feel emotional. The actng is excellent, and the directing is magnificent. Antonioni's by far my favorite.