Wednesday, September 19, 2007


The 22 that missed making the final 100

100 is such a nice round number for a list, I decided to use it here as well. As a result, 22 poor but worthy films didn't get enough points to make the final group. Since just being in the final 122 to begin with says something, here are those 22, listed alphabetically to avoid further embarrassment. If you missed the original post that explained how we whittled down to these 122 films, click here.

Ashes and Diamonds
Directed by Andrej Wajda
Written by Jerzy Andrzejewski and Wajda

"Watch how Communist Poland feels VERY nervous about its seizure of power."
Oliver Quest

The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant
Written and directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder

"Anatomy of relationships (or maybe "anatomization" is a better word) in high style. Nowhere can you see Fassbinder's influences Sirk and Sternberg (more clearly) than here."
Jim Emerson

Black Orpheus
Directed by Marcel Camus
Written by Camus and Jacques Viot

Dersu Uzala
Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Written by Kurosawa and Yuri Nagibin

"Dersu Uzala is a wonderful portrait of friendship and how it survives in a harsh wilderness."
Jeffrey Hill

"A simple story as moving as it is beautiful, about a friendship forged through shared adversity."

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser
Written and directed by Werner Herzog

"'Never will nobody know anything like this again' is the last line of dialogue.(Of course, the bureaucrat isn't totally wrong.) Funny, and brilliant, and poignant. That one-shot dream sequence of the absurd hillside climbing parade is too good. He's not a flashy formalist like, say, Tarkovsky, but that isn't the point of film for him, and, all that aside, his movies ARE rigorous."
Ryland Walker Knight

Farewell My Concubine
Directed by Chen Kaige
Written by Lu Wei and Lei Bik-Wa

"It's really interesting to think how this would have worked out if Jackie Chan had followed through on the offer to be in it."
Bob Westal

The Great Silence
Directed by Sergio Corbucci
Written by Corbucci, Mario Amendola, Bruno Corbucci and Vittoriano Petrilli

"The cold, bleak setting for this Spaghetti Western is a reflection of its cynical view of the world. It's a haunting and thoughtful action movie, taking a bit from No Name on the Bullet and styling it into something much darker."
Neil Sarver

"Sergio Corbucci's astonishing (film) is the equal to any of Sergio Leone's more universally recognized Italian Westerns, and one of the great movies of the '60s. ... Featuring one of Ennio Morricone's most powerful scores, Corbucci's snowbound film is a masterful genre bending exercise that has grown fresher and more relevant with each passing year."
Jeremy Richey

I Vitelloni
Directed by Federico Fellini
Written by Fellini, Ennio Flajano and Tullio Pinelli

"It's the original Diner and it's not as misogynist as later Fellini films."
Meier Vermes

Lola Montes
Directed by Max Ophuls
Written by Ophuls, Annette Wademant and Jacques Natanson

"The Siren thinks Martine Carol's marionette quality helps rather than hurts the film, emphasizing Lola as someone to whom history just happened — like other mortals who never slept with composers or kings."

The Marriage of Maria Braun
Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Written by Fassbinder, Pea Frohlich and Peter Marthesheimer

"The Siren wants to rewatch this one, as she suspects the scathing picture of a society rebuilt on false dreams is as relevant as ever. Entirely worthy of Fassbinder's idol Douglas Sirk."

Nosferatu the Vampyre
Written and directed by Werner Herzog

"The opening shots of mummified human remains, as my friend said to me afterward, is like the secret of vampire lore unlocked. 'We all die, and these are the stories human beings tell ourselves to help us make sense of the fact that we die.' There's nothing left but for me to agree."
Dave McDougall

The Red Desert
Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
Written by Antonioni and Tonino Guerra

"You can't miss the story the heroine tells her son about an island. The waves make the strangest sound."
Oliver Quest

Rocco and His Brothers
Directed by Luchino Visconti
Written by Visconti, Suso Cecchi d'Amico, Vasco Pratolini,
Pasquale Festa Campanile, Massimo Franciosa and Enrico Medioli

"... undoubtedly one of the most magnificent, influential and heart-wrenching family dramas ever made. Luchino Visconti's brilliant and daring film manages to perfectly bring together every element that made neorealism an incredibly important and vital movement. It is a celebration as well as a farewell to what could be the most influential period in the history of cinema."
Kimberly Lindbergs

Seven Beauties
Written and directed by Lina Wertmuller

"Wertmueller fuses the freakish absurdity of her mentor (Fellini) with her own chauvinistic callousness; the result is unforgettable and terrifying."

"I fucking love this movie!"
Ben Wolff

Written and directed by Takeshi Kitano

"Takeshi Kitano's inexplicably funny, terrifying and elliptical gangster movie is all about the decptive lulls, the digressions, diversions, and the stoic faces of a group of gangsters that sit quietly, all between sudden acts of savage violence. Kitano's movie has a peculiar rhythm all its own — volumes are spoken in the few extra seconds he lets a take run after a shock, or a laugh, or a shot to the head."
Dennis Cozzalio

Stolen Kisses
Directed by Francois Truffaut
Written by Truffaut, Claude de Givray and Bernard Revon

"Pulls off the almost impossible task of being light as air and full of melancholy."
L. Stevens

The Story of the Late Chrysanthemums
Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi
Written by Matsutaro Kawaguchi and Yoshikata Yoda

"A film that builds and builds and builds and builds... until the final edit, a moment of sublime, impossible loss — and beauty."
Dave McDougall

Written and directed by Juzo Itami

"You know what this list lacks — culinography (i.e., food/cooking porn). I would have preferred Eat Drink Man Woman, maybe, but this one's pretty great too. Babette's Feast is not as good, but it's still the, er, 'hottest' food porn if you catch my drift."
Bob Westal

The Tin Drum
Directed by Volker Schlondorff
Written by Schlondorff, Gunter Grass, Jean-Claude Carriere and Franz Seitz

"A film like no other film I have ever seen, with images I will never forget. Plus, just a great story."
Tripp Burton

To Live
Directed by Zhang Yimou
Written by Lu Wei and Yu Hua

"A panoramic view of the tumult of Chinese politics and history viewed through the prism of one family's struggle. Zhang Yimou has created a visually stunning film that creates a sense of epic sweep and grandeur, without ever losing sight of the small-scale human drama that gives the story its impact. A tremendous feat of showmanship, featuring superlative performances by Ge You and Gong Li."
Josh R

"Of all the films banned in China that span the hell of its civil wars and cultural revolutions, To Live is the best."
Jeffrey Hill

The Vanishing
Directed by George Sluizer
Written by Sluizer and Tim Krabbe

"I will never forget that ending. It might still give me nightmares."
Tripp Burton

Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski
Written by Kieslowski and Krzysztof Piesiewicz

"Unfairly maligned as the weak link of the series. This was my favorite of the three."
Jesse Cunningham

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Interesting statistic: by my initial count, 15/22 or two-thirds of these films do not have a Criterion DVD release. Compare that to the 35% of the titles in the final 100 that don't. Is it getting to the point where, not only does that "C" mark do wonders for the credibility and availability of any film released with it, but films without it will begin to lose their lustre?

I do feel a little sad for Black Orpheus. Sure, it probably doesn't deserve to be on an all-time top-100 list, but it's definitely good enough to deserve a quote. Here's one from Michael Atkinson in the Village Voice: "Born and bred in France, Camus made other films, and lots of French TV, but Black Orpheus may still be the greatest one-hit-wonder import we've ever seen."
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