The Ten Commandments (1956) – Almost four hours. Four. Hours. Four, as in the number. Hours: the measure of time. Yul Brenner, you’re better than this, or at least you were.
Baraka (1992) – Absolutely breathtaking imagery, but not quiiite as good as Samsara from only a couple of years ago, which I guess is good, since it means the people and technology involved are improving with time.
Suspiria (1977) – I want that house, I don’t care how many people I have to gruesomely murder to acquire it.
The French Connection (1971) – It’s easy to note, with such hindsight, that The French Connection employs all the most worn-out cliches of cop dramas (except that no one calls Doyle a “loose cannon”), but you have to give this some credit for being in 1971, when the cliches were much fresher, at least in a non-noir context.
The Birth of a Nation (1915) – Well, three hours was certainly ambitious, to say the least. I keep hearing that I should judge this movie according to the standards of its own time and not those of today. So, I guess it’s safe to say the early 20th century was incredibly racist? Like, so racist, you can barely believe it isn’t some kind of joke.
Somewhere in there is the premise that war is bad, but it gets lost in the many other layers.
Stage Fright (1950) – Ah, now there’s the Hitchcock I love. Don’t ever go away, mid-century Hitchcock.
The Imposter (2012) – A very well-made documentary wherein the director makes no attempt to interject himself into the story. In his place is the very self-satisfied investigator who goes on at length about ears and is last seen digging a deep hole.
Throne of Blood (蜘蛛巣城, 1957) – The films of Akira Kurosawa are available for streaming on Hulu this weekend. Do yourself a favor and watch some of them. And then, when you are done with that, help me reanimate Akira Kurosawa’s corpse so that he may complete the entirety of Shakespeare’s tragedies (and maybe some of the histories, if his zombie tissues and bones hold up long enough).
I’ll admit I haven’t seen many productions or adaptations of MacBeth, but Isuzu Yamada’s final scene, with the stubborn blood stain, is one of the best mental breakdowns I’ve ever seen, right up there with Maura Tierney’s performance in Scotland, PA.
The Rose (1979) –
Janis Joplin Jackie Jormp-Jomp Mary Rose Foster lived hard and died a sad, early death. Someday, there’ll be a properly authorized biopic of Janis’s story, and I won’t watch it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some “30 Rock” to watch before settling into my afternoon movie.
8½ (1963) – Maybe Nine ruined this story for me, but at least this version is authentically Fellini.
I still have a special hatred for artists making art about artists making art, though.