Thursday, January 06, 2011

Older Film Discoveries 2010

Here are 11 great films I finally caught up with or discovered in 2010.

The Landlord [Hal Ashby, 1971] - Ashby started his career with this terrific social comedy about a rich white kid who takes over a tenement building in NYC housing black tenants who won't pay their rent. Pure seventies cinema.

Humanity and Paper Balloons [Sadao Yamanaka, 1937] - A fine Japanese film about lonely masterless samurai in feudal Japan. Made by a filmmaker of great skill who died too young.

Léon Morin, Priest [Jean-Pierre Melville, 1961] - Melville never disappoints. Here again he has such great style and high quality acting with a good story.

La Chinoise [Jean Luc Godard, 1967] - One of the few Godard films from the 1960's that I had not seen. Revolutionary polemics and cinematic poetry in only the way Godard can do it.

La Femme Publique [Andrzej Zulawski, 1984] - A notorious Polish film that is more an assault on the audience than a quality film but that makes it a rather unforgettable experience.

Wife, Be Like a Rose! [Mikio Naruse, 1935] - This was the year I finally caught up with Mikio Naruse films. I managed to watch five of them [thanks in part to YouTube]. This was possibly the best of the bunch. All were terrific in their own way.

The Night Of The Following Day [Hubert Cornfield, 1968] - I always stayed away from the less-than-classic Brando pictures and after seeing this I wonder why I did. This is an enjoyable, nasty and arty little thriller. I guess it's not mainstream but all the more reason to recommend it.

The Treasure of The Sierra Madre [John Huston, 1948] Yeah so I have to admit I had never seen this. A classic that lives up to the hype.

Los Angeles Plays Itself [Thom Andersen, 2003] - Fascinating critical documentary on many films that have been shot in Los Angeles. Every film buff should see it even if they disagree with some of the points the filmmaker makes.

84 Charing Cross Road [David Hugh Jones, 1987] - A good, literate and engaging film about two people who sort of fall in love through letters. A different era than the one we know today yet not so long ago really.

Le Combat Dans L'ile [Alain Cavalier, 1962] - A forgotten French [New Wave] film about a man caught between his passion for a woman and his passion for a lost political cause. The French do this so well.

No comments: