Monday, October 22, 2018

Top Ten Directors (10/22/18 Update)

  1. David Lynch
  2. Edward Yang
  3. Wong Kar-wai
  4. Hong Sang-soo
  5. Orson Welles
  6. Jean-Luc Godard
  7. Tsai Ming-liang
  8. Alain Resnais
  9. Chris Marker
  10. Jia Zhangke

Honorable Mentions: King Hu, Robert Bresson, Michael Mann, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Jacques Demy, Yasujiro Ozu, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, Carl Theodor Dreyer, Akira Kurosawa, Abbas Kiarostami, Fritz Lang, Kenji Mizoguchi, Jean Renoir, Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Top 10 Directors (5/29/18 Spur of the Moment)

  • Lynch
  • Yang
  • Wong
  • Hong
  • Mann
  • Jia
  • Tsai
  • Demy
  • Resnais
  • Godard

Addendum: Marker, Hartley, Weerasethakul, among others

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Cinema Scope Top Tens (Approximations by Release Year)

2005

  1. Caché (Michael Haneke, 3)
  2. Land of the Dead (George A. Romero, 4)
  3. A History of Violence (David Cronenberg, 7)
  4. The New World (Terrence Malick, 9)

2006

  1. L’Enfant (Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, 2005, 1)
  2. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Cristi Puiu, 2005, 2)
  3. A Scanner Darkly (Richard Linklater, 4)
  4. Borat (Larry Charles, 5)
  5. Children of Men (Alfonso Cuarón, 7)
  6. Three Times (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2005, 9)
  7. Inland Empire (David Lynch, 9)
  8. Old Joy (Kelly Reichardt, 10)

2007

  1. Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006, 1)
  2. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1)
  3. Black Book (Paul Verhoeven (2006, 2)
  4. Zodiac (David Fincher, 2)
  5. Colossal Youth (Pedro Costa, 2006, 3)
  6. Regular Lovers (Philippe Garrel, 2005, 5)
  7. The Host (Bong Joon-ho, 2006, 8)

2008

  1. Wendy and Lucy (Kelly Reichardt, 3)
  2. In the City of Sylvia (José Luis Guerín, 2007, 5)
  3. Paranoid Park (Gus Van Sant, 2007, 5)
  4. Profit motive and the whispering wind (John Gianvito, 2007, 6)
  5. Opera Jawa (Garin Nugroho, 2006, 6)
  6. My Winnipeg (Guy Maddin, 2007, 7)
  7. Ballast (Lance Hammer, 7)
  8. La France (Serge Bozon, 2007, 9)
  9. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, 2007, 10)

2009

  1. Liverpool (Lisandro Alonso, 2008, 1)
  2. Police, Adjective (Corneliu Porumboiu, 1)
  3. Birdsong (Albert Serra, 2008, 2)
  4. 24 City (Jia Zhangke, 2008, 4)
  5. Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino, 4)
  6. Fantastic Mr. Fox (Wes Anderson, 6)
  7. Still Walking (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2008, 9)
  8. The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel, 2008, 10)

2010

  1. Everyone Else (Maren Ade, 2009, 2)
  2. Sweetgrass (Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Ilisa Barbash, 2009, 5)
  3. Our Beloved Month of August (Miguel Gomes, 2008, 6)
  4. The Strange Case of Angelica (Manoel de Oliveira, 6)
  5. Trash Humpers (Harmony Korine, 2009, 7)
  6. Alamar (Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio, 2009, 8)
  7. Vincere (Marco Bellocchio, 2009, 9)
  8. Mother (Bong Joon-ho, 2009, 10)
  9. The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski, 10)

Special Mentions: Carlos (Olivier Assayas), The Social Network (David Fincher), Unstoppable (Tony Scott)

2011

  1. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010, 1)
  2. The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceaucescu (Andrei Ujica, 2010, 2)
  3. Mysteries of Lisbon (Raúl Ruiz, 2010, 3)
  4. House of Tolerance (Bertrand Bonello, 3)
  5. To Die Like a Man (João Pedro Rodrigues, 2009, 3)
  6. Film Socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard, 2010, 4)
  7. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 6)
  8. Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2010, 8)

Special Mentions: [2010] Aurora (Cristi Puiu), Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami), Cold Weather (Aaron Katz), Of Gods and Men (Xavier Beauvois), Le Quattro Volte (Michelangelo Frammartino), El Sicario Room 164 (Gianfranco Rosi) [2011] Drive (Nicolas Winding Refn), Take Shelter (Jeff Nichols), Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan)

2012

  1. This Is Not a Film (Jafar Panahi & Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, 2011, 1)
  2. Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2)
  3. The Turin Horse (Béla Tarr, 2011, 2)
  4. Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 3)
  5. The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 4)
  6. Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino, 5)
  7. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2011, 5)
  8. Kill List (Ben Wheatley, 2011, 7)
  9. It's the Earth Not the Moon (Gonçalo Tocha, 2011, 8)
  10. Neighboring Sounds (Kleber Mendonça Filho, 9)
  11. Attenberg (Athina Rachel Tsangari, 2010, 9)
  12. The Kid With a Bike (Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, 2011, 10)
  13. Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, 10)

Special Mentions: [2011] 4:44 Last Day on Earth (Abel Ferrara), The Color Wheel (Alex Ross Perry), Two Years at Sea (Ben Rivers) [2012] Barbara (Christian Petzold), Bestiaire (Denis Côté), Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg), In Another Country (Hong Sang-soo), Room 237 (Rodney Ascher)

2013

  1. Leviathan (Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Véréna Paravel, 2012, 1)
  2. A Touch of Sin (Jia Zhangke, 3)
  3. Viola (Matías Piñeiro, 2012, 6)
  4. The Last Time I Saw Macao (João Pedro Rodrigues & João Rui Guerra da Mata, 2012, 7)
  5. Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel & Ethan Coen, 7)
  6. The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese, 9)
  7. Computer Chess (Andrew Bujalski, 10)

Special Mentions: [2011] Hors Satan (Bruno Dumont)

2014

  1. Stranger by the Lake (Alain Guiraudie, 2013, 1)
  2. Norte, the End of History (Lav Diaz, 2013, 2)
  3. Goodbye to Language (Jean-Luc Godard, 2)
  4. What Now? Remind Me (Joaquim Pinto, 2013, 4)
  5. The Strange Little Cat (Ramon Rürcher, 2013, 5)
  6. Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson, 6)
  7. Stray Dogs (Tsai Ming-liang, 2013, 6)
  8. Story of My Death (Albert Serra, 2013, 8)
  9. Maidan (Sergei Loznitsa, 8)

Special Mentions: [2013] Manakamana (Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez), The Missing Picture (Rithy Panh), Jealousy (Philippe Garrel) [2014] Boyhood (Richard Linklater), Force Majeure (Ruben Östlund), Two Days, One Night (Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne)

2015

  1. Horse Money (Pedro Costa, 2014, 1)
  2. Arabian Nights (Miguel Gomes, 2)
  3. The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 3)
  4. Li'l Quinquin (Bruno Dumont, 2014, 3)
  5. Jauja (Lisandro Alonso, 2014, 4)
  6. The Forbidden Room (Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson, 4)
  7. Phoenix (Christian Petzold, 2014, 5)
  8. The Kindergarten Teacher (Nadav Lapid, 2014, 7)

Special Mentions: [2014] Amour fou (Jessica Hausner) [2015] Carol (Todd Haynes)

2016

  1. Cemetery of Splendour (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2015, 1)
  2. Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 1)
  3. Elle (Paul Verhoeven, 4)
  4. Right Now, Wrong Then (Hong Sang-soo, 2015, 5)
  5. Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt, 6)
  6. Lost and Beautiful (Pietro Marcello, 2015, 7)
  7. No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman, 2015, 8)
  8. The Treasure (Corneliu Porumboiu, 2015, 9)
  9. Aquarius (Kleber Mendonça Filho, 9)
  10. Silence (Martin Scorsese, 10)
  11. Kaili Blues (Bi Gan, 2015, 10)

Special Mentions: [2015] Chevalier (Athina Rachel Tsangari), In the Shadow of Women (Philippe Garrel) [2016] Cameraperson (Kirsten Johnson), Moonlight (Barry Jenkins)

2017

  1. Nocturama (Bertrand Bonello, 2016, 3)
  2. On the Beach at Night Alone (Hong Sang-soo, 4)
  3. Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson, 5)
  4. The Death of Louis XIV (Albert Serra, 2016, 5)
  5. Good Time (Josh & Benny Safdie, 6)
  6. The Human Surge (Eduardo Williams, 2016, 8)

Special Mentions: [2016] Hermia and Helena (Matías Piñeiro), The Ornithologist (João Pedro Rodrigues) [2017] Ex Libris: The New York Public Library (Frederick Wiseman), Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino)

2018

  1. Western (Valeska Grisebach, 2017, 2)
  2. Zama (Lucrecia Martel, 2017, 3)
  3. Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc (Bruno Dumont, 2017, 8)
  4. First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2017, 9)
  5. PROTOTYPE (Blake Williams, 2017, 10)

Special Mentions: [2016] All the Cities of the North (Dane Komljen) [2017] The Day After (Hong Sang-soo), Good Luck (Ben Russell), Araby (Affonso Uchoa & Joao Dumans)

Ineligible:
The Sun (2005, Alexander Sokurov)
Homecoming (2005, Joe Dante)
Secret Sunshine (2007, Lee Chang-dong)
Go Go Tales (2007, Abel Ferrara)
RR (2008, James Benning)
Itineraire de Jean Bricard (2008, Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet)
Winter Vacation (2010, Li Hongqi)
I Wish I Knew (2010, Jia Zhangke)
Curling (2010, Denis Côté)*
Dreileben (2011, Christian Petzold and Dominik Graf and Christoph Hochhäusler)
Sleeping Sickness (2011, Ulrich Köhler)
Policeman (2011, Nadav Lapid)*
Target (2011, Alexander Zeldovich)*
autrement, la Molussie (2012, Nicolas Rey)
Les trois désastres (2013, Jean-Luc Godard)*
Redemption (2013, Miguel Gomes)*
Journey to the West (2014, Tsai Ming-liang)
From What Is Before (2014, Lav Diaz)
Episode of the Sea (2014, Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Hann)*
Visit, or Memories and Confessions (2015, Manoel de Oliveira)
88:88 (2015, Isiah Medina)*
Bring Me the Head of Tim Horton (2015, Guy Maddin & Evan Johnson)*
Sieranevada (2016, Cristi Puiu)
The Dreamed Path (2016, Angela Schanelec)
Twin Peaks: The Return (2017, David Lynch)
Streetscapes [Dialogue] (2017, Heinz Emigholz)?

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The 15:17 to Paris Review Fragment

Finding a way of representing military heroism on film is a tricky, if not wholly dubious task, because it has the potential to fall into so many different traps. Chief among these is the problem of balancing responsibilities, of ensuring that no single perspective, not even that of the main protagonist, is emphasized to the point of insensitivity. Unless a film aims for blind jingoism,

Friday, February 9, 2018

Cinema and Its Contexts Essay Fragment

The cinema, in terms of both its thematic and stylistic tendencies and its place within culture and society, has often shifted over its first hundred and twenty years of existence, but its fundamental properties, at least in terms of so-called image making, have stayed constant within the Hollywood tradition. In this system, a feature film is formed from shots edited together that themselves are formed from frames photographed at twenty-four frames per second on a camera. It almost always involves actors reading from a script, and relies on sundry production roles, including but not limited to the director, the producer, and the cinematographer. From this programmatic description, it is made clear that the cinema is a fundamentally technological enterprise, one as governed by the apparatus of the motion picture camera as the people running it. Cinema must be regarded, as per Walter Benjamin’s article “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproducibility,” within the context of the technologies and societies that surround it due to its intrinsically populist and industrial qualities.