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)


  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)


  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)


  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)


  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)


  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)


  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)


  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)


  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)


  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)


  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)


  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)


  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)


  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)


  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)

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.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Slant Best Films of the Nineties (2017)


  1. Goodfellas (Martin Scorsese)
  2. Dekalog (Krzysztof Kieslowski)
  3. Metropolitan (Whit Stillman)
  4. Miller's Crossing (Joel & Ethan Coen)
  5. White Hunter, Black Heart (Clint Eastwood)
  6. Central Park (Frederick Wiseman)
  7. To Sleep With Anger (Charles Burnett)
  8. Gremlins 2: The New Batch (Joe Dante)
  9. Nouvelle Vague (Jean-Luc Godard)
  10. Total Recall (Paul Verhoeven)

Honorable Mentions: Edward Scissorhands (Tim Burton), The Garden (Derek Jarman), Jacob's Ladder (Adrian Lyne), The Killer (John Woo), King of New York (Abel Ferrara), Miami Blues (George Armitage), Pump Up the Volume (Allan Moyle), Santa Sangre (Alejandro Jodorowsky), Trust (Hal Hartley), Wild at Heart (David Lynch)


  1. Close-Up (Abbas Kiarostami)
  2. A Brighter Summer Day (Edward Yang)
  3. My Own Private Idaho (Gus Van Sant)
  4. The Lovers on the Bridge (Leos Carax)
  5. Paris Is Burning (Jennie Livingston)
  6. Barton Fink (Joel & Ethan Coen)
  7. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (James Cameron)
  8. La Belle Noiseuse (Jacques Rivette)
  9. Point Break (Kathryn Bigelow)
  10. Naked Lunch (David Cronenberg)

Honorable Mention: Chameleon Street (Wendell B. Harris Jr.), Days of Being Wild (Wong Kar-wai), The Double Life of Veronique (Krzysztof Kieslowski), La Femme Nikita (Luc Besson), Hangin' With the Homeboys (Joseph Vasquez), JFK (Oliver Stone), Life Is Sweet (Mike Leigh), Madonna: Truth or Dare (Alek Keshishian), Poison (Todd Haynes), The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme)


  1. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (David Lynch)
  2. The Long Day Closes (Terence Davies)
  3. Husbands and Wives (Woody Allen)
  4. Bad Lieutenant (Abel Ferrara)
  5. Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood)
  6. Life, and Nothing More (Abbas Kiarostami)
  7. Lessons of Darkness (Werner Herzog)
  8. The Player (Robert Altman)
  9. Glengarry Glenn Ross (James Foley)
  10. The Last of the Mohicans (Michael Mann)

Honorable Mention: Candyman (Bernard Rose), Dead Alive (Peter Jackson), Europa (Lars von Trier), Light Sleeper (Paul Schrader), The Living End (Gregg Araki), The Match Factory Girl (Aki Kaurismäki), One False Move (Carl Franklin), Rebels of the Neon God (Tsai Ming-liang), The Stolen Children (Gianni Amelio), Tribulation 99: Alien Anomalies Under America (Craig Baldwin)


  1. Short Cuts (Robert Altman)
  2. Naked (Mike Leigh)
  3. Carlito's Way (Brian De Palma)
  4. Hard Boiled (John Woo)
  5. Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis)
  6. The Puppetmaster (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
  7. Dazed and Confused (Richard Linklater)
  8. The Last Bolshevik (Chris Marker)
  9. A Perfect World (Clint Eastwood)
  10. D'Est (Chantal Akerman)

Honorable Mention: Abraham's Valley (Manoel de Oliveira), The Age of Innocence (Martin Scorsese), Dangerous Game (Abel Ferrara), Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (Mark Achbar & Peter Wintonick), Three Colors: Blue (Krzysztof Kieslowski), Mercedes (Yousry Nasrallah), The Oak (Lucian Pintilie), Orlando (Sally Potter), The Piano (Jane Campion), Schindler's List (Steven Spielberg)


  1. Sátántangó (Béla Tarr)
  2. Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino)
  3. Hoop Dreams (Steve James & Peter Gilbert & Frederick Marx)
  4. Chungking Express (Wong Kar-wai)
  5. Bitter Moon (Roman Polanski)
  6. Three Colors: Red (Krzysztof Kieslowski)
  7. Calendar (Atom Egoyan)
  8. Ed Wood (Tim Burton)
  9. Vanya on 42nd Street (Louis Malle)
  10. Cronos (Guillermo del Toro)

Honorable Mention: Arizona Dream (Emir Kusturica), Barcelona (Whit Stillman), Bhaji on the Beach (Gurinder Chadha), The Blue Kite (Tian Zhuangzhuang), Casa de Lava (Pedro Costa), A Confucian Confusion (Edward Yang), Heavenly Creatures (Peter Jackson), Latcho Drom (Tony Gatlif), Natural Born Killers (Oliver Stone), What Happened Was... (Tom Noonan)


  1. Safe (Todd Haynes)
  2. Underground (Emir Kusturica)
  3. Showgirls (Paul Verhoeven)
  4. Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch)
  5. Heat (Michael Mann)
  6. Through the Olive Trees (Abbas Kiarostami)
  7. Exotica (Atom Egoyan)
  8. Before Sunrise (Richard Linklater)
  9. Seven (David Fincher)
  10. Crumb (Terry Zwigoff)

Honorable Mention: The Addiction (Abel Ferrara), Clean, Shaven (Lodge Kerrigan), Deseret (James Benning), Fallen Angels (Wong Kar-wai), Guelwaar (Ousmane Sembène), I Can't Sleep (Claire Denis), In the Mouth of Madness (John Carpenter), Kicking and Screaming (Noah Baumbach), The Neon Bible (Terence Davies), Salaam Cinema (Mohsen Makhmalbaf), Spiritual Voices (Alexander Sokurov), Strange Days (Kathryn Bigelow), Whisper of the Heart (Yoshifumi Kondo)


  1. Crash (David Cronenberg)
  2. Breaking the Waves (Lars von Trier)
  3. A Moment of Innocence (Mohsen Makhmalbaf)
  4. Fargo (Joel & Ethan Coen)
  5. Conspirators of Pleasure (Jan Svankmajer)
  6. Vive L'Amour (Tsai Ming-liang)
  7. The White Balloon (Jafar Panahi)
  8. Goodbye South, Goodbye (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
  9. La Cérémonie (Claude Chabrol)
  10. Ashes of Time (Wong Kar-wai)

Bottle Rocket (Wes Anderson), Citizen Ruth (Alexander Payne), Flirting With Disaster (David O. Russell), From the Journals of Jean Seberg (Mark Rappaport), The Funeral (Abel Ferrara), Mahjong (Edward Yang), The Man on the Shore (Raoul Peck), Rendezvous in Paris (Eric Rohmer), Portrait of a Lady (Jane Campion), The Cable Guy (Ben Stiller)


  1. Taste of Cherry (Abbas Kiarostami)
  2. Starship Troopers (Paul Verhoeven)
  3. Mother and Son (Alexander Sokurov)
  4. Jackie Brown (Quentin Tarantino)
  5. Boogie Nights (Paul Thomas Anderson)
  6. Irma Vep (Olivier Assayas)
  7. The River (Tsai Ming-liang)
  8. Lost Highway (David Lynch)
  9. Happy Together (Wong Kar-wai)
  10. Cure (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)

Honorable Mention: The Delta (Ira Sachs), Face/Off (John Woo), Family Name (Macky Alston), Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control (Errol Morris), Gabbeh (Mohsen Makhmalbaf), The Game (David Fincher), The Ice Storm (Ang Lee), L.A. Confidential (Curtis Hanson), Nénette et Boni (Claire Denis), La Promesse (Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne), Public Housing (Frederick Wiseman)


  1. The Thin Red Line (Terrence Malick)
  2. Rushmore (Wes Anderson)
  3. The Big Lebowski (Joel & Ethan Coen)
  4. The Last Days of Disco (Whit Stillman)
  5. Flowers of Shanghai (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
  6. Babe: Pig in the City (George Miller)
  7. Hana-bi (Takeshi Kitano)
  8. Drifting Clouds (Aki Kaurismäki)
  9. The Hole (Tsai Ming-liang)
  10. Sombre (Philippe Grandrieux)

Bulworth (Warren Beatty), The Eel (Shohei Imamura), Gadjo Dilo (Tony Gatlif), Genealogies of a Crime (Raúl Ruiz), The General (John Boorman), Henry Fool (Hal Hartley), Happiness (Todd Solondz), Khrustalyov, My Car! (Aleksei German), Little Dieter Needs to Fly (Werner Herzog), Sonatine (Takeshi Kitano)


  1. Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick)
  2. Being John Malkovich (Spike Jonze)
  3. Magnolia (Paul Thomas Anderson)
  4. Fight Club (David Fincher)
  5. The Straight Story (David Lynch)
  6. All About My Mother (Pedro Almodóvar)
  7. Three Kings (David O. Russell)
  8. eXistenZ (David Cronenberg)
  9. Rosetta (Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne)
  10. The Iron Giant (Brad Bird)

Honorable Mention: Bringing Out the Dead (Martin Scorsese), The Dreamlife of Angels (Erick Zonca), Genghis Blues (Roko Belic), Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (Jim Jarmusch), Late August, Early September (Olivier Assayas), The Limey (Steven Soderbergh), Moloch (Alexander Sokurov), Office Space (Mike Judge), Princess Mononoke (Hayao Miyazaki), Run Lola Run (Tom Tykwer)