Red River (1948)

Like I’ve already said, 1948 was an important year for the Western.  This isn’t only because a lot of Westerns came out that year.  It’s because, primarily, two Westerns came out that year.  These two Westerns are The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and Red River.  Together, they represent a bridge into a new era of this signature American genre: from the mythic hero-epics of the 1930s and 1940s to the character-focused mythic tragedies of the 1950s and 1960s. Continue reading

Fantasy Academy Awards Ceremony

Okay, so this is a little indulgent.  But I can’t help but think that all this Academy Award talk in which I have been engaging can be diverting in this quest from casual movie watching to competency in film.  What I would like to do is bring back the discussion from contemporary films and set our sights backwards again, towards the vast world of cinema that encompasses over a hundred years of art and culture.  So, I’ve decided to go back and set up my own hypothetical awards ceremony, complete with honorary awards and imaginary glamor.  Imagine a red carpet with Miley Cyrus in her fishnet leggings and Audrey Hepburn in her black Givenchy dress; Jared Leto’s long hair followed by Humphrey Bogart in unbelted wool jackets.  The notion is enchanting, sure.  Those basketball or football video games that I like to play often have a “fantasy draft” setting or a pick-up game kind of setting were you can do the most absurd things: you can have LeBron James play against Oscar Robertson, or have the Detroit duo of Isaiah Thomas and Bill Laimbeer take on Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman.  Why not do something like that for movies?  I consider this “fantasy academy” a well-earned journey into the indulgent imagination of my own self.  It is time to let all those worlds, the world of John Huston, the world of Federico Fellini, the world of Robert Bresson, the world of Martin Scorsese, and the world of Christopher Nolan, all come together in the ultimate exposition of glamor, art, competition, and class.  And considering the fact that my lists of the greatest directors and movies and acting performances are buried so deep in this blog, I feel like a resurrection of these lists in some new form is not an altogether bad idea, especially considering the fact that I just posted a page which, in essence, restated all the principles and theories that this blog has laid out thus far.  As long as I’m in the “reviewing” mode, I might as well review those earlier lists by having a little fun; having my own awards ceremony in my head.

The nominees are listed in alphabetical order.  There are 10 nominees for each category.  The winners are in bold.  I have hyperlinked all but one of the nominees to clips online (most of which can be found on YouTube) for your viewing pleasure. Continue reading

350 Greatest Movie Quotes

(This list, like all lists in this blog is regularly updated when I feel it is necessary).

I like to release a fun little list in conjunction with my new posts and pages.  I think it’s time I put up a new one, especially considering the fact that I didn’t have such a list for that mammoth publication on montage theory I did.  Now, considering the emphasis I placed on wit and dialogue in my “My Take On…Comedy” page, I felt it would be appropriate to list the greatest movie quotes of all time.  Most of these are comedic in that they are funny, satirical, witty, or sarcastic—as a matter of fact, they’re all at least witty (though some are far from funny).  That is good enough reason to publish this list in conjunction with an analysis on comedy. Continue reading

Apocalypse Now (1979)

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My structure remains.  Hitchcock, Coppola, silent film.  Hitchcock, Coppola, silent film.  Hitchcock, Coppola, silent film.  Perhaps after that, I’ll move on to other things.  As for Coppola, The Godfather movies provide only so much potency.  What The Godfather enjoyed, perhaps to a greater degree than any other movie was that it was a story so stunning–and so driven by motif and character–that it probably could have made itself.  Put a director with Francis Ford Coppola’s touch behind the camera and the movie no longer makes itself, but instead becomes the most precious clay a sculptor could ever want: a clay that becomes a masterpiece by mixing the perfection of the plot with the tenacious and dexterous master’s touch.  With that being said, there is perhaps no Coppola film that better exhibits the directorial skill of its creator than 1979’s Apocalypse Now. Continue reading

My Countdown Video

I had some time; I made this video.  These are 100 films (mostly American) that I think everyone needs to see on their journey towards film competency.  THIS IS NOT A LIST OF THE GREATEST FILMS EVER.  It is a list of some of the greatest films ever, films that I think everyone should see before they start making claims that they are true movie-buffs.  It is set to the sublime score of John Williams’ Schindler’s List.  Please excuse two typos in the titles of the film. Continue reading

Greatest Acting Performances (Male and Female)

I have been on an acting binge lately and have determined to publicize a list of the greatest acting performances of all time; this is conjunction with my current two-part series on acting that can be found in my pages, as well as my earlier list of my favorite actors.  I’m sure a list of my favorite actresses will come next.  With this list, I see little to no necessity to divide based on gender or—worse yet—to divide into four, first by gender then again by the ever-present lead-role/supporting-role dynamic.  So, I have made a list wherein all acting performances that I personally have witnessed (irregardless of gender or prevalence in the film) are given equal footing and wherein only the best are counted.  The selection of number one, I know, is bold.  But I dare anyone to see this person in this movie and tell me that I’m wrong.  Of course, I think I’m right.  It’s my opinion. Continue reading

The Best Actors

All movie-goers (casual and competent) have “guilty pleasures.”  For me, the occasional action film or comedy can fulfill a part of me that no Antonioni drama ever could.   That being said, there is a mortal aspect to said pleasures: they are rooted either in nostalgia or in the heat of a single moment that soon dies off.  Because of that, you will notice the allowance of indulge into my list-making.  I think that of all my lists, my lists on actors will be the most indulgent.  But, don’t be made to think that these don’t have clout.  Consider them overrated.  Better yet, consider them necessary indulgences for the evolution from casual to competent. Continue reading

The Godfather (1972)

The Godfather

There is a somewhat calculated way that I go about selecting which films I want to review first, and I do it in accordance with what my imaginary audience would deem most useful.  If my true goal is to highlight the progression from casual to competent–and I believe that I have made that expressly clear–it would not be wise of me to jump into a review of L’Avventura or The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie. What I have found to be the best springboards for development as an active movie-watcher are any Hitchcock film, most Coppola films, and, surprisingly, silent movies.  I hope to use these three sub-groups in my preliminary reviews. Continue reading