Detour (1945)

This is the sort of movie that you would never think belongs on a blog like this.

The negatives are flipped, the fog machines corny.  The actors are transparent, their characters cliched.  The lighting seems artificial, the plot seems incomplete.  The whole thing is cheap in its production , even cheap in its quasi-Freudian metaphors.  It’s the sort of movie that a high-schooler may come up with in about a week. Continue reading

The 22 Most Important Films of All Time

While historical significance certainly plays its role in helping me determine my favorite films (see my “Greatest Films of All Time” list), other factors played equally poignant parts: my own personal bias, the impact of the film upon viewers, film quality and popularity, to name a few.  But, insofar as this blog is designed to help the casual movie-goer become a competent one, I must help by making more specialized lists.  This particular list looks at historical and cinematographic significance as a complex dual-characteristic: namely, “importance.”  Often, lists of this type go by the name of “influential.”  But “influential” means important only in the context of history and fad.  “Important,” on the other hand, involves the goal of this blog.  These films are “important” in that they help create a backdrop wherein one can contextually understand the development of film and the proper languages of film—as André Bazin would put it—which open your eyes to the world of cinema.  I wish I had paid better attention to lists like this one in my early days of movie-going.  I believe that it would have helped a lot.

The following movies were “influential” to other movies that followed.  They are “important” to you and to me, the viewers, in our attempt to become more competent movie-watchers. Continue reading

The General (1927)

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I hope I timed this well.  I stated in my review of The Godfather that certain movies are better than others for the novice movie-watcher in order to springboard into the finer world of film.  I said that Hitchcock films, Coppola films, and silent films all fit that regulatory bill.  Other films are also fitting, but for consistency’s sake, and for structure’s sake, I stated those three categories.  I intend to keep to my aforementioned schedule so as to not confuse anyone, and also so I don’t have to backtrack and edit old comments due to my own lack of foresight.   We have a Hitchcock movie and a Coppola movie under our belt already.  Now, it’s time for a silent film. Continue reading

The Greatest Directors of All Time

Please read this list in conjunction with my chapter on Auteur Theory.  The list attempts to reconcile a given director’s overall oeuvre, cinematic contributions (to theory and culture), and my personal taste.  In some cases, I considered popularity; there is something to say about a directors ability to garner an audience.  You will see that a good number of usual favorites do not make the cut in this list.  That is because a lot of these, unfortunately, don’t live up to my standard. Continue reading