The 101 Greatest Film Scores

Lists, and not baseball, have become America’s favorite pastime, and for fifteen years now, I have been passing as much time as anybody I know.   Continue reading

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Seven Samurai (1954)

I plan on writing four different reviews on famous chanbara (or “samurai”) films.  Initially, I wanted to save the best for last, but, after writing my review on Hiroshi Inagaki’s The Samurai TrilogyI learned that I just couldn’t wait anymore.  Were I to keep waiting, I would have to keep mentioning Seven Samurai every other line in the other reviews, and you would not have the foundational benefit of having read a review on Seven Samurai.  So, I’m going to go ahead and save the best for second. Continue reading

Cinema’s Best Trilogies

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In light of my recent review of Hiroshi Inagaki’s 3-part masterpiece, The Samurai Trilogy, I think a quick little tangent into the art of the film trilogy would be rewarding.   Continue reading

Modern Times (1936)

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My blog, at least on the surface, is directed by reason and ruled by rationale.  While I sometimes stray from the formula (see my occasional dabblings in annual Academy Awards season, etc.), I attempt to methodically determine what is the next best thing to post in conjunction with what has already been posted and what I would like to post in the near- and distant-future.  In this regard, the option for my next film review is obvious: I’ve done three Hitchcock films and three Coppola films (Vertigo, Notorious, Psycho, The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, and The Conversation) and only two silent films (The General and Battleship Potemkin).  It is time, therefore, for a silent film. Continue reading

The Conversation (1974)

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Coppola’s most celebrated films are the first two Godfather movies.  The first came out in 1972, and the second came out at the end of 1974.  In between them, there was The Conversation.  The Conversation has lost much of his reputation and prestige over the last two generations or so, and that is a great misfortune for such a quality film, which played quality role in Coppola’s complete compendium.  The reason for this importance is simple: it is Coppola’s most personal, introverted film, in other words, it his most revealing auteur picture.  Understanding the context of auteurism improves the overall viewing experience of The Conversation. Continue reading

Battleship Potemkin (1925)*

*And supplementary lecture on the nature of silent film.

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This blog is due for another silent film, and the one that I have selected is Battleship Potemkin (or, in Russian, Bronenosyets Potyomkin).  As was recently posted, Potemkin stands at number 2 on my list of the “Most Important Films of All Time.”  These are films selected strictly for aesthetic and technical innovation, with the qualification that said innovation produced radical change in the popular movie landscape, and not due to story or tertiary film elements along the lines of score, acting, or literary devices—save for those situations when one of those tertiary elements brought forth radical change (Wizard of Oz, for example).  These were, quite simply, decided upon the film itself.  Not the film as in “the movie,” but film as in the film, the literal celluloid collection.  Embracing film as a singular art medium is a necessary facet to understanding silent films, and is unfortunately lost in much of what we consider quality film criticism today. 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

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