Friday, June 03, 2005

Top-10 Tango

The Independent has wrestled top-10 lists from prominent directors, including Tarantino, Milos Forman, Sidney Lumet, Catherine Breillat, Gillian Armstrong, Sam Mendes, and Jim Jarmusch. Nothing surprising really. Everyone always likes Citizen Kane and Godard and Fellini and Kurosawa. Happy (and deserving) surprises include Groundhog Day at #5 on Terry Jones' list and Waiting for Guffman at #10 on Tim Robbins' list. Also on Robbins' list -- and no one else's, for shame -- is Network at #8.

My top 10 at the moment?

1. Network(Lumet, 1976)
2. The Apartment (Wilder, 1960)
3. The Third Man (Reed, 1949)
4. Chinatown (Polanski, 1974)
5. Bonnie & Clyde (Penn, 1967)
6. Annie Hall (Allen, 1977)
7. The Piano (Campion, 1993)
8. Alien (Scott, 1979)
9. Young Frankenstein (Brooks, 1974)
10. Mary Poppins (Stevenson, 1964)

Yes, I know. No foreign language films and only two non-American. I've seen my fair share of Truffaut and Godard and Bergman and others. They just don't do it for me. What are your top 10?


Middento said...

Sorry, Dan. You're going to have to give me room for 25. I can't stop at 10. And this is only good for today, for now, off the top of my head...

1. Rebel without a Cause (Nicholas Ray, 1955)
2. Casablanca (Michel Curtiz, 1942)
3. Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen/Gene Kelly, 1952)
4. Short Cuts (Robert Altman, 1993)
5. Heavenly Creatures (New Zealand, Peter Jackson, 1994)
6. Airplane! (Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker, 1980)
7. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (lLes parapluies de Cherbourg, France, Jacques Demy, 1964)
8. American Beauty (Sam Mendes, 1999)
9. Aventurera (Mexico, Alberto Gout, 1950)
10. Talk to Her (Hable con ella, Spain, Pedro Almodóvar, 2002)
11. Metropolitan (Whit Stillman, 1990)
12. Speaking Parts (Canada, Atom Egoyan, 1989)
13. Ashes from Paradise (Cenizas del paraiso, Argentina, Marcelo Piñeyro, 1997)
14. The Freshman (Harold Lloyd, 1925)
15. 8 ½ (Italy, Federico Fellini, 1963)
16. Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954)
17. When the Cat’s Away (Chacun cherche son chat…, France, Cédric Klapisch, 1996)
18. Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959)
19. The Young and the Damned (Los olvidados, Mexico, Luis Buñuel, 1950)
20. Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)
21. Gabbeh (Iran, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, 1996)
22. The Hand in the Trap (La mano en la trampa, Argentina, Leopoldo Torre Nilsson, 1961)
23. Night of the Living Dead (George Romero, 1968)
24. The Iron Giant (Brad Bird, 1999)
25. Red River (Howard Hawks, 1948)

You know, I think I'm going to post this on my own blog.

bagels, boobs, and beer said...

Damn, three with Faye Dunaway. What the hell happened to her?

J.J. said...

She's still got it. It's just that no one will create or offer the proper parts.

cattleworks said...

Oh, great. Only ten slots. Terrific.

(And while I'm thinking, shouldn't the director for "Bonnie and Clyde" be Arthur Penn?)

Okay, it's tough. But here's an attempt.

1. It's a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946)
2. Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)

Usually when I tell someone what "my favorite film" is, my standard answer is "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Pulp Fiction."

3. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)

I saw this when it first came out. I was 12. It was then and still is the scariest horror film for me.

4. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)

...and this is my nomination for most disturbing horror film. Although I can understand why some people don't find it scary and, in fact, laughable. When I saw "The Exorcist" the first time, I'd say half the audience was screaming and the other half was laughing. Also, it has a great title... much, MUCH better than "Scum of the Earth," which was an unfortunate possibility, early on.

5. The Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954)
6. Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Stanley Kubrick, 1964)
7. What's Up, Doc? (Peter Bogdanovich, 1972)

"Strangelove" is a classic and deservedly so. I love that movie.
But no one ever mentions "What's Up, Doc?" and I think that's great, too. The performances are terrific (okay, I find Ryan O'Neal a bit of an acquired taste, and I do acquire it, but it takes me half the movie) and the direction is deceptively simple, but I think the best thing about this film is the screenplay. Based on a story by Bogdanovich, it was written by "Bonnie and Clyde's" screenwriting team, Robert Benton and David Newman, with a rewrite by Buck Henry (according to Bogdanovich on the commentary), it's very funny AND well constructed.
Tough choice, though. Had to sit out "Raising Arizona" on this one (yeah, I know, a Coen Brothers film on top of it, cripes!)

8. A Man for All Seasons (Fred Zinneman, 1966)

I love this movie for the dialogue, but it's wonderful when there are great performances as well. And everybody's very good in this.
Kinda neat and surprising (maybe not, considering "Dogma") that Kevin Smith cited this picture in a recent book where various members of the film community (directors, producers, actors, etc.) were asked to name their favorite films.

9. Notting Hill (Robert Michell, 1999)

I decided to pick a romance film, because, well, I'm a sentimental lug. It was a toss-up between this and "When Harry Met Sally..." and I decided to go with this because I thought it was a less "popular" or "common" choice. Years ago I might have chosen "Annie Hall," but I saw it again after being married and it seemed different to me. I felt being a married man made the film different. Not less funny, just different... My world-view changed, I guess.
Anyways, "Notting Hill" is delightful. Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant have nice chemistry and also friction as their different worlds bump together. The supporting cast is also very engaging. Who the hell is Robert Michell? I have no idea, but I really liked this movie, and it has a happy ending. Yay! (Oh, shut up!) Another romantic comedy that didn't quite make the cut but worth checking out..."The Lady Eve" with Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda.

10. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)

Simply put, I like Steven Spielberg
and he just did a terrific job with this movie. I never tire of watching it.

Alright, I'm going before I get disconnected again, son-of-a...

J.J. said...

I agree with you on The Exorcist and its scare factor -- I saw it once, when I was in seventh or eighth grade, and I can't bring myself to watch it again. I felt that fright in my bones. If you like Roger Michell's Notting Hill, you should see his Changing Lanes, the Sam Jackson/Ben Affleck movie from a few years back. It passed under everyone's radar, but it's a quiet masterpiece. As for Jaws, it's its 30th anniversary. The new DVD set coming out is supposed to be lackluster, though. Still no audio commentary by Spielberg or anyone.

J.J. said...

Oh, and thanks for the correction on Arthur Penn. I was thinking Alan Parker, for some reason.