Monday, 30 August 2010

Seeing The Unseen

Seeing The Unseen
Seeing The Unseen
As part of its 1970s season, This Could Happen To You, the Ikon gallery in Birmingham has organised a revival of the 1976 exhibition Seeing The Unseen. The exhibition features stroboscopic photographs by Harold Edgerton, including his famous image of the coronet formation produced by a drop of milk. Seeing The Unseen: Photographs & Films By Harold E Edgerton opened at The Pallasades on 21st July, and will close on 5th September.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Avatar (Special Edition)

Avatar
James Cameron's Avatar, the highest-grossing film ever made, has been released in an extended 3D Special Edition featuring a few minutes of additional footage. The extra scenes include the discovery of an abandoned school, an aerial hunting sequence, an explanation for the floating mountains, a longer version of the sex scene, and the dying words of one of the main characters.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Picasso: The Mediterranean Years

Picasso: The Mediterranean Years
Picasso: The Mediterranean Years 1945-1962, which accompanies the current Gagosian Picasso exhibition, includes 300 beautifully-reproduced plates and an essay by John Richardson. Richardson was a friend of Picasso's, and he provides a personal account of the artist's Mediterranean period. The Mediterranean Years catalogue is a major Picasso publication, and covers a period Richardson has not yet reached in his multi-volume Picasso biography.

Psychopomps

Psychopomps
Polly Morgan's exhibition Psychopomps opened at Haunch of Venison (London) on 21st July, and will close on 25th September. Morgan creates sculptural taxidermy, principally using birds and other small animals. Her works all feel elegiac and mournful, emphasising the fragility and lifelessness of the animals, unlike traditional taxidermy specimens.

For Psychopomps, she has produced four new works: Atrial Flutter (a cardinal in an artificial human ribcage, suspended by balloons), Systemmatic Inflammation (finches and canaries above a steel cage), Blue Fever (an abstract installation featuring the wings of sixty crows), and Black Fever (similar to Blue Fever, though utilising the wings of sixty pigeons).

Picasso: The Mediterranean Years

Picasso: The Mediterranean Years
Picasso: The Mediterranean Years 1945-1962, curated by John Richardson at the Gagosian Gallery (London), is a major exhibition of the paintings, sculptures, and ceramics Pablo Picasso produced in France after World War II. Picasso moved from Paris to Vallauris in 1945, and lived there with Francoise Gilot and their children until 1953. After their separation, he married Jacqueline Roque and lived with her in Cannes; they remained together until the artist's death in 1973.

Peace in Europe, the Mediterranean climate, the births of two children, and the influences of his young muses Francoise and Jacqueline all contributed to the vibrant, passionate nature of the works Picasso produced in this period. The exhibition includes some previously unseen family pieces, such as miniature origami figures, alongside large, familiar sculptures and portraits.

Although Picasso's most influential works (such as his Cubist masterpiece Les Demoiselles d'Avignon) were made decades earlier, he was incredibly prolific and innovative throughout his life; it's hard to imagine that he was in his 80s when he produced many of the pieces in this exhibition. The Mediterranean Years opened on 4th June and will close tomorrow.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Rude Britannia

Rude Britannia
Tate Britain's Rude Britannia exhibition catalogue, Rude Britannia: British Comic Art, edited by Tim Batchelor, Cedar Lewisohn, and Martin Myrone, reproduces a selection of the exhibits though not the material commissioned for the exhibition. The illustrations, which all have extended captions, emphasise historical satire over contemporary art. The Offensive Art covers similar material from an international perspective.

The Family & The Land

The Family & The Land
The Family & The Land
The retrospective The Family & The Land: Sally Mann includes photographs from Mann's Deep South, Faces, Immediate Family, and What Remains series. The exhibition opened at The Photographers' Gallery (London) on 18th June, and will close on 19th September.

The Deep South images, which use the antique collodian photographic process to memorialise the landscape, appear historical and even ethereal. The Faces series, close-up portraits of Mann's children resembling serene Victorian death masks, are also collodian photographs; like the Deep South landscapes, their misty atmosphere and sepia tone remove any sense of modernity.

Death is evoked by Deep South and Faces, though What Remains confronts it directly, as Mann records the decomposition of corpses in a Tennessee woodland. Immediate Families, Mann's most notorious work, includes nude portraits of her children which (like images by Nan Goldin, Bill Henson, and Richard Prince) were highly controversial when they were originally exhibited.

Rude Britannia

Rude Britannia
The Plumb Pudding In Danger
Rude Britannia: British Comic Art is a survey of satirical, political, bawdy, and absurd humour in British art. It opened at Tate Britain (London) on 9th June, and will close on 5th September.

William Hogarth's Rake's Progress series, and the Macaroni series by Samuel Hieronymus Grimm, satirise the excesses of the upper classes, and an iconic James Gillray cartoon (The Plumb Pudding In Danger) depicts William Pitt and Napoleon literally carving up the globe. Steve Bell provides captions for George Cruikshank's panorama The Worship Of Bacchus.

Aubrey Beardsley's phallic etchings and Donald McGill's saucy postcards (complete with their files from the Director of Public Prosecutions) are included alongside several contemporary works by Sarah Lucas. David Shrigley's anthropomorphic taxidermy cat proudly proclaims its own death.

The highlights are Gerald Scarfe's terrifying image of Margaret Thatcher haunted by the souls of Argentine navy casualties and his provocative Oz parody depicting Mary Whitehouse being violated by Rupert Bear during an audience with the Pope. More Punch cartoons, Private Eye covers, and comics would have been welcome.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Baaria

Baaria
Baaria, directed by Guiseppe Tornatore, is an epic drama set in a seemingly idyllic Sicilian village, in which a young boy, Peppino, grows up under Fascism and later becomes a Communist. Tornatore's broad canvas encompasses half a century of Italian politics, World War II, Peppino's marriage and five children, and an extensive collection of supporting characters.

As in Cinema Paradiso (which is invoked by numerous film posters and an extract from Cabiria), the principal ingredients are childhood innocence, picture-postcard scenery, and nostalgic reflection. Ennio Morricone's sweeping score, and a cliched ending (was it all a fantasy?) add to the sentimental atmosphere.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

International Award-Winning Thai Films

International Award-Winning Thai Films
A short season of award-winning Thai films will start at Paragon Cineplex in Bangkok tomorrow. A Letter To Uncle Boonmee, by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, will be screened this Thursday and Saturday. (It was previously shown at the National Film Archive and at last year's World Film Festival.) The International Award-Winning Thai Films season finishes on 22nd August.

Zelluloid

Zelluloid
The exhibition catalogue Zelluloid: Cameraless Film, edited by Esther Schlicht and Max Hollein, profiles twenty directors who have made films without the use of a camera. In such films, each frame of celluloid becomes an artist's canvas, to be scratched, painted on, appliqued, or otherwise manipulated by the director. The films examined in Zelluloid, including A Colour Box (Len Lye) and Mothlight (Stan Brakhage), have previously been tangentially discussed in the broader contexts of art cinema and underground films, though Zelluloid is the first specific study of cameraless films.

Being largely abstract and experimental, these films remain on the extreme margins of cinema, though physical manipulation of celluloid occurs even in mainstream commercial film-making. The earliest 'colour' films, for example, were created by hand-painting black-and-white negatives; scratches on the negative were used as special effects in The War Of The Worlds; and Orson Welles famously distressed the Citizen Kane negative by rubbing it on the floor.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

International Film Festival 2010

International Film Festival 2010
The White Ribbon
Chulalongkorn University's International Film Festival 2010 opens on Monday. This year's highlight is The White Ribbon by Michael Haneke (director of Funny Games and Cache), screening on 20th August.

The White Ribbon won the Palme d'Or at Cannes last year, and Chula screened a previous Palme d'Or winner (Four Months, Three Weeks, & Two Days) at its 2008 Festival. (Last year's Festival ran from 2008-2009; this year's Palme d'Or winner was, of course, Uncle Boonmee.) The Chula Festival runs until 3rd September, and all screenings are free.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Alfred Hitchcock Presents
The Case Of Mr Pelham

The Case Of Mr Pelham
The Case Of Mr Pelham, from the first season of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, was originally broadcast on 4th December 1955. Like Revenge and Breakdown, it was directed by Hitchcock himself. The star, Tom Ewell, is most famous as the male lead in The Seven-Year Itch.

Ewell plays Mr Pelham, a nondescript 'everyman' character, who apparently has a double who stays at his apartment and works at his office when he is not there. Pelham initially suspects that he is paranoid, or even schizophrenic, though his doppelganger's presence becomes increasingly pervasive, and the plot sometimes feels like an existential Twilight Zone episode.

Hitchcock's point seems to be that men like Pelham are so bland that they are easy to impersonate. In fact, Pelham's double is more productive, witty, and confident than Pelham himself. Doubles were also a major element of Strangers On A Train, and the themes of fraud, impersonation, and paranoia were subsequently developed in Vertigo.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Breakdown

Breakdown
Breakdown was originally broadcast on 13th November 1955, during the first season of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Like the season premiere, Revenge, it was directed by Hitchcock himself. Joseph Cotton (star of Hitchcock's Shadow Of A Doubt) plays a ruthless executive who fires a long-term employee and criticises the man for crying. His comments resonate ironically in the episode's final sequence.

Cotton's character is paralysed in a car accident, and assumed dead; although he remains conscious, he is unable to move or communicate. In a voice-over, he expresses his frustration, paranoia, and desperation. The audience is as powerless as he is, being unable to tell the other characters that he is still alive. This is a classic Hitchcock strategy - the audience knows more than the on-screen characters, thus constantly intensifying the suspense.

The car crash is filmed as a montage, with brief, sudden shots conveying violence and chaos. This is followed by a series of long, still shots of Cotton's paralysed face, just as Janet Leigh's motionless face stares at us from the bathroom floor in Psycho.

Friday, 6 August 2010

3D: Post Today, Bangkok Post, & Guru

Post Today, Bangkok Post, Guru
Today, two Thai newspapers have been published with selected content in 3D. Post Today and the Bangkok Post each have a handful of 3D photographs, some of which are quite striking (particularly the larger images in Post Today). Guru, the magazine distributed with the Bangkok Post, has a 3D cover. 1950s-style 3D glasses are included with each publication.

The Bangkok Post has also printed an extra supplement, Our Pride, featuring impressive 3D images on every page, though I'm not sure how Apichatpong feels about the 3D stills from his film Uncle Boonmee!

Of course, today's 3D issues are quite gimmicky (especially Guru, with a nude woman in 3D on its cover yet no further 3D content inside), jumping on the same bandwagon as 3D films such as Avatar (and, most recently, Toy Story). But they are also (like the expanded Bangkok Post Sunday) another demonstration of the Post's commitment to additional content, in contrast to the chronic under-investment of its rival The Nation.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Where Power Lies

Where Power Lies
The Sun
Where Power Lies: Prime Ministers V. The Media, by Lance Price, is an account of how successive British prime ministers have courted the media, and how their efforts were reciprocated. Price was one of Tony Blair's most senior 'spin doctors', thus his analysis is hardly objective. He presents an insider's view of Blair's PR strategies, though a more detailed account can be found in Campbell's diary The Blair Years.

Famously, The Sun declared "IT'S THE SUN WOT WON IT" on 11th April 1992 after that year's general election, implying that the newspaper had helped the Conservatives win the election. Anecdotally, it seemed that many voters simply wanted to give the Conservatives another chance, and The Sun's campaign arguably had little direct effect. Likewise, when The Sun announced its support for Labour in 1997, and swung back to the Conservatives in 2009, it was probably reflecting - rather than influencing - the attitudes of its readers.

Prime ministers take the media extremely seriously, however. Press barons from Alfred Harmsworth to Rupert Murdoch have bargained behind closed doors with prime ministers and cabinet ministers, securing policy commitments in exchange for favourable editorials. The Euro-scepticism of The Sun and the Daily Mail, for example, surely influenced Tony Blair's reluctance to push for British membership of the European single currency (though Gordon Brown's opposition was presumably a more substantial factor).

Sustained newspaper campaigns can have a cumulative effect, as when the News Of The World and other Sunday tabloids revealed the infidelities of numerous ministers in John Major's government, exposing the hypocrisy of Major's "back to basics" pledge. More recently, The Daily Telegraph's long-running revelations about MPs' expenses led to fundamental political reforms last year. Price has interviewed other Downing Street staff to provide an account of Gordon Brown's media relations; as in Andrew Rawnsley's The End Of The Party, the focus is on Brown's combative personality.

Whitespace Retro

Whitespace Retro
Whitespace Gallery, at Lido in Bangkok, is currently showing a retrospective of highlights from fifteen of the gallery's previous exhibitions. The selection includes a self-portrait by Vasan Sitthiket from Chaotic Victory and two blood paintings by Pornprasert Yamazaki from Suicide Mind. The Whitespace Retro exhibition opened on 16th July and will close on 8th August.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Bad Science

Bad Science
Two Daily Mail headlines: "BREAST CANCER RISK TO CAREER WOMEN" (2001) and "Daily dose of housework could cut risk of breast cancer" (2009). What's the connection? Firstly, they are both blatantly anti-feminist, encouraging women to forget about the glass ceiling and be contented housewives. Also, they are both examples of scientific research either misunderstood or distorted by the media (like 'unspeak') for sensationalist or ideological reasons.

Ben Goldacre's entertaining and sceptical book Bad Science, an expanded version of his column from The Guardian, exposes scaremongering journalism (also discussed in Flat Earth News) and manipulated statistics ('lies, damned lies, and...'). A chapter on Matthias Rath (titled The Doctor Will Sue You Now) was omitted when the book was first published, though is included in the second edition.

Must-See Movies

Must-See Movies
Ward Calhoun's Must-See Movies has been updated, and now features a new subtitle: The Essential Guide To The Greatest Films Of All Time. While the new subtitle appears on the cover and spine, the old one (An Essential Guide) is retained on the inside pages.

Six very recent films (Precious, The Hurt Locker, Avatar, Milk, WALL-E, and Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince) have been added. Therefore, the list now consists of 305 films. The appendix (More Must-See Movies, a list of 201 extra titles) remains unchanged from the previous edition.

The Must-See Movies are as follows:
  • Abbot & Costello Meet Frankenstein
  • The African Queen
  • Airplane!
  • Alien
  • All About Eve
  • All Quiet On The Western Front
  • All The President's Men
  • Amadeus
  • American Beauty
  • American Graffiti
  • An American In Paris
  • Animal House
  • Annie Hall
  • The Apartment
  • Apocalypse Now
  • Apollo 13
  • Arthur
  • As Good As It Gets
  • Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery
  • Avatar
  • Bad Day At Black Rock
  • The Bad News Bears
  • Bad Santa
  • Bambi
  • The Bank Dick
  • Being There
  • The Best Years Of Our Lives
  • The Big Chill
  • The Big Lebowski
  • Big Night
  • Blazing Saddles
  • Blue Velvet
  • Body Heat
  • Bonnie & Clyde
  • The Breakfast Club
  • Breaking Away
  • Breathless
  • The Bridge On The River Kwai
  • The Bridges Of Madison County
  • Bringing Up Baby
  • Bull Durham
  • Bullitt
  • Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid
  • Cabaret
  • Caddyshack
  • Casablanca
  • Chinatown
  • A Christmas Story
  • Cinema Paradiso
  • Citizen Kane
  • A Clockwork Orange
  • Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
  • The Color Purple
  • Cool Hand Luke
  • Dances With Wolves
  • Das Boot
  • The Day The Earth Stood Still
  • Days Of Heaven
  • Dead Poets Society
  • The Deer Hunter
  • Defending Your Life
  • The Departed
  • Die Hard
  • Diner
  • Dirty Dancing
  • Dirty Harry
  • Do The Right Thing
  • Dr Zhivago
  • Dog Day Afternoon
  • Double Indemnity
  • Down By Law
  • Dr Strangelove
  • Dracula
  • Duck Soup
  • Easy Rider

  • The Endless Summer
  • Enter The Dragon
  • The Exorcist
  • ET: The Extra-Terrestrial
  • Fargo
  • Fast Times At Ridgemont High
  • Fatal Attraction
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off
  • Field Of Dreams
  • Fight Club
  • A Fish Called Wanda
  • The 40-Year-Old Virgin
  • Forrest Gump
  • Frankenstein
  • The Frech Connection
  • The Freshman
  • From Here To Eternity
  • Gandhi
  • Gaslight
  • The General
  • Ghost
  • Ghostbusters
  • Gilda
  • Gladiator
  • Glengarry Glen Ross
  • The Godfather
  • The Godfather II
  • Godzilla
  • Goldfinger
  • Gone With The Wind
  • The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
  • Good Will Hunting
  • GoodFellas
  • The Graduate
  • Grand Illusion
  • The Grapes Of Wrath
  • Grease
  • The Great Escape
  • Groundhog Day
  • Gunga Din
  • Halloween
  • Harold & Maude
  • Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince
  • Harvey
  • Heaven Can Wait
  • High Noon
  • Hoosiers
  • Hope & Glory
  • The Hurt Locker
  • I Remember Mama
  • In The Heat Of The Night
  • It Happened One Night
  • It's A Gift
  • It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
  • It's A Wonderful Life
  • Jaws
  • The Jerk
  • Jerry Maguire
  • Juno
  • Jurassic Park
  • The Karate Kid
  • The Killing Fields
  • King Kong
  • Kiss Of Death
  • Kramer Vs Kramer
  • La Strada
  • Lady & The Tramp
  • The Last Picture Show
  • Laura
  • Lawrence Of Arabia
  • Little Miss Sunshine
  • Local Hero
  • The Lord Of The Rings III: The Return Of The King
  • Lost In America
  • Lost In Translation
  • The Lost Weekend
  • M
  • The Maltese Falcon
  • The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
  • The Manchurian Candidate
  • Manhattan
  • Mary Poppins
  • M*A*S*H
  • The Matrix
  • Memento
  • Men In Black
  • Midnight Cowboy
  • Midnight Run
  • Milk
  • Miracle On 34th Street
  • Mississippi Burning
  • Mr Roberts
  • Monty Python & The Holy Grail
  • Moonstruck
  • Mr Smith Goes To Washington
  • The Muppet Movie
  • Murphy's Romance
  • Mutiny On The Bounty
  • My Man Godfrey
  • The Natural
  • Network
  • A Night At The Opera
  • The Night Of The Hunter
  • Night Of The Living Dead
  • No Country For Old Men
  • Norma Rae
  • North By Northwest
  • The Odd Couple
  • An Officer & A Gentleman
  • Office Space
  • Oliver!
  • On The Waterfront
  • Once Upon A Time In America
  • Once Upon A Time In The West
  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
  • Ordinary People
  • The Out-Of-Towners
  • The Palm Beach Story
  • Paper Moon
  • Patton
  • Pee-Wee's Big Adventure
  • The Philadelphia Story
  • Pillow Talk
  • The Pink Panther Strikes Again
  • Pinocchio
  • Planes, Trains, & Automobiles
  • Planet Of The Apes
  • Platoon
  • Poltergeist
  • The Pope Of Greenwich Village
  • Precious
  • Pretty Woman
  • The Princess Bride
  • The Producers
  • Psycho
  • Pulp Fiction
  • The Queen
  • The Quiet Man
  • Quiz Show
  • Raging Bull
  • Raiders Of The Lost Ark
  • Rain Man
  • A Raisin In The Sun
  • Raising Arizona
  • Rashomon
  • Ray
  • Rear Window
  • Rebecca
  • Rebel Without A Cause
  • Reds
  • Repo Man
  • Risky Business
  • Rocky
  • Roman Holiday
  • Rosemary's Baby
  • Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead
  • The Royal Tenenbaums
  • Saving Private Ryan
  • Saturday Night Fever
  • Say Anything
  • Schindler's List
  • The Searchers
  • Seven
  • Seven Samurai
  • The Seven-Year Itch
  • Shane
  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • The Shining
  • Sideways
  • The Silence Of The Lambs
  • Singin' In The Rain
  • The Sixth Sense
  • Slap Shot
  • Sleeper
  • Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs
  • A Soldier's Story
  • Some Like It Hot
  • Something Wild
  • Sophie's Choice
  • The Sound Of Music
  • Spartacus
  • Spirited Away
  • Stagecoach
  • Stalag 17
  • Stand By Me
  • Star Wars IV: A New Hope
  • The Sting
  • A Streetcar Named Desire
  • Stripes
  • Sullivan's Travels
  • Sunset Boulevard
  • Superman: The Movie
  • Sweet Smell Of Success
  • The Taking Of Pelham 123
  • Taxi Driver
  • The Ten Commandments
  • The Terminator
  • Terms Of Endearment
  • The Third Man
  • This Is Spinal Tap
  • Titanic
  • To Kill A Mockingbird
  • Tootsie
  • Toy Story
  • Trading Places
  • The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre
  • 12 Angry Men
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • The Usual Suspects
  • The Verdict
  • Vertigo
  • Vision Quest
  • The Wages Of Fear
  • Waiting For Guffman
  • WALL-E
  • West Side Story
  • When Harry Met Sally
  • White Heat
  • Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?
  • The Wild Bunch
  • Wild Strawberries
  • Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
  • The Wizard Of Oz
  • Wonder Boys
  • Working Girl
  • Wuthering Heights
  • Yankee Doodle Dandy
  • Young Frankenstein
  • Zorba The Greek
(The list includes several remakes: Cecil B de Mille's sound version of The Ten Commandments, the James Cameron version of Titanic, the James Whale version of Frankenstein, and the John Huston version of The Maltese Falcon. Also, Some Like It Hot is the 1959 comic masterpiece, not the obscure 1939 comedy.)

Moment

Moment
Moment"
Moment, at Emporium, Bangkok, is an exhibition of designer Illy cups. The collection includes six cappuccino cups and saucers designed by director Pedro Almodovar, each inspired by a different Almodovar film (Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, High Heels, The Flower Of My Secret, Bad Education, and Volver). Moment opened today and will close on 11th August.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Cabaret Balkan

Three
I Even Met Happy Gypsies
When I Am Dead & Gone
DK Filmhouse in Bangkok has organised a season of rare Yugoslav films, Cabaret Balkan, which will take place over the next two months at Thammasat University. The season includes two films by Aleksandar Petrovic - Three and I Even Met Happy Gypsies - screening on 22nd August; and Zivojin Pavlovic's When I Am Dead & Gone, screening on 5th September. Petrovic and Pavlovic were (with Dusan Makavejev) the leaders of Yugoslavian cinema's Black Wave movement in the 1960s. All of the season's screenings are free.

Inception (IMAX DMR)

Inception
In the 70mm IMAX DMR version of Inception, small visual details such as DiCaprio's wedding ring and his children's clothes are easier to identify, thanks to the large screen size and enhanced image resolution. During the first viewing, the various dreams-within-dreams were overwhelming, though the second viewing provided some clarification. The film's ending remains satisfying in its ambiguity. Unlike The Dark Knight, which was partially filmed in IMAX, Inception was retrofitted; it retains its widescreen format, preserving Nolan's framing though not utilising the IMAX screen's full height.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Broadway Danny Rose

Broadway Danny Rose
In Woody Allen's Broadway Danny Rose, the director stars as a theatrical agent who ends up on the run from the Mafia with his client's mistress. Mia Farrow is almost unrecognisable as the mistress, in sunglasses and a blonde wig.

This is one of Allen's Screwball comedies, as fast-paced as his "early, funny" films such as Love & Death. Allen does his usual shtick, memorably describing a cousin as "like something you might find in a live bait shop". Like Zelig, Stardust Memories, and Manhattan, it was filmed in black-and-white with cinematography by Gordon Willis. (Allen also worked with Willis on the colour films Annie Hall, Interiors, and The Purple Rose Of Cairo; he later directed Shadows & Fog in black-and-white without Willis.)

Allen's recent European productions (Cassandra's Dream, Match Point, Scoop, Vicky Cristina Barcelona), and even his latest film Whatever Works, pale in comparison with Broadway Danny Rose, confirming that his greatest films are the New York comedies that he not only wrote and directed but also performed in.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Must-See Movies

Must-See Movies
The films in Must-See Movies: An Essential Guide were selected by Ward Calhoun, who has previously written stocking-filler books about cute animals (!). He really needs an editor or collaborator to remove some of the more subjective entries. He also needs to add one more film, as there are 299 films on the list whereas he was presumably aiming for an even 300. Similarly, an appendix of extra titles (More Must-See Movies) lists 201 films, rather than an even 200.

The Must-See Movies are as follows:
  • Abbot & Costello Meet Frankenstein
  • The African Queen
  • Airplane!
  • Alien
  • All About Eve
  • All Quiet On The Western Front
  • All The President's Men
  • Amadeus
  • American Beauty
  • American Graffiti
  • An American In Paris
  • Animal House
  • Annie Hall
  • The Apartment
  • Apocalypse Now
  • Apollo 13
  • Arthur
  • As Good As It Gets
  • Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery
  • Bad Day At Black Rock
  • The Bad News Bears
  • Bad Santa
  • Bambi
  • The Bank Dick
  • Being There
  • The Best Years Of Our Lives
  • The Big Chill
  • The Big Lebowski
  • Big Night
  • Blazing Saddles
  • Blue Velvet
  • Body Heat
  • Bonnie & Clyde
  • The Breakfast Club
  • Breaking Away
  • Breathless
  • The Bridge On The River Kwai
  • The Bridges Of Madison County
  • Bringing Up Baby
  • Bull Durham
  • Bullitt
  • Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid
  • Cabaret
  • Caddyshack
  • Casablanca
  • Chinatown
  • A Christmas Story
  • Cinema Paradiso
  • Citizen Kane
  • A Clockwork Orange
  • Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
  • The Color Purple
  • Cool Hand Luke
  • Dances With Wolves
  • Das Boot
  • The Day The Earth Stood Still
  • Days Of Heaven
  • Dead Poets Society
  • The Deer Hunter
  • Defending Your Life
  • The Departed
  • Die Hard
  • Diner
  • Dirty Dancing
  • Dirty Harry
  • Do The Right Thing
  • Dr Zhivago
  • Dog Day Afternoon
  • Double Indemnity
  • Down By Law
  • Dr Strangelove
  • Dracula
  • Duck Soup
  • Easy Rider

  • The Endless Summer
  • Enter The Dragon
  • The Exorcist
  • ET: The Extra-Terrestrial
  • Fargo
  • Fast Times At Ridgemont High
  • Fatal Attraction
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off
  • Field Of Dreams
  • Fight Club
  • A Fish Called Wanda
  • The 40-Year-Old Virgin
  • Forrest Gump
  • Frankenstein
  • The Frech Connection
  • The Freshman
  • From Here To Eternity
  • Gandhi
  • Gaslight
  • The General
  • Ghost
  • Ghostbusters
  • Gilda
  • Gladiator
  • Glengarry Glen Ross
  • The Godfather
  • The Godfather II
  • Godzilla
  • Goldfinger
  • Gone With The Wind
  • The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
  • Good Will Hunting
  • GoodFellas
  • The Graduate
  • Grand Illusion
  • The Grapes Of Wrath
  • Grease
  • The Great Escape
  • Groundhog Day
  • Gunga Din
  • Halloween
  • Harold & Maude
  • Harvey
  • Heaven Can Wait
  • High Noon
  • Hoosiers
  • Hope & Glory
  • I Remember Mama
  • In The Heat Of The Night
  • It Happened One Night
  • It's A Gift
  • It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
  • It's A Wonderful Life
  • Jaws
  • The Jerk
  • Jerry Maguire
  • Juno
  • Jurassic Park
  • The Karate Kid
  • The Killing Fields
  • King Kong
  • Kiss Of Death
  • Kramer Vs Kramer
  • La Strada
  • Lady & The Tramp
  • The Last Picture Show
  • Laura
  • Lawrence Of Arabia
  • Little Miss Sunshine
  • Local Hero
  • The Lord Of The Rings III: The Return Of The King
  • Lost In America
  • Lost In Translation
  • The Lost Weekend
  • M
  • The Maltese Falcon
  • The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
  • The Manchurian Candidate
  • Manhattan
  • Mary Poppins
  • M*A*S*H
  • The Matrix
  • Memento
  • Men In Black
  • Midnight Cowboy
  • Midnight Run
  • Miracle On 34th Street
  • Mississippi Burning
  • Mr Roberts
  • Monty Python & The Holy Grail
  • Moonstruck
  • Mr Smith Goes To Washington
  • The Muppet Movie
  • Murphy's Romance
  • Mutiny On The Bounty
  • My Man Godfrey
  • The Natural
  • Network
  • A Night At The Opera
  • The Night Of The Hunter
  • Night Of The Living Dead
  • No Country For Old Men
  • Norma Rae
  • North By Northwest
  • The Odd Couple
  • An Officer & A Gentleman
  • Office Space
  • Oliver!
  • On The Waterfront
  • Once Upon A Time In America
  • Once Upon A Time In The West
  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
  • Ordinary People
  • The Out-Of-Towners
  • The Palm Beach Story
  • Paper Moon
  • Patton
  • Pee-Wee's Big Adventure
  • The Philadelphia Story
  • Pillow Talk
  • The Pink Panther Strikes Again
  • Pinocchio
  • Planes, Trains, & Automobiles
  • Planet Of The Apes
  • Platoon
  • Poltergeist
  • The Pope Of Greenwich Village
  • Pretty Woman
  • The Princess Bride
  • The Producers
  • Psycho
  • Pulp Fiction
  • The Queen
  • The Quiet Man
  • Quiz Show
  • Raging Bull
  • Raiders Of The Lost Ark
  • Rain Man
  • A Raisin In The Sun
  • Raising Arizona
  • Rashomon
  • Ray
  • Rear Window
  • Rebecca
  • Rebel Without A Cause
  • Reds
  • Repo Man
  • Risky Business
  • Rocky
  • Roman Holiday
  • Rosemary's Baby
  • Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead
  • The Royal Tenenbaums
  • Saving Private Ryan
  • Saturday Night Fever
  • Say Anything
  • Schindler's List
  • The Searchers
  • Seven
  • Seven Samurai
  • The Seven-Year Itch
  • Shane
  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • The Shining
  • Sideways
  • The Silence Of The Lambs
  • Singin' In The Rain
  • The Sixth Sense
  • Slap Shot
  • Sleeper
  • Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs
  • A Soldier's Story
  • Some Like It Hot
  • Something Wild
  • Sophie's Choice
  • The Sound Of Music
  • Spartacus
  • Spirited Away
  • Stagecoach
  • Stalag 17
  • Stand By Me
  • Star Wars IV: A New Hope
  • The Sting
  • A Streetcar Named Desire
  • Stripes
  • Sullivan's Travels
  • Sunset Boulevard
  • Superman: The Movie
  • Sweet Smell Of Success
  • The Taking Of Pelham 123
  • Taxi Driver
  • The Ten Commandments
  • The Terminator
  • Terms Of Endearment
  • The Third Man
  • This Is Spinal Tap
  • Titanic
  • To Kill A Mockingbird
  • Tootsie
  • Toy Story
  • Trading Places
  • The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre
  • 12 Angry Men
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • The Usual Suspects
  • The Verdict
  • Vertigo
  • Vision Quest
  • The Wages Of Fear
  • Waiting For Guffman
  • West Side Story
  • When Harry Met Sally
  • White Heat
  • Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?
  • The Wild Bunch
  • Wild Strawberries
  • Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
  • The Wizard Of Oz
  • Wonder Boys
  • Working Girl
  • Wuthering Heights
  • Yankee Doodle Dandy
  • Young Frankenstein
  • Zorba The Greek
(Several remakes are included, all of which are more famous than the originals: Cecil B de Mille's sound version of The Ten Commandments, the James Cameron version of Titanic, the James Whale version of Frankenstein, and the John Huston version of The Maltese Falcon. Also, Some Like It Hot is the 1959 comic masterpiece, not the obscure 1939 comedy.)

O Fantasma

O Fantasma
In O Fantasma, directed by Joao Pedro Rodrigues, an emotionless young bin man meets strangers for increasingly rough sex (which is sometimes explicitly depicted). Because these encounters are so impersonal, and his dog is his main companion, the film contains very little dialogue. There are long stretches of silence, as the protagonist withdraws further into himself and becomes increasingly animalistic (as if he were Joseph Beuys performing I Love America & America Loves Me, or Oleg Kulik performing one of his Beuys tributes).