My CC collection passed 300 this month which is THE most encouraging thing happened to me recently, I watched 63 of them this year and it is always tough to pick out the best ones.I was trying to pick them by guts and pulled it out finally.I just wrote about my TOP 20 films(CC&MOC excluded) yesterday,now here is the real deal:
My Top15 CC in 2011(not necessarily newly released,in no particular order of preference)
Watching this film reminds me of Bergman’s Virgin Spring,the reason I love both films is the tranquility they present.Although VS is crueler and NOTH is more like a fairy tale.We do not need Lilian Gish to remind us of the great silent era perhaps,this film is pure cinema.
Stanley Kubrick is my hero,I’m glad CC released 3 of his early B&W films these 2 years.I’m always thinking that the plot of an officer orders his soldiers to fight regardless of their lives in Terrance Mallick’s Thin Red Line is a copy of this film.YES,the screenplay is great but the execution of it is truly genius.I don’t even bother to mention the ending,you cried,didn’t you?
Abbas Kiarostami is an underrated Asian master,he did lots of experiments in his films,and this one is fun to watch.I love the hybrid half-doc-half-drama style,and I was really moved by the unfortunate fake director in the story,director needs funds to shoot films,that’s basic fact.Every person who has dreams but incapable of realizing it would identify with the protagonist strongly.
Every married man wants to kill his wife some way,but it can be very interesting in Pietro Germi style.Both leading men – Marcello Mastroianni and Leopoldo Trieste is hilarious,young Stefenia Sandrelli stole my heart.
Although Wages of Fear won 2 major awards in Europe,I like this one even more.Good suspense film always keeps you stick to your seat and breathless,this is exactly what I felt watching this film.I know Hitchcock is unique,but Cluzot is pretty close with this one.
One of the earliest films in chronological order in the collection.Watching it is really unique experience for me,those haunting stories and images are so appealing to me,the director made it in such serious attitude and academic way,should be greatly appreciated.
I don’t like JLG very much but this one is rare exception.It reminds me of the cold world in Blade Runner,and the computer is even more powerful than HAL in 2001:Space Odyssey.The way he mixs detective story with sci-fi is brilliant,the line “I travelled 9,000 km to give it to you” is so poetic,I love it!!
Saddest story I’ve ever seen,Kengi Mizoguchi made it beautifully,every single shot in it is oriental beauty.I like a critic view that the protagonist is like Oscar Schidler,although gains the power in the end,but loses his dignity.
This is the most powerful film I’ve ever seen,Charlie Chaplin got great guts and I’m glad he survived it,I’d like to see Hitler’s face when he viewed it.The great thing I admired his work is the humanity core,sometimes it can be raised in a very high position and every ordinary man can feel the spirit of it,I think that is why he outweighs Keaton in some fans’ eyes.
Seven Samurai is a great samurai film,but viewing it is not enough for one to understand the core of Japanese Bushido,this film can be a supplement,many dvd companies released their bluray version of it which makes everybody aware the importance of it in Japanese cinema history.It is more profound than SS,and though it has less action,when the actions really take place,they get great pace just as SS does.
#11 The Furies
This is my first Anthony Mann film,and I totally loved it. Characters are very complex in this film,especially the father and daughter role,and their relationship is getting more and more interesting as the story goes.Barbara Stanwyck as the daughter of a range owner is marvelous,and this film help me discover the tough and “handsome” side of her.I wish I could see more Mann’s Westerns coming out soon in CC.
#12 The Music Room
This is also my first Satyajit Ray film(how helpful CC is to help me discover those masters!!),the story reminds me of Visconti’s The Leopard,which showed great depth of the nobleman’s psychological movement.Ray pays so much attention to the details of the film which can be observed from the way he directs his actors about the tiny moves.Another hope in 2012 is CC gets hands to his Apu Trilogy soon.
American’s social circle always attracts me especially when the film is about UHBs.Every character is a charm and the relationships among them are really interesting to watch.It’s like watching a younger version of Woody Allen film,full of witty words and tangling relations.The actors all remain nameless but I couldn’t help checking the name of the actress who acts as Audrey,she is gorgeous!!
You can’t skip Takashi Shimura’s great performance when you talk about this Kurosawa’s masterpiece,every look,every gesture,even the tone he speaks is so real.Kurosawa wanted to prove that he can do better than Rashomon and portrait Japanese society at that time,he did it perfectly.
Gina Rowlands is the reason you watch this film,for me,it is even one of the greatest performances in the whole 20th century.John Cassavetes ‘s film is not easy to comprehend sometimes but you will feel the power it brings you.
Bonus(5 films from Master of Cinema Series):
#1 Edvard Munch
One of the best films about an artist and his creation process.
Just like Haxan,I’m fascinated about Japanese Legends.
This is the most representitive film of Tashigahara’s Trilogy that makes you understand the meanning of existentialism.
This film makes me understand more proudly about Religions.
#5 Tokyo Sonata
I’m always a fan of Japanese domestic dramas,this one is a classic.
I know you have watched some of them,so your comments would be much appreciated,Happy New Year,guys!!