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Thread: Your Ten Best of the 90's

  1. #16
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    Originally posted by Johann
    You make it difficult to criticize, Ken.

    Damn you!
    Hey, I'm just your understudy, man, when it comes to film. If not for you, I wouldn't have discovered some of these movies. And, of course, I would not have seen many others that didn't make these lists. I'm sure I'm missing some great ones ... things that would make you cry to learn I've never even seen. :-)
    http://anduril.ca/movies/

    There's a spirituality in films, even if it's not one which can supplant faith
    Martin Scorsese

  2. #17
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    Oscar's got 7 titles that I haven't seen!
    Gotta check 'em out if they're considered the best of the 90's..

    Is The Puppetmaster really that great?
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  3. #18
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    HOU HSIAO HSIEN

    I've been reluctant to discuss Hou here because I'm still in the process of discovery; but now I'm ready to say there is no better director alive.
    I have only written before to recommend Flowers of Shanghai to you because it so strongly evoked the indoor scenes of Barry Lyndon.
    I'm not ready to argue that The Puppetmaster is a better film than Flowers or most of Hou's, who's been directing since 1980. It's the one I've watched more times.
    The Puppetmaster is one film from a trilogy dealing with the eventful history of Taiwan in the 20th Century through the eyes of artists and their families. Puppetmaster covers the years 1909-1945 when Japan had colonized the island and attempted to impose its culture. The art is, of course, puppetry and opera.
    The other two films are:City of Sadness, which takes place during the post-war years of 1945-1949 and the art is still photography. The trilogy ends with Good Men, Good Women which is about a contemporary actress making a film about a guerrilla fighter, and deals with the second half of the 20th century.
    What I noticed first about Hou: long static takes, little camera movement, no dubbing only "existing" sound, and use of high-contrast dramatic lighting. Oh, Hou hates close-ups. He'd probably say something along the lines of not wanting to insult the audience by so forcefully telling us where to look. Some scenes may remind you of Tark, others Ozu, but Hou is an original.
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 02-12-2004 at 12:04 AM.

  4. #19
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    One film not on my list that could easily be there is Kundun. I like it as much as Goodfellas, may eventually prefer it to that funniest movie of the 90s.

  5. #20
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    no better director alive, eh?

    I've tried to find Flowers of Shanghai to no avail.
    I guess I'll have to buy it.

    Gotta check out Puppetmaster pronto if you're giving it such praise.

    Never seen a film by Sien... I feel bad for being so out of touch...
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  6. #21
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    Re: HOU HSIAO HSIEN

    Originally posted by oscar jubis
    I've been reluctant to discuss Hou here because I'm still in the process of discovery; but now I'm ready to say there is no better director alive.
    I know people who would agree with you. Aside from the amazing Flowers of Shanghai, I have yet see any of his others. One interesting thing that I picked up is that Tian Zhuangzhuang's Springtime In A Small Town directly references Flowers of Shanghai over and over again. A contemporary homage to say the least. And from a filmmaker who I quite like.

    P

  7. #22
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    It's going on my wish list right now. I found out Zhuangzhuang hadn't made a film since The Blue Kite. That's a decade of artistic inactivity. No signs of a US dvd release for Springtime. Will likely import from China since the UK disc is so expensive. Thanx P.

    Several contemporary directors are making films that belong with the classics of world cinema. I love Egoyan, Sokurov, Kiarostami, Dardenne bros., Kar-Wai and others. It's HOU if forced to pick one. Glad to read you like his Flowers, which is available on widescreen, anamorphic and cheap to boot. The Puppetmaster dvd is lamentably full frame and the print is a bit shabby. I still love the shit out of it. Good Men Good Women features a nice dvd transfer and it's set in 1995, which might make it more accessible.

  8. #23
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    I might choose the Dardenne Brothers from that list. The Son blew me away and I had a chance to talk to the brothers about the film for 30 minutes or so. They were tremendously receptive and very engaging. I also love Kiarostami. By the way, just last week I saw Crimson Gold which is written by Kiarostami, directed by Jafar Panahi. It's a great film. Iranian cinema is mind-bogglingly bold. The screening was followed by a moderated discussion with Godfrey Cheshire and Shohreh Aghdashloo, the supporting actress nominee from House of Sand and Fog. A must see film. Not sure when it comes out but... Egoyan, Sokurov, Kar-Wai are all favorites of mine as well.
    P

  9. #24
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    Best of the 70?

    Star Wars? but not "Viskningar och rop", 1972, the only foreign film (excluding England) to ever be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar!

    And Patton versus Annie Hall? Any movie that Nixon watched 17 times in the White House as his administration crumbled under his corrupt direction can't be all bad?

    What about Carrie, Close Encounters, Jaws, Little Big Man, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, One flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, Saturday Night Fever (silly I guess), Street Scenes, Five Easy Pieces, Women in Love, The Molly Maguires, Satyricon, MASH, Woodstock, The French Connection, The Last Picture Show, Carnal Knowledge, Death in Venice, The Sorrow and the Pity, The Garden of Finzi Continis, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Ruling Class, Caberet, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, Last Tango in Paris, A Touch of Class, The Sting, American Graffiti, Day for Night, Lenny, Chinatown, Woman Under the Influence, Hearts and Minds, Shampoo, Nashville, The Man Who would be King, Dog Day Afternoon, and this is only HALF-WAY through the decade!!!! Let's make the 70's list a bit longer....

    I liked the 70's... but wait... isn't this a column about the 90's?

  10. #25
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    To be honest, the 70s ain't my best decade... I have some gaps in the films that I have watched from this decade...

    However, other 70s movies I really like but that didn't make my top ten include: The Exorcist, Taxi Driver (1976), Amarcord (1974), Tora! Tora! Tora!, Aguirre: Der Zorn Gottes, Fiddler on the Roof, Black Stallion, and Waterloo. These are just a sampling.
    http://anduril.ca/movies/

    There's a spirituality in films, even if it's not one which can supplant faith
    Martin Scorsese

  11. #26
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    What an honor to meet Jean-Pierre and Luc! Hope I get a chance to catch one or more of their docs someday.

    I share your opinion of Iranian cinema and look forward to Crimson Gold. It's scheduled to open here soon. Will post.

    House of Sand was good. Aghdashloo was great.

    90s thread but it includes two 70s and two 80s lists. I may just come back with my own 80s list, a decade I like less than the 70s and 90s, when it comes to English-language movies.

  12. #27
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    Favorite Movies of the 80s

    Foreign Language (alphabetical)

    AU REVOIR LES ENFANTS (Malle)
    DEKALOG (Kieslowski)
    EL SUR (Erice)
    FANNY AND ALEXANDER (Bergman)
    GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES (Takahata)
    THE SACRIFICE (Tarkovsky)
    SANS SOLEIL (Marker)
    SHOAH (Lanzmann)
    VAGABOND (Varda)
    YELLOW EARTH (Kaige)

    Close behind: Heimat, Pixote, Ran, La Traviata, Nostalghia.

    English

    BRAZIL (Gilliam)
    DO THE RIGHT THING (Lee)
    FULL METAL JACKET (Kubrick)
    HIGH HOPES (Leigh)
    THE LAST EMPEROR (Bertolucci)
    LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST (Scorsese)
    LOVE STREAMS (Casavettes)
    RAGING BULL (Scorsese)
    REDS (Beatty)
    STRANGER THAN PARADISE (Jarmusch)

    Close behind:Paris,Texas ,The Killing Fields, Once Upon a Time in America, Blade Runner(dir).
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 02-14-2004 at 12:19 AM.

  13. #28
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    I love how oscar manages to squeeze more films onto his lists.
    I might steal that tactic...

    I'm also impressed you met the Dardennes, P!

    I loved Wenders' Paris, Texas. If you get into it, it's very hypnotic moviemaking. I've tried to show it to people but they get bored.
    "Too long, shut it off!" they say. "Nothing is happening!"

    There's a difference between "nothing is happening" and drawing you in... Kairat had the same feel, but I was not engaged.
    Wenders is similar to Godard to me. Maybe even more poetic.

    Have you seen Heimat in it's entirety, Oscar? Kubrick LOVED Reitz's epic and Dekalog, which Stan endorses on the video box...

    Cinemabon is emerging as a cinephile of huge importance...
    Keep those posts coming...
    Last edited by Johann; 02-15-2004 at 02:09 AM.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  14. #29
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    All I have to do is read a post by Oscar and realize how few really great films I've ever seen. His lists both baffle and intrigue me. I am woefully inadequate, especially in "foreign" cinema where so many excellent filmmakers have emerged over the past decade, given the rise of the indies. As to that, all I can say is, it's about time. My problem still persists in that I have little or no resources to this level of material.

    All that is about to change. This summer, I will no longer be the lonely and slightly unstable voice of the simple but egotistical midwesterner, whose handle reads: "from a farm in Indiana". I am moving to the East Coast, lock, stock, and family (wife and kid). Hopefully, in my new home and larger city, I will have greater access and be a little more "hip" in your discussions on something like, Iranian cinema and the rest. Until then, I can only read and sigh with jealousy.

  15. #30
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    Originally posted by Johann
    I loved Wenders' Paris, Texas. If you get into it, it's very hypnotic moviemaking.
    Wenders is similar to Godard to me. Maybe even more poetic.


    I'm the proud owner of Paris, Texas on dvd (Widescreen,of course, imported from Brasil). It deserves to be released here. It reminds me of The Passenger, with Jack Nicholson.

    Have you seen Heimat in it's entirety, Oscar? Kubrick LOVED Reitz's epic and Dekalog

    Yes, I've seen the original. I found a copy of the Facets vhs at my public library (great place to find opera films, historical films, some docs). There's actually a Heimat 2, which is even longer and I've never seen, and a Heimat 3, dealing largely with the period following reunification of East and West Germany. Part 3 will premiere on German TV this year.

    Dekalog used to be a highly sought collectible($$$) on dvd (I bought the cheaper import), until its recent reissue in North America. This Polish TV series has gained tremenduous following via word-of-mouth. Each of the 10 chapters (of under an hour) tells a story with a universal moral issue at its center. Both Heimat and Dekalog are meant to be watched on tv, in friendly one-hour chunks.

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