Saturday, August 27, 2011
Cool Off With The Classics Blog-a-Thon
The second of Go-See-Talk's Winter Blog-a-Thon's is essentially a Top 10 Classics which became the hardest decision making process I've experienced since I started blogging.
The rules: Must be black & white, must be pre-1960's. That's it.
It's just cruel to set such a wide selection criteria. Bad Marc! Being a fan of noir my instincts were to include more from that canon that I have but in the interests of, well, interest I've abandoned that track and tried to select a mere ten of my all time favourite movies that I would happily watch again and again.
In chronological order I submit my selection for the Cool Off With The Classics Blog-a-Thon:
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
I know it can be considered a bit camp and a bit soft compared to the source material but I just love watching Bogie and Lorre and Greenstreet, I could watch this movie once a week with no hesitation.
Brief Encounter (1945)
Quite often I think that this is my favourite movie ever made. I love the absolute Britishness of it all. The stylised speech patterns and the repressed passions. Andre Bazin himself lavished praise on it for it's apparent realist approach towards painting a portrait of British society and manners. Although he did later recant his praise when he realised he's been had by David Lean's fabulous melodrama.
Sunset Boulevard (1950)
What isn't incredible about this movie? I don't know. Nothing. It's a special piece of film making from one of the masters of the art, Billy Wilder.
There's something so simple and appealing about this movie. Possibly the Kurosawa I enjoy the most and one of the earliest films to offer this kind of narrative structure. I haven't come across any before 1950 anyway.
Tokyo Story (1953)
Beautifully shot, haunting portrayal of the loss of traditional family values in Japanese society of the 1950's. It's easy to say but this is my favourite film from Ozu.
The Killing (1956)
Possibly the only Kubrick film that I have fully enjoyed. I know, blasphemy. Another movie I could just watch and watch and watch. Among other things there's the clown masks being used by Nolan for The Dark Knight and the ending, wow, the ending will stay with me forever I think.
Touch of Evil (1958)
It seemed only right that I would feature the first and last films from the classic film noir period. This one is definitely may favourite from Welles if only for the excellent opening sequence.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
I know. It's another obvious choice. But I actually got so carried away writing a list of noir movies that I forgot that this film qualified. A late addition but oh so good indeed. Another Wilder movie but with an entirely different mood, this is a jolly good time all round.
Our Man in Havana (1959)
A film that seems to have been forgotten about and my attempt to have at least one unexpected pick. Based on the superb spy farce from Graham Greene, the film comes close to matching the novel for it's pace, intrigue and absurdity but doesn't quite reach the same stellar heights. Starring a young Old Ben Kenobi.
A Bout de Souffle (1960)
The ultimate in cinematic cool non? Barely scraping in as a classic with a release year of 1960 but Godard's New Wave figurehead features the infinitely cool Belmondo and the irresistible Jean Seberg in an enjoyable take on the film noir style.
I'm looking forward to seeing what others have done with this, I feel like I've been way too obvious. Any arguments over my selections? Any replacements you care to suggest? You know where the blahs are kept.