Defend Your Darlings, You Sad Pandas! (Lists Project v 3.0)

An ongoing survey of the Criterion Forum membership to create lists of the best films of each decade and genre.
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zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: Defend Your Darlings, You Sad Pandas! (Lists Project v 3

#76 Post by zedz » Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:29 pm

I’m afraid I wasn’t particularly involved in the 20s list this time around, and I was too busy with other things and films to even revisit many of the films I wanted to, so my list this time was really a light reworking of my previous one, with the pre-1920 ones stripped out, other titles moved up, and some newly seen ones added. But it was a rather haphazard renovation, with two essential films forgotten about at first. The Docks of New York made it, thanks to lubitsch’s lenience, but I remembered Rien que les heures far too late, so that will have to wait until the next iteration. Not that it particularly matters: it’s all quite random anyway.

Desperate and dateless flappers are bold.


1. The General (Bruckman / Keaton, 1927) – I don’t know if any film on any of these lists has given me more pleasure over a longer period than this masterpiece, which succeeds on so many levels – comedy, romance, historical drama, action movie – it almost seems unfair to compare it with films that only do one thing brilliantly.

2. Walking from Munich to Berlin (Oskar Fischinger, 1927) – Like a lot of Fischinger’s films, here’s a film that does things with the medium that nobody else could imagine at the time, and things that could only be achieved in this medium. It’s like Jonas Mekas’ Walden condensed into a few minutes. Learning more about the context in which it was made pushed it even further up in my estimation.

3. A Page of Madness (Kinugasa, 1926)
4. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, 1928)
5. Maldone (Gremillon, 1928)
6. Never Weaken (Newmeyer, 1921) – Funny, dark and brilliant, with some of the greatest stunts ever caught on camera.

7. He Who Gets Slapped (Sjostrom, 1924)
8. Menilmontant (Kirsanov, 1926)
9. Days of Youth (Ozu, 1929) – I guess I need to step up as a defender. Basically, I adore Ozu’s early, kinetic style. This film shows how he’s already mastered state-of-the-art silent film technique and is pushing into the ‘advanced studies’ of his baroque camera movements of the early 30s, before progressing beyond all that into even more revolutionary and rarefied areas of film syntax. I find this film so lively and funny that it puts most Hollywood comedies of the period in the shade.

10. Un Chien Andalou (Bunuel / Dali, 1929)
11. Lonesome (Fejos, 1928)
12. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (Murnau, 1927)
13. Finis Terrae (Epstein, 1929)
14. Erotikon (Stiller, 1920)
– A delightfully sophisticated comedy from a master filmmaker at his peak. Hollywood is still catching up. I was really shocked nobody else voted for this! (So shocked, in fact, that I just had to double-check that it hadn’t fallen prey to one of those imdb jiggles that would render it ineligible. Nope.)

15. The Man with a Movie Camera (Vertov, 1929)
16. Tusalava (Lye, 1929)
– Was Lubitsch the other voter for this revolutionary animation? The only possible explanation is that nobody saw it, or if they did they had their memories of it leeched out of their brain and body by a voodoo parasite.

17. Coeur fidele (Epstein, 1923)
18. Sherlock, Jr. (Keaton, 1924)
19. Queen Kelly (von Stroheim, 1929) – I think the fragmentary nature of this is part of what makes it my favourite von Stroheim. I don’t know whether a finished narrative would have quite the same hypnotic focus on detail and process.

20. The Docks of New York (von Sternberg, 1928)
21. The Iron Horse (Ford, 1924)
22. Pandora’s Box (Pabst, 1929)
23. There It Is (Muller, 1928) – In the absence of Gus Visser, this will have to do.

24. Arsenal (Dovzhenko, 1929)

25. Dr Mabuse the Gambler (Lang, 1922)
26. The Lodger (Hitchcock, 1927)
27. The Fall of the House of Usher (Epstein, 1928)
28. The Wind (Sjostrom, 1928)
29. The Playhouse (Keaton, 1921)
30. Blackmail – silent version (Hitchcock, 1929) – The sound version may be more historically significant, but the silent one is much more accomplished, in my opinion.

31. Safety Last! (Newmeyer / Taylor, 1923)
32. The Chechahcos (Moomaw, 1924)
– Silent cinema’s greatest gay love story? (And the competition is sooo fierce!) Who needs a mother when you’ve got two dads like this?

33. Ghosts Before Breakfast (Richter, 1928)
– In answer to somebody’s query, I’m not really a great fan of a lot of the canonical silent avant-garde films, particularly the ‘artist’s films’ by the likes of Ray and Eggeling. Most of them seem rather tepid and tentative compared to the work of medium-specific artists like Fischinger or Lye. This old stand-by does retain some of its charm and invention, however. I was actually quite surprised how much I liked it the last time I saw it.

34. The High Sign (Cline / Keaton, 1921)
– One of my favourite Keaton shorts, primarily for the astonishing set-piece with the side of the house, decades before Jerry Lewis or Jean-Luc Godard. Coincidentally, I reckon Keaton slots quite comfortably in between those two as a filmmaker, even if he’s greater than the two of them combined.

35. Nosferatu (Murnau, 1922)
36. La Roue (Gance, 1923)
37. Napoleon (Gance, 1927) – I stuck these two alongside one another deliberately. Even though I’ve only ever seen the (hiss, spit) Coppola version of the latter, and that was back in the 80s, it left the kind of impression on me that these lists are prone to celebrating. Even though I picked up the DVD a few years ago in a bargain bin, I’ve been in no hurry to revisit it and possibly disappoint myself, preferring instead to bide my time until a better and truer version emerges. La Roue I saw only last year or so, after anticipating it for decades. Inevitably, it disappointed, but there are enough magisterial bits and pieces within it to outrank a lot of more cohesive films.

38. The Manxman (Hitchcock, 1929)
– Hard to select among these very accomplished early Hitchcocks. I’m even partial to the oft-despised Farmer’s Wife.

39. The Cat and the Canary (Leni, 1927)
– Sheer fun, particularly if you see it live with a big audience and Neil Brand’s theremin-enhanced score.

40. Die Nibelungen (Lang, 1924)
41. Faces of Children (Feyder, 1925)
42. Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein, 1925) – Call me sentimental. I haven’t actually seen this film in years, but I’ve often felt that a lot of it is under-rated. There’s an intelligence to Eisenstein’s framing and cutting decisions right throughout the film, even when he’s not creating show-stopping edifices of montage.

43. The Fall of the House of Usher (Watson / Webber, 1928)
– This is so visually striking that it always wins me over despite its fundamental goofiness. Possibly a dead-end in terms of film evolution, but the same could be said for a lot of my favourite films. Their Lot in Sodom is even sillier and even more impressive, and should figure on my 30s list.

44. One Week (Cline / Keaton, 1920)
45. Spione (Lang, 1928)
46. Haxan (Christensen, 1922)
47. A Girl in Every Port (Hawks, 1928)
– Literally a last minute addition, after domino posted a YouTube link. Corny, perhaps, but it’s wonderful to see so many Hawks hallmarks already reporting for duty.

48. Waxworks (Birinsky / Leni, 1924)
– Here almost entirely on the strength of the visionary Jack the Ripper sequence. If that had been released as a short film in its own right, this could conceivably have cracked my top ten.

49. Der Var Engang (Dreyer, 1922)
– Highly atypical Dreyer, but I adore the contrast between the arch artificiality of the interiors and the freewheeling, lung-filling splendour of the open air sequences.

50. The Town Rat and the Country Rat (Starewicz, 1927)
– If I’d been more diligent, I’m sure some more Starewicz would have charted, or this one would have moved up my list, but since I couldn’t countenance a list without him, these rats simply had to bounce that darned duck.

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knives
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Re: Defend Your Darlings, You Sad Pandas! (Lists Project v 3

#77 Post by knives » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:28 am

zedz wrote: 16. Tusalava (Lye, 1929)[/b] – Was Lubitsch the other voter for this revolutionary animation? The only possible explanation is that nobody saw it, or if they did they had their memories of it leeched out of their brain and body by a voodoo parasite.
39. The Cat and the Canary (Leni, 1927)[/b] – Sheer fun, particularly if you see it live with a big audience and Neil Brand’s theremin-enhanced score.

43. The Fall of the House of Usher (Watson / Webber, 1928)
– This is so visually striking that it always wins me over despite its fundamental goofiness. Possibly a dead-end in terms of film evolution, but the same could be said for a lot of my favourite films. Their Lot in Sodom is even sillier and even more impressive, and should figure on my 30s list.
Well you had at least one other person side with you on The Cat and the Canary. Probably my favorite version yet of this story which seems to have been co-opted by every '50s super B producer. Same thing in a lot of ways with the WW version of The Fall of the House of Usher which seems to be even crazier in a lot of ways than the more popular Epstein. I'll make it a duty to see Lot in Sodom. Where's the best place for that. I wish you had spoken up about Tusalva though(if you did sorry for not noticing). I'll probably watch it tonight, but any excuse to fit an other lovely piece of animation would have been welcome.

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tojoed
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Re: Defend Your Darlings, You Sad Pandas! (Lists Project v 3

#78 Post by tojoed » Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:26 am

knives wrote: I'll make it a duty to see Lot in Sodom. Where's the best place for that?
It's on the Kino "Avant Garde" set with "Menilmontant" et al. Good luck with it, I thought it was the worst thing on there.

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lubitsch
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Re: Defend Your Darlings, You Sad Pandas! (Lists Project v 3

#79 Post by lubitsch » Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:33 am

My own list with annotations, orphans in bold, also-rans in italics
1. A Cottage on Dartmoor - Immensely inventive, moody, thrilling, touching, desperately romantic and wary of blind romanticism.
2. Lonesome
3. The Cameraman - Yes that's from the guy who rather doesn't like Keaton, but his devotion is frightening and touching while Marceline Day gets the crown for the loveliest and most touching silent actress
4. L'Invitation au voyage - First class visual poem about romantic illusions, cynicism and regret. No subs necessary, so why not try the German DVD?
5. A Page of Madness
6. The Crowd
7. Die wunderbare Lüge der Nina Petrowna - arguably one of the great silent discoveries of the last decades, the story doesn't sound like much, but it's devastatingly acted, gorgeously designed and Schwarz is an absolute master of visual expression
8. Abwege - not much love else for this film which fell through the cracks in the 20s looking rather ordinarily, today it's a disturbingly icy portrait of a disintegrating marriage and the attempts of the wife to literally shock her husband back into her life and him being withdrawn, ready to misunderstand everything and still in love at the same time. Edition Filmmuseum will hopefully bring this the international attention, it has already gained since the 1997 Pabst retro in Germany.
9. H2O - usually a purely formal film couldn't rank as high on my list but I find the slow progression from realistic images to hypnotic abstract forms irresistible
10. Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed
11. Asphalt
12. Jenseits der Straße - this lacks obviously exposure, but it's moodily photographed, realistic, rapidly cut and intelligent
13. Die Büchse der Pandora
14. Bed and Sofa - the one Soviet silent which observes human beings in an intelligent and respectful way instead of abusing them as revolutionary symbols or capitalist swine
15. Big Business - there wasn't much love for Laurel & Hardy which seems to underrate the way the literally finished silent comedy by undermining gags through anticipation. the fun doesn't come out of unexpected moments, it comes out of the fact that you exactly know what's going to happen and this is a pretty remarkable achievement.
16. There it is - Bowers was one of the latest silent dscoveries and this is just plain weird, funny and eerie
17. The Wind
18. The Phantom Carriage
19. One Week
20. Scherben - endless long takes, the actors seemingly frozen in their bodies until they explode, thoughtful framing, bitter story, this is one of the great underrated silents
21. Der letzte Mann
22. Hindle Wakes
23. Menilmontant
24. Bergkatze
25. Liberty
26. The Parson's Widow
27. The Docks of New York
28. The Last of the Mohicans - this is a pretty astonishing film, cooly impartial, stunningly shot, beautifully underplayed, Barbara Bedford's acting is incredibly minimalistic
29. Tusalava - indeed I was the other voter and did the other's didn't see it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flJOXMln4C0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; or didn't care? It's genuinely eerie and disturbing and an outstanding early animation
30. Dans la Nuit
31. Der lebende Leichnam - this will hopefully benefit immensely from a DVD release
32. Lazybones
33. Girl Shy
34. Hintertreppe
35. The River - one of the most intense films about a man and a woman following the ebbs and flows and observing the first sparks of a relation
36. Michael
37. Gold Rush
38. The Skeleton Dance
39. Visages d'enfants
40. The Navigator
41. The Fall of the House of Usher
42. Opus 1 - Me being the only voter for an abstract film? :shock:
43. Johan
44. Isn't Life wonderful - I wonder to which degree Griffith' 20s output and the lack of a DVD are responsible for this not even making the also-rans
45. The Thief of Bagdad
46. The Circus
47. Why worry?
48. La Chute de la Maison Usher
49. Casanova
50. Die weiße Hölle vom Piz Palü

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Tommaso
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Re: Defend Your Darlings, You Sad Pandas! (Lists Project v 3

#80 Post by Tommaso » Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:14 am

zedz wrote:14. Erotikon (Stiller, 1920)[/b] – A delightfully sophisticated comedy from a master filmmaker at his peak. Hollywood is still catching up. I was really shocked nobody else voted for this! (So shocked, in fact, that I just had to double-check that it hadn’t fallen prey to one of those imdb jiggles that would render it ineligible. Nope.)
Yes, true. Probably I always compare it to "Sir Arne" (which is not a bright idea given the totally different genres), and then I don't find it THAT unusual. But it's certainly a perfect film, which I wouldn't say about "Gösta Berling", for instance.
lubitsch wrote:8. Abwege - not much love else for this film which fell through the cracks in the 20s looking rather ordinarily, today it's a disturbingly icy portrait of a disintegrating marriage and the attempts of the wife to literally shock her husband back into her life and him being withdrawn, ready to misunderstand everything and still in love at the same time. Edition Filmmuseum will hopefully bring this the international attention, it has already gained since the 1997 Pabst retro in Germany.
Perhaps I should have revisited this, but then I already had two other Pabsts on the list, though every silent Pabst with the exception of "Der Schatz" should ideally be in the Top 100. The greatest asset of "Abwege" is Brigitte Helm, of course, but I find her even better in "Nina Petrowna" (of course), but also in Galeen's "Alraune", another film which got undeservedly mangled. Not even I voted for it...
lubitsch wrote:15. Big Business - there wasn't much love for Laurel & Hardy which seems to underrate the way the literally finished silent comedy by undermining gags through anticipation. the fun doesn't come out of unexpected moments, it comes out of the fact that you exactly know what's going to happen and this is a pretty remarkable achievement.
That's the one in which they're selling Christmas trees to James T. Finlayson, right? If so, it's indeed hilarious and a perfect film. I'm not at all into silent comedies (which explains the complete lack of Keaton on my list), but Laurel & Hardy are an exception simply because they are so immensely likeable characters and don't want to tell me 'bigger things' behind the comedy (or if so, then it's lost on me). I fear, however, that again I won't find any spot for them in the 30s list, which is a shame.
lubitsch wrote:50. Die weiße Hölle vom Piz Palü
At least someone else who voted for a Fanck film, though this one was never among my favourites, as probably because of Pabst's involvement with the 'acting scenes' this is almost too 'good' and lacks a little in the typical Fanckian over-the-topness. Anyhow, Fanck should also get a second chance with the 30s list. "Der weiße Rausch" would be a good place to start.

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swo17
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Re: Defend Your Darlings, You Sad Pandas! (Lists Project v 3

#81 Post by swo17 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:54 pm

I had no sad pandas, so I must have either been not very adventurous, or else incredibly successful at telepathically convincing others to include films from my list. You be the judge. Here is the answer key to my picture list posted earlier here:
SpoilerShow
01 Sherlock Jr. (Keaton, 1924)
02 The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, 1928)
03 Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (Murnau, 1927)
04 The General (Keaton & Bruckman, 1926)
05 The Last Laugh (Murnau, 1924)
06 Finis terrae (Epstein, 1929)
07 There It Is (Bowers & Muller, 1928)
08 Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (Lang, 1922)
09 The Fall of the House of Usher (Epstein, 1928)
10 Zvenigora (Dovzhenko, 1928)
11 Lonesome (Fejös, 1928)
12 Un chien andalou (Buñuel, 1929)
13 My Grandmother (Miqaberidze, 1929)
14 A Page of Madness (Kinugasa, 1926)
15 He Who Gets Slapped (Sjöström, 1924)
16 Walking from Munich to Berlin (Fischinger, 1927)
17 Ménilmontant (Kirsanoff, 1926)
18 The Man with the Movie Camera (Vertov, 1929)
19 The Crowd (Vidor, 1928)
20 The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Wiene, 1920)
21 Girl Shy (Newmeyer & Taylor, 1924)
22 The Scarecrow (Keaton & Cline, 1920)
23 Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein, 1925)
24 Greed (von Stroheim, 1924)
25 H2O (Steiner, 1929)
26 Steamboat Bill, Jr. (Keaton & Reisner, 1928)
27 Maldone (Grémillon, 1928)
28 Faust: A German Folk Tale (Murnau, 1926)
29 Napoléon (Gance, 1927)
30 The Kid (Chaplin, 1921)
31 Our Hospitality (Keaton & Blystone, 1923)
32 Häxan (Christensen, 1922)
33 Erotikon aka Seduction (Machatý, 1929)
34 The Wind (Sjöström, 1928)
35 A Cottage on Dartmoor (Asquith, 1929)
36 Cops (Keaton & Cline, 1922)
37 The Circus (Chaplin, 1928)
38 The Three-Sided Mirror (Epstein, 1927)
39 The Penalty (Worsley, 1920)
40 One Week (Keaton & Cline, 1920)
41 The Joyless Street (Pabst, 1925)
42 The Gold Rush (Chaplin, 1925)
43 Die Nibelungen (Lang, 1924)
44 The Wonderful Lies of Nina Petrovna (Schwarz, 1929)
45 The Cameraman (Keaton & Sedgwick, 1928)
46 Queen Kelly (von Stroheim, 1929)
47 The Adventures of Prince Achmed (Reiniger, 1926)
48 The Saga of Gosta Berling (Stiller, 1924)
49 The 'High Sign' (Keaton & Cline, 1921)
50 Blackmail (Hitchcock, 1929)
Or if you would rather read the list like a normal person, along with my write-ups (geared perhaps more to the film novice), you are welcome to go here.

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Murdoch
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Re: Defend Your Darlings, You Sad Pandas! (Lists Project v 3

#82 Post by Murdoch » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:14 pm

I'll get the ball rolling

1. Japanese Girls at the Harbor – Hiroshi Shimizu
This is tied for my favorite silent with Sternberg's Docks of New York, from the actors fading away to the tracking shot at the harbor this film is a visual feast that is inventive and charming. It was difficult to pick a favorite from the decade as any of my top ten would suffice, but this one left the strongest impression on me.

2. The Bitter Tea of General Yen – Frank Capra
3. Au Bonheur Des Dames – Julien Duvivier

4. Shanghai Express – Josef von Sternberg
My favorite Sternberg of the decade, the gorgeous photography and the way the story dissolves and becomes this fever dream makes this one of Sternberg's best.

5. Bringing Up Baby – Howard Hawks
This was going to be my number one, but I figured it would get enough votes and I didn't have to worry. My favorite screwball, I could watch this on a loop, the dialogue is hilarious and delivered perfectly by all the performers, and it takes the screwball standard of a girl turning a straight-laced square's life upside down and pushes it as far as it can go. I don't think I've ever enjoyed Hepburn more in anything.

6. My Man Godfrey – Gregory la Cava
I just love Lombard, I would be perfectly content seeing only films she starred in for the rest of my life,, and this is one of her best performances (the rest of the cast isn't bad either).
7. Twentieth Century – Howard Hawks
See above.

8. The Last Flight – William Dieterle
What starts off as a light comedy about GIs enjoying themselves after the war takes a very dark turn in the final act as they fall prey to their restless behavior and each one succumbs to a sudden twist of fate. The film does a marvelous job of lifting the rug from under its audience and reveals itself to be a cynical study of post-war depression and malaise.

9. An Optical Poem – Oskar Fischinger
A delightful synthesis of sight and sound, Fischinger's film uses so little (paper cut out into circles) and through editing and lighting creates a visual symphony that is dazzling
10. Colour Flight – Len Lye
Picking a favorite from Lye wasn't easy, and I don't know how to describe why I love this so much. The design and use of color, how every circle and line looks to be dancing, I wish more ads for airlines were like this.

And the others:

13. Rhythm in Light – Mary Ellen Bute and Theodore Nemeth
16. Nothing Sacred – William Wellman
19. Birth of the Robot – Len Lye
20. A Story of Floating Weeds – Yasujiro Ozu
22. Story of a Cheat – Sacha Guitry
23. Safe in Hell – William Wellman
27. Flunky, Work Hard – Mikio Naruse
29. Glen Falls Sequence - Douglass Crockwell
33. The Old Mill – Walt Disney
36. American Madness – Frank Capra
38. Romance Sentimentale – Grigori Aleksandrov, Sergei Eisenstein
44. Blue Angel – Josef von Sternberg
46. Heroes for Sale – William Wellman
47. Carnival in Flanders – Jacques Feyder
48. Baby Face – Alfred E. Green
49. La Belle Equipe – Julien Duvivier
Last edited by Murdoch on Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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swo17
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Re: Defend Your Darlings, You Sad Pandas! (Lists Project v 3

#83 Post by swo17 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:27 pm

My orphans were:

Granton Trawler (John Grierson)
It's Love I'm After (Archie Mayo)
Our Daily Bread (King Vidor)
The Face at the Window (George King)

Comments on these and all my picks can be found here, for those interested.

Murdoch wrote:Study No. 7
This did fairly well actually, placing 61st.

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nsps
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Re: Defend Your Darlings, You Sad Pandas! (Lists Project v 3

#84 Post by nsps » Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:22 pm

Murdoch wrote:I'll get the ball rolling

5. Bringing Up Baby – Howard Hawks
This was going to be my number one, but I figured it would get enough votes and I didn't have to worry. My favorite screwball, I could watch this on a loop, the dialogue is hilarious and delivered perfectly by all the performers, and it takes the screwball standard of a girl turning a straight-laced square's life upside down and pushes it as far as it can go. I don't think I've ever enjoyed Hepburn more in anything.
Heh. It was almost my no. 1 as well. (Came in no. 2.) Maybe if we'd both had it at one it woulda landed on top.

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tarpilot
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Re: Defend Your Darlings, You Sad Pandas! (Lists Project v 3

#85 Post by tarpilot » Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:03 pm

Murdoch wrote:8. The Last Flight – William Dieterle
Thanks for bringing this to my attention, I'll definitely be checking it out. Sounds a bit like Heroes for Sale (which I see you also included). I've only seen two 30s Dieterles, The Crash and The Great O'Malley, both of which I found underwhelming, but Portrait of Jennie, The Devil and Daniel Webster, and I'll Be Seeing You will all certainly be on my 40s list. He's a very interesting figure.
swo17 wrote:Our Daily Bread (King Vidor)
It seems odd to me that a director as renowned as Vidor should have fives orphans on a list like this and absolutely nothing in the top 100. Sure, I guess his most famous work is from the 20s, but I'm shocked that only one person voted for The Champ (I was close to including it myself). My Vidor orphan is The Wedding Night, which I'll soon get around to writing about along with my other orphans (13 in total, I think).

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zedz
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Re: Defend Your Darlings, You Sad Pandas! (Lists Project v 3

#86 Post by zedz » Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:13 pm

I had (I think) nineteen new films on my list this time, which is a healthy turnover, and a number of those were films I didn’t even know existed last time around.

So, here’s my top twenty, plus the various desperate (bolded) and dateless (bolded and underlined) darlings from further down the ladder:

1. The Roaring Twenties (Walsh, 1939)
2. Rules of the Game (Renoir, 1939)
3. I Was Born, But. . . (Ozu, 1932)
4. Study No 7 (Hungarian Dance) (Fischinger, 1931)
5. Rapt (Kirsanov, 1934)
6. Bringing Up Baby (Hawks, 1938)

7. Mor’Vran (Epstein, 1931) – Completely orphaned! I’m 99% sure this is the film that swo doubts actually exists, but it does and it’s superb. You feel like you ought to wring the salt water out of your socks after watching it. I believe Schreck has also seen it somehow and confirmed its sublimity.

8. Peter Ibbetson (Hathaway, 1935) – I’m not surprised this failed to make the grade, since it’s such a determinedly peculiar work.

9. Four Seasons of Children (Shimizu, 1939) – This exclusion was a little more surprising, considering what a splash Shimizu seems to have made. I’m assuming that a) most people haven’t sought this film out; or b) I’ve had a serious taste bypass and everyone else hates it.

10. L’Atalante (Vigo, 1934)

11. Dragnet Girl (Ozu, 1933) – Ditto, sort of. Maybe people are sitting on their hands and wallets until the inevitable BFI release.

12. Vampyr (Dreyer, 1932)
13. Only Angels Have Wings (Hawks, 1939)
14. La Petite Lise (Gremillon, 1930)
15. Mr Thank You (Shimizu, 1936)
16. The Only Son (Ozu, 1936)

17. Philips Radio (Ivens, 1931) – Such joyously free and creative sound filmmaking so soon after the advent of the technology puts this up there with Fischinger.

18. Top Hat (Sandrich, 1935)
19. Toni (Renoir, 1935)
20. Limite (Peixoto, 1931)

21. Wooden Crosses (Bernard, 1932) – One of the biggest shocks of this list was this particular no-show, given how rapturously it was received around here when that Eclipse set came out.

26. Dainah la Metisse (Gremillon, 1931) – And I was also very surprised this didn’t scrape onto the list, given its boosters. Was there some reluctance to squander a vote on an obviously crippled film?

27. Trade Tattoo (Lye, 1937) – Ah, the great Len Lye vote-split of ’11! I remember it well. It was a tough choice, but this one seemed to me to encompass the greatest number of Lye’s strengths with colour, rhythm, innovative processing and editing, and it also looks forward to the staggering masterpiece of Rhythm (which, if you calculated some kind of intensity of genius measure by dividing the achievement of the film by its length, may be the greatest film ever made).

30. Ecstasy (Machaty, 1933) – Discussed already in the thread: an unseen rediscovery – which is the weirdest kind of rediscovery.

31. Flunky, Work Hard! (Naruse, 1931) – All of Naruse’s experimental energy bundled into one delightfully compact film.

33. La Cartomancienne (Hill, 1932) – Already discussed in the thread.

35. An Optical Poem (Fischinger, 1937) – A lesser vote split here, but understandable given the embarrassment of riches we have to deal with in this case.

37. Salt for Svanetia (Kalatozov, 1930) – The consolation here is that next time we’ll all have the Flicker Alley set and no excuse.

38. Study No 8 (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) (Fischinger, 1931) – I will arrogantly assume that the only possible reason this didn’t attract another vote is that the other Fischinger fans hadn’t been able to see it.

41. Thru the Mirror (Hand, 1936) – You can’t seriously chart the best of the 30s and leave Disney out. This was my token pick.

42. Children’s Party (Cornell, 1938) – May have been perverse of me to opt for this instead of the anointed Rose Hobart, but I like this film better, and this isn’t about stuffing the ballot box.

43. The Big Trail (Walsh, 1930) – I’ll have to go back and see how this fared in the Westerns list, but I’m surprised it didn’t make the cut here.

44. S.S. Ionian (Jennings, 1939) – As predicted, nobody in their right mind voted for this very boring film.

48. Theodora Goes Wild (Boleslawski, 1937) – And, unless I’m mistaken, I was also alone in my appreciation of this very smart screwball comedy. A lot of screwballs rely on table-turning as a central structural element, but they’re hardly ever as carefully balanced as this film, since one of the participants generally “needs” the screwball shake-up much more than the other. But in this film, there’s a reciprocity that’s dramatically satisfying as well as being acutely perceptive about social and gender relationships. Oh, and it’s really fucking funny.

49. Glen Falls Sequence (Crockwell, 1937) – I forget who nudged me to revisit this fascinating experimental grab-bag, but I guess it’s the other guy who voted for it! So thanks.

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Re: Defend Your Darlings, You Sad Pandas! (Lists Project v 3

#87 Post by swo17 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:24 pm

zedz wrote:26. Dainah la Metisse (Gremillon, 1931) – And I was also very surprised this didn’t scrape onto the list, given its boosters. Was there some reluctance to squander a vote on an obviously crippled film?
I think all the boosters voted for it. We just need more boosters! Or boosters that rank the films they're boosting higher. It got five votes, with me and you both placing it at #26, and everyone else placing it toward the bottom of their lists like a dime store novelty.

Also, Four Seasons of Children was the only Shimizu on my list.

Also also, just admit that Mor'Vran is a film you and Schreck made up so that no one else can ever completely catch up to you. It's okay, I don't think any less of you for it.

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Re: Defend Your Darlings, You Sad Pandas! (Lists Project v 3

#88 Post by Tommaso » Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:31 pm

swo17 wrote:Or boosters that rank the films they're boosting higher. It got five votes, with me and you both placing it at #26, and everyone else placing it toward the bottom of their lists like a dime store novelty.
Not dime store, but certainly novelty; I put it on #49 I think, at the last minute (on a list that didn't even have room for "Boudu", mind you), just for the sake of its astonishing visuals. And I normally wouldn't have included a film of which I don't understand the dialogue, but this one had to be on my list somehow. In other words: "Dainah" just needs subs to be appreciated by more people.

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Re: Defend Your Darlings, You Sad Pandas! (Lists Project v 3

#89 Post by zedz » Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:35 pm

swo17 wrote:It got five votes, with me and you both placing it at #26.
Drat! I knew I should have shielded my homework with my left arm!
knives wrote:You voted for a film you found boring?
I think that, if you were so disposed, you could scientifically prove that S.S. Ionian is objectively boring, but that's sort of the point and I love it anyway.

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Re: Defend Your Darlings, You Sad Pandas! (Lists Project v 3

#90 Post by knives » Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:44 pm

If you say so.

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Re: Defend Your Darlings, You Sad Pandas! (Lists Project v 3

#91 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:23 pm

I find it funny that the only other voter for Emil and the Detective also put it at 42 on his list.

While I like Naruse's Flunky Work Hard -- it would never get a place on my Naruse top 10 list (maybe my top 20 though).

I did like Shimizu's Four Seasons of Childhood quite a bit -- but had other higher ranking Shimizu films already on my list. I didn't even have space for (the totally unfindable) Eclipse (which I love). Too bad Seven Seas is also unfindable (with its wonderful performance by a 7 year old Hideko Takamine) -- but I couldn't leave this off even if it had no chance.

Salt for Svanetia was "interesting" -- but I really didn't _like_ it very much.

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Re: Defend Your Darlings, You Sad Pandas! (Lists Project v 3

#92 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:28 pm

My top 10:

1. It's A Gift (McLeod, 1934)
2. Apart From You (Naruse, 1933)
3. Roaring Twenties (Walsh, 1939)
4. Tokyo Inn (Ozu, 1935)
5. Arigato-san (Shimizu, 1936)
6. Bluest of Seas (Barnet, 1936)
7. Humanity and Paper Balloons (Yamanaka, 1937)
8. Tabu (Murnau, 1931)
9. Fighting Soldiers (Kamei, 1939)
10. Story of the Last Chrysanthemums (Mizoguchi, 1939)

I was disappointed that Its a Gift and Tokyo Inn fell off the list into also-rans. I was not surprised that Fighting soldiers was orphaned -- as it is pretty hard to find. If only Bluest of Seas was more available (for non French readers), I'm sure it would find more fans.

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Re: Defend Your Darlings, You Sad Pandas! (Lists Project v 3

#93 Post by domino harvey » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:33 pm

01 Holiday (Cukor)
02 Stagecoach (Ford)
03 Twentieth Century (Hawks)
04 American Madness (Capra)
05 I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang! (LeRoy)
06 Bad Girl (Borzage)
07 Shanghai Express (von Sternberg)
08 Trouble in Paradise (Lubitsch)
09 Marius (Korda/Pagnol)
10 the Women (Cukor)

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knives
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Re: Defend Your Darlings, You Sad Pandas! (Lists Project v 3

#94 Post by knives » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:06 pm

Since everyone else is doing it, top ten.
1Mr. Thank You (1936, Shimizu)
2Le Schpountz (1938, Pagnol)
3Wife! Be Like a Rose (1935, Naruse)
4Bride of Frankenstein (1935, Whale)
5History is Made at Night (1937, Borzage)
6The Spy in Black (1939, Powell)
7The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933, Lang)
8Vampyr (1932, Dreyer)
9Blonde Venus (1932, von Sternberg)
10Tabu (1931, Murnau)

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Re: Defend Your Darlings, You Sad Pandas! (Lists Project v 3

#95 Post by Yojimbo » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:27 pm

I missed the vote but these are the 1930's films in the personal Top 1,000 I compiled a couple of years ago
(the numbers at right are groupings: Top 10; Top 100, etc (actually, equal ranked 11 through 143)

M (1931) Fritz Lang 10
La règle du jeu (1939) Jean Renoir 10

By the Bluest of Seas (1936) Boris Barnet 100
Tarzan and His Mate (1934) Cedric Gibbons 100
City Lights (1931) Charles Chaplin 100
The Black Cat (1934) Edgar G. Ulmer 100
Trouble in Paradise (1932) Ernst Lubitsch 100
Bringing Up Baby (1938) Howard Hawks 100
Scarface (1932) Howard Hawks 100
Bride of Frankenstein (1935) James Whale 100
La bête humaine (1938) Jean Renoir 100
La grande illusion (1937) Jean Renoir 100
L'Atalante (1934) Jean Vigo 100
Stagecoach (1939) John Ford 100
Morocco (1930) Josef Von Sternberg 100
Der blaue Engel (1930) Josef Von Sternberg 100
The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums (1939) Kenji Mizoguchi 100
Triumph des Willens (1935) Leni Riefenstahl 100
Duck Soup (1933) Leo McCarey 100
42nd Street (1933) Lloyd Bacon 100
Le jour se lève (1939) Marcel Carne 100
Top Hat (1935) Mark Sandrich 100
It's a Gift (1934) Norman Z. Mcleod 100
Love Me Tonight (1932) Rouben Mamoulian 100
Freaks (1932) Tod Browning 100
The Thin Man (1934) W.S. Van Dyke II 100

Zemlya (1930) Alexander Dovzhenko 250
The Lady Vanishes (1938) Alfred Hitchcock 250
Okraina (1933) Boris Barnet 250
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) David Hand 250
Gunga Din (1939) George Stevens 250
The Invisible Man (1933) James Whale 250
Partie de campagne (1936/I) Jean Renoir 250
Boudu sauvé des eaux (1932) Jean Renoir 250
All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) Lewis Milestone 250
The Gay Divorcee (1934) Mark Sandrich 250
King Kong (1933) Merian C.Cooper 250
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) Michael Curtiz 250
The Roaring Twenties (1939) Raoul Walsh 250
À nous la liberté (1931) Rene Clair 250
Gone with the Wind (1939) Victor Fleming 250
Dodsworth (1936) William Wyler 250

Vampyr - Der Traum des Allan Grey (1932) Carl Theodor Dreyer 500
Modern Times (1936) Charles Chaplin 500
One Hour with You (1932) Ernst Lubitsch 500
The Personal History, Adventures, Experience, & Observation of David Copperfield the Younger (1935) George Cukor 500
Swing Time (1936) George Stevens 500
Jesse James (1939) Henry King 500
The Masseurs and a Woman (1938) Hiroshi Shimizu 500
Way Out West (1937) James W.Horne 500
Frankenstein (1931) James Whale 500
Le crime de Monsieur Lange (1936) Jean Renoir 500
Toni (1935) Jean Renoir 500
Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) John Ford 500
Pilgrimage (1933) John Ford 500
The Scarlet Empress (1934) Josef Von Sternberg 500
Sisters of the Gion (1936) Kenji Mizoguchi 500
Osaka Elegy (1936) Kenji Mizoguchi 500
Olympia (1938) Leni Riefenstahl 500
The Awful Truth (1937) Leo McCarey 500
Footlight Parade (1933) Lloyd Bacon 500
The Baker's Wife (1938) Marcel Pagnol 500
Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) Mervyn Le Roy 500
I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932) Mervyn Le Roy 500
Dodge City (1939) Michael Curtiz 500
Le million (1931) Rene Clair 500
Sous les toits de Paris (1930) Rene Clair 500
Aleksandr Nevskiy (1938) Sergei Eisenstein 500
The Wizard of Oz (1939) Victor Fleming 500

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Re: Defend Your Darlings, You Sad Pandas! (Lists Project v 3

#96 Post by Yojimbo » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:38 pm

knives wrote:Since everyone else is doing it, top ten.
1Mr. Thank You (1936, Shimizu)
2Le Schpountz (1938, Pagnol)
3Wife! Be Like a Rose (1935, Naruse)
4Bride of Frankenstein (1935, Whale)
5History is Made at Night (1937, Borzage)
6The Spy in Black (1939, Powell)
7The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933, Lang)
8Vampyr (1932, Dreyer)
9Blonde Venus (1932, von Sternberg)
10Tabu (1931, Murnau)
I haven't seen that Borzage, but one of my favourites of his; might even be my favourite is 'Liliom', and I may be in a minority, among Borzage fans.

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Re: Defend Your Darlings, You Sad Pandas! (Lists Project v 3

#97 Post by knives » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:48 pm

I enjoyed it a lot, but feel that the lead performance undermines a lot of what he was working for. I think he accomplished that story in a superior fashion with Man's Castle which made my list.

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Re: Defend Your Darlings, You Sad Pandas! (Lists Project v 3

#98 Post by Gropius » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:53 pm

Top 10 plus comments on some of the also-rans:

1. The Scarlet Empress (Josef von Sternberg, 1934)
2. The Devil Is a Woman (Josef von Sternberg, 1935)
3. Twentieth Century (Howard Hawks, 1934)
4. Trouble in Paradise (Ernst Lubitsch, 1932)
5. Philips Radio (Joris Ivens, 1931) - I echo Zedz's remarks on the formal mastery of this one. Ivens still feels like one of the great masters of cinema who is yet to be fully appreciated: the dogmatic communist stance of many of his other docs limits their generalist appeal, although many are classics of their kind.
6. Mädchen in Uniform (Leontine Sagan, 1931) - Given the bonanza of relatively obscure German films that made the list this time round, it was surprising to see this one absent.
7. A Midsummer Night’s Dream (William Dieterle/Max Reinhardt, 1935) - Made the case for this in the main thread, but it contains some of the greatest spectacle ever produced.
8. A Colour Box (Len Lye, 1935) - I prefer Lye's rougher approach to the more polished Fischinger (whom I left off, knowing he would chart anyway), and this seems the most 'archetypal' of all his films.
9. Design for Living (Ernst Lubitsch, 1933)
10. L’Âge d’or (Luis Buñuel, 1930)

11. Rhythm in Light (Mary Ellen Bute/Ted Nemeth/Melville Webber, 1934) - One of the great discoveries of the 'Unseen Cinema' box: Bute stands comparison with any avant-gardist of the 20th century.
15. Coal Face (Alberto Cavalcanti, 1935) - Prefer this to Night Mail; one of the many classic industrial films.
19. La Kermesse héroïque (Jacques Feyder, 1935) - Meticulous period costumes/settings to rival Sternberg, and farce as good as the best Hollywood comedies.
20. Der blaue Engel (Josef von Sternberg, 1930) - Another surprising casualty.
30. Vibración de Granada (José Val del Omar, 1935) - Fascinating experimental documentary, independently anticipating much of the American avant-garde from Marie Menken to Nathaniel Dorsky; think Knives was the other voter.
38. The Deserter (Vsevolod Pudovkin, 1933) - Seems I was the only voter for this this time round: it's heavily propagandistic, but full of interesting experiments with editing sound.
43. The Struggle (D.W. Griffith, 1931) - Moralistic, old-fashioned anti-drink melodrama, but with all the old Griffith virtues: Pedro Costa's a big fan of this one.
49. Footlight Parade (Lloyd Bacon, 1933) - I fail to understand how on earth 42nd Street made the list when this, which arguably has the better plot and better numbers, didn't.
Last edited by Gropius on Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Defend Your Darlings, You Sad Pandas! (Lists Project v 3

#99 Post by Yojimbo » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:58 pm

Haven't seen that, either. I didn't get the Fox set; I just have the Region 2 double sets, and I had a couple of his films recorded off the tv.
I don't remember enough of the lead character in 'Liliom' so much; more the whole look of the film; the crime scene; the heavenly scenes and the ending.
There was definitely a decided stiffness about the acting, as I recall, although this may have been deliberately stylised, a la Dreyer's 'Gertrud', but, overall, a success

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knives
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Re: Defend Your Darlings, You Sad Pandas! (Lists Project v 3

#100 Post by knives » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:00 am

Gropius wrote: 30. Vibración de Granada (José Val del Omar, 1935) - Fascinating experimental documentary, independently anticipating much of the American avant-garde from Marie Menken to Nathaniel Dorsky; think Knives was the other voter.
I was. I honestly thought Zedz would be the mystery number two on this as he managed to increase my love of it more with a piece of Anger comparison. Maybe Val del Omar will do better on the '60s list. I'll have a couple of years to push that at least.

Edit: The production design is my favorite part of Liliom, I believe I did a write up on that very thing, and I agree with your comments completely. Man's Castle is actually a Paramount title, not Fox.

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