2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY – dir. Stanley Kubrick (1968)
H.A.L.: “JUST WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING, DAVE?”
A couple of astronauts with a weird and worrying smart computer go on a mission to explore signs of intelligent life buried beneath the surface of the moon. That music. That space. that computer.
8 1/2 – dir. Federico Fellini (1963)
GUIDO: “ACCEPT ME AS I AM. ONLY THEN CAN WE DISCOVER ONE ANOTHER.”
Memories and dreams interweave with reality in the mind of a director suffering from a creative block whilst working on his new film. It’s interesting to note that the actors worked on the film without any set dialogue, often delivering random sentences, the sound being recorded after and dubbed over. The film’s title is a reference to the number of films Fellini had made up to that point.
ASHES AND DIAMONDS – dir. Andrzej Wajda (1958)
On the first day that Germany officially surrender in WWII, diverse factions who had lived in peace with one another during the occupation of a small Polish town now begin to fight one another.
CITIZEN KANE – dir. Orson Welles (1941)
Generally considered to be the greatest film ever made, until recently knocked off that position by Sight & Sound controversially nominating Vertigo for that spot. Made by Orson Welles when he was just 20 years old, the film’s central character is allegedly based on William Randolph Hearst – in fact, similarities between the two created a feud between the Hearst family and Welles that lasted 71 years. Innovative cinematography and lighting are just a couple of the reasons why this film is so lauded. Watch it again.
Video City T-Shirt #1
THE LEOPARD – dir. Luchino Visconti (1963)
“IF WE WANT THINGS TO STAY AS THEY ARE, THINGS WILL HAVE TO CHANGE.”
Based on the novel by Lampedusa. An epic telling the story of the social upheavals which took place in Sicily in the mid 19th century and starring an international cast, including Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon and Claudia Cardinale.Winner of the 1963 Palme d’Or.
PAISA – dir. Roberto Rosellini (1946)
Made up of six vignettes that follow the Allied invasion during WWII and cover the length of Italy.
THE RED SHOES – dir. Powell&Pressburger (1948)
“… A GREAT IMPRESSION OF SIMPLICITY CAN ONLY BE ACHIEVED THROUGH GREAT AGONY OF BODY AND SPIRIT.”
A dancer torn between her passion for dancing and the man she loves. Innovative, beautiful, magical, startling. See it now.
THE RIVER – dir. Jean Renoir (1951)
Three women, growing up in Bengal, fall for the same American soldier. A beautifully shot, Technicolor wonder, this film has been important for directors as diverse as Satyajit Ray who met his future cinematographer, Subrata Mitra, on set, to Wes Anderson whom it inspired to make The Darjeeling Ltd.
SALVATORE GIULIANO – dir. Francesco Rosi (1962)
A young outlaw becomes entangled in the political – and corrupt – forces that shape modern-day Sicily.
THE SEARCHERS – dir. John Ford (1956)
Two men go in search of a girl abducted during a Comanche raid. One of the most beautifully shot westerns of all time, all rolling expanse and dramatic colour. John Wayne’s staggering/lurching walk has never been framed so well.
UGETSU MONOGATARI – dir. Mizoguchi Kinji (1953)
Set in 16th century Japan, Ugetsu is one of the great masterpieces of Japanese cinema and is often credited, along with Roshomon, as being one of the films that brought Japanese cinema to the attention of the rest of the world. Based on a couple of Japanese ghost stories, Ugetsu is a tale of personal ambition, love and war and is famed for Mizoguchi’s use of long, poetic takes and its meticulous attention to period detail.
Roger Ebert’s review.
VERTIGO – dir. Alfred Hitchcock (1958)
Recently rated by Sight & Sound as the greatest film of all time – highly debatable, but still a fantastically tense (and occasionally trippy) watch, starring James Stewart and Kim Novak.
(List first published in Sight & Sound magazine)
posted by Dixie Turner