Thursday, August 16, 2012

My Sight and Sound List of Ten Greatest Films Ever Made

I did say I think the individual lists are more fascinating and more valuable overall as opposed to the aggregate (which I think is about as interesting as watching paint dry).

Some observations:

Love it that Ms. Wurm listed Tatlo Dalawa Isa (Three Two One); that's not an obvious Brocka choice (but a good one, nevertheless).  Also love Mr. Bhaumik's inclusion of Mababangong Bangungot (Perfumed Nightmare)--that and Kidlat Tahimik are even less well known than Brocka.

Love it that Ms. Ingawanij lists not one but two Filipino films. She may not be Filipino, but she certainly loves our films...

Impressed that Lav Diaz's Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino (Evolution of a Filipino Family) earned three critics' nod. One can say that's partly because it traveled the film festival route not too long ago, but I don't think so; I do think it deserves the admiration.

Pity we don't see more of the Philippines' earlier masters--Gerardo de Leon, Manuel Conde, Manuel Silos, Lamberto Avellana. If I had to do it all over again, I might include more; maybe fill all ten slots with Filipino films. We certainly have the back catalog (with newer works meriting serious consideration)...

Finally--my list, as originally written (with links to available articles):

I look at how well the filmmaker translates his passion, at the intensity of said passion, and listen to the feeling in my gut that tells me “this is one.”

In alphabetical order:

Banshun (Late Spring, Yasujiro Ozu, 1949) - a minimalist masterwork, one of the most moving films ever made.

Campanadas a medianoche (Chimes at Midnight, Orson Welles, 1965) - arguably the finest adaptation of Shakespeare and greatest battle sequence ever filmed (yes, I'm enough of an incurable adolescent that I still judge the quality of an action sequence, and no Apocalypse Now's helicopter assault did not make my list).

Faust (FW Murnau, 1926) - a truly great special-effects film, Murnau's adaptation of Goethe's (and perhaps Germany's) greatest play is both fevered nightmare and harrowing drama.

Journal d’un curĂ© de campagne (Diary of a Country Priest, Robert Bresson, 1951) - a priest's interior journey towards transcendence, one of the most comprehensive and unrelenting depictions of human spirituality ever.

Kaagaz Ke Phool (Paper Flowers, Guru Dutt, 1959) - Guru Dutt's film maudit, a titanic box-office flop, and one of the best films ever about a filmmaker's passion for his work.

Kaze no tani no Naushika (Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Hayao Miyazaki, 1984) - one of the few science fiction film to deal with and understand ecological systems and the environment, arguably the greatest animated film ever made.

M (Fritz Lang, 1931) - the prototype noir film that towers over the genre.

Meghe Dhaka Tara (The Cloud-capped Star, Ritwik Ghatak, 1960) - a neorealist tour de force, one of the most heartrending depictions ever of female oppression.

Sherlock, Jr. (Buster Keaton, 1924) - one of the most imaginative uses of special effects, and perhaps the most beautiful comedy ever made.

Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos (Three Years Without God, Mario O'Hara, 1976) - the rare film from a victimized nation that strives to understand, perhaps even forgive, the invader.



Anonymous said...

dalawang pelikula ni Lav Diaz

Anonymous said...

nope, tatlo ang namention na lav diaz pelikula sa poll

Anonymous said...

tatlo nga ang kay Lav...

Lahat ng nabanggit na pelikulang Filipino ay mula Martial Law era/PGMA years

Noel Vera said...

Cool. Lav's probably one of our best living directors. Our best living and still active, anyway.

Noel Vera said...

From Jugu Abraham, on Facebook:

Hi. Just read your list of top 10 films and was delighted to find two Indian films on that list. It is refreshing to see Asian cineastes picking Asian films in preference to the American and European films. I couldn't place my comment on your blog for some technical glitch, hence I am contacting you via Facebook.

My favorite Indian film is a rare Indian film called Nirmalayam (the Blessed Offering) (1973) directed by MT Vasudevan Nair.

I invite you to view my blog Movies that make you think