Lost in the Movies (formerly The Dancing Image): X does not mark the spot

Monday, November 10, 2008

X does not mark the spot

And this list is brought to you by the letter...

Well, all of them actually. This is an entry in the Alphabet Meme started by Fletch at Blog Cabins (click on the link for all the rules). Yes, there was only one spot between the first two Godfather films, Goodfellas, and Gimme Shelter; meanwhile I had to scour the Internet to discover a forgotten favorite that began with "X" (no such luck). It came down to a contest between an African comedy Xala, which has all the right film snob cred, and X-Men, a perfectly decent superhero movie stunted by an anticlimax. The only problem with the first film was that after the genuinely amusing first half, the rest of it dragged interminably. So I went with the latter movie (though it would have cheered me far more to pick the TV series, if only for that theme music; sadly I don't think that was an option). All in all, I wish I could have moved Gimme Shelter to the "X" spot and killed two birds with one stone (or rather one bird with two).

The list begins and ends with a Woody Allen film; make of that what you will. List resides after the jump (let me know what you think).


Annie Hall
The Big Lebowski
Citizen Kane
Day of Wrath
Easy Rider
Fantasia
The Godfather Part II
La haine
It's a Wonderful Life
Jaws
The Kids Are Alright
Lawrence of Arabia
Masculin Feminin
The Nights of Cabiria
On the Waterfront
Pandora's Box
Queen Christina
Rosemary's Baby
Star Wars
Taxi Driver
The Up Films
Vertigo
White Heat
X-Men
Young Mr. Lincoln
Zelig

Incidentally, not a one of these films has been reviewed on this blog. I smell a classics/collection series on the (distant) horizon...

11 comments:

Ibetolis said...

Oh yes, a fine list indeed.

You may not know this but I did tag you, I had a feeling your list would be interesting.

My list is up if you fancy a peek, it's strange how completely different each list is (with exception to Z's and X's).

Kudo's on Pandora's Box. I totally forgot that one.

MovieMan0283 said...

I checked out your list - funny, in the comments Sam Juliano mentions Xala, I guess he liked it better than I did...(Maybe I should give it another chance, though I don't think it's on video.)

FilmDr said...

Excellent choices. I especially like Rosemary's Baby, The Up Films, Nights of Cabiria, and Jaws. Could you comment on why you chose Masculin Feminin?

Marilyn said...

Nice list, with a number of films I definitely watch over and over. My biggest problem with Lawrence of Arabia is that I saw a restored 70mm print on a wrap-around screen, and I just am too spoiled to see it any other way now.

MovieMan0283 said...

Well, among other things because it may be my favorite film of all time!

It still kind of amazes me that I've reviewed zero Godards, zero French New Wave, and a total of two European films in the hundred and a quarter entries I've processed on this blog. This is largely a function of my Netflix queues, DVR recordings, and the fact that I'm mostly seeing movies I haven't seen before. But as I indicated, I would like to embark on an exploration of my own collection, possibly once I wind up the Twin Peaks & D.W. Griffith series (I'm hindered in part by the fact that I did just such an exploration earlier this year, before I had a blog...)

As for M/F, I'll save most of my observations for an individual entry, but I would point you to my commentary on the Movies et al board where Graham & I got into a spirited discussion on the matter:

http://moviesetal.blogspot.com/2008/09/film-ignorance-16-masculinfeminin.html

To wit, in part:

"That was really Godard (through an earpiece Leaud was wearing) interviewing those people in the movie - their responses were not scripted. And his lightning montage, philosophical discourse, and spontaneity of reference and approach is impossible to imagine today. The juxtaposition of documentary/fiction, interrogation of reality/self-conscious pastiche, didacticism/improvisation, art/life, Marx/Coca-Cola, masculine/feminine provides one of the lifebloods of great art: a tension and friction which sets off the sparks which make the movie great."

MovieMan0283 said...

Marilyn, the funny thing about Lawrence is that although I've seen it twice in full glory (and almost 3 times) I've always appreciated it on the small screen too. I mean, the first time I saw it I was a little kid renting a horribly butchered pan-and-scan VHS from the library and I still loved it. Perhaps because there's an intimacy there too with all the scope. For whatever reason, it is possibly (compromising myself here since I just said the same about Masculin Feminin!) my favorite film of all time.

(In order to avoid future confusion, let me clear this matter: there are 5 or 6 films which could reasonably claim this title - among them Masculin Feminin, Lawrence of Arabia, The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Vertigo, and Easy Rider).

FilmDr said...

Thanks, Movieman0283, for your thorough explanation about your love for Masculin Feminin. I will watch it again soon.

JOSEPH CAMPANELLA said...

LOVE EVERYTHING ON YOUR LIST.

And the six I haven't seen have already been or were already added to my netflix queue!

Glad to see NIGHTS OF CABIRIA on there. People always look to Fellini's crazier films, but what an absolute gem it is.

And also, it's nice to see a cinephile recognize the mainstream classics like JAWS. A movie that I could and have watched 100 times over.

MovieMan0283 said...

Jaws is great: can you imagine a blockbuster with the patience of historical comfort to do the Indianapolis monologue today (I believe it was John Milius who wrote that)?

Someone once said that Godard and Spielberg both made home movies, a fitting compliment since those two directors (not exactly the best of friends nor stylistic brothers) may be my two favorite directors. Jaws is probably the least home-movieish of his early films but it still has those moments.

And Nights was the first Fellini film I ever saw - on the big screen, no less - so I always have special regard for it.

By the way, out of curiosity, which six?

JOSEPH CAMPANELLA said...

Quint's speech is one of the greatest of movie monologues. We need more actors like Robert Shaw and less shows like THE HILLS.

La Haine
The Kids Are Alright
Zelig
White Heat
The Up Films
Queen Christina

To be fair though, I don't really remember any of MASCULIN FEMININ which warrants another viewing and also, I've only seen half of DAY OF WRATH, but have already marked my calender because it is showing a in a new restored print here in Chicago next month!

MovieMan0283 said...

Definitely do that - I caught it on the big screen and it was one of the most memorable filmgoing experiences I've ever had.