Lost in the Movies: Wonders in the Dark

Wonders in the Dark

Lately, while distracted from my own blog, I've become a regular contributor to the commentary on Wonders in the Dark, a great blog run by Allan Fish and friend-of-The Dancing Image Sam Juliano. At this moment, Allan is knee-deep (or deeper) in a long series exploring what he considers to be the greatest films of every decade since the thirties. If you're a movie buff of my sort, who loves list and countdowns, this is definitely for you. Until now, there has not been a collection of all the posts in this series stored in one location, so I've taken it upon myself to gather all the information here. What follows is a complete list of the entire countdown, with links to every post in question.

This list will be regularly updated as Allan continues his epic journey through the years. Feel free to drop by and leave comments, even on old posts; one of the best things about this excellent blog is the lively (to put it mildly) discussion every topic engenders, sometimes straying far away from the movie at hand. For example, 2001 has led to a debate on the value of canons, Viridiana a discussion on the intertwining of ethics and aesthetics in art, and The Young Girls of Rochefort a questioning of the merits of American cinema in the 60s and Allan's views thereof. The list follows the jump and can also be found here. (updated until its conclusion in 2010)

The Early Years (silents & early talkies, 1895-1929)
1. Sunrise
14. La Roue
15. The Crowd
16. The Wind
17. L'Argent
20. Spione
21. Haxan
26. Cops
42. Erotikon
47. Lonesome
50. Verdun
52. Zvenigora
56. Mother
59. One a.m.
60. Faust
61. Two Tars
65. The Kid
68. J'Accuse
78. Strike
86. Asphalt
93. Arsenal
97. Variety
99. Casanova

The 1930s
6. M
10. Earth
13. Duck Soup
15. Limite

The 1940s
17. Rebecca
24. Pinocchio
29. Henry V
32. Gun Crazy
34. Notorious
38. Open City
44. Fantasia
45. Red River

The 1950s
2. Vertigo
5. Ikiru
18. Rio Bravo
25. Umberto D
29. Rashomon
32. La Strada
35. Beep Beep
49. Anatahan

The 1960s
4. Persona
14. Shame
19. Psycho
21. Charulata
25. L'Eclisse
26. Onibaba
36. Viridiana
38. Hamlet
44. Playtime
50. The Hunt

The 1970s
1. Duelle
2. Stalker
13. Blanche
16. Chinatown
29. Manhattan
30. Nashville
32. Mirror
33. Wanda
38. Out 1
42. Fat City
44. Deep End

The 1980s
5. Dekalog
6. Heimat
14. Ran
24. L'Argent
25. Nostalgia
26. Comrades
29. Shoah
34. Rouge
36. Marlene
37. Kagemusha
39. Scarface
43. Alice
46. Loulou
48. Yeelen
49. Excalibur
50. Akira

The 1990s
5. Actress
13. Lone Star
14. Heimat 2
19. Fargo
21. G.B.H.
25. Toy Story
31. Rosetta
34. The Piano
42. Naked
49. Freeway

The 2000s
4. 2046
18. Dogville
19. Downfall
22. Caché
25. Memento
29. Fish Tank
35. Paprika
37. Closer
41. Heimat 3
52. 10
56. Moolaadé
59. Wall-E
60. Moon
61. Hunger
71. Razone
76. Manderlay
77. Inside
81. Funland
85. Visitor Q
88. Uzak
94. Atonement
97. Sin City


Sam Juliano said...

Movie Man: This is an astonishing, incredible and spectacular honor for both Allan and Wonders in the Dark. Allan's lists have certainly provoked controversy, and some heated debates (present for all to see on our threads) but they are never less than superlatively-informed and in exquisite taste. It's been quite a ride with Allan over the past five years (Allan lives in the U.K. and has visited my family twice here in the NYC area over the past 18 months) No one I've ever encountered has seen as many films as he has (and he's only 35) and he is adding everyday. As it is I've seen almost every single film on these lists, and while I respect them and know what has informed their composition, my own lists on the various decade threads have been different. You won't be disappointed with that photo you have up there by the way!! LOL.

This is quite an honor, our very good friend, and an invaluable reference for all serious film lovers.

Allan Fish said...

Nothing much I can say to this but - pausing to pick up jaw from carpet - THANK YOU VERY MUCH on behalf of WitD. Sterling job, and yes, Persona will be appearing, no surprise there, but at what place?

You know the spiel...


Joel Bocko said...

Sam and Allan, thanks very much for your own speedy responses! I only hope my readers follow the links and jump into the fray...and I'm quite sure they will (who could resist?).

And thanks to you Allan, for initiating such a great project - I wait for every new review with bated breath...looking forward, especially now, to the Persona piece...#1? We shall see...

Allan Fish said...

And we will be dealing with the silent era up to 1929, that will follow after the 1990s poll before the 2000s to give chance for all 2009 releases to be seen.

Dave said...

I concur with the sentiments of the post, MovieMan... in fact, discovering and getting involved at Wonders in the Dark is one of the main things that encouraged me to go ahead and try my hand at a movie blog too. Great site, as is yours, so I'll piggyback on your post here to add how great WitD is.

Joel Bocko said...

Thanks, Dave - may we all continue to spread the wealth around the blogosphere.

Allan, that's great news - I was wondering if the silents would get their due, and I eagerly anticipate that installment too (as well as the 21st century one, by which point I hopefully will have seen more contemporary cinema, which I've more or less sat out of the past few years as I catch up on the past...)

Sam Juliano said...

Movie Man:

The silents will bring out your own particular expertise and affection, as I know you've expended much energy at this site showcasing them with superlative reviews. Both Allan and I favor that period above all others as well.

T.S. said...

Hey, thanks a lot for posting this. I was wondering if I should go back into Wonders in the Dark and try to put together a to-see list based on what I haven't seen, so, selfishly, I say thanks.

Keep up the good work on discussions over there, too ... I may not say much, but I enjoy reading.

Joel Bocko said...


Funny thing about blogging, you never know who's hiding in the shadows (shades of film noir)...

David H. Schleicher said...

Wow...this is great...it really puts WID and Allan's lists in scope...what an amazing thing they have been doing over there...and how wonderful for you to compile this!

Love your blog as well...and will be adding it to my links...


Joel Bocko said...

Yes, David, sometimes it feels like Wonders in the Dark is the thread that ties us all together...the blogosphere is wild and diverse and sprawling which is great, but it's also fragmented, but I find myself losing track of so many great writers, observant film fans, and fellow travelers as my blogroll grows and I spent less time online. Wonders keeps me coming back, partly because of the gimmick - or rather, how well it's been executed - and also because of the great discussions. I've had some good comments sections on a few of my posts, but never anything to compare to the rapid-fire, enthusiastic (and sometimes tooth-and-dagger) back-and-forths on Wonders. And I can't think of any other blog that comes close - even on popular sites like Some Came Running, there's a tendency for each person to drop in and say their piece but less often a real argument, debate, or conversation. It's really unique - reminds me of my old haunts on IMDB boards, except it's more focused - and I think, developing into the core of a certain corner of the blogosphere.

It will be interesting to see where it goes after Allan's departure next year; it's promising that some of the most popular discussion-starters recently have not been from the countdown, but still that yin/yang quality of Sam & Allan will be missed - as will the great device of counting down the classics of each decade, which is really a tremendous hook.

Glad you stopped by & enjoy my own rather more intermittent work...

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