Cinema that was invented in the last decade of 19th century, flourished in the 20th century and for the most part,it was the most popular and in a way the most creative art format, borrowing from other art forms. After the invention of television, and the production of TV films in the second half of the last century, and later on the internet media and the new age of digitalism and online streaming or stealing of the movies, at least over the past couple of decades, Cinema has lost its glory. At the same time, while in the first half or most of the 20th century, Cinema was heavily in the hands of story tellers, photographers, and actors, who were all led by the filmmaker or the creator, in the last few decades of the past century and more so in the present 21st century, it is dominated by digital special effects and out of reality. So cinema as an art format has greatly transformed to a technical/digital industry. Along the many efforts across the globe to save this modern art against the box office sales pressure and capital demand, this site hopes to contribute a small part in this endeavor!
Cinema initially sprang from photography, so that later on and to this day, it is called “motion picture” or “movies”, while the term “film” could be used for both cinema and photography. In the beginning, cinema was simply, pictures in motion with no other adding arts or technology, such as sound, music, or else, but acting. That is why for the first few decades since the birth of cinema, the movies were “silent” and this art form had to rely basically on the power of imagery with all its cinematographic components and the filmmakers like painters on canvas had to do whatever they could to create a powerful moving picture on the screen in addition to silent acting without talk. In this endeavor, some relied on set design, the use of light and shadows, like the German expressionists, and some relied on editing like Eisenstein, and some relied mostly on acting and sensible realism like Chaplin. At the time and even today, it is easier to rate and rank a silent film, as there were no white noise of sound or talk and all were imagery and picture in motion to measure. Due to simplicity, originality and the role of these pure ingredients, the silent films are still on the top of many best films of all time, such as the works of Serge Eisenstein, Fritz Lang, D.W.Griffith, and Charles Chaplin.
The sound brought theatrical acting to the cinema despite strong oppositions of silent films’ actors who were great action actors, specially in comedy. While 1920’s were still dominated by the silent movies, the 1930’s were the era of infiltration of theatrical acting to cinema that lasted for several decades until the recent domination of special effects and interception of digitalism into cinema. Orson Welles, Humphrey Bogart, Catharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Vivien Leigh, James Dean and Marlon Brando were such actors who stemmed from theatre or acted as such. This continued to the modern era so that the newer actors such as Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Leonardo DiCaprio continued with such legacy. The theatrical acting while added rich flavor to the story telling and content through dialogues to the cinema, in many instances became very close to theatrical plays and robbed the cinematic experience and presentation, and limited the filmmakers in showing their talents. This is somewhat parallel to the digital cinema nowadays, where digitalism and special effects have totally stolen the rich cinematic creation.
Evaluation, rating and ranking movies, is not a matter of personal taste, likeness, or even a collective voting of majority, as the majority could be wrong and do not consider all the components of a film, with a delicate consideration of the differential factors. In other words, the role of camera, acting and editing are not the same and do not carry the similar weights as special effect. Unfortunately this has not been done closely in most rating and ranking of the motion pictures and the best lists, or awards such as Oscar. Beyond the different components of a film, that somewhat and singularly are recognized as in awards for script, acting, editing, directing, etc., the following factors in ranking the best films are essential. (Of course based on the following criteria, the earlier a film, the higher the rank would be, except the films that in addition to these factors, they have the “best impression” that could go beyond the time boundary. This is certainly very rare and on our list could include only a few rare top films such as “The Battleship Potemkin”, “Man with a movie camera” and “Metropolis”. Finally any originality and technicality if not cinematic or visual and at the service of story telling, entertainment or enlightening , like experimental works of some such as Godard do not count in this site evaluation and ranking of the films.
- Originality: No matter how well a film has been made today, if it is a copy of an original work, or an adaptation in one form or another, it would put it out of any best rank. An original work, even if not well done to perfection, it is still original and a creation that needs to be considered. Of course the earlier films fairly take on a lot of credits from this factor, but this may encourage the true filmmakers not to be copiers or followers but original and creative!
- Technicality: This factor should cover all the technical aspects of filmmaking from the story and script to the all works of camera, acting, editing, special effects, etc. The originality and proper application of each technique or component need to be considered in ranking.
- Impact Factor/Significance: This is the factor influencing other films, urging them to copy and experience the original work in part or in whole. This factor is not only the influence that an original work has on the industry, but on people in general and other forms of art and aspects of life as well. In conjunction with the influence that a film could have on other films or else, the significance of the film on cinema as a whole and on the history of this art medium is important and will be counted on.
- Survival: This shows how long a work, no matter how great, it will be remembered and looks fresh for years to come, specially in the eyes of the true cinema patriots.
Throughout this site, in writing on films and ranking them, the above factors will be delicately considered, though no evaluation or ranking could be rightful. Such comprehensive evaluation and ranking will hopefully encourage others to take on such or similar process in ranking and awarding, and avoiding a single factor such as the content of the story for political or trend of the time reasons!
Almost all available films in English or with English subtitles from the early years of inception of cinema in this list have been diligently reviewed. Since the originality criteria is very important and could affect the other criteria of technicality, impact and survival, this review has been so far until the year 1993. The following films that have been on some greatest films lists or have been ranked high or awarded by different organizations, have been particularly more carefully watched and reviewed.
In evaluation and recognition of the great and specifically the greatest films, beyond the factors of originality, technicality, impact factor and survival, the overall and instant impression of a film has been greatly considered. This impression that instantly in the first few minutes of the film befalls on the viewer, is what could move a film up the ladder of time and originality to the top of this list here. This impression factor also could include a film that’s not original in singularity, but original and novel in the application of previous original techniques.
The story content of the film does not bear any importance on this site in recognition and ranking the great films as it is customary in other awards and ranking recognitions. Also any adaptation from other sources such as novels or plays to the film takes off the originality of the film, unless such adaptation has become an original of its own. This list of greatest films of all time, unlike many other such lists is not limited to a certain number, e.g. 100, so it could be less or more and it is also ongoing, though the newer films have less chance or such recognition due to the high chance of lack of originality.
The films in blue colour have been great, but not the greatest to be in our list, and the film in red colour have been the greatest films of all time in our list:
1906:The story of Kelly Craig (Charles Tait) (Australia)
1911:L’inferno (Francesco Bertolini) (France) / Defence of Sevastopol (A.Khanzonov/V.Goncharov) (Russia)
1912:Cleopatra (C.Gaskil) (USA) / Robin Hood (E.Arnaud/H.Blache) (USA)
1913:Ouo Vadis (Enrico Guazzoni) (Italy) /L’enfent de Paris (Leonce Perret) (France)
1914:Cinderella (J,Kirkwood Sr.)(USA)/The Mysterious X (B.Christensen) (Denmark)
1915:The Birth of a Nation (D.W.Griffith) (USA)/The Golem (P.Wegener/H.Galeen) (Germany) /Alice in the Wonderland (W.W.Young) (USA)/The Italian (R.Barker) (USA)
1916:Intolerance (D.W.Griffith) (USA)/20,000 Leagues under the sea (S.Paton) (USA) /Sherlock Holmes (A.Berthelet) (USA)/The end of the world (A.Blom) (Denmark)
1918:A trip to Mars (Holger-Madsen) (Denmark)
1919:Harariki (F.Lang) (Germany)
1920:The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (R. Wiene) (Germany)/Erotikon (M.Stiller) (Sweden)
1921:The Kid (Chaplin) (USA)
1922:Nanook of the North (R.J. Flahery) (USA)/Nosferatu (F.W.Murnau) (Germany)/Othello (D.Buchowetzki) (Germany)
1923:The Ten Commandments (C.B.DeMille) (USA)
1924:Greed (E.v. Stroheim) (USA) /America (W.D.Griffith) (USA)
1925:The Battleship Potemkin (Eisentein) (Russia)/The Gold Rush (Chaplin) (USA)/Strike (Eisenstein) (Russia) /Orochi (B.Futagawa) (Japan)
1926:The General (B.Keaton) (USA) /Nana (J.Renoir) (France)
1927:Metropolis (Fritz Lang) (Germany)/Wings (W. Wellman) (USA) Sunrise: A song of two humans (R.Longford) (USA)/The Jazz singer (A.Crosland) (USA)/Berlin: Symphony of a great city (W.Ruttmann) (Germany) /October (Ten days that shook the World) (Esienstein) (Russia)/The end of Petersburg (V.Pudovkin/M.Doller) (Russia)
1928:The Crowd (K.Vidor) (USA)/The passion of Joan of arc (C.T. Dreyer) (France)/The last command (J.v. Sternberg) (USA)/The circus (Chaplin) (USA)
1929:Man with a movie camera (D.Vertov) (Russia)/Un Chien Andalou (An Andalusian Dog) (L.Bunuel) (Spain)/Pandora’s box (G.W.Pabst) (Germany) /The Broadway melody (H.Beaumont) (USA) Tokyo March (Mizoguchi) (Japan)
1930:All quiet on the western front (L.Milestone) (USA)/Earth (A. Dovezhneko) (Russia) /L’age d’or (Luis Bunuel) (Spain)/The blue angel (E.Dmytryk) (Germany)/A’ propos de Nice (J.Vigo) (France)
1931:Dracula (T.Browning)(USA)/City lights (Chaplin) (USA) Grand Hotel (E.Goulding) (USA) /M (F.Lang) (Germany) Cimarron (W.Ruggles) (USA)/Frankenstein (J.Whale) (USA)
1932:Cavalcade (F.Lloyd) (USA)/A farewell to arms (F. Borzage) (USA)/Trouble in paradise (E.Lubitsch) (USA)/Freaks (T.Browning) (USA)/Boudu saved from drowning (J.Renoir) (France)/Scarface (H.Hawks) (USA)/L’Atlantide (G.W.Pabst) (Germany/France)
1933:Baby face (A.Green) (USA)/King Kong (M.Cooper/ E.Schoedsack) (USA) /Duck soup (L.McCarey) (USA)/42nd street (L.Bacon/B.Berkeley) (USA)/Zero for conduct (J.Vigo) (France)/Don Quixote (G.W.Pabst) (France/England))/Land without bread (L.Bunuel) (Spain)/The Invisible Man (J.Whale) (USA)
1934:It’s a gift (N.Mcleod) (USA)/Three songs about Lenin (D.Vertov) (Russia)
1935:The 39 steps (Hitchcock) (USA)/Triumph of the will (L.Rienfenstahl) (Germany)/The informer (J.Ford) (USA)/The Bride of Frankenstein (J.Whale) (USA)/A night at the opera (S.Wood) (USA)/Top hat (M.Sandrich) (USA)
1936:Modern times (Chaplin) (USA)/The great Ziegfeld (R.Z.Leonard) (USA)/Camille (G.Cukor) (USA)/The crime of Monsieur Lange (J.Renoir) (Franace)/Swing time (G.Stevens) (USA)/Night mail (H.Smith) (USA)
1937: La Grand illusion (J.Renoir) (France) /Pepe le Moko (J.Duvivier) (France) /Snow white and the seven dwarfs (USA)(W.Disney/D.Hand/W.Jackson/L.Morey/P.Pearce/B.Sharpsteen) Humanity and paper balloons (S.Yamanaka) (Japan)/The awful truth (L.McCarey) (USA)
1938:Alexander Nevsky (Eisenstein) (Russia)/The lady vanishes (Hitchcock) (USA)/Pygmalion (A.Asquith/L.Howard) (USA)/You can’t take it with you (F.Capra) (USA)/Olympia (L.Reifenestahl) (Germany)/Jezebel (W.Wyler) (USA)/The Adventures of Robin Hood (M.Curtiz) (USA)
1939:Le jour se leve (M.Carne) (France)/The rules of the game (J.Renoir) (France) /The wizard of Oz (V.Fleming) (USA)/Gone with the wind (V.Fleming) (USA)/Stagecoach (J.Ford) (USA)/Ninotchka (E.Lubitsch) (USA)/Wuthering heights (W.Wyler) (USA)
1940:Fantasia (S.Armstrong/J.Algar…) (USA)/The great dictator (Chaplin) (USA)/The grapes of wrath (J.Ford) (USA)/Rebecca (Hitchcock) (USA)/Pinocchio (W.Disney/B.Sharpsteen…) (USA) The Philadelphia Story (G.Cukor) (USA)
1941:Citizen Kane (O.Welles) (USA)/The Maltese Falcon (J.Huston) (USA)/How green was my valley (J.Ford) (USA)/Sullivan’s Travels (P.Sturges) (USA)/The Lady Eve (P.Sturges) (USA)
1942:Casablanca (M.Curtiz) (USA)/The magnificent Ambersons (O.Welles) (USA)/Mrs. Miniver (W.Wyler) (USA)/Listen to Britain (H.Jennings) (England)
1943:The life and death of colonel Blimp (M.Powell) (England) Titanic (H.Selpin) (Germany)/Shadow of a Doubt (Hitchcock) (USA)
1944:Going my way (L.McCarey) (USA)/Double indemnity (B.Wilder) (USA)/Gaslight (G.Cukor) (USA)/Meet Me in St. Louis (V.Minnelli) (USA)/Laura (O.Preminger) (USA)
1945:Brief encounter (D.Lean) (USA)/The lost weekend (B.Wilder) (USA)/Spellbound (Hitchcock) (USA)/Children of paradise (M.Carne) (France)/Detour (E.Ulmer) (USA)/Rome, Open City (R.Rossellini) (Italy)/The turning point (Fridrikh Ermler) (Russia)/A diary for Timothy (H.Jennings) (England)
1946:The best years of our lives (W.Wyler) (USA)/It’s a wonderful life (F.Capra) (USA)/Notorious (Hichcock) (USA)/My darling Celmentine (J.Ford) (US)/Beauty and the beast (J.Cocteau) (France) The Killers (R.Siodmak) (USA)
1947:Gentleman’s agreement (E.Kazan) (USA)/Out of the past (J.Tourneur) (England)
1948:The Fallen idol (C.Reed) (England)/Bicycle thieves (De Sica) (Italy)/The treasure of Sierra Madre (J.Huston) (USA)/Hamlet (L.Olivier) (England)/Monsieur Vincent (M.Cloche) (France)/Letter from an unknown woman (M.Ophuls) (USA)/Red River (H.Hawks) (USA)/The red shoes (M.Powell) (England)/Macbeth (O.Welles) (USA)/Germany year zero (R.Rossellini) (Italy)/La Terra Trema (Luchino Visconti) (Italy)/Le sang des bêtes (G.Franj) (France)/ Drunken Angel (Kurosawa) (Japan)
1949:Kind hearts and coronets (R.Hamer) (England)/The Third Man (C.Reed) (England)/All the king’s men (R.Rossen) (USA)/Late spring (Y.Ozu) (Japan)
1950:Rashomon (Kurosawa) (Japan)/All about Eve (J.Mankiewicz) (USA)/Sunset Blvd. (B.Wilder) (USA)/The walls of Malapaga (R.Clement) (France)/In a lonely place (N.Ray) (USA)/Orphee (J.Cocteau) (France)/Los Olvidados (L.Bunuel) (Spain)
1951:Miss Julie (Alf Sjoberg) (Sweden)/A streetcar named Desire (E. Kazan) (USA)/An American in Paris (V. Minnelli) (USA)/The African Queen (J. Huston) (USA)/Diary of a country priest (R.Bresson) (France)/The River (J.Renoir) (France)/Othello (O.Welles) (USA)/The day the Earth stood still (Robert Wise) (USA)
1952:Forbidden games (R. Clement) (France)/Ikiru (Kurosawa) (Japan)/The importance of being earnest (A. Asquith) (England) Umberto D. (De Sica) (Italy)/The white sheik (Fellini) (Italy)/High noon (Fred Zinnemann) (USA)/The quiet man (J.Ford) (USA)/Limelight (Chaplin) (USA)/Singin’ in the rain(G.Kelly/S.Donen) (USA)
1953:M.Hulot’s holiday (J.Tati) (France)/Ugetsu (K.Mizoguchi) (Japan)/The wages of fear (H.G. Clouzot) (France/Italy)/Tokyo story (Y.Ozu) (Japan)/The war of the worlds (B.Haskin) (USA)/Julius Caesar (J.Mankiewicz) (USA)/Shane (G.Stevens) (USA)/From here to eternity (F.Zinnemann) (USA)/Roman holiday (W.Wyler) (USA)/The robe (H.Coster) (USA)/The earrings of Madame De..(M.Ophuls) (France)
1954:Seven Samurai (Kurosawa) (Japan)/La Strada (Fellini) (Italy) On the waterfront (Kazan) (USA)/Gate of hell (T.Kinugasa) (Japan) Journey to Italy (Rossellini) (Italy)/Rear window (Hitchcock) (USA) Godzilla (I.Honda) (Japan)/Twenty-four eyes (K.Kinoshita) (Japan) Johnny guitar (N.Ray) (USA)/Sansho the Bailiff (Mizoguchi) (Japan) A star is born (G.Cukor) (USA)/Sabrina (B.Wilder) (USA)/Seven brides for seven brothers (S.Donen) (USA)
1955:Richard III (L.Olivier) (England)/Summertime (D.Lean) (USA) Apu Trilogy (Pather Panchali) (Satyajit Ray) (India)/Oklahoma (F.Zinnemann) (USA)/Rebel without a cause (Kazan) (USA)/Samurai, the legend of Musashi (H.Inagaki) (Japan)/Smiles of a summer night (I.Bergman) (Sweden)/The night of the hunter (C.Laughton) (USA)/Les diaboliques (H.G.Clouzot) (France)/Marty (D.Mann) (USA)/East of Eden (Kazan) (USA)/To catch a thief (Hitchcock) (USA)
1956:The Searchers (J.Ford) (USA)/The ten commandments (C.B.DeMille) (USA)/Giant (G.Stevens) (USA)/The king and I (W.Lang) (USA)/The silent world (J.Cousteau) (France)/Invasion of the body snatchers (D.Siegel) (USA)/A man escaped (Bresson) (France)/The Burmese Harp (K.Ichikawa) (Japan)/Written on the wind (D.Sirk) (USA)/And God created woman (R.Vadim) (France)/Night and fog (A.Resnais) (France)/Apu trilogy (Aparajito) (S.Ray) (India)/Moby Dick (J.Huston) (USA)
1957: The seventh seal (Bergman) (Sweden)/Wild strawberries (Bergman) (Sweden)/12 angry men (S.Lumet) (USA)/Nights of Cabiria (Fellini) (Italy)/Sweet smell of success (A.Mackendrick) (USA) Peyton place (M.Robson) (USA)/Paths of glory (Kubrick) (USA)/The cranes are flying (M.Kalatazov) (Russia)/Throne of blood (Kurosawa) (Japan)/The bridge on the river Kwai (D.Lean) (USA)
1958:Ashes and diamonds (A.Wajda) (Poland)/Ivan the terrible, part II (Eisenstein) (Russia)/Cat on a hot tin roof (R.Brooks) (USA) Mon Oncle (J.Tati) (France)/Vertigo (Hitchcock) (USA)/Touch of evil (O.Welles) (USA)/The hidden fortress (Kurosawa) (Japan)
1959:Ballad of a soldier (G.Chukhrai) (Russia)/Fires on the plain (K.Ichikawa) (Japan)/Floating weeds (Y.Ozu) (Japan)/The 400 blows (Trauffaut) (France)/Some like it hot (B.Wilder) (USA)/Ben Hur (W.Wyler) (USA)/Anatomy of a murder (O.Preminger) (USA) Black Orpheus (O.Negro) (France)/North by Northwest (Hitchcock) USA)/Hiroshima, mon amour (A.Resnais) (France)/Pickpocket (Bresson) (France)/Il generale Della Rovere (Rossellini) (Italy)/The human condition (M.Kobayashi) (Japan)/Moi, un noir (J. Rouch) (France)/Rio Bravo (H.Hawks) (USA)/The Great War (M.Monicelli) (Italy/France)/A summer place (D. Daves) (USA)/Apu Trilogy (The World of Apu) (S.Ray) (India)/The Unsent letter (M.Kalatazov) (Russia)
1960:L’Avventura (Antonioni) (Italy)/The virgin spring (Bergman) (Sweden)/Breathless (Godard) (France)/La Dolce Vita (Fellini) (Italy) Psycho (Hitchcock) (USA)/The apartment (B.Wilder) (USA)/Two women (De Sica) (Italy)/Eyes without a face (G.Franju) (France) Rocco and his brothers (L.Visconti) (Italy)/When a woman ascends the stairs (M.Naruse) (Japan)/Purple Noon (R.Clement) (France)/The magnificent seven (J.Sturges) (USA)/Peeping Tom (M.Powell) (England)/Spartacus (Kubrick) (USA)/Cimarron (A.Mann) (USA) Ocean’s Eleven (L.Milestone) (USA)/The World of Suzie Wong (R.Quine) (England/USA)/Elmer Gantry (R.Brooks) (USA)/Shoot the piano player (Truffaut) (France)
1961:Il Posto (E.Olmi) (Italy)/Viridiana (Bunuel) (Spain) West side story (R.Wise) (USA)/Through a glass darkly (Bergman) (Sweden)/The long absence (H.Colpi) (France)/Yojimbo (Kurosawa) (Japan)/Splendor in the grass (Kazan) (USA)/La Notte (Antonioni) (Italy)/Breakfast at Tiffany’s (B.Edwards) (USA)/One, two, three (B.Wilder) (USA)/The Hustler (R.Rossen) (USA)/Barabbas (Richard Fleischer) (Italy)
1962:Jules and Jim (Trauffaut) (France)/Knife in the water (Polanski) (Poland)/Lawrence of Arabia (D.Lean) (USA)/To kill a mockingbird (R.Mulligan) (USA)/Sundays and Cybele (S.Bourguignon) (France)/Keeper of promises (A.Duarte) (Brazil)/La Jetee (C.Marker) (France)/The Manchurian candidate (J.Frankenheimer) (USA)Birdman of Alcatraz (J.Frankenheimer) (USA)/Cape fear (J.L.Thompson) (USA)/Lolita (Kubrick) (USA)/Sweet bird of youth (R.Brooks) (USA)/Ivan’s childhood (A.Tarkovsky) (Russia)/L’Eclisse (Antonioni) (Italy)/Salvatore Giuliano (F.Rosi) (Italy)/Harakiri (Kobayashi) (Japan)/Cleo from 5 to 7 (A.Varda) (France/Italy)/The trial (O. Welles) (USA)/Sanjuro (Kurosawa) (Japan)/Two weeks in another town (V.Minnelli) (USA)/Phaedra (J.Dassin) (France)/My life to live (Godard) (France)
1963:81/2 (Fellini) (Italy)/Eat (A.Warhol) (USA)/America America (Kazan) (USA)/How the west was won (J.Ford/ H.Hathaway/ G.Marshall) (USA)/Lilies of the field (R.Nelson) (USA)/The Leopard (Visconti) (Italy)/Charade (S.Donen) (USA)/The Birds (Hitchcock) (USA)/Contempt (Le Mepris) (Godard) (France)/The house is black (F.Farokhzad) (Iran)/The Pink Panther (B.Edwards) (USA)/The Silence (Bergman) (Sweden)/Shock corridor (S.Fuller) (USA)/Winter Light (Bergman) (Sweden)/Jason and Argonauts (J.Chaffey) (USA)/The Great Escape (J.Sturges) (USA)/It’s a mad, mad, mad world (S.Kramer) (USA)/Cleopatra (J.Mankiewicz) (USA)/Lord of the flies (P.Brook) (USA)/The Servant (J.Losey) (Italy)/The fire within (L.Malle) (France)/Pour la suite du monde (Pierre Perrault) (Canada)/Le petit soldat (Godard) (France)/The Big City (S.J.Ray) (India)
1964:Dr.Strangelove or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb (Kubrick) (USA)/For a fistful of dollars (S.Leone) (Italy) Becket (P.Glenville) (England/USA)/Yesterday, today, tomorrow (De Sica) (Italy)/The umbrellas of Cherbourg (J.Demy) (France)/Band a part (Band or outsiders) (Godard) (France)/A Hard day’s night (R.Lester) (England)/The naked kiss (S.Fuller) (USA)/Hamlet (S.Kozintsev) (Russia)/Marriage Italian style (De Sica) (Italy) The Gospel according to St.Matthew (Pasolini) (Italy)/Scorpio rising (K.Anger) (USA)/Nobody waved goodbye (Don Owen) (Canada)/Mary Poppins (R.Stevenson) (USA)/Goldfinger (G.Hamilton) (USA)/I am Cuba (Kalataov) Russia)/The fall of the Roman Empire (A.Mann) (USA)/Diamonds of the Night (Jan Němec) (Czechoslovakia)/Before the Revolution (Bertolucci) (Italy)/Black Peter (M.Forman) (Czechoslovakia)/My Fair Lady (G.Cukor) (USA)/Red Desert (Antonioni) (Italy)/The night of the Iguana (J.Huston) (USA)/Kwaidan (Kobayashi) (Japan)/Gate of flesh (S.Suzuki) (Japan)
1965:Fists in the pocket (M.Bellocchio) (Italy)/Loves of a blonde (M.Forman) (Czechoslovakia)/Dr.Zhivago (D.Lean) (USA)/The sound of music (R.Wise) (USA)/The shop on Main street (Jan Kadar/Elmar Klos) (Czechoslovakia)/The knack…and how to get it (Richard Lester) (England)/Pierrot le fou (Godard) (France)/Cat Ballou (Elliot Silverstein) (USA)/Repulsion (Polanski) (England)/Chimes at midnight (O. Welles) (USA)/Red beard (Kurosawa) (Japan) Sandra of a Thousand Delights (Visconti) (Italy)/Alphaville (Godard) (France)
1966:The battle of Algiers (Gilo Pontecorvo) (Italy/Algeria) The good, the bad and the ugly (S.Leone) (Italy)/A man for all seasons (Fred Zinnemann) (England)/The sand pebbles (R.Wise) (USA)/Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Mike Nichols) (USA)/A man and a woman (Claude Lelouch) (France)/Au hazard Balthazar (Bresson) (France/Sweden)/Persona (Bergman) (Sweden)/Andrei Rublev (A.Tarkovsky) (Russia)/Blow-up (Antonioni) (Italy)/Farenheit 451 (Trauffaut) (France)/Tokyo drifter (S.Suzuki) (Japan)/Black girl (O.Sembene) (France/Senegal)/War and Peace (King Vidor) (USA)/Alfie (Lewis Gilbert) (USA)/The Chase (Arthur Penn) (USA)/Torn Curtain (Hitchcock) (USA)/Is Paris burning? (Rene Clement) (France)
1967:Bonnie and Clyde (Arthur Penn) (USA)/The Graduate (Mike Nichols) (USA)/In the heat of the night (Norman Jewison) (USA) Closely watched trains (Jiri Menzel) (Czechoslovakia)/Playtime (Jacques Tati) (France)/The producers (Mel Brooks) (USA)/Mouchette (Bresson) (France)/The dirty dozen (Robert Aldrich) (USA/England)/The taming of the shrew (Franco Zeffirelli) (USA)/Le Samurai (jean-Pierre Melville) (France)/Belle de Jour (Luis Bunuel) (France/Italy)/Memories of underdevelopment (Tomas Gutieerz Alea) (Cuba)/Wavelength (Michael Snow) (Canada/USA) Don’t look back (D.A. Pennebaker) (USA)/Titicut follies (Fredrick Wiseman) (USA)/Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke) (USA)/Cool Hand Luke (Stuart Rosenberg) (USA)/Guess who’s coming to dinner (Stanley Cramer) (USA)/War and peace (Segei Bondarchuk) (Russia)/Doctor Faustus (Richard Burton/Nevil Coghill) (England) Barefoot in the park (Gene Saks) (USA)/Wait until dark (Terence Young) (USA)/In cold blood (Richard Brooks) (USA)/Camelot (Joshua Logan) (USA)/A countess from Hong Kong (Chaplin) (USA)/Oedipus Rex (Pasolini) (Italy)/Reflection in a golden eye (John Huston) (USA)
1968:Planet of the Apes (Franklin Schaffner) (USA)/2001: A space odyssey (Kubrick) (USA)/Night of the living dead (George Romero) (USA)/Oliver (Carol Reed) (England)/Romeo and Juliet (Franco Zeffirelli) Italy/England)/The Lion in the winter (Anthony Harey) (England/USA)/Once upon a time in the west (S.Leone) (Italy) Faces (John Cassavetes) (USA)/Rosemary’s baby (R.Polanski) (USA) The swimmer (Frank Oerry/Sydney Polack) (USA)/Two comrades were serving (Yevgeny Karelov) (Russia)/Kuroneko (The Black Cat) (Kaneto Shindo) (Japan)/Walden (Diaries, notes and sketches) (Jonas Mekas) (USA)/Bullitt (Peter Yates) (USA)/Shame (Ingmar Bergman) (Sweden)/Hour of the Wolf (Bergman) (Sweden)/Funny Girl (William Wyler) (USA)/Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Ken Hughes) (USA/England)/The Party (Blake Edwards) (USA)/Isadora (Karek Reisz) (England/France)/Charly (Ralph Nelson) (USA) Stolen Kisses (Truffaut) (France)/Rachel, Rachel (Paul Newman) (USA)/The Boston Strangler (Richard Fleischer)/The Shoes of the Fisherman (Michael Anderson) (USA)/If…. (Lindsay Anderson) (England)
1969:Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (George Roy Hill) (USA) Midnight cowboy (John Schlesinger) (USA)/Z(Costa-Gavras) (Algeria/France)/Wild bunch (Sam Pekinpah) (USA)/They shoot horses, don’t they? (Sydney Pollack) (USA) /Army of shadows (Jean-Pierre Melville) (France) /The sorrow and the pity (Marcel Ophuls) (France)/My night at Maud’s (Eric Rohmer) (France)/Easy Rider (Dennis Hopper) (USA)/The Red Tent (Mikhail Kaltozov) (Russia) Salesman (Albert & David Maysles/Charlotte Zwerin) (USA/Fellini’s Satyricon (Fellini) (Italy)/The passion of Anna (Bergman (Sweden)/Topaz (Hitchcock) (USA)/Cow (Dariush Mehrjui) (Iran)
1970:Patton (Frankiln Schaffner) (USA)/Investigation of a citizen above suspicion (Elio Petri) (Italy)/Tristana (Luis Bunuel) (Spain/France/Italy)/The Conformist (Bernardo Bertolucci) (Italy/France)/Dodes’ka-den (Kurosawa) (Japan)/Love Story (Arthur Hiller) (USA)/MASH (Robert Altman) (USA)/The Wild Child (Truffaut) (France)/Little Big Man (Arthur Penn) (USA)/Le Boucher (Claude Chabrol) (France/Italy)/Goin’ Down the Road (Don Shebib) (Canada)/The Artistocats (Wolfgang Reitherman) (USA)/Ryan’s Daughter (David Lean) (England)/Five Easy Pieces (Bob Rafelson) (USA)/Valerie and her week of wonders (Jaromil Jires) (Csechoslovakia) /Le cercle rouge (Jean-Pierre Melville) (France)/Claire’s Knee (Eric Rohmer) (France)/The twelve chairs (Mel Brooks) (USA)/Airport (George Seaton) (USA) The Kremlin letter (John Huston) (USA)/The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (de Sica) (Italy)
1971:A Clockwork orange (Kubrick) (England/USA)/The French connection (William Friedkin) (USA)/Fiddler on the roof (Norman Jewison) (USA)/Straw dogs (Sam Peckinpah) (England/USA)/The go-between (Joseph Losey) (England/USA)/Death in Venice (Visconti) (Italy/France)/King Lear (Grigori Kozintsev) (Russia)/Wake in Fright (Ted Kotcheff) (Australia)/Last Picture Show (Peter Bogdanovich) (USA)/Ragbar (Downpour) (Bahram Bayzai) (Iran)/Dirty Harry (Don Siegel) (USA)/Klute (Alan J. Pakula) (USA)/Mon Onlce Antoine (Claude Jutra) (Canada)/McCabe & Mrs. Miller (Robert Altman) (USA)/Macbeth (Polanski) (USA/England)/A touch of Zen (King Hu) (China) Trafic (Jaque Tati) (France)/The Panic in the needle park (Jerry Schatzberg) (USA)/Johnny got his gun (Dalton Trumbo) (USA)/Land of Silence and darkness (Werner Herzog) (Germany)/Nicholas and Alexandra (Franklin Schaftner) (England)/Bananas (Woody Allen) (USA)
1972:Fritz the cat (Ralph Bakshi) (USA)/The Godfather (F.Coppola) (USA)/The discreet charm of the bourgeoisie (Bunuel) (France /Spain/Italy)/Aguirre:The wrath of God (Werner Herzog) (West Germany)/Junior Bonner (Peckinpah) (USA)/Cabaret (Bobe Fosse) (USA)/Quiz Show (Robert Redford) (USA)/Last Tango in Paris (Bertolucci) (Italy/France)/Man of La Mancha (Arthur Hiller) (USA/Italy)/The True Nature of Bernadette (Gilles Carle) (Canada)/Roma (Fellini) (Italy)/The bitter tear of Petra von Kant (Fassbinder) (W.Germany)/Cries and Whispers (Bergman) (Sweden) Jeremiah Johnson (Sydney Pollack) (USA)/Deliverance (John Boorman) (USA)/Slaughterhouse-Five (George Roy Hill) (USA)/Frenzy (Hitchcock) (USA)/Everything you always wanted to know about sex, but were afraid to ask (Woody Allen) (USA)/State of Siege (C.Gavras) (France)
1973:The spirit of the beehive (Victor Erice) (Spain)/The Sting (George Roy Hill) (USA)/Day for night (Francois Truffaut) (France) Badlands (Terrence Malick) (USA)/Don’t look now (Nicolas Roeg) (England/Italy)/The exorcist (William Friedkin) (USA)/Papillion (Frankiln Schaffner) ((USA/France)/We all loved each other so much (Etoore Scola) (Italy)/Amarcord (Fellini) (Italy)/American Graffiti (George Lucas) (USA)/Mean Streets (Scorsese) (USA)/Scenes from a Marriage (Bergman) (Sweden)/Paper Moon (Bogdanovich) (USA)/The Experience (Abbas Kiarostami) (Iran)/Save the Tiger (John Avlidsen) (USA)/Serpico (Sydney Lumet) (USA)/Immoral Tales (Walerian Borowczyk) (France)/Harmonica (Sazdahani) (Amir Naderi) (Iran)/Sleeper (Woody Allen) (USA)/The way we were (Sydney Pollack) (USA)/A simple event (Sohrab Shahid-Saless) (Iran)
1974:Chinatown (Polanski) (USA)/The conversation (Francis Ford Coppola) (USA)/Scent of a woman (Dino Risi) (Italy)/Blazing Saddles (Mel Brooks) (USA)/The Enigma of Kasper Hauser (Werner Herzog) (W.Germany)/Young Frankestein (Mel Brooks) (USA)/Ali: Fear eats the soul (Rainer Werner Fassbinder) (W.Germany)/The Great Gatsby (Jack Clayton) (USA)/Celine and Julie go boating (Jacques Rivette) (France)/The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (Joseph Sargent) (USA)/The Towering Inferno (John Guillermin) (USA)/The Godfather Part II (F.Coppola) (USA)/The Yakuza (S.Pollack) (USA/Japan)/The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Tobe Hooper) (USA)/The Traveller (Abbas Kiarostami) (Iran)/Les Ordres (Michel Brault) (Canada)/Murder on the Orient Express (S.Lumet) (USA/England)/Alice doesn’t live here anymore (Scorsese) (USA)/The Night Porter (Liliana Cavani) (Italy/USA)/Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (Ted Kotcheff) (Canada)/The Phantom of Liberty (Bunuel) (France/Italy)/Arabian Nights (Pasolini) (Italy)/Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia (Peckinpah) (USA)
1975:Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Terry Gilliam/Terry Jones) (England)/Jaws (Spielberg) (USA)/One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest (Milos Forman) (USA)/Barry Lyndon (Kubrick) (England/USA)/Dog day afternoon (Sidney Lumet) (USA)/Dersu Uzala (Kurosawa) (Japan/Russia)/The story of Adele H (Truffaut) (France)/Mirror (Andrei Tarkovski) (Russia)/The lost honour of Katharina Blum (Volker Schlondorff/Margarethe von Trotta) (W.Germany)/Jeanne Dileman, 23 quai du commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Akerman) (Belgium/France)/Still Life (Sohrab Shahid-Saless) (Iran)/Grey gardens (Albert Maysles/David Maysles) (USA)/The battle of Chile Part I (Patricio Guzman) (Chile) Nashville (R.Altman) (USA)/The Magic Flute (Bergman) (Sweden)/Requiem (Amir Naderi) (Iran)/Dayereh Mina (The Cycle) (Dariush Mehrjui)/The Messiah (Rossellini)(Italy/France)/ Shampoo (W. Beatty) (USA) The Passenger (Antonioni) (Italy/Spain/France)/The man who would be King (J. Huston)(USA/England)
1976:Taxi driver (Scorsese) (USA)/Rocky (John Avildsen) (USA)/All the President’s Men (Alan J.Pakula) (USA)/Network (S.Lumet) (USA)/Black and white in color (Jean Jacques Annaud) (France)/ Seven beauties (Lina Wertmuller) (Italy)/Harlan county USA (Barbara Kopple) (USA)/In the realm of the senses (Nagisa Oshima) (Japan)/The Tenant (Polanski) (France)/The Omen (Richard Donner) (England/USA)/A Wedding Suit (Abbas Kiarostami)/Marathon Man (John Schlesinger) (USA)/1900 (Bertolucci) (Italy)/Fellini’s Casanova (Italy)
1977:Star Wars: Episode IV- A new hope (George Lucas) (USA)/Padre Pardone (Paolo/Vittorio Taviani) (Italy)/Annie Hall (W.Allen) (USA)/The Wishing Tree (Tengiz Abuladze) (Georgia)/Julia (Fred Zinnemann) (USA)/Office romance (Eldar Ryazanov) (Russia)/Report (Abbas Kiarostami) (Iran)/Madame Rosa (Moshe Mirzahi) (France)/Stroszek (Werner Herzog) Germany)/The obscure object of desire (Bunuel) (France/Spain)/House (Nobuhiko Obayashi) (Japan)/Cross of iron (Peckinpah) (USA)/Saturday night fever (John Badham) (USA)/Close encounters of the third kind (Steven Spielberg) (USA)/High Anxiety (Mel Brooks) (USA)/New York, New York (Scorsese) (USA)
1978:The Deer Hunter (Michael Cimino) (USA)/Get out your handkerchiefs (Bertrand Blier) (France)/Moliere (Ariane Mnouchkine) (France)/Grease (Randal Kleiser) (USA)/Autumn Sonata (Bergman) (Sweden/Germany)/The tree of wooden clogs (Ermanno Olmi) (Italy)/Superman (Richard Donner) (USA)/The Lord of the Rings (Raplh Bakhshi)(USA/England)/Heaven can wait (Warren Beatty) (USA)/Desiderium (Sooteh-Delan) (Iran)/The Inglorious Bastards (Enzo Castellari) (Italy)/Les Miserables (Glen Jordan) (England)/The Boys from Brazil (Franklin Schaffner) (USA)/Coming Home (Hal Ashby) (USA)
1979:Alien (Ridley Scott) (USA)/Apocalypse now (Coppola) (USA)/Kramer vs. Kramer (Robert Benton) (USA)/The tin drum (Volker Schlondroff) (Germany/Yugoslavia/Poland/France)/Stalker (Tarkovsky) (Russia)/And justice for all (Norman Jewison) (USA)/The Marriage of Maria Braun (Rainer Werner Fassbinder) (Germany)/Laura (David Hamilton) (France)/Manhattan (W.Allen) (USA)/Monty Python’s Life of Brian (Terry Jones)(England)/Caligula (Tinto Brass) (USA/Italy)/All that jazz (Bob Fosse) (USA)/Being there (Hal Ashby) (USA)/First Case, Second Case (Abbas Kiarostami) (Iran)/The Rose (Mark Rydell) (USA)/Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Robert Wise) (USA)/Tess (Roman Polanski) (France/England)/La Luna (Bertolucci) (Italy)/The China Syndrome (James Bridges) (USA)/Wise Blood (John Huston)
1980:The Shinning (Kubrick) (USA/England)/Airplane (Jim Abrahams/ David & Jerry Zucker) (USA)/Raging Bull (Scorsese) (USA)/Ordinary people (R.Redford) (USA)/Coal’s miner daughter (Michael Apted) (USA)/Moscow does not believe in tears (Vladimir Menshov) (Russia)/Kagemusha (Kurosawa) (Japan)/The last metro (Truffaut) (France)/Mon oncle d’Amerique (Alain Resnais) (France)/Atlantic City (Louis Malle) (France/Canada)/Good Riddance (Les Bons debarras (Francis mankiewicz) (Canada)/The Blues Brothers (John Landis) (USA)/American gigolo (Paul Schrader) (USA)/Health (Robert Altman) (USA)/Heaven’s Gate (Michael Cimino) (USA)/Star Wars : The Empire strikes back (Lucas) (USA)/The Elephant Man (David Lynch) (USA/ England)/Stardust Memories (W.Allen) (USA)
1981:Das Boot (Wolfgang Peterson) (Germany)/Chariots of fire (Hugh Hudson) (England)/Reds (W.Beatty) (USA)/Coup de Trochon (Bernard Tavernier) (France)/Indiana Jones: Raiders of the lost Ark (Spielberg) (USA)/Escape from New York (John Carpenter) (USA)/Mephisto (Istvan Szabo) (Hungry)/Body Heat (Lawrence Kasdan) (USA)/The postman always rings twice (Bob Rafelson) (USA)/History of the World Part I (M.Brooks) (USA)/Escape to Victory (J.Huston) (USA)/Man of iron (Andrzej Wajda) (Poland)/On Golden Pond (Mark Rydell) (USA)/The French Lieutenant’s Woman (Karel Reisz) (England)/The Bunker (George Schaefer) (USA)/Blow out (Brian De Palma) (USA)/Absence of Malice (Sydney Pollack) (USA)
1982:E.T.: The Extra-terrestrial (Spielberg) (USA)/Blade runner (Ridley Scott) (USA)/Pink Floyd: The Wall (Alan Parker/Gerald Scarfe) (England)/Gandhi (Richard Attenborough) (England/India)/Tootsie (Sydney Poolack) (USA)/Missing (Gavras) (France)/Volver a empezar: Begin the Beguine (Jose Luis Garci) (Spain)/Sophie’s choice (Alan J. Pakula) (USA)/Fitzcarraldo (Werner Herzog) (Germany)/First blood (Ted Kotcheff) (USA)/A Midsummer night sex comedy (W. Allen) (USA)/Poltergeist (Tobe Hooper) (USA)/The King of Comedy (Scorsese) (USA)/The Year of Living Dangerously (Peter Weir) (Australia)/Diner (Barry Levinson) (USA)/The Verdict (Sidney Lumet) (USA)/The World according to Garp (George Roy Hill) (USA)/Koyaanisqatsi (Godfrey Reggio) ((USA)
1983:Terms of endearment (James Brooks) (USA)/Fanny and Alexander (Bergman) (Sweden/France/Germany)/Tender mercies (Bruce Berestford) (USA)/The ballad of Narayama (Shoheil Imamura) (Japan)/Le Bal (Ettora Scola) (Algeria/Italy/France)/Scarface (Brian De Palma) (USA)/A Nos Amours (Maurice Pialat) (France)/Monty Python: the Meaning of Life (Terry Jones) (England)/Local Hero (Bill Forsyth) (England)/Nostalghia (Tarkovsky) (Russia)/Sans Soleil (Chris Marker) (France)/ The Grey Fox (Phillip Borsos) (Canada)/Flashdance (Adrian Lyne) (USA)/L’Argent (R. Bresson)
1984:Amadeus (Milos Forman) (USA)/The killing fields (Ronlad Joffe) (England)/Dangerous moves (Richard Dembo) (France/Switzerland)/ Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders) (Germany/France)/The Terminator (James Cameron) (USA)/Once upon a time in America (Sergio Leone) (Italy)/A Nightmare on Elm Street (Wes Craven) (USA)/Ghostbusters (Ivan Reitman) (USA)/Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom (Lucas) (USA)/The Never Ending Story (Wolfgang Petersen) (Germany)/The Natural (Barry Levinson)(USA)/Nineteen-Eighty-Four (Michael Radford) (England)/Stranger than Paradise (Jim Jarmusch) (USA/Germany)/ Children of the Corn (Fritz Kiersch) (USA)/Birdy (Alan Parker) (USA)/The Cotton Club (Coppola) (USA)/Maria’s Lovers (Andrei Konchalovsky) (USA)/A Passage to India (David Lean) (England/USA)/Broadway Danny Rose (W.Allen) (USA)
1985:Brazil (Terry Gilliam) (England/USA)/Out of Africa (Sydney Pollack) (USA)/The official story (Luis Puenzo) (Argentina)/When father was away on business (Emir Kusturica) (Yugoslavia)/Shoah (Claude Lanzmann)(France)/Purple rose of Cairo (W.Allen) (USA)/Lost in America (Albert Brooks) (USA)/The Runner (Davandeh) (Amir Naderi) (Iran)/Ran (Kurosawa) (Japan/France)/Tampopo (Juzo Itami) (Japan)/My Life as a Dog (Lasse Hallstrom) (Sweden)/My Beautiful Laundrette (Stephen Frears) (England)/Back to the future (Robert Zemeckis) (USA)/Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (Paul Schrader) (USA)/After Hours (Scorsese) (USA)/The Breakfast Club (John Hughes) (USA)/Steaming (J.Losey)(England)/Witness (Peter Weir) (USA)/Death of a Salesman (Volker Schlondorff) (USA)/Plenty (Fred Schpisi) (England/USA)
1986:Platoon (Oliver Stone) (USA)/Hannah and her sisters (W.Allen) (USA)/The assault (Fons Rademakers) (Netherland)/The Decline of the American Empire (Denys Arcand) (Canada)/The Mission (Roland Joffe) (England)/The singing detective (Keith Gordon) (USA)/Blue Velvet (David Lynch) (USA)/Bashu, the little stranger (Bahram Beizaei) (Iran)/ Dust in the Wind (Hou Hsiao-hsien)(Taiwan)/Hadsworth Songs (John Akomfrah) (England)/Top Gun (Tony Scott) (USA)/Nine ½ weeks (Adrian Lyne) (USA)/Stand by Me (Rob Reiner) (USA)/Boycott (Mohsen Makhmalbaf) (Iran)/The Name of the Rose (Jean-Jacques Annaud) (Italy/Germany/France)/The Tenants (Dariush Mehrjui) (Iran)/The Fly (David Cronenberg) (USA)/The Color of Money (Scorsese) (USA)/ Children of a Lesser God (Randa Haines) (USA)/Heartburn (Mike Nichols) (USA)
1987:The last Emperor (Bertolucci) (Italy/England)/Babette’s Feast (Gabriel Axel) (Denmark)/Au revoir les enfents (Louis Malle) (France/Germany)/ Under the Sun of Satan (Maurice Pialat) (France)/Broadcast news (James Brooks) (USA)/Wings of desire (Wim Wenders) (Germany/France)/The Emperor’s naked army marches on (Kazuo Hara) (Japan)/Full Metal Jacket (Kubrick) (USA/England)/Dirty Dancing (Emile Adrolino) (USA)/The Untouchables (Brian De Palma) (USA)/Fatal Attraction (Adrian Lune) (USA)/Where is the Friend’s Home? (Abbas Kiarostami)(Iran)/Robocop (Paul Verhoeven) (USA)/Wall Street (Oliver Stone) (USA)/Empire of the Sun (Spielberg) (USA)/ Moonstruck (Norman Jewison) (USA)/Good Morning Vietnam (Barry Levinson) (USA)/Hope and Glory (John Boorman) (England/USA)/I’ve heard the Mermaids Singing (Patricia Rozema) (Canada)/The Peddler (Mohsen Makhmalbaf) (Iran)/Ironweed (Hector Babenco) (USA)/Pelle the Conqueror (Bille August) (Denmark/Sweden)/Cry Freedom (Richard Attenborough) ((England/South Africa)/Radio Days (W.Allen) (USA)/September (W.Allen) (USA)/The Cyclist (Mohsen Makhmalbaf) (Iran)
1988:The Last Temptation of Christ (Scorsese) (USA)/Rain Man (Barry Levinson) (USA)/Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown (Pedro Almodovar) (Spain)/Dead ringers (David Cronenberg) (Canada/USA)/The unbearable lightness of being (Philip Kaufman) (USA)/Dekalog (Krzysztof Kieslowski) (Poland)/Frantic (Polanski) (USA/France)/Cinema Paradiso (Giuseppe Tornatore) (Italy)/The Accused (Jonathan Kaplan) (USA)/The Beast of War (Kevin Reynolds) (USA)/Dangerous Liaisons (Stephen Frears) (USA)/Akira (Katsuhiro Otomo) (Japan)/The Thin Blue Line (Errol Morris) (USA)
1989:Do the right thing (Spike Lee) (USA) /Indiana Jones and the last crusade (Spielberg) (USA)/Born on the fourth of July (Oliver Stone) (USA)/Dead poets society (Peter Weir) (USA)/Driving Miss Daisy (Bruce Beresford) (USA)/My left foot (Jim Sheridan) (Ireland/England)/Tie me up! Tie me down (Almodovar) (Spain)/Sex, lies and videotapes (Steven Soderbergh) (USA)/The Killer (John Woo) (China)/The Power of Kangwon Province (Hong San-Soo) (South Korea)/Roger and me (Michael Moore) (USA)/Henry V (Kenneth Branagh) (England)/ Jesus of Montreal (Denys Arcand) (Canada)/Glory (Edward Zwick) (USA)/Casualties of War (Brian De Palma) (USA)/Lean on Me (John Avlidsen) (USA)/Crimes and Misdemeanors (W.Allen) (USA)/New York Stories (Scorsese/Coppola/W.Allen) (USA)/Fat Man and Little Boy (Roland Joffe) (USA)/Marriage of the blessed (Mohsen Makhmalbaf) (Iran)
1990:Goodfellas (Scorsese) (USA)/Dances with wolves (Kevin Kostner) (USA)/Journey of hope (Xavier Koller) (Turkey/Switzerland)/Wild at heart (David Lynch) (USA)/Miller’s crossing (Joel Coen) (USA)/Europa Europa (Agnieszka Holland) (Poland/Germany/France) /Close-up (Abbas Kiarostami) (Iran)/Cyrano de Bergerac (Jean-Paul Rappeneau) (France/Hungry)/The Witches (Nicolas Roeg) (England/USA)/The Godfather Part III (F.Coppola) (USA)/Dreams (Kurosawa) (Japan)/Nikita (Luc Besson) (France)/Pretty Woman (Garry Marshall) (USA)/Edward Scissorhands (Tim Burton) (USA)/Revenge (Tony Scott) (USA)/Ghost (Jerry Zucker) (USA)/Havana (Sydney Pollack) (USA)/Hamlet (Franco Zeffirelli) (England/USA)/Reversal of Fortune (Barbet Schroeder) (USA)/Awakenings (Penny Marshall) (USA)/Home Alone (Chris Columus) (USA)/Henry & June (Philip Kaufman) (USA)/Hamoun (Dariush Mehrjui) (Iran)
1991:The silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme) (USA)/Mediterraneo (Gabriele Salvatores) (Italy)/Raise the Red Lantern (Zhang Yimou) (China)/Delicatessen (Jean-Pierre Jeunet/Marc Caro) (France)/Barton Fink (Joel Coen) (USA)/Europa (Lars von Trier) (Denmark)/The commitments (Alan Parker)(Ireland/England/USA)/Thelma & Louise (Ridley Scott) (USA)/Shadows and Fog (W.Allen) (USA)/High Hills (Pedro Alomdovar) (Spain)/JFK (Oliver Stone) (USA)/The Adjuster (Atom Egoyan) (Canada)/The Doors (Oliver Stone) (USA)/Defending your life (Albert Brooks) (USA)/Fried Green Tomatoes (Jon Avnet) (USA)/Bugsy (Barry Levinson) (USA)/Cape Fear (Martin Scorsese) (USA)/In the Alleys of Love (Khosrow Sinai) (Iran)/Naked Lunch (David Cronenberg) (Canada/England)
1992:Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood)(USA)/Indochine (Regie Wargnier) (France)/A few good men (Rob Reiner) (USA)/The best intentions (Bille August) (Sweden)/A River runs through it (Robert Redford) (USA)/Leolo (Jean-Calude Lauzon) (Canada)/The crying game (Neil Jordan) (USA)/Damage (Louis Malle) (France/England) /The Player (Robert Altman) (USA)/Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino)(USA)/Lessons of darkness (Werner Herzog) (Germany)/The Quince tree sun (Victor Erice) (Spain)/Bob Roberts (Tim Robins) (USA)/Basic instinct (Paul Verhoeven) (USA)/Batman returns (Tim Burton) (USA)/Life and nothing more (Abbas Kiarostami) (Iran)/Once Upon a Time, Cinema (Mohsen Makhmalbaf) (Iran)/Hard Boiled (John Woo) (China)/Shining through (David Seltzer) (USA/England)/Final Analysis (Phil Jaonu) (USA)/A Stranger among us (Sydney Lumet) (USA)/Single white female (Barbet Schroder) (USA)/The last of the Mohicans (Michael Mann) (USA)/Glengarry Glen Ross (James Foley) (USA)/Hero (Stephen Frears) (USA)/Bram Stoker’s Dracula (F.Coppola) (USA)/Malcolm X (Spike Lee) (USA)/Bad Lieutenant (Abel Ferrara) (USA)/Toys (Barry Levinson) (USA)/The Lover (Jean-Jacques Annaud) (France)/Scent of a woman (Martin Brest) (USA)/Hoffa (Danny DeVito) (USA)/Belle époque (Fernando Terueba) (Spain)/Strictly Ballroom (Baz Luhrmann) (Australia)
1993:Schindler’s list (Spielberg) (USA)/Philadelphia (Jonathan Demme) (USA)/Farewell my concubine (Chen Kaig) (China)/The scent of green papaya (Tran Anh Hung) (Vietnam/France)/Falling down (Joel Schumacher) (USA)/What’s eating Gilbert Grape (Lasse Hallstrom) (USA)/D’Est (From the East) (Chantal Akerman) (Russia/Poland/Germany)/ Three Colors: Blue (Krzysztof Kieslowski) (Poland/Frnace/Switzerland)/Searching for Bobby Fischer (Steven Zailian) (USA) /Jurassic Park (Spielberg) (USA)/Benny’s video (Michael Haneke) (Austria/Switzerland) /Mrs. Doubtfire (Chris Columbus) (USA)/The Fugitive (Andrew Davis) (USA)/The Firm (Sydney Pollack) (USA) /Indecent Proposal (Adrian Lyne) (USA)/The Pelican Brief (Alan J. Pakula) (USA) /The Age of Innocence (Scorsese) (USA) /The Piano (Jane Campion) (New Zealand) /A Bronx Tale (Robert De Niro) (USA)/Shadowlands (Richard Attenborough) (England)/ Carlito’s Way (Brian De Palma) (USA)/A Perfect World (Clint Eastwood) (USA)/Iron Monkey (Yuen Wo-ping) (China)/In the name of the father (Ireland/England)/ Manhattan Murder Mystery (W.Allen) (USA)
From the science fiction and fantasy filmmaker of “Jaws”, “Close encounter of the third kind”, “E.T.”, and the “Indiana Jones” series, comes the serious drama film of “Schindler’s List” about the Jewish holocaust survivors of the World War II. Steven Spielberg who was busy making his first edition of “Jurassic Park” in the same year of 1993, was finally convinced by one of the real Polish Jews on the Schindler’s list, Poldek Pfefferberg who survived the extermination in Auschwitz by Nazis to make the film, the same way he convinced the Australian novelist, Thomas Keneally to write the novel “Schindler’s Ark” that the film was adapted from.
Spielberg who was not certain of his capability to make such a serious film and had suggested directors, Roman Polanski, Martin Scorsese, Sydney Pollack and David Lean to make it, finally decided to make this different film for personal and family reasons and not profit. By chance and a right decision, Spielberg made his greatest film of his life, and in contrast with his other science fiction digital films in color, he shot this film in black and white and with the assistance of the cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, the film took well its real melodrama tragic context of an inhumanity stain on the humans’ past history lest not to forget. On many list of the greatest films of all time, “Schindler’s List” won 7 academy awards out of 12 nominations, including the best picture, best director, best adapted screenplay, and best original score by John Williams. It ranks number 8 on the AFI of 100 best American films of all time’s second edition in 2007.
Although slow to pick up at the start, as Spielberg tried to give it a documentary format, the film’s two great sections and scenes of liquidation of the Jews in Krakow Ghetto and the final scene of the speech of Oskar Schindler, hours before the Germans’ surrender and the end of the war, and the wide respect and recognition of the survived Jews to him as their savior are the sensitive moments of the film to make it great. In the liquidation scene, Spielberg puts a little girl walking in a red coat while the rest of the film is still in B&W to symbolize how the American government was ignorant of the Holocaust and the Jewish genocide. “It was as obvious as a little girl wearing a red coat, walking down the street, and yet nothing was done to bomb the German rail lines. Nothing was being done to slow down … the annihilation of European Jewry”.
One of the greatest impact of the film has been perhaps on the conscience of the Germans’ people that why not like Schindler they helped in the survival of many men, women and children who were massacred by the mass frenzy of Nazis in the name of survival of a better race against a lower one. The fact of the real existence of Schindler as a member of Nazi party to save 1200 Jews from death in Auschwitz has been hard to believe even for Spielberg after reading the story, and lies in the center of the story subject. While at the start, his agenda was a profit making enterprise of running his metal factory with free labor of the Jewish prisoners, over time he recognizes his role in their survival. Appreciation by his captive Jewish workers for saving their lives, particularly at the end when all gather to listen to his redemption speech breaks his heart so to regret in tears why he did not save more.
Schindler’s List: Schindler’s Ark
The list of 1200 Jewish men and women that Schindler made and saved as per title of the novel of Thomas Keneally has been compared by the survivors to Noah Ark. The real Oskar Schindler was a German industrialist who took over a metal factory for profit making with the use of free labors of the captive Jews in Krakow, but over time he gets attached to his workers and tries to rescue them from the atrocities of the Nazis and saves them from extermination. Schindler (Liam Neeson) with the aid of Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley), a captive Jewish accountant meets with several wealthy Jews in the ghetto and asks for money for bribing the top German officers to let them work in his factory and also rescue their lives from extermination while his venture gets off the ground.
Things were working well until the psychopath killer, the lieutenant Amon Goth (Ralph Fiennes) arrives in Krakow to oversee the construction of the camp. Blood thirsty and full of hatred of the Jews, he enjoys shooting and killing them even while working in construction from the balcony of his apartment like a sniper shooting enemies. At the end he orders the liquidation of the ghetto after the conclusion of the construction. Attempting to get close to him and bribe this merciless Nazi killer as well, Schindler watching the killing of the innocent Jewish civilians, becomes more affectionate towards them. A Jewish man having lost an arm going to his office thanking him for saving his life, shakes up Schindler emotionally and at the time of the liquidation of the camp and closure of his factory, he tries to convince the Nazis including Amon Goth that his factory could build armaments as well and not only pots. At this point with the aid of Stern, he creates his “Schindler’s List” of 1200 to save them from extermination in Auschwitz.
On the brink of the end of the war and surrender of Germany, Schindler persuades the SS guards not to kill his Jewish workforce per authority orders and “return to [their] families as men, instead of murderers.” In an emotional speech, he bids farewell to the large crowd of his Jewish workers before heading west and surrendering to the Americans, instead of being captured by the Red Army. The workers give Schindler a signed statement attesting to his role in saving many Jewish lives and present him with a ring engraved with a Talmudic quotation: “Whoever saves one life saves the world entire.” Schindler is touched but also ashamed, as he feels he should have done even more. He breaks down sobbing, but is comforted by the workers, before he and his wife get on the train and leave for the west.
At the end the Jewish workers’ liberation was announced by the arrival of a Red Army officer and they leave the factory ground to the next nearby town. The final scene shows the execution of Göth, and Schindler being honored by the survived Jews and the Jewish world years later when a large group of the survivors and actors of the film pay their respect to him by visiting his grave and each putting a rock on his stone per Jewish tradition.
Could have been better:
Could the film have been better if a different filmmaker than Spielberg directed it, or a more experienced actor than Liam Neeson played in it (though Ralph Fiennes’s performance was great), or the film was shorter than over 3 hours length, or more importantly if the focus was not all on Schindler but on the captive Jews and their struggles against Nazis and their captivity and slaughter. True or not the film also shows the Jews even in captivity lending money and trading in the black market and above all the Schindler’s list seems to have picked the wealthy Jews who had the money to offer for their freedom. However as Spielberg has pointed out himself, the Schindler’s final farewell and plea for redemption for not having freed more victims, and also the liquidation scenes with the collection of the victims’ belongings including their gold teeth have given the film such sensitivity and at the same time horrifying impact on the viewers that still makes the film one of the greatest films of all time. But for the subject matter of the film that is unique in the history of the holocaust survivors, a more experienced direction, cinematography, music score and performances and a longer than 75 days of filming could have put the film in one of the top 20 or 10 greatest films of all time.
Despite any shortcoming of Spielberg in the production of the film, many filmmakers hailed his work, but some such as Stanley Kubrick criticized it as not being about holocaust but Schindler’s success: “Think that’s about the Holocaust? That was about success, wasn’t it? The Holocaust is about 6 million people who got killed. Schindler’s List is about 600 who didn’t.” Jean-Luc Godard also accused Spielberg of using the film to make a profit out of a tragedy while Schindler’s wife, Emilie Schindler lived in poverty in Argentina. The film has also been criticized by the filmmaker and lecturer, Claude Lanzmann who has made a 9-hour Holocaust film “Shoah” by commenting that Schindler’s List being a “kitschy melodrama” and a “deformation” of historical truth, and depicting the Holocaust through the eyes of a German.
But despite all the criticism, Schindler’s List is on a number of greatest films lists such as of TIME and Time Out magazines’ top 100 films, and the Vatican’s list of the most important 45 films ever made. The film has also been received positively by the most American critics and has won the best film awards other than Oscar, from the National Board of Review, National Society of Film Critics, New York Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics among some more worldwide.
In closing remarks “Schindler’s List” one more time will be redefined based on the following criteria:
- Originality: “Schindler’s List” while not original in any aspects of filmmaking, but it is original and unique in the subject matter of the story, a historical fact that needed to be depicted on the screen and reach out to a wide audience across the world.
- Technicality: Although there is not much novelty in technicality in the film, “Schindler’s List” could boast in the scenes of liquidation and exterminations of Jews in the camp, the final farewell of Schindler’s and the little girl in the red coat in a gloomy black and white background of other victims.
- Impact Factor: The influence of “Schindler’s List” has been on many filmmakers in more productions of holocaust films and on the global audience to realize the atrocities of Nazi Germany and also that even one person even on the enemy side could make a big difference in the lives of the people and have an impression in history. That’s why Schindler was respected immensely by the Jewish world and Israel where his body after death while in relative poverty was taken and buried in Mount Zion.
- Survival: “Schindler’s List” has survived well to this very day in its impact on people of any race and faith’s mind not to forget what humans under racism, hegemony and hate could do their own kind.
While American cinema as an art medium fell with digitalism and special effects in exaggeration and to commercialism initiated by Lucas and Spielberg, and revived only briefly with the subject of Vietnam war on the screen, the cinema in other countries such as Italy and Spain took a life again. Right at the same year of 1988 when Italian cinema revived with “Cinema Paradiso” by Giuseppe Tornatore, the Spanish cinema came to the forefront of world attention with “Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown” by Pedro Almodovar. A country going to civil war for freedom and democracy in 1930’s, but defeated by the phalanges leading by the dictator Franco, revolted once again but this time culturally in mid 70s after the death of the dictator.
Raising professionally during this cultural renaissance and interested in experimental theatre and cinema, Almodovar used cinema as a medium to express his and his country revival to freedom. From his first feature debut, “Pepi, Luci, Bom” that he shot in 16mm in 1982 then blew it up into 35 mm feature to his “Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown” in 1988 that brought him to the global attention and his last film “Pain and Glory” that just released recently in 2019, Almodovar’s style like his master Louis Bunuel is unconventional, satirical, simultaneously dark and funny, and appealing to everyone from the lay to critical viewers.
Acclaimed as one of the great contemporary filmmakers, Almodovar already has won 2 American academy, 5 British, 6 European, 2 Golden Globes and 9 Goya Awards, 4 Cannes Film Festival prizes. He is a holder of French Legion of Honour in 1997, Gold Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts from the Spanish Ministry of Culture in 1999, a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001, an honorary doctoral degree from Harvard University in 2009, and from Oxford University in 2016, an honorary European Film Academy Achievement id World Cinema award in 2013, the President of 2017 Cannes Film Festival and is scheduled to receive the Honorary Golden Lion from the 76th Venice Film Festival in August 2019.
Renaissance in Cinema:
As important as the Italian “Neorealism” and French “Avant Garde” movements in cinema in 40’s to 60’s, the revival and renaissance of cinema in Italy and Spain saved this art medium from falling in the oblivion of digitalism and commercialism. Against the dominance of Hollywood over the world cinema with its heavy commercial box office productions that in later years followed by TV, internet and streaming film companies productions, this renaissance to this very day has kept the art of cinema to some degree alive.
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“Cinema Paradiso” is a film about cinema, love for the films and how cinema used to be. Depicting what cinema has been like in the lives of people in the past, specially in Italy after the second world war, the film tells such a story in an Italian village. Cinema that has been the major entertainment of all the people across the globe and brought people of all ages close together with all their laughter and tears is shown in “Cinema Paradiso” like a flashback. The film is not just about cinema and love of films, but a love story at three levels.
The first one is the love of cinema in a 6-years old boy Salvatore or Toto (Salvatore Cascio) who prefers to be in the projector room of “Cinema Paradiso” than in the church as an altar boy or even in school or playing out with other kids. So he imposes himself to Alfredo (Philippe Noiret) the projectionist of “Cinema Paradiso” to take him as an assistant and teach him the trade and to be close with his favorite films and stars, and collect more celluloid films. This relationship grows mutually into a loving and caring relationship that finally works for both as Alfredo who loses his sight in a fire in the projector room is replaced by Toto who will run the cinema on his own. The third loving relationship is between Salvatore when a teenager who falls in love with Elena (Agnese Nano), a beautiful teenage girl at the first sight.
Cinema Paradiso: A Flashback on Cinema, Love and Life
While “Cinema Paradiso” is about love of cinema and films for what it was in the lives of people, it is not just a “history of cinema” like Godard’s. But the film is well written and intertwined with the life itself and true loves in real life. While the film is about films and cinema, it holds tenderly to its own life story that is another classic beautiful film on its own. So Toto, then the teenage Salvatore and later on the adult Salvatore, Alfredo and Elena all become stars of their own lives and the film “Cinema Paradiso”. The film that is basically a flashback on cinema, specially the classic films with all their glamour, stars, romances, laughter and tears, it is a flashback on the lives of the subject of the film, specially Slavatore, who as an adult filmmaker in Rome, recaptures his childhood and teenage life when he receives the news of the death of Alfredo. Before returning home back to the village of Giancaldo in Sicily for Alfredo’s funeral, he remembers his childhood, his growing love for cinema, his friendship with Alfredo, then his love for Elena that all changed for ever.
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In the history of art and perhaps science there have been two groups of greatest artists and scientists. One group of geniuses who have been able to produce more than one masterpiece, invention or discovery. The other one has not been able to go beyond one or two pieces of great works. Of the latter group, some were genius in one aspect and as a result of their limitations, they have not been able to produce more than one great work that happened mostly in their earlier career life. Some of this second group have only been able to achieve great later in life through maturation. The only possible exception to this generalized categorization is in classic music as masters such as Bach, Vivaldi, Chopin, Mozart and Beethoven have been able to produce many ongoing great music pieces, though even in this group of geniuses, some of their works stand beyond the others.
In the history of cinema as well, there have been two above groups. A few like Chaplin and Bergman have been able to produce more than one masterpieces, though they had their own genius limitations that have faded over time and have not been able to match the great classic composers. The second group of master workers have been more in number, who have been able to create one or two great films, due to their limitation in their genius or their subjects. Filmmakers such as Eisenstein, Vertov, Fritz Lang, De Sica, Kurosawa and John Ford have produced only one great film and not able to repeat their master works due to their limitations or obsessions in their subject works, like Kurosawa’s rigidity over Samurai and Ford’s preoccupation with westerns. Many in this group of one or two great creations, have achieved early in life and stumbled later on with no great works. Sergio Leone and Stanley Kubrick are of those few who achieved greatest later on in their career lives by strenuous and hard work and maturity.
Stanley Kubrick who taught himself photography and the art of filmmaking and continued with his hard and perfectionist strive, entered cinema with so many different works of all kinds, from short to feature films, different genres and subjects. Although he has been hailed by many critics as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, he only got close to a masterpiece in “2001:A Space Odyssey” that broke some cinematic conventions and achieved great cinematographic visual and special effects. But perhaps due to his perfectionism, while he started very well in the opening of the film, he lagged short with his slow development in the rest of the film up in the spaceship to the point of boredom for 142 minutes to make a philosophical point. Even in his masterpiece of “Full Metal Jacket” that is listed here as one of the greatest films of all time, Kubrick starts great in the first half in the recruit boot camp that was hailed by many critics, but lags behind in the second half in Vietnam that was critiqued by many as disjointed and slow.
In Kubrick’s film, no matter the genre and subject, there is always an ideology or message to deliver. Starting with “Spartacus” depicting the riot of slaves in the roman empire, he finally decided to make a film about the Vietnam war to make his own special point and message across, and indeed he achieved well and the best. There is a parallelism between the training of slaves into gladiators in “Spartacus” and the recruit of the marines in “Full Metal Jacket” under American empire, in the harshest and cruelest manner worse than the ancient world. The absolute abusive treatment of the marine recruits by sergeant Hartman (Lee Ermey) for the sake of maintenance of the hegemony of United States for the so-called “National Security” has been the best and never before on the screen. This depiction of reality of the policy of recruitment of marines that was based on the semi-autobiographic novel of “The Short-timers” by the ex-marine Gustav Hasford from his own experience in the Vietnam war, alone matched the best anti-war films and sufficient to disgust everyone of the United States and their war making policies. As it will be explained further in the following, indeed the film’s second half in Vietnam could have been made disjointed and disconnected deliberately by Kubrick, as the reality of the war and what the marines experienced in the field was totally different and unconnected with their harsh recruitment.
From Maggots to Killers:
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The creator of Spaghetti Western and the dollar trilogy of “A fistful of Dollars”, “For a few Dollars more”, and “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” who also brought Clint Eastwood to life as a popular actor, and made a masterpiece of western, “Once upon a time in the West”, created the master of all gangster films “Once upon a time in America”. The son of the cinema pioneer director Vincenzo Leone (known as Roberto Roberti or Leone Roberto Roberti) and the silent film actress Edvige Valcarenghi (Bice Valerian), and a classmate of his later musical collaborator Ennio Morricone, Sergio Leone grew into cinema. So absorbed into filmmaking, watching often his father work on the film sets that he dropped out of law school to start his film career at age 18. He started working in cinematography, and became an assistant to Vittorio de Sica in filming “The Bicycle Thief”.
Once upon a time Sergio Leone: The Last Great Filmmaker
Sergio Leone, a genius in filmmaking, even in his commercial spaghetti westerns, he was not void of cinematic techniques and innovations. Influenced from the early silent era of his parents’ works, his films are dominant with visual elements, slow camera moves, extreme close ups with emphasis on the looks mixed with long shots. These techniques within his action films either westerns or his gangster masterpiece, “Once upon a time in America”, leave the viewer sinking in the moment and absorb in the details, anticipating the creeping up actions and surprises. These camera techniques of frame freeze, slow movements, extreme close ups and moreover long sequences such as ringing the phone for ever in this film, emphasizes on the important of an event in the lives of the characters or the specific moment in the story of the film.
Starting well and early from age 18, Sergio was stalled when in 1959 was drawn into action films directing when the original director of the film “The Last days of Pompei” Mario Bonnard fell ill. Then came another sword action film of “The Colossus of Rhodes” in 1961 before his switch to making his popular and box office hits of the spaghetti westerns. To conclude his westerns in 1968, he created “Once upon a time in the West” that showed his talents beyond box office to the film critics as well. Then perhaps thinking of creating his masterpiece away from westerns, he ran into reading the autobiographical novel “The Hoods” by Harry Grey (Harry Goldberg or “Noodles”) a member of a Jewish gang that grew in the New York City ghetto, Sergio Leone decided to meet the author and make the film. Finally he met with Harry at a Manhattan bar in late 60’s, and thereafter a few times more in 1960’s and 1970’s to understand America through the author’s living experience. Turning down the offer to direct “The Godfather” by Paramount Pictures, he pursued his own project from then on until its completion in 1984, an endeavor of almost 20 years.
This time Sergio knew that a masterpiece takes a great deal of time and effort, so over about 20 years strenuously researching and preparing himself for making “Once upon a time in the America”. This long haul effort and determination alone is commendable. From 8 to 10 hours of film footage that Sergio shot, he concluded 6 hours with the plan to make it in two parts of three hours each. But by the force of the producers who wanted it only as one single film, he edited the film to a final single film of 269 minutes. This being about four and a half hours, was further cut to 229 minutes (3 hours and 49 minutes) that was released in Europe, but the US release was further cut into 139 minutes by the producers against the director’s wishes, that was a disaster.
“Once upon a time in America”: A Conclusion to Cinema
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“Close encounters of the third kind” had only a brief encounter with aliens in person at the end of the film. With “E.T.”, Spielberg brought us a closer, more personal and ongoing encounter experience with the possible living creatures of other planets. E.T. is an alien child who’s left behind by a UFO’s landed on the earth. Like his first science fiction film there’s a family and children encounter with E.T. This creates a more honest and pure encounter experience of humans with a possible alien. In this encounter there is only curiosity and warm-hearted connection and understanding, and no fear, defensive or aggressive reactions of humans toward an out of space being. This is more or less like the reactions of children to an animal or pet. From the first encounter between a 10 year old boy Elliott and E.T., there’s an interconnection despite the language barrier.
While Elliott and his siblings who later on when find out about E.T., are protective of him, a group of adults and the governmental agencies who have witnessed the landing of the UFO are in the search to capture and lock up E.T. So beyond another science fiction and aliens’ encounter story , E.T. is an exploration of pure and honest humans’ encounter experience without any mean or defensive intention of an adult world. Due to the involvement of children with E.T., there’s element of magic and fantasy away from the strict world of adults. So with this film Spielberg was able to experience and capture the hearts of the children of the world, as the film belongs to the children more than adults. Elliott, his brother and sister trust each other but not even their mother in revealing E.T. They are protective of him and try to communicate with him and succeed.
A magical Peter Pan-like science fiction:
The film is the base of many other future films where the children in similar situations protect and save aliens or animals from the grown ups.
Like his first film there’s also an element of spirituality and special senses like the sixth sense in this film of Spielberg. There’s a remote connection and experiencing the same feelings between E.T. and Elliott while E.T. at the house nosing around, drinking beer and get drunk, and Elliott in the school feels the intoxication and gets dizzy. The same when E.T. watching the film “The Quiet Man” on TV and John Wayne kisses Maureen O’Hara, Elliott pulls a classmate girl towards him in the same manner and kisses her.
Elliott riding E.T. on his bike and flying is one of the most magical moments in the cinematic history. The flying bike passing in front of the blue moon is another memorable and beautiful cinematic moments on the screen. E.T. trying to contact his home by a makeshift communicator that he has invented and his famous quote of “E.T. phone home” is also one of the most memorable quotes in cinema. Touching Eliot’s tear drop falling off his face when he feels for E.T. who’s missing home is another pure emotional moments between the two different creatures. Losing E.T. in the forest and looking for him by the children brings on thrill and action to the film. When the government agents finally start searching Eliot’s house looking for E.T., the protective children plan to save and arrange his escape back to his home planet.
The home sick E.T. is already physically sick as well, totally pale and dying. While Elliott and his siblings were living with E.T. all this time with no masks and safety protective measures, the government agents come in all wearing masks and taking exaggerated measures of safety protection. When one of the government agent asks Eliott what they can do to help E.T., he simply responds to let him go back home. After a seemingly death of E.T and failing of the medical team to rescue him, Eliott is left for a few last minutes with him alone, that after feeling Elliott’s pure emotions, E.T. surprisingly comes back to life and repeats “E.T. phone home”!
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Adapted from a novel of the same name by William Styron in 1979, “Sophie’s Choice” written and directed for the screen by Alan J. Pakula is one of the rare films in the history of cinema that stays on mind after watching it even once. Styron who in 1985, three years after the release of the film, suffered from a serious episode of depression, leading him to write the memoir of his illness, “Darkness Visible” that became another of his masterpiece, perhaps had some masked such feelings when he wrote “Sophie’s Choice”, that is obviously a tale of suffering.
Pakula known for social and political type films such as “To kill a mocking bird” and “All the President men”, did not direct before or after this film any melodrama/tragic story. While thinking of the Swedish actress, Liv Ullman for the role of Sophie, it was Meryl Streep who threw herself at her feet to get the role. And she did well and performed the best role of her career life, where she had to lose weight to match Sophie specially at the concentration camp scenes. Another reflection of the casualties of war and political supremacy, and expansion at the cost of million lives, “Sophie’s Choice” is not just a tragic tale of humans, but a shameful one. The story is not only about the retelling of what Nazis did to the Jews in their exterminations, but how far the power hunger and hatred of humans could go to force a mother to make a choice of saving a child, but giving another away for extermination.
Sophie’s Choice: A Choice cannot live with
The story and the film opens in 1947, two years after the final end of the tragic and shameful second world war in Brooklyn, and is told by Stingo (Peter MacNicol), a young writer who rents an apartment in a house, where he will become the third party in the lives of Sophie (Meryl Streep) and Nathan (Kevin Kline) who live there as well. Sophie is a weak and fragile woman who mysteriously is attached to Nathan whose mental and emotional instability and insanity is evident even to the young and naïve looking Stingo. One moment in an intense love and affection to Sophie and the next moment suspicious of her infidelity, Nathan swings from a normal and high mood to total anger, and jealousy to the point of abusing his lover mentally, verbally and physically. Surprised by the pathological dependency of Sophie to Nathan, Stingo and the viewers are puzzled why Sophie still has remained in such abusive and roller coaster relationship. In fact the first part of the film is a depiction of such unhealthy pathological attachments or sick symbiotic relationship that exists in the real life around us and some viewers may relate to.
It is only from the second part of the story of the film that we learn through Sophie’s revealing the secret of her past life to Stingo, the reason for her staying in such pathological relationship. Sophie a malnourished anemic Polish immigrant is found and helped on the floor of a library after being harassed by a librarian that there is no such American poet as Emily Dickinson that she was asking for her poetry book. Mesmerized by her pale angle-like beauty, Nathan takes Sophie to his place, have her rest, cooks, feeds her and gives her the book of Emily Dickinson. He reads the a famous poem of the book that repeats again in the final scene, revealing the secret behind such symbiotic depressive relationship, that the two lost souls only could fill in.
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