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Piles' Top 100 of All-Time: 80-76 for your pleasure

 
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Piles' Top 100 of All-Time: 80-76 for your pleasure - 7/8/2011 8:42:28 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
Joined: 6/8/2007
From: Whalley Range
YES ANOTHER LIST. This time I should finish because I've, erm, already written all of the reviews. I decided to do this because in the 'List of Lists' my old top 100 still remains the only thing I ever finished and is obviously really out of date, so I'll pop 5 films a day in here until it's done and I can oust that evil old thing out of the stickied thread. ENJOY!

< Message edited by Piles -- 29/8/2011 3:09:50 PM >


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RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 8:43:30 PM   
paul_ie86


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From: Chelsea Hotel #2
I think you'll make it to number 77.

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RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 9:08:38 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
Joined: 6/8/2007
From: Whalley Range


100. The Trial (1962, Orson Welles, France)

“The Trial” begins as it means to go on; after a clever and enigmatic prologue that doesn't really have much meaning until the end of the film, we're treated to a wonderfully pompous scene where Josef K (Anthony Perkins) gets himself arrested for a crime he didn't even know he committed. Welles is telling us from the off what his film is going to be like, and first and foremost it’s a film that doesn’t exactly want to make perfect sense. He offers hints to his true meaning, a little bit of meaningless quirk here and there, but most of the time he speaks in codes or tongues that we're meant to decipher ourselves. His lead character, oddly enough, has the same job as us, and he reacts to each new Wellesian trick with confusion and intrigue. He is set the task of cracking the codes of Welles' suggestions along with his viewers, and it’s a deliberate, clever trick by the director to give his viewers a chance of following his convoluted narrative. The clueless protagonist asks the same whys and hows that his audience do, and oddly enough the plot is brought together by the answers he receives. Welles’ direction is sublime; simplistic at times, but at others it's about as technically profound as you'd find in a film from this decade. Tracking shots, pans, zooms, close-ups, long shots; Welles makes full use of his active but not overpowering camera, and it’s a true gift that the director can be so technically dazzling without actually hindering his narrative. But the truly wonderful thing about Welles is how many scenes seem to go on for so long (e.g. the scene in which Jeanne Moreau moves home, being followed by Perkins’ K), the lack of camera cuts giving the impression that we’re standing on the sidelines, watching events. The film’s best moments, though, come at K’s work, where hundreds of mindless droogs are sitting behind desks, typing in time to keep noise levels at an efficient minimum. Even when Joseph K makes a scene of himself, these monkeys keep their heads down at their work. They're just another cog in the machine, and this systematic machine is probably the true villain of Welles’ film. What Welles has crafted here is a succinct, subtle, sublime and sumptuous attack against establishment's grip and hold over the every-man and every man.




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RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 9:09:56 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
Joined: 6/8/2007
From: Whalley Range


99. Juha (1999, Aki Kaurismaki, Finland)

When I put this Finnish film on after “the Snowman” – the second of Aki Kaurismaki’s works that I’d seen after “Take Care of Your Scarf, Tatyana” – I had no idea how much of a perfect double bill it would actually be. In fact, I thought the contrary; a Finnish cult classic and an English children’s Christmas film don’t tend to have much crossover most of the time. But, in fact, the double bill was perfect, and “Juha” and “the Snowman” are two of the best modern time kickbacks to the silent era. In much the same way as “the Snowman” marries visuals and music wonderfully, “Juha” is a testament to the power of music in silent films. Take the first half hour, which sees a mysterious man (Andre Wilms) attempt to take a doting wife (Kati Outinen) away from a loving but physically crippled husband (Sakari Kuosmanen), which introduces its characters methodically and systematically. However, it plays melancholy, sympathizing tones over the introduction of Juha, the husband, and imposing, dominating ones over Shemeikka, the potential ‘other man’. Here, the central dynamic of the film is set up; Shemeikka is the bad guy, and Juha is our hero. Obviously, in the second half of the film this prophecy is brought into truth, but at this point we have to rely completely on the music. Imagine, if you will, if these character’s soundtracks were reversed. It would not at all seem out of place, and Juha would seem like a loutish, unsatisfying husband and Shemeikka a valiant knight who appears to take Outinen’s Marja away from a dull, monotonous, unsatisfying life. It’s a true testament to the power of sound in the silents, and for that reason alone “Juha” is a successful experiment. However, there are so many more reasons to enjoy the film aesthetically. It’s perfect visually, Kaurismaki’s droll perception of film only amplified by the absence of dialogue, and the acting itself is perfect. Juha is the happy cripple stereotype, and Kuosmanen portrays him with just the correct amount of naivety and innocence. The star though, rather surprisingly, is Kati Outinen, whose blank features represent a life of unfulfilment, but who eventually realizes that Juha’s security is far more amiable than Shemeikka’s lifestyle.




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RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 9:11:20 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
Joined: 6/8/2007
From: Whalley Range


98. Le Plaisir (1952, Max Ophuls, France)

“Le Plaisir” tells three story of debauchery masqueraded as pleasure in the heart of France. The first is about an old, dogged man who still goes to balls wearing a mask and pretending to be the young, virile man that he once was. He does this to seek thrills, base pleasures, and young girls, much to the disdain of his wife. However, she forgives him, because she loves him despite his flaws. Already the themes of the film are becoming clear; that although debauchery and sin are pretty much a constant in the world, there are still those little moments of true love and understanding. The second section, about a group of "working girls" who take a holiday away from the hustle and bustle from the town in a little village with relatives, is substantially the longest and most certainly the best. Here is where that theme really comes to the forefront of the picture. When they leave the city, they have a group of old, dirty men skulking for their loss, already pointing out that a lot of peoples' hearts and souls are in the wrong place. However, it's when we get to the village that we find out what Ophuls is really trying to say. Moments of sin and debauchery are painted out as bad - like a married man actively attempting to seduce one of the prostitutes - whilst the little moments of fun and playfulness are subtely marked out as the true beauty in life. Ophuls is trying to say that, although there is a lot of wrongdoing around, the best moments in life are those that we don't even reflect on much; like the hapiness of a child, the picking of flowers in a meadow, or a brief flicker of true love. The third section sits apart from the film as the only truly tragic one, about a man and a woman who fall out of love and begin to have a volatile and disasterous relationship. It's the only one that the narrator is actually a part of, and the only one he hasn't himself created in his mind. Perhaps Ophuls is trying to say that everything he's said before is wrong, and all that truly exists is pain, suffering and desperation, and true love only forms from guilt or acceptance. The only true story is the tragic one. Although I was about to challenge Ophuls for being overly simple in his themes at the end of the second section, the third one throws up question after question, leading to La Plaisir being a darker and more meaningful film than it ever seems while watching.




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RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 9:12:57 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
Joined: 6/8/2007
From: Whalley Range


97. The Piano Teacher (2001, Michael Haneke, Germany)

"The Piano Teacher” sees Isabelle Huppert play Erika Kohut, an able musician who works at a prestigious school. However, when she meets Walter Klemmer (Benoit Magimel), her world gets flipped upside down. The sadomasochistic sexual fantasies that have, up until now, remained in her private life, spill over into her public one, all leading up to a shocking and incredible finale. It's a film about desire, love, subversive sexual fantasies, and repression. Haneke intelligently flits between these themes, confidently tackling each and every one of them in equal measures. His musings on subversive sexuality are brilliant, discuss whether fantasies can actually match up to the reality, and the social taboos that remain sturdily in place. The most impressive – and heart-breaking, actually – scene in the film is the one when Huppert's Erika finally divulges her innermost fantasies to a smitten Walter. Not only is it a strong moment for the character, where all of her pent up frustration is poured out to an unwilling listener, but it's also the moment where Haneke's musings on social taboos come into play. Sure, Erika has passed a 'boundary' as far as social conventions go, but isn't she entitled to these strange and unrequited pleasures? Walter's reaction is probably what you would expect from one of society's 'normal' people, but it's still utterly shattering to see a woman who has kept these desires repressed for so many years be shunned when she finally lets all out.

At the heart of it is a sublime performance from Isabelle Huppert, who plays a repressed middle aged woman who hasn't had the experience to match her bizarre passions. She's fascinated by the sexual tastes – and indeed weaknesses – of men, and she travels around our screen like a woman possessed by the idea of sexual subversion. The film also looks the business, with some gorgeous cinematography that gives the film a stylish, lavish feel that starkly contradicts the severely brutal images on-screen. Christian Berger's camera peaks around corners and watches from behind windows, capturing the voyeuristic spirit of its lead character and amplifying the eerie, encroaching feelings of self-denial and paranoia. Even more shocking, though, is when Haneke simply places his camera in a room with the protagonists, refusing to move, refusing to compromise. Not only does it amplify the severity and the brutality of proceedings, but it also makes the viewer feel extremely uncomfortable. It's as if we are watching a real couple (and they do feel real, which is probably down to the performances), and that they are oblivious to our presence. Both shooting techniques feel equally as voyeuristic, and as a result "The Piano Teacher” is a starkly unsettling experience.




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RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 9:14:30 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
Joined: 6/8/2007
From: Whalley Range


96. My Winnipeg (2007, Guy Maddin, Canada)

In Guy Maddin's "My Winnipeg”, the director paints a personal portrait of his hometown, Winnipeg, Manitoba. That's pretty much all you can declare in the way of plot, for this docu-fantasy (as Maddin himself has called it) is a string of commentaries on Winnipeg, ranging from facts to elaborate fiction to Maddin's own memory. It's a challenging film, and one which never stays in the same place for long enough for you to keep a firm grasp of it. Indeed, the film flits from a melodrama-esque family portrait of Maddin's supposed younger years to a series of anecdotes on the city (the demolition of an Ice Hockey stadium, the story of the back streets, the explanation as to why Maddin calls it 'snowy, sleepwalking Winnipeg'), all the while remaining a puzzling and intriguing look at memory and at family. It's very similar to Chris Marker's majestic "Sans Soleil” in terms of style; the camera flits from place to place, from reality to re-construction, whilst Maddin himself narrates his every feeling on the image. But those who don't like (or appreciate) Marker's masterpiece shouldn't be put off, for this film shuns the dry, intellectualist take on the subject matter that the French film draws from. That's not to say that Maddin's film lacks intelligence – it doesn't, it's a highly intellectual look at everything from memory to urbanization – but that it's a film filled with wit and humour. From the quite genuinely hilarious re-construction of the somewhat factual "if” day, where thousands of actors donned Nazi outfits to scare Winnipeg residents into buying war bonds, to Maddin's own fantasy superhero who will bring Winnipeg back to its former glory, there's no shortage of brilliantly entertaining, witty sequences. Even attempting to sift through the anecdotes, trying to separate fact from fiction (the film blurs that particular line quite wonderfully), brings with it both hilarity and intrigue. It's a challenging, versatile, hypnotic, witty, engaging, and puzzling film that – I'm sure – will require many re-watches to truly grasp everything that Maddin is getting at.




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RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 9:27:00 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
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From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
I don't know if I ever mentioned it, but I quite like My Winnipeg.

Great list so far.

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RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 9:36:44 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
Joined: 6/8/2007
From: Whalley Range
Cheers.

Hopefully, everyone making 100s for the 1000 project will mean an influx of individual lists on the sub-board.


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RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 9:40:26 PM   
rawlinson

 

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I'm hoping so too. I need to get back to my own list thread as well. 

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RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 9:40:51 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
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From: Whalley Range
quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

I'm hoping so too. I need to get back to my own list thread as well. 


Hopefully you'll finish it before you die.


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RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 9:43:04 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
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That sounds like the geekiest threat ever. 

"You might want to finish your film list, you'll never know when you'll have an accident."

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RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 9:47:28 PM   
FritzlFan


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I've only seen two of these films (The Trial and My Winnipeg), which are both pretty good.

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RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 9:51:18 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
Joined: 6/8/2007
From: Whalley Range
quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

That sounds like the geekiest threat ever. 

"You might want to finish your film list, you'll never know when you'll have an accident."





It was meant to be an insult as to how old you are.

What's the weather like in Qikiqtarjuaq, by the way? I've always wanted to go there.


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RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 9:51:49 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
Joined: 6/8/2007
From: Whalley Range
quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

I've only seen two of these films (The Trial and My Winnipeg), which are both pretty good.


You should probably watch the other three, they're pretty good.


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RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 9:52:52 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Piles

quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

That sounds like the geekiest threat ever. 

"You might want to finish your film list, you'll never know when you'll have an accident."





It was meant to be an insult as to how old you are.

What's the weather like in Qikiqtarjuaq, by the way? I've always wanted to go there.



Cold. And there's a lot of polar bears.

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RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 9:53:33 PM   
FritzlFan


Posts: 4793
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From: Bristol
Try not to punch any in the face.

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Child labour is necessary in the short term




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RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 9:54:33 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
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I used an egg whisk to whip up a blizzard of snow and then hopped away on my pogo stick.

If you don't listen to Cabin Pressure then this is all meaningless.

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RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 10:30:09 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24509
Joined: 30/9/2005
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I could do a top 100 list myself but i need to finish the book list, its totally not stopped cos i lost the piece of paper with the results on. Oh no.

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quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

You organisational skills sicken me, Rhubarb.



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RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 10:34:57 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.


What about the romance list?

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RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 10:36:57 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24509
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Errrn. I think i have the results somewhere.

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quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

You organisational skills sicken me, Rhubarb.



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RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 10:40:22 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
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From: Whalley Range
Who does results on a bit of paper and not in a well organized spread sheet with columns and formulae and everything?

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RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 10:41:34 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
I do results on wordpad. I'm a geek, but not a spreadsheet geek. 

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Post #: 23
RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 10:42:17 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24509
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home

quote:

ORIGINAL: Piles

Who does results on a bit of paper and not in a well organized spread sheet with columns and formulae and everything?




I'm sorry, i don't use spreadsheets, and i actually have sex now and then.

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quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

You organisational skills sicken me, Rhubarb.



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Post #: 24
RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 10:48:22 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
quote:

ORIGINAL: Rhubarb


quote:

ORIGINAL: Piles

Who does results on a bit of paper and not in a well organized spread sheet with columns and formulae and everything?




I'm sorry, i don't use spreadsheets, and i actually have sex now and then.


Only now and again? Has Homer been turning you down again?

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Post #: 25
RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 10:51:20 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24509
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
I get the impression Homer just likes to watch.

< Message edited by Rhubarb -- 7/8/2011 11:03:09 PM >


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quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

You organisational skills sicken me, Rhubarb.



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Post #: 26
RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 10:52:57 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
Joined: 6/8/2007
From: Whalley Range
quote:

ORIGINAL: Rhubarb

I get the impression Tim just likes to watch.


No wonder he invites you and Lee round so often...


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Post #: 27
RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 10:55:41 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
quote:

ORIGINAL: Piles

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rhubarb

I get the impression Tim just likes to watch.


No wonder he invites you and Lee round so often...





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Post #: 28
RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 11:03:23 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24509
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
...

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quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

You organisational skills sicken me, Rhubarb.



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Post #: 29
RE: Piles' Top 100 of All-Time - 7/8/2011 11:07:09 PM   
Incanus


Posts: 16000
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quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

quote:

ORIGINAL: Piles

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rhubarb

I get the impression Tim just likes to watch.


No wonder he invites you and Lee round so often...







Who's Tim and Lee? I don't believe they exist. To me these people are just forum usernames.


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