The Face Knife

This May Kill You

That Film Meme

I was tagged by Tribe, and I thought this would be a good way to introduce some of my taste and what I’ve been watching to people who are reading this blog who don’t know me. So:

1. Total number of films I own on DVD and video.
hmmm…50? 75? No idea really….they’re in binders to save space.

2. Last film I bought.
Hah, well, I just ordered some grey-market DVDs from www.superhappyfun.com. (hey, if it’s good enough for Jonathan Rosenbaum…) So, Paris Nous Appartient (Rivette), Mouchette (Bresson), Made in USA and La Chinoise Godard. Damn, that’s French

3. Last film I watched.
Foolish Wives (von Stroheim, 1922) Anyone have a copy of Greed they want to send me?

Okay, after I started this I watched Blonde Venus and Trouble in Paradise as a double feature at Film Forum’s: Paramount: Before the Code festival. If anyone has any ideas of what else I should see from that list, let me know, please. Trouble in Paradise is incredibly funnny….I might write about that one but I don’t think I have anything to offer…

4. Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me (in no particular order).
The Saddest Music in the World (Guy Maddin) - Probably my favorite movie right now. I’m kind of obsessed with Maddin, even though this is the one film of his (besides a few of the shorts) that I’ve seen that I really think works…

The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (Lang) - I liked this one better than Dr. Mabuse der Spieler and M, though I think I watched M too early in my cinema education (like, last fall) to “get” the sound design of it, which is one the the things I love about Testament. The Testament is a really oddly edited film, with lots of scenes going on longer and abruptly bleeding into other scenes. If I were ever to edit a movie, this would be my bible.

The Diary of a Country Priest (Bresson) - Such a beautiful film, visually and philosophically. Also, great sound design.

Woman is a Woman (Godard) - Total joycore pop movie love. Again with the sound editing.

Chinatown (Polanski) - masterclass in plot. If I were to write a film, this is one of the ones I would study religiously.

Also: Andrei Rublev (Tarkovsky) - the “bell casting” sequence. The most powerful series of images ever committed to film. Indelible and exhaustive in the terror and exhiliration of creation

5. If you could be any character portrayed in a movie, who would it be?
Indiana Jones, of course.

Tagged: whoever is reading this, but particularly holzfallen, one armed emma p (hah! though it might be redundant considering 3 of the above are things you recommended to me - but still do it!), munt, cb, flyboy, eppy (because I liked your book one…don’t know how into film you are) … post in my comment, if you’d like.

10 Comments so far

  1. Tribe June 25th, 2005 12:34 pm

    Well, you can’t go wrong if you go and watch the Marx Bros features on that schedule…and if you’re into that Weimar Republic stuff, you MUST see The Blue Angel! In fact, if you haven’t seen it, and if you see nothing else at that Film forum thing, see The Blue Angel.

    The Testament of Dr. Mabuse is a fantastic film…the opening sequence has to be one of the most stressful and spooky I’ve ever seen.

  2. one-armed emma p July 2nd, 2005 11:50 am

    Do I do it on my livejournal or here?

  3. one-armed emma p July 2nd, 2005 1:02 pm

    OK, here:

    Total number of films I own on DVD and video:

    Between two and three hundred.

    Last film I bought:
    The Criterion Touchez pas au grisbi by Becker.

    In response to your Jonathan Rosenbaum comment by the way, Todd, I met him recently at the CFA benefit with Haskell Wexler and some other Chicago film people — Rosenbaum was hosting it — and he did NOTHING but talk about the DVDs he orders online from Europe and Asia. Seriously!

    Last film I watched:
    Watching Pandora’s Box right now for reasons that will hopefully soon become clear. Last film I watched that I hadn’t seen before was last night, Sternberg’s Shanghai Gesture. What was the Blue Velvet thing? “Maybe I’m sick, but I want to see that again”? Not my favorite of Sternberg’s really but it captivated me in some scenes.

    Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me:

    Diary of a Country Priest by Robert Bresson - the film that moves my spirit most and always reminds me that all, really, is grace.

    In the Mood for Love by Wong Kar-Wai - a perfect film in every way that I know to judge film: aesthetically and cinematographically, ideologically, thematically, formally, and very much emotionally.

    Sherlock, Jr by Buster Keaton - One of the most ingenious and intelligent, self-aware and -reflexive works of vernacular modernist mass art. It’s a film that loves film, is fascinated with it both intellectually and mechanically/technologically, and so I think it is has a kindred spirit to mine as a student of film and as someone who loves to hold film in her hands, to use its machineries and apparatuses and play with them and watch them work.

    La Ronde by Max Ophuls - another perfect film, in which the stunningly virtuosic camera work, fragmented structure, and conceptual bases or themes are executed with such obvious control of the medium, such dexterity in the reversibility of tone between almost Lubitsch-y wittiness and almost Sirk-y melodrama, everything in pitch-perfect harmony while still being suprising for its no-fourth-wall transparency and frank sexuality. I think Ophuls is an absolute master and if a film like this (or Lola Montes) doesn’t prove that to you too, I don’t like you very much.

    Belle de Jour by Luis Bunuel - This is a film that has helped me in some ways to understand desire and, indeed, the incomprehensibility of desire, and it fascinates me with different things every time I see it.

    Major apologies have to go out now to Strike! by Sergei Eisenstein, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg by Jacques Demy, Blue Velvet by David Lynch, Pandora’s Box by GW Pabst, The Cabinet of Dr Caligari by Robert Wiene, A Hard Day’s Night, It Happened One Night, and Last Year at Marienbad, and to myself and Todd and everyone reading this for being so numbingly canonical…

  4. one-armed emma p July 2nd, 2005 1:10 pm

    Oh - If I could ever be someone in a film - Fontaine in A Man Escaped, hands down. Or maybe a Garbo, to just wear that beauty for a while and see what it’s like.

  5. Todd July 2nd, 2005 1:51 pm

    Thanks! Maybe I will “promote” this to full-fledged entry after your first contribution, so it doesn’t get buried here, if you don’t mind.

    I just picked up La Ronde from the video store today, because of your badgering. I could be watching it right now but for some reason I’m watching a DVD of Buffy the Vampire Slayer instead.

  6. one-armed emma p July 2nd, 2005 2:39 pm

    Badgering! I just want what’s best for you.

    I’d be honored to be promoted. You can change my “name” of course, if you want, ’cause I’m now slingless and plan to come out on here both fists flying.

  7. holzfallen July 5th, 2005 2:34 pm

    Umbrellas of Cherbourg made me want to blow my brains out. Not in a good way. Umbrellas of Chernobyl, or simply Umbrellas of Cher.

    Haven’t I been raving about Lubitsch for a while now?

  8. Todd July 6th, 2005 8:38 am

    You might have been. What else do I need to see? I really loved Trouble in Paradise.

    When will you offer your response to this, dude/

  9. holzfallen August 2nd, 2005 5:17 pm

    1. Total number of films I own on DVD and video.
    8 or 10

    2. Last film I bought.
    chris marker, la jetee

    3. Last film I watched.
    rumblefish

    4. Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me (in no particular order).
    nostalgia, days of being wild (I have most of his films but this is the one I watch again & again), bitter tears of petra von kant, forbidden games

    I can’t think of a fifth one right now

    5. If you could be any character portrayed in a movie, who would it be?
    maude from harold & maude — really that’s who I’m trying to be all the time

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