Cranky Hanke’s Weekly Reeler Aug. 1-7: Southern Beasts of Wimpy Recall

In Theaters

Whatever else happens this week at the movies, I suspect that we can be assured that the mainstream titles (of which there are two) will be better than last week’s mainstream titles (of which there were two). Before you get too excited, remember what last week’s titles were. It won’t be hard to be better than those. Now, the art title is another matter.

Aside from the mainstream titles—I’ll get to those in a minute—we also have one art title opening this week (at both The Carolina and the Fine Arts). It’s the highly-acclaimed Beasts of the Southern Wild, which a lot of folks are anxious to see—or so I’m told. Here’s the thing: I saw it on Saturday morning. The review is in this week’s paper, so you’ll soon know that I wasn’t exactly blown away by the film, though I did—and do—admire its imagination, which is why I still gave it the Weekly Pick. (Well, it also wasn’t up against much.) That said, this is one of those films that I’d suggest those interested in movies that aren’t mainstream fare should check out for themselves. It’s sufficiently unusual to be of interest—and enough people whose opinions I tend to respect have gotten a lot more out of it than I did. You may, too. This may simply not be my kind of movie.

The mainstream stuff this week is the sort of thing that mostly—on the surface at least—appears to come under the heading of unnecessary. That doesn’t immediately preclude the possibility of it being passably entertaining in the purely transitory sense. But I can’t imagine anyone getting too excited about either offering.

When the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid picture came out in 2010 nobody was all that excited and the critics were pretty evenly divided on it. Certainly, no one expected a sequel, but it was a modestly budgeted movie that turned an OK profit, so 2011 found us with another one. It followed the same pattern with critics and the box office. It was inevitable, I guess, that a third film—Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days—would come along this year and here it is whether you wanted it or not—and we can now refer to it as “the Wimpy Kid trilogy.” Now, I’ve never seen one of these movies—they are Justin Souther’s territory. That’s the way of these series movies: review one and they’re yours for life. In truth, he hasn’t seemed to mind the films, though he has expressed a suspicion that this may well be “one Wimpy Kid too many.” Having seen the trailer, I’m inclined to agree, but it at least doesn’t look like another Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer. Then again, what does?

That brings us to Len Wiseman’s remake of the 1990 Paul Verhoeven-Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi actioner Total Recall. I’m not against the idea of remakes as a rule, and I have no particular ax to grind with the idea of remaking this one. I’m not overly fond of the original (I’m much happier with Verhoeven on his own turf in Holland), even if it has somehow been tagged with the increasingly meaningless term “classic.” I can think of no situation where I wouldn’t rather watch Colin Farrell over Der Arnold. The presence of Bill Nighy in this new version is also a plus. So much for the upsides. Len Wiseman of Underworld fame isn’t more than a workmanlike filmmaker, and the best thing I can say about Kate Beckinsale (aka: Mrs. Wiseman) is that she’s a better actress than Milla Jovovich. But the real kicker here is that they’ve taken a film that was originally slapped with an NC-17 rating, was cut to bring it down to an R, and have made it into a viewer-friendly (read: sanitized and safe for kids) PG-13 one. Moreover, the trailer…well, it looks like a CGI orgy. We shall see.

The only thing we lose this week is Your Sister’s Sister, which I predicted last week. The Fine Arts is dropping To Rome with Love, but keeping Moonrise Kingdom, which is also staying at The Carolina. In addition, To Rome with Love, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Safety Not Guaranteed, and The Intouchables are all holding strong at The Carolina.

Special Screenings

This week the Thursday Horror Picture Show is screening Tobe Hooper’s The Mangler (1995) on Thu., Aug. 2 at 8 p.m. in the Cinema Lounge at The Carolina. World Cinema offers Andrei Tarkovsky’s first feature Ivan’s Childhood (1962) on Fri., Aug. 3 at 8 p.m. in the Railroad Library in the Phil Mechanic Building. Charles Chaplin’s rarely seen final film A Countess from Hong Kong (1967) is being shown by the Hendersonville Film Society at 2 p.m. on Sun., Aug. 5 in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing in Hendersonville. The Asheville Film Society is screening Woody Allen’s Love and Death (1975)—one of Allen’s “early funny ones”—at 8 p.m. on Tue., Aug. 7 in the Cinema Lounge at The Carolina. More on all titles in this week’s Xpress with expanded coverage in the online edition.

On DVD

Remember when Le Havre was supposed to open locally and then never did? Well, this very fine film is now available on DVD, so you can see what you missed.

Notable TV Screenings

I’m not so sure how notable this is (take it as a warning, if you like), but starting at 6 a.m. on Fri., Aug. 3 TCM gives us 24 hours of Tarzan movies—well, almost. The last three are Jungle Jim pictures. Perhaps they figure that by that point you’ll be loin-clothed out and ready to see some safari jacket action instead.

On a somewhat more agreeable note, James Whale’s The Invisible Man (1933) is showing on Sun., Aug. 5 at 8 p.m. It’s part of their “Essentials Jr.” programming, and I can think of few more worthy endeavours than turning kids onto James Whale.

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About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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56 thoughts on “Cranky Hanke’s Weekly Reeler Aug. 1-7: Southern Beasts of Wimpy Recall

  1. Orbit DVD

    Couple of notable titles out: the Kevin Costner miniseries HATFIELDS & MCCOYS is quite good but long. Also the Pentagram documentary LAST DAYS HERE is depressing as hell but worth seeing.

    I got the blu-ray of ALTERED STATES a couple of weeks late due to Warner Brothers being a butthead. It is a much better transfer than the dvd and worth checking out.

    What’s the word on KILLER JOE Ken?

  2. Ken Hanke

    Altered States is sitting on my desk, but I haven’t had the time to watch it yet. Your report is encouraging.

    There’s been no official word on Killer Joe, but I know the Fine Arts is interested. But neither they, nor The Carolina have it down yet. I don’t see it as big enough for two venues.

  3. Xanadon't

    Remember when Le Havre was supposed to open locally and then never did? Well, this very fine film is now available on DVD, so you can see what you missed.

    How could I forget? It was one of the crueler jokes Neil has played on us. I’ll make it a point to seek it out this week.

    There’s been no official word on Killer Joe, but I know the Fine Arts is interested. But neither they, nor The Carolina have it down yet. I don’t see it as big enough for two venues.

    Well I’ll be making the trip to see it at whichever screen it lands should one of them pick it up. I’m hoping I enjoy McConaughey more than I did in Bernie. It was his role that I ultimately felt was the most noticeable weakness to a very good film.

  4. Xanadon't

    Oh, and off-topic, but any thoughts on Vertigo overtaking Citizen Kane for the #1 spot on Sight and Sound’s poll? I’ve seen both 3 or more times, and have watched both quite recently. I wouldn’t say I’m aghast, personally, but nor can I quite get comfortable with the idea.

  5. Xanadon't

    On a somewhat more agreeable note, James Whale’s The Invisible Man (1933) is showing on Sun., Aug. 5 at 8 p.m.

    That one is pure fun.

  6. Jeremy Dylan

    Oh, and off-topic, but any thoughts on Vertigo overtaking Citizen Kane for the #1 spot on Sight and Sound’s poll?

    I’m assuming this was addressed to Kenneth, but I have thoughts myself.

    I find VERTIGO to be very engaging up until about the fifty minute mark, then it all goes to hell. I like KANE all the way through.

    If you want to pick a Hitchcock picture for the top spot, there are much better options. Even if you limited it to Jimmy Stewart starring ones, I’d take REAR WINDOW over VERTIGO any day.

    That said, the voters here are pretty out of step with my taste in general. I had a look and there are only two films in the top 50 that would make my top ten.

  7. Ken Hanke

    Oh, and off-topic, but any thoughts on Vertigo overtaking Citizen Kane for the #1 spot on Sight and Sound’s poll? I’ve seen both 3 or more times, and have watched both quite recently. I wouldn’t say I’m aghast, personally, but nor can I quite get comfortable with the idea.

    As a fellow film historian said, “Vertigo isn’t even Hitchcock’s best film, let alone the best film ever made. I would be aghast (personally I think Sunrise is better than either of them), except I know these lists are meaningless. These are the same bozos that claimed that Nic Roeg’s Don’t Look Now is the best British picture ever made. Ye gods.

    In any case, critical evaluation by voting is absurd. I haven’t time to get into this now, but I’ll be back.

  8. Ken Hanke

    I can’t find a link that works well. I think the BFI is overloaded with people accessing the site. I did manage to see that there are two Bela Tarr films on the list, which tells me a lot. Also that Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles. It tied with Bela Tarr’s 7+ hour long bout of miserableness Satantango — and also with Psycho and Metropolis. And all these got more votes than City Lights. What arrant nonsense.

  9. Xanadon't

    I find VERTIGO to be very engaging up until about the fifty minute mark, then it all goes to hell.

    I felt exactly this way after my first viewing. But 2 or 3 watches later I’ve warmed up to the film considerably and now think it’s possibly Hitch’s most complex and thematically rich film, though not my personal favorite (That would be Notorious)

    That said, the voters here are pretty out of step with my taste in general. I had a look and there are only two films in the top 50 that would make my top ten.

    I’ve only seen 24 of the top 50 films, and 5 of the top 10 so I’m not ready to dig too deeply into it. But I count 5 or 6 films from the list of 50 that might wrestle for a spot in my top 20.

  10. Xanadon't

    I haven’t time to get into this now, but I’ll be back.

    Look forward to it.

  11. Ken Hanke

    I’ve seen 46 of the 50. I have yet to really go over the list in detail, though.

  12. Ken Hanke

    I felt exactly this way after my first viewing. But 2 or 3 watches later I’ve warmed up to the film considerably and now think it’s possibly Hitch’s most complex and thematically rich film, though not my personal favorite (That would be Notorious)

    I’ve seen it at least 10 times over the years and I still don’t think much of it. But I never felt Hitchcock was meant for heavy-thinking. I prefer him as an entertainer. And nothing, on that score, touches The 39 Steps, Young and Innocent, and The Lady Vanishes.

  13. Mr.Orpheus

    I know that I’m beating a deceased and decaying equine here, but it still astounds me that anybody could earnestly think that THE GENERAL is a better film than CITY LIGHTS.

    I’ve seen VERTIGO once, but it was a few years ago and I was around 12 years old. I think I liked it well enough, but it didn’t really stick with me. Certainly not as much as CITIZEN KANE has. And I’d probably put two of the movies on this list above that.

  14. kimboronni

    Ken, I understand Beasts may not be your “kind of movie”, but it does hold #1 on my list so far for this year’s film releases. Wanna have a arm-wrestling match and/or beer over this?

  15. Ken Hanke

    Ken, I understand Beasts may not be your “kind of movie”, but it does hold #1 on my list so far for this year’s film releases. Wanna have a arm-wrestling match and/or beer over this?

    I certainly don’t want to arm-wrestle over it. You’d probably win. Your response is precisely why I told people to make up their own minds. I don’t like it, but I knew some would.

  16. Ken Hanke

    I know that I’m beating a deceased and decaying equine here, but it still astounds me that anybody could earnestly think that THE GENERAL is a better film than CITY LIGHTS.

    While I agree with you, I can’t say of this surprises me. The list is basically a farce. That only something like 29 people out of 800+ voted for City Lights…roll that around for a while.

    I’ve seen VERTIGO once, but it was a few years ago and I was around 12 years old. I think I liked it well enough, but it didn’t really stick with me. Certainly not as much as CITIZEN KANE has. And I’d probably put two of the movies on this list above that.

    Leave us face it, the list is so loaded with stick-up-its-ass cinema of the nasty medicine variety — “It was a chore to sit through, so it must be art” — that it’s impossible to take seriously. In what bizarre universe do four of the “50 greatest films of all time” come from Jean-Luc Godard?

  17. Ken Hanke

    Here, by the way, is the full list:

    1. Vertigo, Alfred Hitchcock, 1958 (191 votes)
    2. Citizen Kane, Orson Welles, 1941 (157 votes)
    3. Tokyo Story, Ozu Yasujiro, 1953 (107 votes)
    4. La R

  18. luluthebeast

    At least the bozos have TOKYO STORY at number three, but I wouldn’t even have VERTIGO on the list.

  19. Ken Hanke

    I wouldn’t have Tokyo Story in the top half myself, but I’m not as taken with Asian film as you are.

  20. Xanadon't

    You know, this has got me thinking… some time ago, Ken, were you not asked by someone or another to submit a list of your 100 best (or favorite or greatest or some such thing) films of all time?

    What became of this list and, more importantly, is it something you will ever unveil?

  21. Xanadon't

    I prefer him as an entertainer. And nothing, on that score, touches The 39 Steps, Young and Innocent, and The Lady Vanishes.

    Wow, you really favor his UK productions, huh? I’ll give you The Lady Vanishes, but I’m not sure I could rank The 39 Steps in front of Strangers on a Train on any score, though it has been a while. As for Young and Innocent, well I’ll have to make that my 27th watched.

  22. Ken Hanke

    What became of this list and, more importantly, is it something you will ever unveil?

    An interesting question. I’ll have to see if I can find it, And it was 100 favorites. I think I’d have passed if it was supposed to be greatest. The idea of greatest is really on ludicrous side — unless you’ve seen ever possible candidate. And, you know what, nobody has. Hell, end of this month I’ll finally see Paul Fejos’ Lonesome (1928) — only been waiting since I read about it in 1968.

    Wow, you really favor his UK productions, huh?

    By a large margin, yes.

    I’ll give you The Lady Vanishes, but I’m not sure I could rank The 39 Steps in front of Strangers on a Train on any score

    I can. For pure enterainment, I’d go with Number Seventeen, The Man Who Knew Too Much (original), The 39 Steps, Secret Agent, Young and Innocent, and The Lady Vanishes. My favorite of his US works is almost certainly Foreign Correspondent — the most like his British pictures.

  23. Ken Hanke

    Astoundingly, I found that list of 100 favorites. To some degree, it’s a snapshot of how I felt at that moment. I saw at least three films on there that I’d replace today. But here it is — strictly alphabetical, because really after the first 20, it’s not possible to rate them. By the way, if I was trying for a “best” list, I’d have included nothig that wasn’t at least 20 years old.

    The 39 Steps (1935) Alfred Hitchcock
    7th Heaven (1927) Frank Borzage
    8 1/2 (1963) Federico Fellini
    A Bout de Souffle (1960) Jean-Luc Godard
    A Nous la Liberte (1931) Rene Clair
    Across the Universe (2007) Julie Taymor
    All About My Mother (1999) Pedro Almodovar
    Amarcord (1973) Federico Fellini
    Amelie (2000) Jean-Pierre Jeunet
    Bad Education (2004) Pedro Almodovar
    The Black Cat (1934) Edgar G.Ulmer
    Bliss (1985) Ray Lawrence
    Blue Velvet (1986) David Lynch
    Breakfast on Pluto (2005) Neil Jordan
    Bride of Frankenstein (1935) James Whale
    The Butcher Boy (1997) Neil Jordan
    Carrie (1976) Brian De Palma
    The Cat and the Canary (1927) Paul Leni
    Chimes at Midnight (1965) Orson Welles
    Chinatown (1974) Roman Polanski
    Citizen Kane (1941) Orson Welles
    City Lights (1931) Charles Chaplin
    A Clockwork Orange (1971) Stanley Kubrick
    The Conformist (1970) Bernardo Bertolucci
    Day for Night (1973) Francois Truffaut
    Design for Living (1933) Ernst Lubitsch
    The Devils (1971) Ken Russell
    The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) Luis Bunuel
    Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) Rouben Mamoulian
    The Dreamers (2003) Bernardo Bertolucci
    Drunken Angel (1948) Akira Kurosawa
    Excalibur (1981) John Boorman
    The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967) Roman Polanski
    Five Star Final (1931) Mervyn LeRoy
    The Fourth Man (1983) Paul Verhoeven
    The General Died at Dawn (1936) Lewis Milestone
    Gods and Monsters (1999) Bill Condon
    Golddiggers of 1933 (1933) Mervyn LeRoy, Busby Berkeley
    Hallelujah, I’m a Bum (1933) Lewis Milestone
    A Hard Day’s Night (1964) Richard Lester
    Harold and Maude (1971) Hal Ashby
    Help! (1965) Richard Lester
    His Girl Friday (1940) Howard Hawks
    The Horse’s Mouth (1958) Ronald Neame
    I’ll Never Forget What’s ‘Isname (1967) Michael Winner
    Imitation of Life (1934) John M. Stahl
    The Informer (1935) John Ford
    A King in New York (1957) Charles Chaplin
    The Knack…and How to Get It (1965) Richard Lester
    La Belle et la Bete (1946) Jean Cocteau
    The Lady Vanishes (1938) Alfred Hitchcock
    The Last Command (1928) Josef von Sternberg
    Last Holiday (1950) Henry Cass
    Laughter (1930) Harry D’Abaddie D’Arrast
    Law of Desire (1987) Pedro Almodovar
    The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) Wes Anderson
    Lisztomania (1975) Ken Russell
    Love Me Tonight (1932) Rouben Mamoulian
    The Magic Christian (1969) Joseph McGrath
    Mahler (1974) Ken Russell
    Manhattan (1979) Woody Allen
    Metropolis (1927) Fritz Lang
    Miller’s Crossing (1990) Joel and Ethan Coen
    Modern Times (1936) Charles Chaplin
    Monsieur Verdoux (1947) Charles Chaplin
    Moulin Rouge! (2001) Baz Luhrmann
    The Music Lovers (1970) Ken Russell
    Naked Lunch (1991) David Cronenberg
    Night of the Demon (1957) Jacques Tourneur
    Night of the Hunter (1955) Charles Laughton
    Nosferatu (1922) F.W. Murnau
    O Brother Where Art Thou? (2000) Joel and Ethan Coen
    The Old Dark House (1932) James Whale
    One Hour with You (1932) Ernst Lubitsch
    Only Angels Have Wings (1939) Howard Hawks
    Orphee (1950) Jean Cocteau
    Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) Guillermo Del Toro
    Paprika (2007) Satoshi Kon
    People Will Talk (1951) Joseph L. Mankiewicz
    Persona (1966) Ingmar Bergman
    Ruggles of Red Gap (1935) Leo McCarey
    The Ruling Class (1972) Peter Medak
    Savage Messiah (1972) Ken Russell
    The Scarlet Empress (1934) Josef von Sternberg
    The Seventh Seal (1957) Ingmar Bergman
    Shanghai Express (1932) Josef von Sternberg
    Stardust Memories (1981) Woody Allen
    Sullivan’s Travels (1941) Preston Sturges
    Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927) F.W. Murnau
    Talk to Her (2002) Pedro Almodovar
    The Tenant (1976) Roman Polanski
    Tess (1979) Roman Polanski
    Tetro (2009) Francis Ford Coppola
    The Third Man (1949) Carol Reed
    Tommy (1975) Ken Russell
    Trouble in Paradise (1932) Ernst Lubitsch
    Twentieth Century (1934) Howard Hawks
    Videodrome (1983) David Cronenberg
    Wild Strawberries (1958) Ingmar Bergman
    Yojimbo (1961) Akira Kurosawa

  24. Jeremy Dylan

    My first reaction on reading the Sight and Sound list: Where the fuck is CASABLANCA? I would’ve thought it a fairly uncontroversial choice for this kind of list.

    I have an inherent issue with deciding what the greatest films of all times vs. your personal favourites. What’s the criteria for the former vs. the latter? Do you just include more films that are technically impressive but you don’t feel jazzed about?

    I used to do lists like this all the time, but I lost interest in the practice a while ago. To show how little overlap with S&S there would be were I to write one now, it would look something like:

    10. TOMMY
    9. HANNAH AND HER SISTERS
    8. SOME LIKE IT HOT
    7. MONTY PYTHON’S LIFE OF BRIAN
    6. CITIZEN KANE
    5. GODS AND MONSTERS
    4. CASABLANCA
    3. GOLDFINGER
    2. THE THIRD MAN
    1. MEMENTO

    And I’m already feeling guilty about leaving off REAR WINDOW, CHINATOWN, A HARD DAY’S NIGHT, THE LAST WALTZ, etc.

    I have a bit more in common with Ken’s list, unsurprisingly.

  25. Ken Hanke

    Quite a bit of Russell however. Did you have any input?

    That list is my vote/list from a different poll a year or so ago.

  26. Ken Hanke

    I have a bit more in common with Ken’s list, unsurprisingly.

    Well, I wouldn’t slap you over 60% of it.

  27. Ken Hanke

    Ah yes. Still no BACHELOR PARTY.

    As I said, there are at least three on there that wouldn’t be — or likely wouldn’t be — if I did the list today (which I’m not going to do). Now, whether that would get Bachelor Party is another matter. It is, I believe, still the only place to hear the Oingo Boingo theme song, but is that enough to tip the scales? (Isn’t there one in Summer School, too?)

  28. Jeremy Dylan

    Well, I wouldn’t slap you over 60% of it.

    Not enough Antonioni for Ken’s taste.

  29. Xanadon't

    25th Hour
    The 400 Blows
    Alien
    All About My Mother
    Amelie
    Annie Hall
    Apocalypse Now
    Barton Fink
    Beauty and the Beast (1946)
    Being There
    Blue Velvet
    Bride of Frankenstein
    The Brothers Bloom
    The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
    Carnival of Souls
    Casablanca
    Chinatown
    Citizen Kane
    City Lights
    Clean, Shaven
    Crimes and Misdemeanors
    The Darjeeling Limited
    Dark City
    Delicatessen
    Diabolique
    Dial M for Murder
    Do the Right Thing
    Dog Day Afternoon
    Double Indemnity
    Down By Law
    Drive
    Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
    Edward Scissorhands
    Ed Wood
    The Empire Strikes Back
    Eyes Without a Face
    The Fall
    Fargo
    The General
    Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
    The Girl on the Bridge
    The Godfather (I’m gonna allow Part Two to ride along)
    The Hidden Fortress
    Hot Fuzz
    Hour of the Wolf
    Hugo
    Inglourious Basterds
    Kill Bill (1 and 2- I’m choosing to lump this together)
    The Lady Vanishes
    The Life Aquatic
    Life is Beautiful
    The Lives of Others
    Lost in Translation
    M
    Magnolia
    The Maltese Falcon
    M.A.S.H.
    Metropolis
    Mon Oncle
    Mulholland Drive
    My Winnipeg
    The Neverending Story
    Night of the Living Dead
    No Country for Old Men
    Notorious
    O Brother Where Art Thou?
    Oldboy
    Ordinary People
    The Passion of Joan of Arc
    Persona
    Quid Pro Quo
    Raging Bull
    Rashomon
    Rear Window
    Repulsion
    The Ring
    Roman Holiday
    Rosemary’s Baby
    The Royal Tennenbaums
    Rumble Fish
    The Searchers
    The Shining
    Say Anything
    The Secret in Their Eyes
    Shutter Island
    Spellbound
    Spider
    Stay
    Strangers on a Train
    Sweeny Todd
    Talk to Her
    Taxi Driver
    The Testament of Dr. Mabuse
    The Third Man
    Three Colors: Red
    To Die For
    Touch of Evil
    Umberto D.
    Videodrome
    Volver
    Wait Until Dark

    100 by my count. And that wasn’t as much fun as I thought it might be. I’ve done lists by year, decade, a few different languages, genre, etc., (which saved quite a bit of time here, actually) but never an outright 100 personal favorites list. It’s always terrified me, and now I’m seeing why.

    Already there are 4 or 5 or 15 titles I’d like to kick out. But what can I replace them with and remain at least mostly honest? And what of the fact that there are a number of films on here that I’ve seen but once? (Believe it or not, Dreyer’s Passion isn’t among them- I actually do like that film)

    But then again a good many of the dilemmas are of the “Gosh, did I really like The Ring more than The Others?” nature. Meh.

    Okay, off to watch Vicky Cristina Barcelona before it gets any later.

  30. Xanadon't

    Oh, and only seen a measly 22 of the films on your list so, yes, a whole slew of titles for the queue. Thanks for posting!

  31. Mr.Orpheus

    Well, if we’re in the business of making lists, here’s my top ten favorites. I’d do a hundred, but at this point it’d just be redundant.

    10.SPIRITED AWAY
    9.PAN’S LABYRINTH
    8.DUCK SOUP
    7.MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL
    6.THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER
    5.SUNRISE
    4.LA DOLCE VITA
    3.IKIRU
    2.A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH
    1.THE THIRD MAN

    But that’s only how I feel at this specific moment. If I did it again, I’d probably change everything out of the top two.

    I can’t decide if these lists actually do anything positive or not. Or anything at all, really.

    And I watched THE INVISIBLE MAN last night. It very nearly made it’s way on to my list.

  32. Ken Hanke

    Already there are 4 or 5 or 15 titles I’d like to kick out. But what can I replace them with and remain at least mostly honest? And what of the fact that there are a number of films on here that I’ve seen but once? (Believe it or not, Dreyer’s Passion isn’t among them- I actually do like that film)

    Well, look at it this way — there are only about 15 of them that would make me narrow my eyes at you (and Joan of Arc is one of them). On the other hand, I have no clue what Clean, Shaven, Quid Pro Quo, or My Winnipeg are. And I’ve never seen Oldboy.

  33. Ken Hanke

    Oh, and only seen a measly 22 of the films on your list so, yes, a whole slew of titles for the queue. Thanks for posting!

    If you had more free Tuesdays you’d probably have seen some of those. Merely an observation, mind you.

  34. Ken Hanke

    But that’s only how I feel at this specific moment. If I did it again, I’d probably change everything out of the top two.

    My top 10 stay pretty constant. Yours is certainly a very reasonable list that caused me no pain.

    I can’t decide if these lists actually do anything positive or not. Or anything at all, really.

    The only possible value lies in the chance that they get someone to watch something. The very real downside comes when people take them too seriously. Some maroon made the claim that the Sight and Sound list gave us some kind of cinematic version of a literary canon. Ye gods, what an awful thought that 35 out of 842 people voting for Satantango is actually meaningful.

    By the way, Mr. Orpheus, as a point of curiosity…do I know you?

  35. Mr.Orpheus

    No, not as far as I know. I’ve only been able to make it to a couple AFS related events, the paid screening of HIS GIRL FRIDAY and SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED, but I don’t think we’ve ever actually met each other.

  36. Jeremy Dylan

    The only possible value lies in the chance that they get someone to watch something.

    I’m currently working my way through the FIVE STAR HANKE list.

  37. Me

    Clean Shaven is a weird film and My Winnepeg is one of those Guy Maddin films.

  38. Ken Hanke

    I hope you don’t mean to imply that Guy Maddin films aren’t weird.

  39. Jeremy Dylan


    Are you keeping count?

    There are 316 films on the list. I have currently seen 116 of them.

  40. Ken Hanke

    There are 316 films on the list. I have currently seen 116 of them

    Are all 116 films you had not previously seen? I can’t help but wonder if I’ve recanted any of the ones you’ve seen…

  41. Jeremy Dylan

    Are all 116 films you had not previously seen? I can’t help but wonder if I’ve recanted any of the ones you’ve seen…

    No, I’d seen about 2/3 of those before I started working my way through the list, so maybe that’s cheating.

  42. Jeremy Dylan

    These are the ones I’ve now seen:

    28 Days Later – Danny Boyle
    The 39 Steps – Hitchcock
    8 1/2 – Fellini
    The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert
    Aguirre: The Wrath of God – Herzog
    Across The Universe
    Almost Famous – Cameron Crowe
    Amelie – Jean-Pierre Jeunut
    Apocalypse Now
    Bad Education – Almodovar
    Being There – Hal Ashby
    Be Kind Rewind – Gondry
    Big Fish – Burton
    Blue Velvet
    The Boat that Rocked
    Brazil
    Bride of Frankenstein
    Bridget Jones’ Diary
    Brokeback Mountain
    Broken Embraces – Almodovar
    The Brothers Bloom – Rian Johnson
    Carrie – De Palma
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Burton
    Children of Men
    Chimes at midnight – Welles
    Chinatown
    Citizen Kane
    City Lights
    A Clockwork Orange
    Confessions of a Dangerous Mind – Clooney
    Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride
    Crimes and Misdemeanors – Woody Allen
    The Darjeeling Limited – Wes Anderson
    The Devils – Ken Russell
    Dr Strangelove – Stanley Kubrick
    Eastern Promises – David Cronenberg
    Edward Scissorhands – Tim Burton
    Ed Wood – Tim Burton
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – Michel Gondry
    Fantastic Mr. Fox – Wes Anderson
    The Fly – David Cronenberg
    The Fog of War – Errol Morris
    Frankenstein – James Whale
    From Hell – The Hughes Brothers
    Gangs of New York – Martin Scorsese
    The Ghost Writer – Roman Polanski
    Gods and Monsters – Bill Condon
    The Gold Rush – Charlie Chaplin
    Gosford Park – Robert Altman
    Hairspray – John Waters
    Hannah and Her Sisters – Woody Allen
    A Hard Day’s Night – Richard Lester
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – Alfonso Cuaron
    Help! – Richard Lester
    The History Boys – Nicholas Hytner
    Horse Feathers – Norman McLeod
    How I Won The War – Richard Lester
    I Heart Huckabees – David O Russell
    I’ll Never Forget What’s’isname – Michael Winner
    The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus – Terry Gilliam
    The Importance of Being Earnest – Anthony Asquith
    Inception – Christopher Nolan
    Insomnia – Christopher Nolan
    The Invisible Man – James Whale
    Juno – Jason Reitman
    Kill Bill Vol. 2 – Quentin Tarantino
    The King’s Speech – Tom Hooper
    King Kong – Merian C Cooper and Ernest B Shoedsack
    Kinsey – Bill Condon
    The Knack

  43. Ken Hanke

    I should note that that isn’t my review of Almost Famous. In fact, if you click on it that review is non-existent. It was by my predecessor. There are others I might not rate the full five now, but I don’t think they did you any active harm.

  44. Jeremy Dylan

    There are others I might not rate the full five now, but I don’t think they did you any active harm.

    There aren’t any clunkers on there I can actually blame you for – I’ve enjoyed all the ones I’ve watched because of their presence on this list.

    I had unfortunately already watched M. HULOT’S HOLIDAY.

  45. Ken Hanke

    Tati is an acquired taste. It took me 30 or more years to acquire it.

  46. Jeremy Dylan

    Tati is an acquired taste. It took me 30 or more years to acquire it.

    So if I give this another shot when I’m 48, I should be able to stay conscious through the whole thing?

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