Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My Favorite Discoveries/First-Time Viewings of 2013

Jonas Mekas' soft-spoken, broken English; Jack Nicholson's jeans and turtlenecks; a strobed-out vision of a wolf lunging towards a tube video camera; the disconcertingly giddy smile of Götz George's apologetic murderer; a dissolve in which Jean Seberg's essence becomes water; the furniture literally floating through Raul Ruiz's set; a man and his dog dissolving into the back of a frame through a swirling storm of snow and film grain; Roddy Piper's one-liners; the palpable texture of Gunvor Nelson's film stock; Michel Terrazon's lost little brat scurrying around the frame in a derelict French countryside; the hilarious way in which Mark Borchardt and Mike Schank communicate; a glance – loaded with the weight of historical unfairness – of a black groundskeeper at an old white woman; Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson waltzing in seeming romantic bliss, their faces meanwhile dipping in and out of darkness; Craig Wasson finger-picking and humming a reflective tune while the savage chaos of the Vietnam War rages all around him. These are just a sampling of the many reasons why these first time viewings of old films have indelibly lingered throughout the year.

Titles link to writing when applicable.

1. Reminiscences of Journey to Lithuania (Mekas, US, 1972)

2. 2046 (Wong Kar-Wai, China, 2004)

3. Five Easy Pieces (Rafelson, US, 1970)

4. Army of Shadows (Melville, France, 1969)

5. I Do Not Know What It Is I Am Like (Viola, US, 1986)

6. The Deathmaker (Karmakar, Germany, 1995)

7. Lilith (Rossen, US, 1964)

8. Time Regained (Ruiz, Portugal, 1999)

9. Zorn’s Lemma (Frampton, US, 1970)

10. Beau Travail (Denis, France, 1999)

11. The Mother and The Whore (Eustache, France, 1973)

12. Nostalgia for the Light (Guzmán, Chile, 2010)

13. They Live (Carpenter, US, 1988)

14. Mauvais Sang (Carax, France, 1986)

15. Light Years (Nelson, Sweden, 1987, Short)

16. Innocence (Hadzihalilovic, France, 2004)

17. Mississippi Mermaid (Truffaut, France, 1969)

18. Monkey Business (Hawks, US, 1952)

19. American Movie (Smith, US, 1999)

20. L’Enfance Nue (Pialat, France, 1968)

21. The Thing (Carpenter, US, 1982)

22. King of New York (Ferrara, US, 1990)

23. Journey to Italy (Rossellini, Italy, 1954)

24. Make Way for Tomorrow (McCarey, US, 1937)

25. Schuss! (Rey, France, 2006)

26. The Aviator’s Wife (Rohmer, France, 1981)

27. Duck Soup (McCarey, US, 1933)

28. Le Pont du Nord (Rivette, France, 1981)

29. Plumbline (Schneemann, US, 1968-71)

30. Backyard (McElwee, US, 1984)

31. The Evil Dead (Raimi, US, 1981)

32. The Stolen Man (Piñeiro, Argentina, 2007)

33. The Boys in Company C (Furie, US, 1978)

34. Faust (Murnau, Germany, 1926)

35. Ah, Liberty! (Rivers, UK, 2008, Short)

36. Black Sabbath (Bava, Italy, 1963)

37. China Gate (Fuller, US, 1957)

38. Magnificent Obsession (Sirk, US, 1954)

39. Utamoro and His Five Women (Mizoguchi, Japan, 1946)

40. Go! Go! Go! (Menken, US, 1962-64)

1 comment:

Adam Zanzie said...

Can't go wrong with Five Easy Pieces, The Thing, Duck Soup and the original Evil Dead.

I watched Mississippi Mermaid once in community college, but I thought it was one of Truffaut's more forgettable films... though an undressed Catherine Deneuve is certainly a plus.