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1001 films you must see before you die- Part VII: 1955-1959

Página 3 de 3. Precedente  1, 2, 3

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VII: 1955-1959

Mensaje  JM el Miér Oct 28, 2009 3:45 pm

334
Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)




Although it wasn't a box-office success when originally released in 1958, Vertigo has since taken its deserved place as Alfred Hitchcock's greatest, most spellbinding, most deeply personal achievement. In fact, it consistently ranks among the top 10 movies ever made in the once-a-decade Sight & Sound international critics poll, placing at number 4 in the most recent survey. (Universal Pictures' spectacularly gorgeous 1996 restoration and rerelease of this 1958 Paramount production was a tremendous success with the public, too.) James Stewart plays a retired police detective who is hired by an old friend to follow his wife (a superb Kim Novak, in what becomes a double role), whom he suspects of being possessed by the spirit of a dead madwoman. The detective and the disturbed woman fall ("fall" is indeed the operative word) in love and...well, to give away any more of the story would be criminal. Shot around San Francisco (the Golden Gate Bridge and the Palace of the Legion of Honor are significant locations) and elsewhere in Northern California (the redwoods, Mission San Juan Batista) in rapturous Technicolor, Vertigo is as lovely as it is haunting.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VII: 1955-1959

Mensaje  JM el Miér Oct 28, 2009 3:48 pm

335
Popiol i diament (Ashes and diamonds) (Andrzej Wajda, 1958)




With Ashes and Diamonds, Andrzej Wajda completed his trilogy concerning the Polish experience during World War II. It is the last day of the war, and a young Republican resistance fighter, Maciek, has been assigned to assassinate a high ranking member of the Communist resistance. Maciek's experiences leading up to the killing--his contact with the kindly Communist leader, his romance with a young barmaid--seriously undermine his initial allegiance to the dying Republican cause. Director (and former resistance member) Wajda brilliantly portrays the fratricidal impulses guiding Poland immediately after the war--impulses which ultimately prostrated Poland under a Communist regime for decades. The directionlessness and confusion of postwar Poland is evident in Wajda's treatment and, although it is never directly seen, the Soviet Union's Red Army is unmistakably present. In its entirety, the trilogy of A Generation, Kanal, and Ashes and Diamonds devastatingly documents the death of Old Central Europe. However, it is a testament to Wajda's talent that Ashes and Diamonds can easily stand on its own.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VII: 1955-1959

Mensaje  JM el Jue Oct 29, 2009 1:02 pm

336
Horror of Dracula (Terence Fisher, 1958)




After Hammer Studios' tremendous success with The Curse of Frankenstein, they struck a deal to adapt Universal's catalog of classics and set their sights first on Dracula. Christopher Lee removes the monstrous makeup from the earlier film and makes his entrance as an elegant, confident, altogether seductive Dracula, a frightening figure of flashing eyes and erotic allure. Peter Cushing, with his hawklike profile and piercing eyes, turns his rationalist intensity to Van Helsing: man of science as crusading vampire hunter. Director Terence Fisher and screenwriter Jimmy Sangster make a few changes to Bram Stoker's tale; gone are Renfield, Transylvania, howling wolves, and transformations into bats. The Count is an old-world aristocrat firmly ensconced in a castle in England and Van Helsing a crusading vampire hunter who plots his demise with an elaborate plan. This is the first film to really mine the erotic appeal of vampires: Dracula seduces Mina and Lucy like a devil tempting good to the dark side through sex--more suggestive than explicit, but daring for 1958. Lee is electric as the ferocious Count, despite his limited screen time, and Cushing turns Van Helsing into a virtual swashbuckler of a hero, leaping and diving through the climax like an aging action hero. Cushing reprises his role in The Brides of Dracula, while Lee absented himself from the series until 1966's Dracula: Prince of Darkness.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VII: 1955-1959

Mensaje  JM el Jue Oct 29, 2009 1:05 pm

337
Mon oncle (My uncle) (Jacques Tati, 1958)




A comic masterpiece from director-star Jacques Tati (Playtime, Traffic), this 1958 film--Tati's first in color--reprises the carefree, oblivious title character from the director's hilarious international hit Mr. Hulot's Holiday. This time, the story finds Hulot, a self-involved twit on a constant collision with the physical world, grappling with 1950s-style progress. Visiting his sister and brother-in-law in their ultra-progressive household full of noisy gadgets and futuristic decor, Hulot inevitably has dust-ups with modernity, each one exceptionally funny. Taking a page from Buster Keaton's playbook, Tati also employs his trademark techniques with sound and production design to achieve the indefinable, comic genius of his films: the rhythmic clacking of footsteps, the cartoon-panel distance of his camera frame from the heart of the action. (Why are funny things funnier when seen from a few extra feet away?) Tati is one of the cinema's great treasures, and this movie is unforgettable.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VII: 1955-1959

Mensaje  JM el Jue Oct 29, 2009 1:08 pm

338
Jalsaghar (The music room) (Satyajit Ray, 1958)




Jalsaghar was released in 1958, sometimes released in the English-speaking world as Jalsaghar: The Music Room, is the fourth feature film directed by Satyajit Ray. Based on a novel of the same name by Tarashankar Bandopadhyay, the film is a detailed dramatic study of the last days of a zamindar - a semi-feudal landlord in Bengal. Told with a detail and sense of empathy that typify Ray's films, Jalsaghar drew high praise internationally (e.g. Bosley Crowther in The New York Times, Derek Malcolm in The Guardian), and is discussed in the second volume of Roger Ebert's Great Movies as a landmark film in global cinema.
The film features much excellent footage of Hindustani classical vocal and instrumental music, as well as classical dance. The musical score is by Vilayat Khan (although the credits for the Sony Pictures Classics video release mistakenly list Ravi Shankar as composer) and several major performers, including Begum Akhtar (first singer; sometimes credited as Akhtari Bai), Roshan Kumari (kathak dancer), Ustad Bismillah Khan and Company, Waheed Khan (surbahar player), and Salamat Ali Khan (second, khyal singer; sometimes credited as Salamat Khan) also appear in the film.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VII: 1955-1959

Mensaje  JM el Jue Oct 29, 2009 1:16 pm

339
Les quatre cents coups (The 400 blows) (François Truffaut, 1959)




Francois Truffaut's first feature was this 1959 portrait of Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud), a boy who turns to petty crime in the face of neglect at home and hard times at a reform school. Somewhat autobiographical for its director, the film helped usher in the heady spirit of the French New Wave, and introduced the Doinel character, who became a fixture in Truffaut's movies over the years. Poignant, exhilarating, and fun (there's a parade of cameo appearances from some of the essential icons and directors from the movement), this film is an important classic.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VII: 1955-1959

Mensaje  JM el Jue Oct 29, 2009 1:51 pm

340
North by Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock, 1959)




A strong candidate for the most sheerly entertaining and enjoyable movie ever made by a Hollywood studio (with Citizen Kane, Only Angels Have Wings and Trouble in Paradise running neck and neck). Positioned between the much heavier and more profoundly disturbing Vertigo (1958) and the stark horror of Psycho (1960), North by Northwest (1959) is Alfred Hitchcock at his most effervescent in a romantic comedy-thriller that also features one of the definitive Cary Grant performances. Which is not to say that this is just "Hitchcock Lite"; seminal Hitchcock critic Robin Wood (in his book Hitchcock's Films Revisited) makes an airtight case for this glossy MGM production as one of The Master's "unbroken series of masterpieces from Vertigo to Marnie." It's a classic Hitchcock Wrong Man scenario: Grant is Roger O. Thornhill (initials ROT), an advertising executive who is mistaken by enemy spies for a U.S. undercover agent named George Kaplan. Convinced these sinister fellows (James Mason as the boss, and Martin Landau as his henchman) are trying to kill him, Roger flees and meets a sexy Stranger on a Train (Eva Marie Saint), with whom he engages in one of the longest, most convolutedly choreographed kisses in screen history. And, of course, there are the famous set pieces: the stabbing at the United Nations, the crop-duster plane attack in the cornfield (where a pedestrian has no place to hide), and the cliffhanger finale atop the stone faces of Mount Rushmore. Plus a sparkling Ernest Lehman script and that pulse-quickening Bernard Herrmann score. What more could a moviegoer possibly desire?


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VII: 1955-1959

Mensaje  JM el Jue Oct 29, 2009 1:52 pm

341
Some like it hot (Billy Wilder, 1959)




Maybe "nobody's perfect," as one character in this masterpiece suggests. But some movies are perfect, and Some Like It Hot is one of them. In Chicago, during the Prohibition era, two skirt-chasing musicians, Joe and Jerry (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon), inadvertently witness the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. In order to escape the wrath of gangland chief Spats Colombo (George Raft), the boys, in drag, join an all-woman band headed for Florida. They vie for the attention of the lead singer, Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe), a much-disappointed songbird who warbles "I'm Through with Love" but remains vulnerable to yet another unreliable saxophone player. (When Curtis courts her without his dress, he adopts the voice of Cary Grant--a spot-on impersonation.) The script by director Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond is beautifully measured; everything works, like a flawless clock. Aspiring screenwriters would be well advised to throw away the how-to books and simply study this film. The bulk of the slapstick is handled by an unhinged Lemmon and the razor-sharp Joe E. Brown, who plays a horny retiree smitten by Jerry's feminine charms. For all the gags, the film is also wonderfully romantic, as Wilder indulges in just the right amounts of moonlight and the lilting melody of "Park Avenue Fantasy." Some Like It Hot is so delightfully fizzy, it's hard to believe the shooting of the film was a headache, with an unhappy Monroe on her worst behavior. The results, however, are sublime.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VII: 1955-1959

Mensaje  JM el Jue Oct 29, 2009 1:53 pm

342
Anatomy of a murder (Otto Preminger, 1959)




Otto Preminger turned this 1959 courtroom drama, based on the popular novel, into terrific adult drama. James Stewart stars as a small-town lawyer who defends an army officer (Ben Gazzara) accused of murdering a bartender who assaulted his wife (Lee Remick). The taut script, large performance by Stewart, and then-daring elements of the story (words like "panties" are spoken in the context of discussing a sex crime) give the action a certain immediacy--which you don't find very often in today's movies about jurisprudence. Nice work by Remick and Gazzara, as well as George C. Scott, Arthur O'Connell, and real-life judge Joseph N. Welch, who plays the judge in this film. A very good experience all around.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VII: 1955-1959

Mensaje  JM el Vie Oct 30, 2009 12:16 pm

343
Les yeux sans visage (Eyes without a face) (Georges Franju, 1959)




Georges Franju brings a haunting poetry to this lyrical and horrifying 1959 French classic. Dr. Genessier (Pierre Brasseur), a famed plastic surgeon, lures a young woman to his secluded mansion with the help of his mistress Louise (Alida Valli), where he proceeds to remove their faces in an attempt to restore his daughter's scarred visage. Christiane (Edith Scob), disfigured in car accident caused by her guilt-ridden father, hides behind a spooky blank mask that exposes only her sad, lonely eyes, which seem to lose a little more life after each failed graft. Franju's cool presentation gives an unsettling edge to the picture, from the uncomfortably quiet family dinners to Christiane's hesitant explorations of her father's laboratory to the unflinching views of Genessier's bloody operations. Reminiscent of Cocteau's fantasy imagery in Beauty and the Beast, Franju creates an eerie poetry of the doctor's sadistic experiments, culminating in an astonishingly brutal and beautiful finale. The screenplay was cowritten by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac, authors of the novels which became Les Diaboliques and Vertigo. Originally titled Les Yeux Sans Visage upon its original French release, the film was cut, dubbed, and renamed The Horror Chamber of Doctor Faustus for American distribution in 1962, but was restored years later for American re-release.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VII: 1955-1959

Mensaje  JM el Vie Oct 30, 2009 12:20 pm

344
Ride lonesome (Budd Boetticher, 1959)




Ride Lonesome (1959) is one of Budd Boetticher's "Ranown" westerns starring Randolph Scott, part of a series of films that began with Seven Men from Now.
It is another variation on the same theme of an aging man (usually a former lawman) who finds himself in a situation where he must protect a married or widowed woman from threats including a likeable villain.
In this case the woman is Karen Steele and the villain is Pernell Roberts. An added dimension is that Scott has a secret past and that he is transporting a murderer (James Best) for the reward (which the likeable villain also covets) while being pursued by the murderer's brother Lee Van Cleef.
This film marked the screen debut of James Coburn as Whit, the well-meaning sidekick of Roberts.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VII: 1955-1959

Mensaje  JM el Vie Oct 30, 2009 1:22 pm

345
Orfeu negro (Black Orpheus) (Marcel Camus, 1959)




Marcel Camus's 1959 update of the Greek myth features an all-black cast and a story set in the frenetic energy of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. Orpheus, a trolley car conductor and superb samba dancer, is engaged to Mira but in love with Eurydice. For his change of heart, Orpheus and his new doomed lover are pursued by a vengeful Mira and a determined Death through the feverish Carnival night. Camus at once demystifies and remystifies the old story, shifting not only its location but its tone and context, forcing a reevaluation of the legend as a more passionate, pulsing, sensual experience. The film is really one-of-a-kind, an absolute whirl that barely needs words.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VII: 1955-1959

Mensaje  JM el Vie Oct 30, 2009 1:23 pm

346
Shadows (John Cassavettes, 1959)




Shadows (1959) is an improvisational film about interracial relations during the Beat Generation years in New York City, and was written and directed by John Cassavetes. The film stars Ben Carruthers, Lelia Goldoni, Hugh Hurd, and Anthony Ray. Many film scholars consider Shadows one of the highlights of independent film in the U.S.
Cassavetes shot the film twice, once in 1957 and again in 1959. The second version is the one Cassavetes favored; though he did screen the first version, he eventually lost track of the print, and for decades it was believed to have been lost or destroyed.
Film critic Leonard Maltin calls Cassavetes' second version of Shadows "a watershed in the birth of American independent cinema". The movie was shot with a 16 mm handheld camera on the streets of New York. Much of the dialogue was improvised, and the crew were class members or volunteers. The jazz-infused score, some of which is composed by jazz legend Charles Mingus, underlines the movie's Beat Generation theme of alienation and raw emotion. The movie's plot features an interracial relationship, which was still a taboo subject in Eisenhower-era America.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VII: 1955-1959

Mensaje  JM el Vie Oct 30, 2009 1:25 pm

347
Apu Sansar (The world of Apu) (Satyajit Ray, 1959)




If you ever feel like you've got it tough, watch the Apu trilogy by Satyajit Ray. The World of Apu is the third story in Ray's magnum opus. And yes... things can get worse for our hero, Apu (Soumitra Chatterjee). By now it's the early 1930s, and Apu is a grown man. A dreamer and a writer like his long-dead father, Apu is working on a novel about his life.
When his best friend Pulu (Swapan Mukherjee) asks him to his sister's wedding, Apu has no idea that he'll be the one going home with the bride. Poor Aparna (Sharmila Tagore) is betrothed to an insane man and when his illness becomes apparent, the wedding is cancelled. But Aparna will be cursed unless another bridegroom is found. Apu, in a weak moment, agrees to marry Aparna in return for a job.
Then the unexpected happens. Aparna and Apu fall deeply in love. But will it last? Knowing Apu's luck in the past, the obvious answer is "no," and when Aparna dies in childbirth, Apu is left hating his son, Kajal. Finally, driven by guilt, Apu approaches his son, five years after the death of his beloved wife. Will they be able to salvage some happiness in an already too bleak life? You won't be disappointed in the outcome.
This last installment will leave you wishing Ray had made Apu IV. The music is by Ravi Shankar.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VII: 1955-1959

Mensaje  JM el Vie Oct 30, 2009 1:30 pm

348
A bout de souffle (Breathless) (Jean-Luc Godard, 1959)




The movie that heralded the French New Wave movement, this lean and exciting 1959 film directed by Jean-Luc Godard (A Woman Is a Woman, Weekend) broke new ground not only in its unorthodox use of editing and hand-held photography, but in its unflinching and nonjudgmental portrayal of amoral youth. Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg play two young lovers on the run from the law after Belmondo kills a cop and steals a car. Soon they are on an odyssey through the streets of Paris searching for some money he is owed so that he and his American girlfriend can escape to Italy. As a chase picture it features some startling photography on the streets of Paris, but as a romance it defies expectations, existing as part tragedy and part Bonnie and Clyde crime movie. The result is a wholly original film experience. Inspiring not only a remake starring Richard Gere but numerous films and television series, Breathless is an essential part of motion picture history.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VII: 1955-1959

Mensaje  JM el Vie Oct 30, 2009 1:32 pm

349
Ben-Hur (William Wyler, 1959)




Ben-Hur scooped an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards® in 1959 and, unlike some later rivals, richly deserved every single one. This is epic filmmaking on a scale that had not been seen before and is unlikely ever to be seen again. But it's not just running time or a cast of thousands that makes an epic, it's the subject matter, and here the subject--Prince Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) and his estrangement from old Roman pal Messala (Stephen Boyd)--is rich, detailed, and sensitively handled. Director William Wyler, who had been a junior assistant on MGM's original silent version back in 1925, never sacrifices the human focus of the story in favor of spectacle, and is aided immeasurably by Miklos Rozsa's majestic musical score, arguably the greatest ever written for a Hollywood picture. At four hours it's a long haul (especially given some of the portentous dialogue), but all in all, Ben-Hur is a great movie, best seen on the biggest screen possible.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VII: 1955-1959

Mensaje  JM el Vie Oct 30, 2009 1:33 pm

350
Pickpocket (Robert Bresson, 1959)




Robert Bresson drew inspiration from Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment for this examination of an arrogant young pickpocket who deems himself above the laws and conditions of ordinary men. Michel (Martin LaSalle), a rather bland-looking young man with a perpetually blank face, haunts the subways, city streets, and racetracks to ply his trade. He plays a game of wits with a fatherly police inspector and walls his heart off from the affections of a quiet young woman, Jeanne (Marika Green), who looks after his dying mother. Bresson's direction of his "models" (as he calls his nonprofessional performers) strips them of affectation and motivation, making them blank slates defined by the accumulation of precisely drilled actions and words. Pickpocket is no thriller, though Bresson offers impressive, meticulously detailed scenes of daring and intimate robberies (one sequence on a subway feels like an homage to Sam Fuller's Pickup on South Street). Rather, it is a powerful, profound search for meaning and spiritual enlightenment by a man who believes in nothing but himself, and many critics consider it Bresson's masterpiece. Paul Schrader, whose book Transcendental Cinema offers a detailed analysis of Bresson's work, has quoted the famous, emotionally restrained yet spiritually moving conclusion in two of his own films: American Gigolo and Light Sleeper.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VII: 1955-1959

Mensaje  JM el Vie Oct 30, 2009 1:35 pm

351
Hiroshima mon amour (Alain Resnais, 1959)




An extraordinary and deeply moving film that retains much of its power since its original release in 1959, Alain Resnais's Hiroshima, Mon Amour is the story of a French woman (Emmanuelle Riva) and a Japanese man (Eiji Okada) who become lovers in the city of Hiroshima, where the U.S. dropped a nuclear bomb to end World War II in the Pacific. Written by Marguerite Duras and juggled, as if by wandering thoughts, in chronology and setting by Resnais, the film reveals the miserable and mortifying experiences of each character during the war and suggests the obvious healing properties of their relationship in the present. An emotional allusion or two can certainly be made with the more recent The English Patient, but nothing can quite prepare one for Resnais's extreme yet intuitively accessible experiments in fusing the past, present, and future into great sweeps of subjectively experienced memory. Yet audiences have never had trouble relating to this bold milestone of the French New Wave, largely because at its heart is a genuinely affecting, soulful love story.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VII: 1955-1959

Mensaje  JM el Vie Oct 30, 2009 1:37 pm

352
Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks, 1959)




When it comes down to naming the best Western of all time, the list usually narrows to three completely different pictures: John Ford's The Searchers, Howard Hawks's Red River, and Hawks's Rio Bravo. About the only thing they all have in common is that they all star John Wayne. But while The Searchers is an epic quest for revenge and Red River is a sweeping cattle-drive drama ("Take 'em to Missouri! Yeeee-hah!"), Rio Bravo is on a much more modest scale. Basically, it comes down to Sheriff John T. Chance (Wayne), his sobering-up alcoholic friend Dude (Dean Martin), the hotshot new kid Colorado (Ricky Nelson), and deputy-sidekick Stumpy (Walter Brennan), sittin' around in the town jail, drinkin' black cofee, shootin' the breeze, and occasionally, singin' a song. Hawks--who, like his pal Ernest Hemingway, lived by the code of "grace under pressure"--said he made Rio Bravo as a rebuke to High Noon, in which sheriff Gary Cooper begged for townspeople to help him. So, Hawks made Wayne's Sheriff Chance a consummate professional--he may be getting old and fat, but he knows how to do his job, and he doesn't want amateurs getting mixed up in his business; they could get hurt. This most entertaining of movies also achieved some notoriety in the '90s when Quentin Tarantino (director of Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, and Jackie Brown) revealed that he uses it as a litmus test for prospective girlfriends. Oh, and if the configuration of characters sounds familiar, it should: Hawks remade Rio Bravo two more times--as El Dorado in 1967, with Wayne, Robert Mitchum, and James Caan; and as Rio Lobo in 1970, with Wayne, Jack Elam, and Christopher Mitchum.


JM

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