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1001 films you must see before you die Part XVII: Appendix

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1001 films you must see before you die Part XVII: Appendix

Mensaje  JM el Miér Ene 20, 2010 1:33 pm

1001 films you must see before you die
Part XVII: Appendix


There have been several editions since this list was first published in 2002. Some films have been replaced from one edition to another. And these are the films that have been deleted from the 2007 edition, which is the one we have listed in our forum, and the films which have been added later.

[center]1002
Adaptation (Spike Jonze, 2002)



Twisty brilliance from screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and director Spike Jonze, the team who created Being John Malkovich. Nicolas Cage returns to form with a funny, sad, and sneaky performance as Charlie Kaufman, a self-loathing screenwriter who has been hired to adapt Susan Orlean's book The Orchid Thief into a screenplay. Frustrated and infatuated by Orlean's elegant but plotless book (which is largely a rumination on flowers), Kaufman begins to write a screenplay about himself trying to write a screenplay about The Orchid Thief, all the while hounded by his twin brother Donald (Cage again), who's cheerfully writing the kind of formulaic action movie that Kaufman finds repugnant. By its conclusion, Adaptation is the most artistically ambitious, most utterly cynical, and most uncategorizable movie ever to come out of Hollywood. Also starring Meryl Streep (as Susan Orlean), Chris Cooper, Tilda Swinton, and Brian Cox; superb performances throughout.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XVII: Appendix

Mensaje  JM el Miér Ene 20, 2010 1:36 pm

1003
Far from heaven (Todd Haynes, 2002)



This uniquely beautiful film--from one of the smartest and most idiosyncratic of contemporary directors, Todd Haynes (Safe, Velvet Goldmine)--takes the lush 1950s visual style of so-called women's pictures (particularly those of Douglas Sirk, director of Imitation of Life and Magnificent Obsession) to tell a story that mixes both sexual and racial prejudice. Julianne Moore, an amazing fusion of vulnerability and will power, plays a housewife whose husband (Dennis Quaid) has a secret gay life. When she finds solace in the company of a black gardener (Dennis Haysbert), rumors and peer pressure destroy any chance she has at happiness. It's astonishing how a movie with such a stylized veneer can be so emotionally compelling; the cast and filmmakers have such an impeccable command of the look and feel of the genre that every moment is simultaneously artificial and deeply felt. Far from Heaven is ingenious and completely engrossing.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XVII: Appendix

Mensaje  JM el Miér Ene 20, 2010 1:42 pm

1004
Les invasions barbares (The Barbarian Invasions- Denys Arcand, 2003)



The intriguing Denys Arcand (director of Jesus of Montreal and Stardom) returns to the lusty, cantankerous intellectuals of his first film, The Decline of the American Empire. Remy (Remy Girard), a history professor, is dying of cancer, and his estranged and financially successful son Sebastien (Stephane Rousseau) returns to care for the old man. With the power of money, Sebastien cuts through bureaucracy and the law to give his father some comfort--comfort that Remy accepts with reluctance, because in his eyes the unintellectual Sebastian has betrayed all of Remy's principles. Old friends arrive and soon the conversation turns to sex, religion, history, sex, academia, sex--The Barbarian Invasions isn't very focused, but the very breadth of its ideas makes it worth seeing; few movies even try to grapple with morality or the state of our culture, let alone with this kind of intelligence and grace.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XVII: Appendix

Mensaje  JM el Miér Ene 20, 2010 1:45 pm

1005
The Accidental Tourist (Lawrence Kasdan, 1988)



Lawrence Kasdan adapted Anne Tyler's novel into this mopey comedy which, oddly enough, took the New York Film Critics Circle's best picture award (a case of strategic voting getting out of hand). William Hurt plays a depressed travel writer struggling to come to terms with his son's death. He buys a dog for companionship, then hires an eccentric dog trainer (Geena Davis, who won an Oscar for her role) to teach it to behave. She, in turn, teaches him to reconnect to life. But as he is beginning to admit his feelings for her to himself, he is blindsided by the return of his estranged wife (Kathleen Turner), who attempts to rekindle their marriage. A muffled, low-key affair--so low-key that it sometimes seems positively stationary.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XVII: Appendix

Mensaje  JM el Miér Ene 20, 2010 1:47 pm

1006
Bram Stoker's Dracula (Francis Ford Coppola, 1992)



With dizzying cinematic tricks and astonishing performances, Francis Coppola's 1992 version of the oft-filmed Dracula story is one of the most exuberant, extravagant films of the 1990s. Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder, as the Count and Mina Murray, are quite a pair of star-crossed lovers. She's betrothed to another man; he can't kick the habit of feeding off the living. Anthony Hopkins plays Van Helsing, the vampire slayer, with tongue firmly in cheek. Tom Waits is great fun as Renfield, the hapless slave of Dracula who craves the blood of insects and cats. Sadie Frost is a sexy Lucy Westenra. And poor Keanu Reeves, as Jonathan Harker, has the misfortune to be seduced by Dracula's three half-naked wives. There's a little bit of everything in this version of Dracula: gore, high-speed horseback chases, passion, and longing.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XVII: Appendix

Mensaje  JM el Miér Ene 20, 2010 1:50 pm

1007
Candyman (Bernard Rose, 1992)



Based on a story by Clive Barker and skillfully written and directed by Bernard Rose, Candyman rises above most horror films by eerily suggesting that some urban legends--in this case a particularly frightening one--have a spooky basis in reality. The legend of the Candyman is a potent one around the high-rise tenements of Chicago's Cabrini-Green housing complex, where the residents speak of a dark, ominous figure who appears when his victims say his name five times in front of a mirror, then mercilessly slashes them to death. Upon learning that the Candyman is rumored to live in one of the vacant tenements, a University of Illinois researcher (Virginia Madsen) investigates a recent murder at Cabrini-Green. She learns that the Candyman (played by Tony Todd) is both unreal and chillingly real--a supernatural force of evil empowered by those who believe in his legend. He is a killer made flesh by the belief of others, and the young researcher's investigation is a threat to his existence. What happens next? We wouldn't dare spoil the chills, but rest assured that writer-director Rose has tapped into a wellspring of urban angst and fear, and Candyman serves up its gruesome frights with a refreshing dose of intelligence.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XVII: Appendix

Mensaje  JM el Miér Ene 20, 2010 1:53 pm

1008
The age of innocence (Martin Scorsese, 1993)



Martin Scorsese does not sound like the logical choice to direct an adaptation of Edith Wharton's novel about manners and morals in New York society in the 1870s. But these are mean streets, too, and the psychological violence inflicted between characters is at least as damaging as the physical violence perpetrated by Scorsese's usual gangsters. At the center of the tale is Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis), a somewhat diffident young man engaged to marry the very respectable May Welland (Winona Ryder). But Archer is distracted by May's cousin, the Countess Olenska (a radiant Michelle Pfeiffer), recently returned from Europe. As a married woman seeking a divorce, the countess is an embarrassment to all of New York society. But Archer is fascinated by her quick intelligence and worldly ways. Scorsese closely observes the tiny details of this world and this impossible situation; this is a movie in which the shift of someone's eyes can be as significant as the firing of a gun. The director's sense of color has never been keener, and his work with the actors is subtle. That's Joanne Woodward narrating, telling us only as much as we need to know--which is one reason why the climax comes as such a surprise.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XVII: Appendix

Mensaje  JM el Miér Ene 20, 2010 1:57 pm

1009
Strange days (Kathryn Bigelow, 1995)



James Cameron wrote the script for this not-so-futuristic science fiction tale about a former vice cop (Ralph Fiennes) who now sells addicting, virtual reality clips that allow a user to experience the recorded sensations of others. He becomes embroiled in a murder conspiracy, tries to save a former girlfriend (Juliette Lewis), and has a romance with his chauffeur and bodyguard (Angela Bassett). Cameron's ex-wife, director Kathryn Bigelow (Point Break), brought the whole, busy, violent enterprise to the screen, and while the film's socially relevant heart is in the right place, its excesses wear one out. Some of the casting doesn't quite click either: Fiennes isn't really right for his nervous role, and Lewis is annoying (and unbelievable as the hero's much-yearned-for former squeeze). Expect some ugly if daring moments with the virtual reality stuff.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XVII: Appendix

Mensaje  JM el Miér Ene 20, 2010 1:59 pm

1010
The pillow book (Peter Greenaway, 1996)



Peter Greenaway (The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, Drowning by Numbers) continues to delight and disturb us with his talent for combining storytelling with optic artistry. The Pillow Book is divided into 10 chapters (consistent with Greenaway's love of numbers and lists) and is shot to be viewed like a book, complete with tantalizing illustrations and footnotes (subtitles) and using television's "screen-in-screen" technology. As a child in Japan, Nagiko's father celebrates her birthday retelling the Japanese creation myth and writing on her flesh in beautiful calligraphy, while her aunt reads a list of "beautiful things" from a 10th-century pillow book. As she gets older, Nagiko (Vivian Wu) looks for a lover with calligraphy skills to continue the annual ritual. She is initially thrilled when she encounters Jerome (Ewan McGregor), a bisexual translator who can speak and write several languages, but soon realizes that although he is a magnificent lover, his penmanship is less than acceptable. When Nagiko dismisses the enamored Jerome, he suggests she use his flesh as the pages which to present her own pillow book. The film, complete with a musical score as international as the languages used in the narration, is visually hypnotic and truly an immense "work of art."


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XVII: Appendix

Mensaje  JM el Miér Ene 20, 2010 3:50 pm

1011
Kundun (Martin Scorsese, 1997)



It would be a mistake to call Kundun a disappointment, or a film that director Martin Scorsese was not equipped to create. Both statements may be true to some viewers, but they ignore the higher purpose of Scorsese's artistic intention and take away from a film that is by any definition unique. In chronicling the life of the 14th Dalai Lama, Kundun defies conventional narrative in favor of an episodic approach, presenting a sequential flow of events from the life of the young leader of Buddhist Tibet. From the moment he is recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama in 1937 to his exile from Tibet in the wake of China's invasion, the Dalai Lama is seen as an enlightened spiritual figurehead. This gives the film its tone of serenity and reverence but denies us the privilege of admiring the Dalai Lama as a fascinating human character. There's a sense of mild detachment between the film and its audience, but its visual richness offers ample compensation. In close collaboration with cinematographer Roger Deakins, Scorsese filmed Kundun with great pageantry and ritual, and meticulous attention to details of costume, color, and the casting of actual Buddhist monks in the scenes at the Dalai Lama's palace. Certain images will linger in the memory for a long time, such as the Dalai Lama's nightmarish vision of standing among hundreds of dead monks, their lives sacrificed in pacifist defiance of Chinese aggression. Is this a film you'll want to watch repeatedly? Perhaps not. But as a political drama and an elegant gesture of devotion, Kundun is a film of great value and inspirational beauty--one, after all, that perhaps only Scorsese could have made.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XVII: Appendix

Mensaje  JM el Miér Ene 20, 2010 3:53 pm

1012
Lock, stock and two smoking barrels (Guy Ritchie, 1998)



Cockney boys Tom, Soap, Eddie, and Bacon are in a bind; they owe seedy criminal and porn king "Hatchet" Harry a sizable amount of cash after Eddie loses half a million in a rigged game of poker. Hot on their tails is a thug named Big Chris who intends to send them all to the hospital if they don't come up with the cash in the allotted time. Add into the mix an incompetent set of ganja cultivators, two dimwitted robbers, a "madman" with an afro, and a ruthless band of drug dealers and you have an astonishing movie called Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Before the boys can blink, they are caught up in a labyrinth of double-crosses that lead to a multitude of dead bodies, copious amounts of drugs, and two antique rifles.
Written and directed by talented newcomer Guy Ritchie, this is one of those movies that was destined to become an instant cult classic à la Reservoir Dogs. Although some comparisons were drawn between Ritchie and Quentin Tarantino, it would be unfair to discount the brilliant wit of the story and the innovative camerawork that the director brings to his debut feature. Not since The Krays has there been such an accurate depiction of the East End and its more colorful characters. Indicative of the social stratosphere in London, Ritchie's movie is a hilarious and at times touching account of friendships and loyalty. The director and his mates (who make up most of the cast) clearly are enjoying themselves here. This comes across in some shining performances, in particular from ex-footballer Vinnie Jones (Big Chris) and an over-the-top Vas Blackwood (as Rory Breaker), who very nearly steals the show. Full of quirky vernacular and clever tension-packed action sequences, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is a triumph--a perfect blend of intelligence, humor, and suspense.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XVII: Appendix

Mensaje  JM el Jue Ene 21, 2010 12:45 pm

1013
Juyuso seubgyuksageun
(Attack the gas station- Kim Sang-Jin, 1999)



Attack the Gas Station! (Korean: 주유소 습격 사건) is a action crime comedy film, directed by Sang-Jin Kim and written by Park Jeong-woo. It was released in 1999.
The film tells the story of a quartet of thugs who rob a gas station out of sheer boredom, having robbed it only a few days previous. Unable to get any money from the register, they take everyone hostage and start dispensing gas and keeping the money. The film becomes progressively more and more farcical as the characters find different ways of amusing themselves, mostly through the mixed cast of characters that come in through the gas station. However, it's only a matter of time before they start upsetting the wrong people.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XVII: Appendix

Mensaje  JM el Jue Ene 21, 2010 12:53 pm

1014
Eyes wide shut (Stanley Kubrick, 1999)



It was inevitable that Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut would be the most misunderstood film of 1999. Kubrick died four months prior to its release, and there was no end to speculation how much he would have tinkered with the picture, changed it, "fixed" it. We'll never know. But even without the haunting enigma of the director's death--and its eerie echo/anticipation in the scene when Dr. Bill Harford (Tom Cruise) visits the deathbed of one of his patients--Eyes Wide Shut would have perplexed and polarized viewers and reviewers. After all, virtually every movie of Kubrick's post-U.S. career had; only 1964's Dr. Strangelove opened to something approaching consensus. Quite apart from the author's tinkering, Kubrick's movies themselves always seemed to change--partly because they changed us, changed the world and the ways we experienced and understood it. And we may expect Eyes Wide Shut to do the same. Unlike Kubrick himself, it has time.
So consider, as we settle in to live with this long, advisedly slow, mesmerizing film, how challenging and ambiguous its narrative strategy is. The source is an Arthur Schnitzler novella titled Traumnovelle (or "Dream Story"), and it's a moot question how much of Eyes Wide Shut itself is dream, from the blue shadows frosting the Harfords' bedroom to the backstage replica of New York's Greenwich Village that Kubrick built in England. Its major movement is an imaginative night-journey (even the daylight parts of it) taken by a man reeling from his wife's teasing confession of fantasized infidelity, and toward the end there is a token gesture of the couple waking to reality and, perhaps, a new, chastened maturity. Yet on some level--visually, psychologically, logically--every scene shimmers with unreality. Is everything in the movie a dream? And if so, who is dreaming it at any given moment, and why?
Don't settle for easy answers. Kubrick's ultimate odyssey beckons. And now the dream is yours.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XVII: Appendix

Mensaje  JM el Jue Ene 21, 2010 12:57 pm

1015
O brother, where art thou? (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2000)



Only Joel and Ethan Coen, the fraternal director and producer team behind art-house hits such as The Big Lebowski and Fargo and masters of quirky and ultra-stylish genre subversion, would dare nick the plot line of Homer's Odyssey for a comic picaresque saga about three cons on the run in 1930s Mississippi. Our wandering hero in this case is one Ulysses Everett McGill, a slick-tongued wise guy with a thing about hair pomade (George Clooney, blithely sending up his own dapper image) who talks his chain-gang buddies (Coen-movie regular John Turturro and newcomer Tim Blake Nelson) into lighting out after some buried loot he claims to know of. En route they come up against a prophetic blind man on a railroad truck, a burly, one-eyed baddie (the ever-magnificent John Goodman), a trio of sexy singing ladies, a blues guitarist who's sold his soul to the devil, a brace of crooked politicos on the stump, a manic-depressive bank robber, and--well, you get the idea. Into this, their most relaxed film yet, the Coens have tossed a beguiling ragbag of inconsequential situations, a wealth of looping, left-field dialogue, and a whole stash of gags both verbal and visual. O Brother (the title's lifted from Preston Sturges's classic 1941 comedy Sullivan's Travels) is furthermore graced with glowing, burnished photography from Roger Deakins and a masterly soundtrack from T-Bone Burnett that pays loving homage to American '30s folk styles--blues, gospel, bluegrass, jazz, and more. And just to prove that the brothers haven't lost their knack for bad-taste humor, we get a Ku Klux Klan rally choreographed like a cross between a Nuremberg rally and a Busby Berkeley musical.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XVII: Appendix

Mensaje  JM el Jue Ene 21, 2010 1:01 pm

1016
A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (Steven Spielberg, 2001)



History will place an asterisk next to A.I. as the film Stanley Kubrick might have directed. But let the record also show that Kubrick--after developing this project for some 15 years--wanted Steven Spielberg to helm this astonishing sci-fi rendition of Pinocchio, claiming (with good reason) that it veered closer to Spielberg's kinder, gentler sensibilities. Spielberg inherited the project (based on the Brian Aldiss short story "Supertoys Last All Summer Long") after Kubrick's death in 1999, and the result is an astounding directorial hybrid. A flawed masterpiece of sorts, in which Spielberg's gift for wondrous enchantment often clashes (and sometimes melds) with Kubrick's harsher vision of humanity, the film spans near and distant futures with the fairy-tale adventures of an artificial boy named David (Haley Joel Osment), a marvel of cybernetic progress who wants only to be a real boy, loved by his mother in that happy place called home.
Echoes of Spielberg's Empire of the Sun are clearly heard as young David, shunned by his trial parents and tossed into an unfriendly world, is joined by fellow "mecha" Gigolo Joe (played with a dancer's agility by Jude Law) in his quest for a mother-and-child reunion. Parallels to Pinocchio intensify as David reaches "the end of the world" (a Manhattan flooded by melted polar ice caps), and a far-future epilogue propels A.I. into even deeper realms of wonder, even as it pulls Spielberg back to his comfort zone of sweetness and soothing sentiment. Some may lament the diffusion of Kubrick's original vision, but this is Spielberg's A.I. (complete with one of John Williams's finest scores), a film of astonishing technical wizardry that spans the spectrum of human emotions and offers just enough Kubrick to suggest that humanity's future is anything but guaranteed.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XVII: Appendix

Mensaje  JM el Jue Ene 21, 2010 1:04 pm

1017
Chicago (Rob Marshall, 2002)



Bob Fosse's sexy cynicism still shines in Chicago, a faithful movie adaptation of the choreographer-director's 1975 Broadway musical. Of course the story, all about merry murderesses and tabloid fame, is set in the Roaring '20s, but Chicago reeks of '70s disenchantment--this isn't just Fosse's material, it's his attitude, too. That's probably why the movie's breathless observations on fleeting fame and fickle public taste already seem dated. However, Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones are beautifully matched as Jazz Age vixens, and Richard Gere gleefully sheds his customary cool to belt out a showstopper. (Yes, they all do their own singing and dancing.) Whatever qualms musical purists may have about director Rob Marshall's cut-cut-cut style, the film's sheer exuberance is intoxicating. Given the scarcity of big-screen musicals in the last 25 years, that's a cause for singing, dancing, cheering. And all that jazz.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XVII: Appendix

Mensaje  JM el Jue Ene 21, 2010 1:08 pm

2018
Yīngxióng (Hero- Zhang Yimou, 2002)



Director Zhang Yimou brings the sumptuous visual style of his previous films (Raise the Red Lantern, Shanghai Triad) to the high-kicking kung fu genre. A nameless warrior (Jet Li, Romeo Must Die, Once Upon a Time in China) arrives at an emperor's palace with three weapons, each belonging to a famous assassin who had sworn to kill the emperor. As the nameless man spins out his story--and the emperor presents his own interpretation of what might really have happened--each episode is drenched in red, blue, white or another dominant color. Hero combines sweeping cinematography and superb performances from the cream of the Hong Kong cinema (Maggie Cheung, Irma Vep, Comrades: Almost a Love Story; Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, In the Mood for Love, Hard Boiled; and Zhang Ziyi, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). The result is stunning, a dazzling action movie with an emotional richness that deepens with every step.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XVII: Appendix

Mensaje  JM el Jue Ene 21, 2010 1:11 pm

1019
Collateral (Michael Mann, 2004)



Collateral offers a change of pace for Tom Cruise as a ruthless contract killer, but that's just one of many reasons to recommend this well-crafted thriller. It's from Michael Mann, after all, and the director's stellar track record with crime thrillers (Thief, Manhunter, and especially Heat) guarantees a rich combination of intelligent plotting, well-drawn characters, and escalating tension, beginning here when icy hit-man Vincent (Cruise) recruits cab driver Max (Jamie Foxx) to drive him through a nocturnal tour of Los Angeles, during which he will execute five people in a 10-hour spree. While Stuart Beattie's screenplay deftly combines intimate character study with raw bursts of action (in keeping with Mann's directorial trademark), Foxx does the best work of his career to date (between his excellent performance in Ali and his title-role showcase in Ray), and Cruise is fiercely convincing as an ultra-disciplined sociopath. Jada Pinkett-Smith rises above the limitations of a supporting role, and Mann directs with the confidence of a master, turning L.A. into a third major character (much as it was in the Mann-produced TV series Robbery Homicide Division). Collateral is a bit slow at first, but as it develops subtle themes of elusive dreams and lives on the edge, it shifts into overdrive and races, with breathtaking precision, toward a nail-biting climax.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XVII: Appendix

Mensaje  JM el Jue Ene 21, 2010 1:14 pm

1020
The aviator (Martin Scorsese, 2004)



From Hollywood's legendary Cocoanut Grove to the pioneering conquest of the wild blue yonder, Martin Scorsese's The Aviator celebrates old-school filmmaking at its finest. We say "old school" only because Scorsese's love of golden-age Hollywood is evident in his approach to his subject--Howard Hughes in his prime (played by Leonardo DiCaprio in his)--and especially in his technical mastery of the medium reflecting his love for classical filmmaking of the studio era. Even when he's using state-of-the-art digital trickery for the film's exciting flight scenes (including one of the most spectacular crashes ever filmed), Scorsese's meticulous attention to art direction and costume design suggests an impassioned pursuit of craftsmanship from a bygone era; every frame seems to glow with gilded detail. And while DiCaprio bears little physical resemblance to Hughes during the film's 20-year span (late 1920s to late '40s), he efficiently captures the eccentric millionaire's golden-boy essence, and his tragic descent into obsessive-compulsive seclusion. Bolstered by Cate Blanchett's uncannily accurate portrayal of Katharine Hepburn as Hughes' most beloved lover, The Aviator is easily Scorsese's most accessible film, inviting mainstream popularity without compromising Scorsese's artistic reputation. As compelling crowd-pleasers go, it's a class act from start to finish.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XVII: Appendix

Mensaje  JM el Jue Ene 21, 2010 1:45 pm

1021
Million dollar baby (Clint Eastwood, 2004)



Clint Eastwood's 25th film as a director, Million Dollar Baby stands proudly with Unforgiven and Mystic River as the masterwork of a great American filmmaker. In an age of bloated spectacle and computer-generated effects extravaganzas, Eastwood turns an elegant screenplay by Paul Haggis (adapted from the book Rope Burns: Stories From the Corner by F.X. Toole, a pseudonym for veteran boxing manager Jerry Boyd) into a simple, humanitarian example of classical filmmaking, as deeply felt in its heart-wrenching emotions as it is streamlined in its character-driven storytelling. In the course of developing powerful bonds between "white-trash" Missouri waitress and aspiring boxer Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank), her grizzled, reluctant trainer Frankie Dunn (Eastwood), and Frankie's best friend and training-gym partner Eddie "Scrap-Iron" Dupris (Morgan Freeman), 74-year-old Eastwood mines gold from each and every character, resulting in stellar work from his well-chosen cast. Containing deep reserves of love, loss, and the universal desire for something better in hard-scrabble lives, Million Dollar Baby emerged, quietly and gracefully, as one of the most acclaimed films of 2004, released just in time to earn an abundance of year-end accolades, all of them well-deserved.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XVII: Appendix

Mensaje  JM el Jue Ene 21, 2010 1:55 pm

1022
Fast, cheap and out of control (Errol Morris, 1997)



George, Dave, Ray, and Rodney. Not a singing group, but four real-life individuals dedicated to controlling the entities that don't take kindly to their efforts. George Mendonca is a topiary gardener who spends his time taming tendrils of plant life into animal shapes. Why? Because he can, and apparently it's no easy job. One slip of the clipper and a green and leafy body part can go bye-bye for years. Dave Hoover takes on big cats under the big top. An admirer of the famous lion tamer, Clyde Beatty, Dave comes out of the lion ring covered with sweat. Not from working hard, but from hand-trembling fear. Ray Mendez, a mole-rat expert, waxes eloquently about the social structure of these sightless, hairless natural wonders who wear their teeth on the outside of their lips. But if you want to see a real wacko at work, watch Rodney Brooks, a robotics expert who is convinced our extinction will be the first step in a takeover of tin men.
In Fast, Cheap & Out of Control, documentarian Errol Morris proves that the weird and obscure are just as interesting as the rich and famous. Morris tries to add depth to his subjects with his out-of-control editing technique, which after a while becomes an annoying distraction; these guys are fascinating enough all by themselves. The blare of the background music is also a bit much. Despite these shortcomings, though, if you like taking a voyeuristic peek into other people's lives, Fast, Cheap & Out of Control gives you plenty to look at.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XVII: Appendix

Mensaje  JM el Jue Ene 21, 2010 1:58 pm

1023
Tetsuo (Tetsuo, the iron man- Shinya Tsukamoto, 1989)



Shinya Tsukamoto draws on the marriage of flesh and technology that inspires so much of David Cronenberg's work and then twists it into a manga-influenced cyberpunk vision. A man (Tomoroh Taguchi) awakens from a nightmare in which his body is helplessly fusing with the metal objects around him, only to find it happening to him in real life... or is it? Haunted by memories of a hit and run (eerily prophetic of Cronenberg's Crash), the man knows this ordeal could be a dream, a fantastic form of divine retribution, or perhaps technological mutation born of guilt and rage. Shot in bracing black and white on a small budget, Tsukamoto puts a demented conceptual twist on good old-fashioned stop-motion effects and simple wire work, giving his film the surreal quality of a waking dream with a psychosexual edge (resulting in the film's most disturbing scene). The story ultimately takes on an abstract quality enhanced by the grungy look and increasingly wild images as they take to the streets in a mad chase of technological speed demons. This first entry in his self-titled "Regular Sized Monster Series" is followed by a full-color sequel, Tetsuo II: The Body Hammer, which trades the muddy experimental atmosphere for a big-budget sheen but can't top the cybershock to the system this movie packs.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XVII: Appendix

Mensaje  JM el Jue Ene 21, 2010 2:01 pm

1024
Gangs of New York (Martin Scorsese, 2002)



Gangs of New York may achieve greatness with the passage of time. Mixed reviews were inevitable for a production this grand (and this troubled behind the scenes), but it's as distinguished as any of director Martin Scorsese's more celebrated New York stories. From its astonishing 1846 prologue to the city's infernal draft riots of 1863, the film aspires to erase the decorum of textbooks and chronicle 19th-century New York as a cauldron of street warfare. The hostility is embodied in a tale of primal vengeance between Irish American son Amsterdam Vallon (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his father's ruthless killer and "Nativist" gang leader Bill "the Butcher" Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis, brutally inspired), so named for his lethal talent with knives. Vallon's vengeance is only marginally compelling; DiCaprio is arguably miscast, and Cameron Diaz (as Vallon's pickpocket lover) is adrift in a film with little use for women. Despite these weaknesses, Scorsese's mastery blossoms in his expert melding of personal and political trajectories; this is American history written in blood, unflinching, authentic, and utterly spectacular.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XVII: Appendix

Mensaje  JM el Vie Ene 22, 2010 12:01 pm

1025
Russkiy kovcheg (Russian Ark- Alexander Sokurov, 2002)



Russian master Alexander Sokurov has tapped into the very flow of history itself for this flabbergasting film. Thanks to the miracles of digital video, Sokurov (and cinematographer Tilman Buttner) uses a single, unbroken, 90-minute shot to wind his way through the Hermitage in St. Petersburg--the repository of Russian art and the former home to royalty. Gliding through time, we glimpse Catherine II, modern-day museumgoers, and the doomed family of Nicholas II. History collapses on itself, as the opulence of the past and the horrors of the 20th century collide, and each door that opens onto yet another breathtaking gallery is another century to be heard from. The movie climaxes with a grand ball and thousands of extras, prompting thoughts of just how crazy Sokurov had to be to try a technical challenge like this--and how far a distance we've traveled, both physically and spiritually, since the movie began.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XVII: Appendix

Mensaje  JM el Vie Ene 22, 2010 12:06 pm

1026
The Big Lebowski (Joel & Ethan Coen, 1998)



After the tight plotting and quirky intensity of Fargo, this casually amusing follow-up from the prolifically inventive Coen (Ethan and Joel) brothers seems like a bit of a lark, and the result was a box-office disappointment. The good news is, The Big Lebowski is every bit a Coen movie, and its lazy plot is part of its laidback charm. After all, how many movies can claim as their hero a pot-bellied, pot-smoking loser named Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) who spends most of his time bowling and getting stoned? And where else could you find a hairnetted Latino bowler named Jesus (John Turturro) who sports dazzling purple footgear, or an erotic artist (Julianne Moore) whose creativity consists of covering her naked body in paint, flying through the air in a leather harness, and splatting herself against a giant canvas? Who else but the Coens would think of showing you a camera view from inside the holes of a bowling ball, or an elaborate Busby Berkely-styled musical dream sequence involving a Viking goddess and giant bowling pins? The plot--which finds Lebowski involved in a kidnapping scheme after he's mistaken for a rich guy with the same name--is almost beside the point. What counts here is a steady cascade of hilarious dialogue, great work from Coen regulars John Goodman and Steve Buscemi, and the kind of cinematic ingenuity that puts the Coens in a class all their own. Be sure to watch with snacks in hand, because The Big Lebowski might give you a giddy case of the munchies.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XVII: Appendix

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