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Thread: Criterion Challenge 2023

  1. #1

    Criterion Challenge 2023

    Welcome to the Criterion Challenge 2023 thread!

    MC Criterion Challenge 2021
    MC Criterion Challenge 2022

    Original Letterboxd List for 2023

    There are 52 categories - one for each week. Watch any Criterion related film based on the categories below between 1/1/23-12/31/23. Your choices can be any films released by Criterion on Blu-ray, DVD, VHS, Laserdisc, or ones that have been featured on The Criterion Channel streaming service (although I'd prefer you choose films they've actually put out themselves). The films can be watched daily, weekly, or monthly, and in any order! Watch them at your own pace, but remember you have to finish by 12/31/23. I would like for all picks to be first time watches, but will leave that up to you.


  2. #2
    1. Random Number Generator -- Rolled Old Joy, then Summertime. Went with the former even though it's a rewatch. Didn't expect the emotional release of this 73-minute ambient movie about two dudes failing to reconnect would occur in the small print of the closing credits. "Copyright 2005, Lucy Is My Darling, LLC." Old Joy feels 100% real, but nothing is more real than Kelly Reichardt naming her company after her dog. The Yo La Tengo score is perfect. My first Reichardt movie is still my favorite, 15 years later. Four stars.

    Up next:
    2. Made in Belgium. Six options total. An Akerman short, Man Bites Dog, and four Dardenne features. Going with Palme d'Or winner Rosetta.

    3. Made in Taiwan. Six more options. The three I haven't seen are Flowers of Shanghai, Taipei Story, and Touch of Zen. All are intriguing but I'm leaning Flowers.
    Last edited by Idioteque Stalker; 01-09-2023 at 05:03 PM.

  3. #3
    Evil mind, evil sword. Ivan Drago's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    44. Tokyo Story (Yasujiro Ozu, 1953)

    This was a wonderful introduction to the films of Yasujiro Ozu. His camera stays static through all but one shot of this masterwork to not only craft a snapshot of post-WWII Tokyo where an elderly couple ventures to visits their grown children, but also to convey the unspoken divide between two generations of a family and its melancholy consequences. Tokyo Story is a poignant snapshot of a city and its citizens at a moment in time and a sad but honest statement about how generational divisions are fostered by events beyond their control, the ultimate fragility of life and the people we leave behind as we age.
    Last Five Films I've Seen (Out of 5)

    The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse (Mackesy, 2022) 4.5
    Puss In Boots: The Last Wish (Crawford, 2022) 4
    Confess, Fletch (Mottola, 2022) 3.5
    M3GAN (Johnstone, 2023) 3.5
    Turning Red (Shi, 2022) 4.5
    Tokyo Story (Ozu, 1953) 5

    615 Film

  4. #4
    2. Made in Belgium -- Rosetta. I think I forgot to exhale this entire movie. It's like Winter's Bone, but better. Been trying to figure out for almost two weeks why this resonated so much while La Promesse did nothing for me, and I keep coming back to the performances. It's easy to see why Emilie Dequenne won best actress at Cannes. The other Dardenne movie I love also has a blistering central performance (Two Days, One Night). Still a lot to see from them, and Rosetta has me more resolute than ever. Fantastic coat. Four stars.

    3. Made in Taiwan -- Flowers of Shanghai. Staring into a flawless topaz, perfection begets new realities. New favorite HHH. Four stars.

    Up next:
    4. Made in Canada. Taking a little break on Cronenberg. Daytrippers, Brand upon the Brain, or something from Allan King.

    5. Made in Portugal. Literally Pedro Costa and that's it. I admire Vitalina Varela but it tested my patience. If I abide 100% by the rules, Osso will be the choice because it's relatively short. Depending on my mood, I may cheat. Diamantino, Tabu, City of Pirates, or Osso.
    Last edited by Idioteque Stalker; 01-23-2023 at 11:48 PM.

  5. #5
    I'm the problem it's me DFA1979's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    None of your business
    I don't understand #1, explain it to me like I'm five cause I'm trying to wrap my brain around it.

    And it's happened once again
    I'll turn to a friend
    Someone that understands
    And sees through the master plan
    But everybody's gone
    And I've been here for too long
    To face this on my own
    Well, I guess this is growing up

  6. #6
    Quote Quoting DFA1979 (view post)
    I don't understand #1, explain it to me like I'm five cause I'm trying to wrap my brain around it.
    Watch a random Criterion movie. Use google's random number generator to pick a movie for you. Set the max number to 1178 because there are currently 1178 movies with spine numbers. Whatever number you get, go here to see what movie your number corresponds to and then watch it.

  7. #7
    After a strong start, I am a philistine once again.

    4. Made in Canada -- Brand Upon the Brain! This would've excited me more in 2006 before The Artist completely sapped the mysterious artistic potential from silent throwbacks, thus ruining them for everyone. Maddin appears to have moved on to more conceptual material like The Green Fog and The Forbidden Room after this relatively straightforward, lite-horror story about a weird orphanage in a lighthouse, and I trust those recent films will be a more rewarding combination of form and content for me (as was the case with My Winnipeg). Brand Upon the Brain is far from humorless, but to my mind this type mad-scientist-in-the-basement story should ultimately be more light-hearted in tone than the spoken narration or wall-to-wall string quartet score allows. Mixed this up with Cowards Bend the Knee because the titles have a similar cadence. Wish I could have a re-roll. Two stars.

    5. Made in Portugal -- Ossos. Simply too slow for me. Vitalina Varela gets away with it because of how unique it is visually. I'm glad Costa does what he does, and if he had an exhibition of photography downtown, I would be pumped to go. Two stars.

    Up next:
    6. Animals in the Collection -- Okja
    7. Films To Fall Asleep To -- I'm 1/3 through Satantango. It's time.
    Last edited by Idioteque Stalker; 02-28-2023 at 12:39 AM.

  8. #8
    6. Animals in the Collection -- Okja. My reaction to Jake Gyllenhaal's performance mirrors my reaction to the film as a whole. Act 1: "Oh man, this is so zany! I'm excited!" Act 2: "Wait, is it changing?" Act 3: "I don't care anymore, just make it stop." Supremely enjoyable movie until it isn't. Three stars.

    7. Films To Fall Asleep To -- Satantango. When I see all the breathless five-star ratings for Satantango, I'm reminded of the habit we have of romanticizing the obstacles we face. Sometimes we conflate the obstacle itself with the satisfaction we enjoy after overcoming it. It's like when you attempt a difficult boss dozens of times, curse at the TV so much your dog gets upset, break all of your controllers, go to bed mad, wake up, drive to the store to buy new controllers, start the whole process over again, then FINALLY beat the boss and declare it the greatest boss in gaming history. Or it's like when you're a guest on Hot Ones and the wings taste decent even though they've been sitting out a while, then six months later someone randomly asks you "What are the best wings you ever had?" and you talk about Hot Ones for thirty minutes because Da Bomb caused you so much pain you became euphoric. Or maybe it's like when you reflect on a toxic past relationship and wonder if all the yelling and broken dishes were merely the unfortunate side effects of the one truly passionate romance of your lifetime, but a few minutes later you realize it was just the cinematography whoops I mean the sex that was good. I recognize in myself a temptation to declare Satantango a masterpiece. I think it's a similar feeling that drives people to put a "26.2" sticker on their car, as if to say "I am not scared of a challenge. I have squared up against a formidable opponent and emerged victorious." I award myself five stars for overcoming the obstacle, but will not pretend to value the obstacle itself. Two stars.

    Up next:
    8. Black Music Films -- A Well Spent Life, Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami, Ornette: Made in America, and Babylon all seem like good options. What I'll probably do is a pseudo-double feature of Jimi Plays Monterey and Monterey Pop.

    9. Black Lives Collection -- Daughters of the Dust or Born in Flames. Leaning Daughters.

    10. Heartbreak Heaven -- The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum or Center Stage. Leaning Maggie Cheung.
    Last edited by Idioteque Stalker; 03-05-2023 at 02:05 AM.

  9. #9
    8. Black Music Films -- Double feature of Jimi Plays Monterey and Monterey Pop. In terms of providing a compelling perspective, this one gets a big fat zero. Woodstock and Gimme Danger are far more thorough and insightful documents of the same scene. But credit goes to Pennebaker for bringing some cameras and keeping them rolling during some of the most legendary rock performances ever. Janis and Jimi were too real for the world. Three stars.

    9. Black Lives Collection -- Daughters of the Dust. We often embellish our stories to make them more exciting, but it goes the other way too -- sometimes the truth is so painful we soften the story with metaphor and mysticism. In the Beyonce-approved Daughters of the Dust, one (semi-ostracized) member of this particular Gullah community has become fed up with the disingenuous over-spiritualization of their tragic past, and takes to task the story of the flying African by stating what most believe too obvious for words: "Ain't nobody can walk on water." Four stars.

    10. Heartbreak Heaven -- Center Stage. Millennium Actress is almost a remake of this? Somebody on LB said casting Maggie Cheung is tantamount to cheating, and it's true. Too long, buttoned-up, and prestige-y for me to outright love, but a fascinating and beautiful movie regardless. Three stars.

    Up next:
    11/12. Criterion Double Features. Charulata/Repast, Long Day Closes/Great Expectations, Thin Red Line (rewatch)/The Steel Helmet, or I could cheat a little and do a double Rohmer. Leaning Charulata/Repast.

    13. Danny Peary’s “Guide for the Film Fanatic”. So many great-looking movies to choose from! Le Corbeau, Magnificent Obsession, Kiss Me Deadly, Seconds, Gates of Heaven, Kagemusha, Burden of Dreams, Shoah.... So of course I'll do the exact wrong thing and go with Pink Flamingos.
    Last edited by Idioteque Stalker; 03-20-2023 at 05:31 PM.

  10. #10
    11. Criterion Double Features 1 -- Repast. [
    ] Two stars.

    12. Criterion Double Features 2 -- Charulata. Wouldn't be upset if all movies looked like this. Mukherjee is once again transcendent. News flash: Satyajit Ray is a good filmmaker. Four stars.

    13. Danny Peary’s “Guide for the Film Fanatic” -- In the past month I happen to have watched four movies that could qualify: Kagemusha, Magnificent Obsession, Kiss Me Deadly, and my original choice Pink Flamingos. Me during 1st half: "This isn't that filthy." Me during 2nd half: "These people are criminals." Me during the Director's Commentary: "This is a radical work of outsider art which deserves its spot in the National Film Registry so it can live on and be seen by everyone, excluding any members of my present and/or future family." Three stars.

    Up next:
    14. Sundance Hits. Working Girls, For All Mankind, Sherman's March, or Roger and Me. Uh, what relationship exactly do these movies have with Criterion? Whatever. Got some good docs to choose from. Leaning Sherman's March.

    15. Early Women Filmmakers. The Smiling Madame Beudet seems like the best choice for a feature, but I may do a few shorts instead. A Night on Bald Mountain, something from Lotte Reiniger, and a rewatch of Meshes of the Afternoon.

    16. Independent American Cinema. Burden of Dreams, Daddy Longlegs, Frownland, Medicine for Melancholy, Minding the Gap, or a rewatch of Mystery Train/Sex, Lies and Videotape. Leaning a rewatch (or two).
    Last edited by Idioteque Stalker; 04-26-2023 at 06:44 PM.

  11. #11
    14. Sundance Hits -- Sherman's March. What's in a name? A smidgen more here than usual (check the film's full title for a drastic illumination of intent). On the one hand, McElwee can't "stay on task" to save his life. On the other, he's uniquely suited to it: Hard to imagine a non-southerner could present the region's eccentricities with so little condescension. Gotta say it all feels mighty familiar. Aside from the struggle to get laid, that is, which of course I can't relate to at all. Favorite quote: "This woman has purity, strength, and conviction, and she has the voice of a singing angel, and she's from a prominent Charleston family, and her dowry apparently includes a better-than-average chance of survival in case of a nuclear attack." Three stars.

    15. Early Women Filmmakers -- Three short bangers. Maybe one of the best weeks yet.
    A Night on Bald Mountain. What in the psych-fried afterlife is this? Absolutely surreal with an eye-popping "pinscreen" animation style. An easy addition to the list of movies to put on when a friend gets too high. Alexeieff and Parker went on to do the animated prologue to Orson Welles' The Trial. I don't know what pinscreen animation is, but this is what it looks like: []
    Meshes of the Afternoon (rewatch). In terms of breaking new cinematic ground, this has to be in the top 10 all time, right? Just don't ask me to explain it. Worth noting it is one of only four shorts on the most recent Sight and Sound list, and by far the highest at #16 (the others are La Jetee at #71, The House Is Black at #102, and Un Chien Andalou at #172). []
    The Stolen Heart. This one actually tells a comprehensible story, but I won't hold that against it. Lotte Reiniger's silhouette style is pure magic, and I'm a sucker for a story about the power of music. Love how, as the instruments are stolen and re-introduced one by one, the arrangement itself shifts so that you really hear/feel the important role each one plays in the ensemble. []

    16. Independent American Cinema -- Mystery Train (rewatch). About ten years ago I wrote reviews of every Jarmusch movie. Seems pointless to me now. You either like his style or you don't, and there's little use trying to explain it. I had to pause the movie a handful of times to wait for myself to stop laughing. Not sure why it's taken me so long to realize it, but Steve Buscemi is one of my favorite actors. He is a highlight of every movie he's in. Four stars.

    Up next:
    17. Dysfunctional Families. An Unmarried Woman, The Housemaid, A Married Couple, or a rewatch of The Magnificent Ambersons, Five Easy Pieces, or Paris, Texas. Leaning Unmarried Woman or a rewatch.

    18. Food on Film. Tampopo rewatch or (gulp) Sweet Movie.

    19. Faith on Film. This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection or Miracle in Milan. Leaning Miracle.
    Last edited by Idioteque Stalker; 05-25-2023 at 09:41 PM.

  12. #12
    Here till the end MadMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    A land of corn and technology
    I don't think I own Mystery Train, but I have seen it and it is excellent.

    And everybody wants to be special here
    They call your name out loud and clear
    Here comes a regular
    Call out your name
    Here comes a regular
    Am I the only one here today?

  13. #13
    17. Dysfunctional Families. Five Easy Pieces (rewatch). Here's a man so allergic to bullshit he abandons his roots, his privilege, his talent -- dismantles himself completely, just for a fair shake at living an authentic life (albeit one in which he is secretly aware of his superiority) -- only to discover beneath all the layers of pretense resides a complete and utter asshole. I believe many (most/all?) of us would have a similar realization if we so diligently rejected our higher faculties. The road to "total authenticity" is long, and it eventually leads to a point in which we are governed only by our basest impulses of gratification and survival. Somewhere along the way we disregard others and become little more than selfish animals. So yeah, just because you haven't felt anything in years doesn't mean you should accuse someone else of faking a reaction to your Chopin prelude. Be decent and kind even when you don't feel like it; even if it's an abandonment of your true nature as a rabid, stinking beast. And if one day you realize you can't help but hurt others, there's still the failsafe of hitchhiking to Alaska to live and die alone, clean. Four stars. In a way, the inverse of Tar.

    18. Food on Film. Sweet Movie. Introducing the Sweet Movie Diet -- You might never eat again! Feel skinny for the final month of your horrific, shameful life!

    Goes to show even the most disgusting, unsanitary movies are still palatable with a bit of color and humor. Or as that old Yugoslav saying goes, "A boat-full of sugar makes the castration, bodily fluids, and public humiliation go down." Three stars.

    19. Faith on Film. Miracle in Milan. De Sica went on quite a run after the war: Shoeshine, Bicycle Thieves, Umberto D.... Oh, and this wholesome little comedy about an incessantly cheerful orphan who saves his shanty town from a greedy oil tycoon by way of a magical dove. Humor, goodwill, and neat SFX abound in this very different type of siege picture, although there's little-to-no inquiry into the spiritual or sociological side of things. It's somewhat of a curious choice for the Palme d'Or -- especially considering De Sica's movement-defining films that sandwich it -- but hey, crowd-pleasers are people too. Three stars.

    Up next:
    20. Tearjerkers. Kes, Aparajito, Paisan, My Life as a Dog, or a rewatch of Tokyo Story. Leaning Kes or Paisan.

    21. British Realism. This Sporting Life, Kes, Fish Tank, or Taste of Honey. Leaning Kes or Fish Tank.

    22. Wilco's Closet Picks. Today I learned Being There the album is named after Being There the movie. Cool to see Wilco and Yo La Tengo talk about movies. The King of Marvin Gardens, Heart of a Dog, Mr. Freedom, or Rolling Thunder Revue. Leaning RTR.
    Last edited by Idioteque Stalker; 07-10-2023 at 03:54 PM.

  14. #14
    Gonna have to go on a roll to finish in time... but I believe!

    20. Tearjerkers. Kes. If I made movies, this is the type of movie I would like to make. I don't have much to say except it would've been five stars had I liked the final conflict/ending more. Four stars.

    21. British Realism. Fish Tank. Another one that left me speechless. Totally unpredictable... I really did not expect it to go in the direction that it did. Recommended to fans of Sean Baker. Check out Katie Jarvis' wiki page for proof that life imitates art/vice versa. I need to check out more Andrea Arnold. Four stars.

    22. Wilco's Closet Picks. Rolling Thunder Revue. Major shoutout to Scarlet Rivera, who so thoroughly crushed her fifteen minutes of fame that it gave generations of sad fools the hope rock music and violins could flourish together as one. Never before or since did Dylan share the spotlight like he did with Rivera on Desire/the RTR tour, and it's always a delight to hear the extent to which she weaved her violin into the emotional and musical fabric of these songs.

    Other highlights include: "Simple Twist of Fate," Ginsberg and Dylan reading poetry at Kerouac's grave, and Joni Mitchell's effortless brilliance.

    Lowlights: "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" revived as brutish barroom blues, but mostly all the mockumentary bloat that I suppose was intended to be the film's raison d'etre but comes across as purposeless misdirection, ultimately leaving this perhaps the least essential Dylan doc. Three stars.

    Up next:
    23. Gaspar Noe's Closet Picks. As one might expect, some very intriguing options here. Island of Lost Souls, Jigoku, Master of the House, or Seconds. Leaning Seconds (which Noe said he wanted to remake but it was already being remade?)

    24. Alicia Malone's Closet Picks. Seen most of these. Breaker Morant, Gilda, or a rewatch of His Girl Friday. Leaning Gilda.

    25. Laurie Anderson's Closet Picks. Challenge-wise, I Married a Witch is the smart choice. Short and light. But Arabian Nights calls to me...
    Last edited by Idioteque Stalker; 11-18-2023 at 03:21 AM.

  15. #15
    Here till the end MadMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    A land of corn and technology
    Breaker Morant is great, I own that one. I also own and really enjoyed I Married a Witch, which is a fun Halloween style comedy, I reviewed that one for here then moved the review to my blog.

    And everybody wants to be special here
    They call your name out loud and clear
    Here comes a regular
    Call out your name
    Here comes a regular
    Am I the only one here today?

  16. #16
    23. Gaspar Noe's Closet Picks. Seconds. Best feature length Twilight Zone episode ever. Casting Rock Hudson was a stroke of genius, and his performance is great. Just a total banger. Disturbing even. Recommended to anyone who won't get too freaked out. Jordan Peele is clearly a fan. I have Trans to thank for turning me onto this. Four stars.

    24. Alicia Malone's Closet Picks. Gilda. Put this on (somewhat begrudgingly), expecting little more than golden-era star power and fashion iconography, and was immediately taken by the opening shot of dice rolling shockingly close to the camera as our lead looks around shifty-eyed before making off with the winnings. Little did I know this wasn't merely a signifier of the film's strong visual language, but also a key to its surprisingly modern story of a woman who uses what she has to get what she wants, even if she is forced to play dirty. The dialogue is chock full of delicious Hollywood innuendo, and the verbal jousting never gets old -- even if the final moments are a bit too tidy. "We make our own luck, Johnny and I." "I'll have to try that sometime." Four stars. Rita Hayworth lives up to the hype in every way.

    25. Laurie Anderson's Closet Picks. Arabian Nights. It probably looks and sounds better on Criterion BR than it does on Prime, but that still wouldn't address the utter formlessness of this (not very) erotic anthology. About as fun to watch as Leviticus is to read. The "archery" scene is extremely memorable, however. Two stars.

    Up next:
    26. Bong Joon-ho's Top 10. Some great options. The Ballad of Narayama, Lola Montes, or a rewatch of 400 Blows. Leaning Narayama.

    27. Sonic Youth's Top 10. Seen most of these. Someone got confused about Floating Weeds/Story of Floating Weeds, but maybe I'll choose one of those. Only other choice is Mamma Roma, but after Arabian Nights I'm content to chill on Pasolini for a minute. I guess a rewatch is viable here, but tbh nothing pops out at me. Wilco and Yo La Tengo's closet picks were more exciting. Leaning Ozu.

    28. Jane Campion's Top 10. That Obscure Object of Desire, Night Porter, or Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto. Leaning Obscure Object.
    Last edited by Idioteque Stalker; 11-17-2023 at 05:11 PM.

  17. #17
    26. Bong Joon-ho's Top 10. Lola Montes. Truly exquisite craft. Ophuls is such a show off! Awe-inspiring to the point it may even hinder emotional engagement. Should be considered essential. Four stars. One of the best so far. [

    27. Sonic Youth's Top 10. Floating Weeds. Sometimes a movie does nothing for you and it's best to move on. Two stars.

    28. Jane Campion's Top 10. The Night Porter. Was eating this up for quite a while, the heavenly music and rich visual textures signaling a different kind of prestige picture, as if Brian De Palma orchestrated a hostile takeover of a Merchant Ivory production, and we get the pleasure of watching our leads struggle in one of the most taboo loves imaginable. Far less compelling in the second-half, despite the erotic uptick -- the internal conflict of "Will they give in to their desire?" being leagues more interesting than the external conflict of "Will they withstand the Nazi siege?" Also, did we really need more than one scene to prominently feature broken glass? Three stars.

    Up next:
    29. Allison Anders's Top 10. Charade or Young Mr. Lincoln. Tough choice, leaning Charade.

    30. Directed by Carl Dreyer. Gertrud or Master of the House. Leaning Gertrud (can still pick Master of the House for 20s week).

    31. Directed by Melvin Van Peebles. Sweet Sweetback's Badassss Song.
    Last edited by Idioteque Stalker; 11-17-2023 at 05:12 PM.

  18. #18
    29. Allison Anders's Top 10. Charade. The extent to which Cary Grant sleepwalks through this is its own special brand of entertainment. Take a shot every time he has lifeless eyes. Maybe a remake with Gal Gadot and Joe Biden could recapture the film's smoldering chemistry? Don't let its status as a classic fool you into viewing Charade through a lens of respect. I can't imagine anything more boring. It's fun only so long as you laugh at how silly it is. Three stars.

    30. Directed by Carl Dreyer. Gertrud. Clearly a late-career work, with total commitment to its ascetic vision, and possibly the least-flowery "love is all you need" messaging in the history of the world. Only a medium-defining filmmaker could've earned the right to craft something so deliberately alienating (that is, a series of lengthy romantic stalemates in which characters speak in philosophical vagaries without ever looking at each other). In a way, the ultimate "process over results" movie, wherein love is impossible to obtain yet pursuing it is our sole purpose -- aka "I have no regrets in life, despite failing in every conceivable way." Even the music is inscrutable, with a haunting, off-balance nocturne used as foreplay while the lone crowd-pleaser leads to sudden death. Three stars.

    31. Directed by Melvin Van Peebles. Sweet Sweetback's Badassss Song. Thrilling in how completely separate it is from the mainstream cinematic timeline. "The man" did not account for its existence, and its influence cannot be overstated. Totally odd, funny, and occasionally disgusting. Its mere existence is an act of protest. Three stars.

    Up next:
    32. Directed by Marlon Riggs. Black Is... Black Ain't or Color Adjustment.

    33. Directed by Keisuke Kinoshita. The Ballad of Narayama.

    34. Starring Tatsuya Nakadai. The Face of Another.

  19. #19
    32. Directed by Marlon Riggs. Black Is... Black Ain't. Adore what I've seen from Riggs. So full of love and poetry, I admire the way he tried to understand the world, and be understood. I'll be finishing his filmography for sure. Four stars.

    33. Directed by Keisuke Kinoshita. The Ballad of Narayama.
    Look! Clouds obscure the moon
    I promise to step carefully
    and not look back

    crows are quiet
    but the wind cries —
    Mother, are you not cold?

    you said this day would come
    and I must be strong
    so much to say

    children sing
    the thieves are gone
    flowers will bloom again

    Snow! Your wish come true
    Mother, say something —
    Why do you not speak?

    (four stars)

    34. Starring Tatsuya Nakadai. The Face of Another. If Woman in the Dunes gains power from how its metaphors threaten to slip through your fingers like sand, leading you to latch on best you can, then The Face of Another is the opposite: a blunt instrument, constantly asserting as text what should be left as sub-text. Seriously, 90% of the dialogue here is stuff like, "Are you getting used to the mask, or is the mask getting used to you?" Still, Teshigahara's craft is undeniably rich, a drip-feed of bold stylistic choices. I may have rolled my eyes at most of the dialogue, but if one were able to tune it out then this might register as some type of offbeat masterpiece. Three stars.

    Up next:
    35. Genre: Fantasy. Genre weeks give waaaay more options than what we've had lately. Branded to Kill, The Fabulous Baron M, Invention for Destruction, Celine and Julie Go Boating, GDT’s Pinocchio, or The Heroic Trio. Leaning Branded to Kill (fantasy?)

    36. Genre: Action/Adventure. Ride w the Devil, Touch of Zen, Police Story, Shaft, or Thelma and Louise. Th&L is a major blindspot, so I guess I'm leaning that.

    37. Genre: Crime. Port of Shadows, Thief, Death By Hanging, Asphalt Jungle, or Targets. Leaning Asphalt Jungle.

  20. #20
    35. Genre: Fantasy. Branded to Kill. Not what I would call a fantasy movie, but anyway. Amounts to a whole bunch of nothing, but damn cool and relentlessly stylized. All guns, butts, and boiled rice -- featuring an assassin who apparently just had his wisdom teeth removed. Too absurd and incoherent to be fully my shit, but I wouldn't bat an eye if someone said it was their favorite movie. Three stars.

    36. Genre: Action/Adventure. Thelma and Louise. A welcome subversion to one of my least-favorite story templates. Good cast. Watching Brad Pitt here is like watching Marilyn Monroe in Asphalt Jungle, both of them on the cusp of becoming generational heartthrobs. Three stars.

    37. Genre: Crime. Asphalt Jungle. Classic plot-driven noir done well. Another good cast. I don't get a lot out of this type of thing. Three stars.

    Up next:
    38. Spine #201-350. Le Corbeau, Kanal, Burden of Dreams, or La collectionneuse. Leaning Rohmer.

    39. Spine #800-950. The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum, 45 Years, Mysterious Object at Noon, Taipei Story, Shanghai Express, or a rewatch of Blow-Up, Tampopo, or Blood Simple. So many choices. Leaning Chrysanthemum.

    40. Watch a film with a rating 3.0 or lower. Weird week. Tom Jones, Equinox, Jellyfish Eyes... or the obvious choice, Armageddon.

  21. #21
    Here till the end MadMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    A land of corn and technology
    Branded To Kill is one I own, that movie is nuts but it is my kind of cinema madness.

    Asphalt Jungle is almost great, I'd have to watch it again to clarify why I didn't think it was worthy of a higher rating.

    I just bought Le Corbeau during the current sale. Can't wait to watch it.

    And everybody wants to be special here
    They call your name out loud and clear
    Here comes a regular
    Call out your name
    Here comes a regular
    Am I the only one here today?

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