Archive for May 27th, 2009

Movie Man’s most flattering acknowledgement of Allan Fish’s top choices for each decade can be found by clicking on link below.  It is to be noted that Movie Man scoured through older posts to secure Allan’s personal lists (which of course were informed by his excellent capsule reviews).

The results of each decade poll are now represented here as well. [updated 2010]

(The link can now be found on the sidebar)

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by Sam Juliano

     Top 25 ballots for the 1960’s poll will be accepted up until 11:00 P.M. EST on Wenesday, June 3rd.  Submissions can be made on the ‘Best Movies of the 60’s’ link under the site header.  The 60’s polling has been the most successful ever, what with over 40 ballots already submitted, some the result of the site getting over 11,000 hits over a two-day period near the conclusion of the 50’s poll.  The reason for the surge, of course was the great honor bestowed upon the site by the IMDB, which included Wonders in the Dark at the #4 position on it’s esteemed “hit list.”

     Voting Tabulator Extraordinaire Angelo A. D’Arminio Jr. has been monitoring the submissions since the poll launched, and has been keeping a running tally.  Mr. D’Arminio, of Binghampton New York and Fairview, New Jersey, is presently vacationing at Myrtle Beach, S.C., and he hopes to negotiate final results within just days of the June 3rd deadline.

     Thanks to all from all around the world who have spent their time and energy putting together lists-your participation is greatly appreciated, and to those who are still pondering a list, you have one week more.

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by Allan Fish

We will be going ahead with the seventies poll in a couple of weeks, but we need to take stock beforehand.  There are numerous reasons.  Firstly, to give everyone a chance to see the films they may want to see before submitting choices for the sixties poll.  Secondly, to allow Sam to do his duty and actually watch some of the stuff from the 1970s he’s had in his possession a few aeons so he can make a proper opening submission of his top 25 of the next decade.  Thirdly, there will be a couple of clarifications to make before submissions for the seventies poll…

In the interim, I will be beginning a series of entries on films which, though they wouldn’t make my best lists of given decades, fall into one of two categories.  Either personal favourites that I perhaps rate higher than I should (GUILTY PLEASURES) and the odd rarity long-neglected by western specialists (GUILTY CRITICS).

As per the title of this post, now we’re in the seventies it’s here that we move into a slightly blurry field of what counts as cinema and what as TV.  Film connoisseurs are happy to talk about Fassbinder’s TV output Jailbait, World on Wires, Berlin Alexanderplatz, etc, as cinematic works, as they are Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage, Face to Face and Fanny and Alexander, Petersen’s Das Boot, Reitz’s Heimat trilogy, Kieslowski’s full Dekalog, Rossellini’s The Age of Cosimo de Medici, Von Trier’s The Kingdom, Ophuls’ The Sorrow and the Pity, Zeffirelli’s Jesus of Nazareth and others.  Yet all the above were originally made and shown on TV before showings in often edited versions in cinemas in various parts of the world.  Even some later British television series, from The Singing Detective to more recently Red Riding, have received film showings outside of the UK in arthouse cinemas.  Even recently, David Thomson in his ‘Have You Seen?’ included such recent TV works as Twenty-Thousand Streets Under the Sky and Longford in its listings. 

As many of these would really be permissable in a given poll of their respective decades.  So to be fair, I have decided to allow any TV work into the list so long as it falls under the category of one of the following

A one off DRAMATISED serial based around an original script or novel/play (in others words, the likes of Brideshead Revisited, The Singing Detective and Boys from the Blackstuff are valid, but The Sopranos, Star Trek, Buffy, Doctor Who, Twin Peaks, The West Wing, Deadwood, Talking Heads, Cracker, The Wire are not.  No serials likewise will be allowed if cheap sequel series with slightly changed titles came afterwards (so no Lonesome Dove, no Rich Man Poor Man, no House of Cards, etc.), or if one off specials followed (e.g. Blackpool).   Likewise, with Cranford having a second run at Christmas this year it, too, cannot be counted.

A one off TV film that must have been shown cinematically elsewhere (examples include The Last Seduction (shown on cable before going to cinemas, hence Linda Fiorentino being denied an Oscar nom), and the likes of Made in Britain, Longford and Boy A from the UK). 

So no series that ran for a number of series, no sitcoms, no documentaries unless shown cinematically in certain quarters (like the Marcel Ophuls works or MacQueen’s Gulag).  No place for say the works of David Attenborough, Simon Schama or Michael Wood, Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation, Ken Burns’ The Civil War or The West, Jacob Bronowski’s The Ascent of Man or, more recently, Lawrence Rees’ Auschwitz.  I also will not allow Michael Apted’s Up Series as this has stretched over decades and would be impossible to quantify. 

Appropriately, the Movie Timelines are now amended to cater for this change and the TV works will now be listed in italics in those listings.  I didn’t make a point of this change in the 1960s as, though it was the decade of some strong TV dramas in the UK (An Age of Kings, The Forsyte Saga, The Caesars, The First Churchills, etc), it was really in the 1970s that the great series started to take hold. 

I hope this hasn’t confused the issue any, but we had to be clear before progressing with the modern polls.  We can’t allow certain TV works in because film directors made them, and not allow others just because they weren’t made by film directors.

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by Allan Fish

(Japan 1969 216m) DVD2 (France/Japan only, no Eng subs)

Aka. Erosu purasu Gyakusatsu

Appreciation requires an ambivalent participation

p  Shinji Sushizaki  d  Yoshishige Yoshida  w  Yoshishige Yoshida, Masahiro Yamada  ph  Motokichi Hasegawa  ed  Hiroyuki Yasuoka  m  Toshi Ichiyanaga  art  Tsuyoshi Ishii

Mariko Okada (Noe Ito), Toshiyuki Hosokawa (Sakae Osugi), Yuko Kusunoki (Itsuko Masaoka), Kasuko Ireno (Akika Hiraga), Etsushi Takahashi (Jun Tsuji), Taeko Shinbashi (Chiyoko), Daijiro Harada (Wada), Ejko Sokutai (Toshiko), Masako Yagi (Yasuko),

Upon watching this film for the first time, even in the shorter 166m version that was for a long time the only one available anywhere with English subtitles, one is left drained, a quite literal mental wreck.  Even those versed in the seminal works of Yoshida’s contemporaries, Oshima and Imamura, will be unprepared for this.  That his work still remains unavailable to the English speaking world, barely mentioned in any major film guide or tome, is one of the greatest oversights of accepted film reference literature.  If he only made this one film, Yoshida would be recognised as a giant. 

            Essentially the film relates the story of the famous Japanese anarchist Sakae Osugi, who was killed by the authorities soon after the Tokyo earthquake of 1923, aged 38.  It tells his story through his three women; his wife, Yasuko, his current lover, Noe Ito, who was killed with him, and Itsuko, who tries unsuccessfully to kill him in 1916.  His story is inter-cut with that of two students in modern day Tokyo, who discuss the merits or otherwise of free love and Osugi’s life and times. (more…)

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