Archive for July 30th, 2009


                              “Lord of the Flies” (1962)
     T.S. of ‘Screen Savour’ who teaches in a University, is one of the net’s most gifted film writers, having penned comprehensive examinations of the work of Hitchcock, Chaplin, Griffith and Lang.  His series on Buster Keaton will soon debut at his site.  T.S. conversed with me earlier today about the kind of films that every high school student should see, and a tentative listing of maybe 15 or 20 ‘essential’ titles.  Said T.S.:  “I’ve been asked by a friend who is a high school teacher for some film-related advice. He is developing a media studies course for high school students, and it will be akin to an intro to film/film history course. He has presented me with this question, which I thought I would present to you:: What 15-to-20 films should the average American high school student see before graduation?
He’s made clear he’s not exactly looking for a list of 15-to-20 favorite films, and not necessarily the films I would select as the 15-to-20 best or most important of all time (although maybe, depending on your perspective, those would overlap in the suggestions.) He wants his course to give students a fairly comprehensive overview of cinema, offerings they might not catch unless otherwise asked to watch for a class — films from different decades, countries, genres, directors, etc. R-rated films are okay, and hopefully the choices will be available on either VHS, DVD, or streaming on the Internet (he can project all three in his classroom).
He and I both have some in mind, but to help us think outside the box, I’d love to hear your suggestions.”
 Both Allan Fish and I put together our own lists of films that for various reasons, would be recommended for the average high school students.  Some are superlative adaptations of literature, while the others for artistic, social, psychological or ethnic underpinnings, all have a place. (more…)

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by Sam Juliano

     The hugely-successful 1970’s polling, which has run for nearly two months, will end on Wednesday, August 5th at 11:00 P.M. EST.  Voting Tabulator Extraordinaire Angelo A. D’Arminio Jr. has been monitoring the returns, and will no doubt, have a full tabulation ready for the following weekend after the cut-off date.  While Allan Fish’s countdown ended today with his annointment of Jacques Rivette’s Duelle as the #1 film of the decade, six more days are being provided for those who need time to fit in some viewings and finalize placements.

     The 70’s polling has attracted the highest number of completed ballots than any previous decade poll, and the results can be seen on two threads which are accessible on the ‘Best Films of the 70’s’ tab over the site header.  The 1980’s poll is scheduled to commence on Monday, August 10th, with th eprojected posting of Allan’s 51 to 100 “nearlies.”

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duelle 1

by Allan Fish

(France 1976 121m) not on DVD

Aka. Duelle – une quarantaine

The Fairy Godmother

p  Stéphane Tchalgadjieff  d  Jacques Rivette  w  Eduardo de Gregorio, Marilu Parolini  ph  William Lubtchansky  ed  Nicole Lubtchansky  m  none  art  Eric Simon

Bulle Ogier (Viva), Juliet Berto (Leni), Jean Babilée (Pierrot), Hermine Karagheuz (Lucie), Nicole Garcia (Jeanne/Elsa), Claire Nadeau (Sylvia Stern),

Imagine if you will that you are in a dream state akin to cine-heaven.  Imagine you are being directed around by a guide not dissimilar to the cloaked figure in Sokurov’s Russian Ark and deep within this cinematic Hermitage there is a rather neglected annex marked ‘JR’.  Here we enter the world of Jacques Rivette, and it’s not a world we enter in the normal fashion.  Next door is the world of Jean Cocteau, accessed by incanting “L’oiseau Chanté avec ses doigts” until you are able to glide through the mirror that forms the seemingly impassable doorway.  Your guide hands you some funny looking coloured sweets and, upon sucking on one for a few seconds, the walls part and you enter.  It’s a magical world, like an infinite variation of a playhouse, populated by adults.  One half expects to see Siouxsie Sioux singing ‘Happy House’ in her inimitable fashion and harlequin costume.  Within said annex we come to a door.  It’s locked.  No-one can go inside.  We see Jean-Pierre Léaud outside searching for the Thirteen, Michel Piccoli paints Emmanuelle Béart au naturel in the corner and Sandrine Bonnaire is being prepared behind a screen for her martyrdom.  (more…)

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