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Archive for September 15th, 2021

Desert Island Voting: Next Stop: Australia and New Zealand!
We have naturally combined Australia and New Zealand, though for all intents and purposes the world’s largest island and the home of the kangeroo, an Aborigine population, the Sydney Opera House, great Olympic swimmers, extraordinary film essayists Roderick Heath and Tony d’Ambra (both of New South Wales) will command the lion’s share of the balloting. Bill Kamberger has ruled everyone’s ballot should not go beyond fifteen (15) films as his reasoning points to the previous Japanese polling didn’t go higher than that number. Australia’s film history isn’t anywhere in a league with Japan’s remotely, but for those who may at first think there will be slim pickings, they will find upon closer inspection is in a truly underrated cinema. I happen to think it is a fantastic cinema, and the Australian New Wave a major influence on some filmmakers around the world.
Nonetheless I mourn losing five spots and had this balloting allowed twenty films, I’d be mulling over which five to pick from this group: “Wake in Fright,” “Whale Rider,” “Gallipoli,” “The Year of Living Dangerously,” “A Cry in the Dark,” “”Rabbit-Proof Fence,” “Sons of Matthew (1949),” “Strictly Ballroom,” “Wolf Creek,” “Shine,” “Muriel’s Wedding,” “An Angel at My Table,” “Once Were Warriors,” “The Last Wave,” “Dead Calm,” “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” and “The Babadook.” I count every one in this group exceptional and also feel a few of Taika Waititi’s films, though hardly masterpieces are notable. If someone held a gun to my head and forced me to pick a single favorite Australian film of all time, I’d stumble and think of “Picnic at Hanging Rock” “The Return of the King,” and “The Year My Voice Broke” but would finally settle on “Careful He Might Hear You.” Still, the fifteen masterpieces I hereby list below are roughly equal and I am going again with an alphabetical presentation. Several rank among the greatest films ever made from any country. Bill Kamberger has ruled that the three LORD OF THE RINGS films from New Zealand count as a single entry. This was a decision I applauded.
Balloting will go for two weeks. This should give some voters time enough to explore this most undervalued of all world cinemas. The deadline will be 5:00 P.M. on Tuesday, September 28th.
My fifteen masterpieces alphabetically:
Babe (Chris Noonan; 1995)
Breaker Morant (Bruce Beresford; 1980)
Careful He Might Hear You (Carl Schultz; 1983)
The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (Fred Schepisi; 1978)
The Devil’s Playground (Fred Schepisi; 1976)
Holding the Man (Neil Armfield; 2015)
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Peter Jackson; 2001-2003)
My Brilliant Career (Gillian Armstrong; 1979)
The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (Vincent Ward; 1988)
The Piano (Jane Campion; 1993)
Picnic at Hanging Rock (Peter Weir; 1975)
Proof (Jocelyn Moorhouse; 1991)
Storm Boy (Henri Safran; 1976)
Walkabout (Nicolas Roeg; 1971)
The Year My Voice Broke (John Duigan; 1987)

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“The Battleship Potemkin,” “Andrei Rublev,” “Come and See,” “Man with a Movie Camera” and “The Cranes Are Flying” lead Top 100 (105) Russian/Soviet Film polling results. This is as definitive a list of Russian cinema (including the fabulous order) one could hope to find anywhere! Thank you so much to the forty (40) voters who cast complete or partial ballots and of course to Voting Tabulator Bill Kamberger, whose tireless daily work was crucial to this enterprise. For film fans, this Russian film list will provide a reference for many years to come:
1. Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein, 1925) – 289
2. Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966) – 280
3. Come and See (Elem Klimov, 1985) – 252
4. Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929) – 235.5
5. The Cranes Are Flying (Mikhail Kalatozov, 1957) – 202.5
6. Mirror (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1975) – 198
7. War and Peace (Sergei Bondarchuk, 1966 – 1967) – 192.5
8. Ivan the Terrible, Parts I & II (Sergei Eisenstein, 1944 & 1958) – 191
9. Earth (Aleksandr Dovzhenko, 1930) – 187.5
10. Ivan’s Childhood / My Name Is Ivan (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1962) – 182
11. The Color of Pomegranates (Sergei Parajanov, 1969) – 164.5
12. Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979) – 160.5
13. Ballad of a Soldier (Grigoriy Chukhray, 1959) – 155.5
14. Solaris (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1972) – 151.5
15. Alexander Nevsky (Sergei Eisenstein & Dmitriy Vasilev, 1938) – 150
16. The Ascent (Larisa Shepitko, 1977) – 147.5
17. Dersu Uzala (Akira Kurosawa, 1975) – 146.5
18. Mother (Vsevolod Pudovkin, 1926) – 142.5
19. I Am Cuba / Soy Cuba (Mikahil Kalatozov, 1964) – 127.5
20. The Maxim Gorky Trilogy (Mark Donskoy, 1938 – 1940) – 123.5
21. Russian Ark (Aleksandr Sokurov, 2002) – 120
22. Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Sergei Parajanov, 1965) – 102.5
23. Hard to Be a God (Aleksey German, 2013) – 98
24. October / Ten Days That Shook the World (Sergei Eisenstein & Grigoriy Aleksandrov, 1927) – 93
25. The Old Man and the Sea (Aleksandr Petrov, 1999) – 90
26. Hedgehog in the Fog (Yuri Norstein, 1975) – 89.5
27. Leviathan (Andrey Zvysagintsev, 2014) – 87.5
28. Strike (Sergei Eisenstein, 1925) – 86
29. The Lady with the Little Dog (Iosif Kheifits, 1960) – 85
30. Tale of Tales (Yuri Norstein, 1979) – 82
31. The Return (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2003) – 81.5
32. Beanpole (Kantemir Balagov, 2019) – 77
33. Prisoner of the Mountains (Sergei Bodrov, 1996) – 75.5
34. Siberiade (Andrey Konchalovskiy, 1979) – 73.5
35. Mother and Son (Aleksandr Sokurov, 1997) – 72.5
36. My Love (Aleksandr Petrov, 2006) – 65
37. By the Bluest of Seas (Boris Barnet, 1936) – 62
38. Burnt by the Sun (Nikita Mikhalkov, 1994) – 50.5
39. The House on Trubnaya Square (Boris Barnet, 1928) – 49.5
40. My Friend Ivan Lapshin (Aleksey German, 1985) – 47
41. Loveless (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2017) – 45.5
42. Nostalghia (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1983) – 45.5
43. The Forty-First (Grigoriy Chukhray, 1956) – 43
44. Arsenal (Aleksandr Dovzhenko, 1929) – 41.5
45. The Cameraman’s Revenge (Wladyslaw Starewicz, 1912) – 39
46. By the Law (Lev Kuleshov, 1926) – 38
47. The Cow (Aleksandr Petrov, 1989) – 38
48. The New Babylon (Grigoriy Kozintsev & Leonid Trauberg, 1929) – 37.5
49. The Island (Pavel Lungin, 2006) – 37
50. Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (Vladimir Menshov, 1980) – 37

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