Paul Schrader's Film Canon (2006)

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Paul Schrader's Film Canon (2006)

Postby arsaib4 » Sun Jun 29, 2008 4:32 am


1. The Rules of the Game (1939, Jean Renoir)

2. Tokyo Story (1953, Yasujiro Ozu)

3. City Lights (1931, Charles Chaplin)

4. Pickpocket (1959, Robert Bresson)

5. Metropolis (1927, Fritz Lang)

6. Citizen Kane (1941, Orson Welles)

7. Orphée (1950, Jean Cocteau)

8. Masculin-Feminin (1966, Jean-Luc Godard)

9. Persona (1966, Ingmar Bergman)

10. Vertigo (1958, Alfred Hitchcock)

11. Sunrise (1927, F.W. Murnau)

12. The Searchers (1956, John Ford)

13. The Lady Eve (1941, Preston Sturges)

14. The Conformist (1970, Bernardo Bertolucci)

15. 8 ½ (1963, Federico Fellini)

16. The Godfather (1972, Francis Ford Coppola)

17. In the Mood for Love (2000, Wong Kar-wai)

18. The Third Man (1949, Carol Reed)

19. Performance (1970, Donald Cammell/Nicholas Roeg)

20. La Notte (1961, Michelangelo Antonioni)


21. Mother and Son (1997, Alexander Sokurov)
22. The Leopard (1963, Luchino Visconti)
23. The Dead (1987, John Huston)
24. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, Stanley Kubrick)
25. Last Year at Marienbad (1961, Alain Resnais)
26. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928, Carl Theodor Dreyer)
27. Jules and Jim (1961, Francois Truffaut)
28. The Wild Bunch (1969, Sam Peckinpah)
29. All That Jazz (1979, Bob Fosse)
30. The Life of Oharu (1952, Kenji Mizoguchi)
31. High and Low (1963, Akira Kurosawa)
32. Sweet Smell of Success (1957, Alexander Mackendrick)
33. That Obscure Object of Desire (1977, Luis Bunuel)
34. An American in Paris (1951, Vincente Minnelli)
35. The Battle of Algiers (1966, Gillo Pontecorvo)
36. Taxi Driver (1976, Martin Scorsese)
37. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974, Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
38. Blue Velvet (1986, David Lynch)
39. Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989, Woody Allen)
40. The Big Lebowski (1998, Joel Coen)


41. The Red Shoes (1948, Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger)
42. Singin' in the Rain (1952, Stanley Donen)
43. Chinatown (1974, Roman Polanski)
44. The Crowd (1928, King Vidor)
45. Sunset Boulevard (1950, Billy Wilder)
46. Talk to Her (2002, Pedro Almodovar)
47. Shanghai Express (1932, Josef von Sternberg)
48. Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948, Max Ophuls)
49. Once Upon a Time in the West (1969, Sergio Leone)
50. Salvatore Giuliano (1962, Francesco Rosi)
51. Nostalghia (1983, Andrei Tarkovsky)
52. Seven Men from Now (1956, Budd Boetticher)
53. Claire's Knee (1970, Eric Rohmer)
54. Earth (1930, Alexander Dovzhenko)
55. Gun Crazy (1949, Joseph H. Lewis)
56. Out of the Past (1947, Jacques Tourneur)
57. Children of Paradise (1945, Marcel Carne)
58. The Naked Spur (1953, Anthony Mann)
59. A Place in the Sun (1951, George Stevens)
60. The General (1927, Buster Keaton)

Re: Paul Schrader's Film Canon (2006)

Postby wpqx » Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:16 am

Interesting ranking and 60 seems a very arbitrary number, Taxi Driver is the only film I object to and that's for obvious reasons not relating to the film's quality.

Re: Paul Schrader's Film Canon (2006)

Postby arsaib4 » Thu Jul 03, 2008 3:06 am

Arbitrary, indeed. And so was Mr. Schrader's decision to exclude documentary and avant-garde films, and ultimately limit his selection to one film per director -- somewhat self-defeating, especially in the latter case since he'd so brilliantly set forth his criterions for the films in the accompanying piece (lamentably not available online in its entirety at this point).

Your objection is understandable, but I think enough time had passed for him to reflect back without any major biases (something like this can't really be proven one way or the other). In any case, he hasn't officially worked with Scorsese since 1999's Bringing Out the Dead.

Re: Paul Schrader's Film Canon (2006)

Postby wpqx » Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:25 pm

Still if he was picking one film per director there are plenty better Scorsese films than Taxi Driver imo

Re: Paul Schrader's Film Canon (2006)

Postby arsaib4 » Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:30 pm

I'm surprised to hear that. While I think highly of a number of Scorsese films, to me Taxi Driver and Raging Bull belong in a different class altogether.

Re: Paul Schrader's Film Canon (2006)

Postby wpqx » Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:06 pm

Taxi Driver would probably be about 4th or 5th on my list, although I've been meaning to revisit Last Temptation of Christ lately.

Re: Paul Schrader's Film Canon (2006)

Postby arsaib4 » Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:03 am

Written for the screen by Schrader, of course. A good, thought-provoking effort.

A minority view for sure but I must say that I've been fairly disappointed by the three features Scorsese has made so far this decade -- though they happen to be some of his most critically and commercially successful films to date (heck, one even garnered him that much-coveted Academy Award).

Re: Paul Schrader's Film Canon (2006)

Postby wpqx » Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:01 pm

The hype surrounding Gangs of New York and Aviator were two films that people really wanted to be good enough to garner an Oscar, which would have been completely unnecessary if Scorsese would have won thirty years ago when he was first nominated. The little I've rewatched of Gangs and Aviator show films that are in my opinion near misses. However the more I've gotten to see of the Departed the more that film clearly stands out and is about as compulsively re-watchable as Goodfellas. Of course the argument for some is that Scorsese is repeating himself but I don't think this is the case at all.

Back to Schrader's list, the Boetticher film is the only one I haven't seen but we've discussed elsewhere my ignorance regarding his work.

Re: Paul Schrader's Film Canon (2006)

Postby jcdavies » Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:52 am

Seven Men from Now is certainly worth seeing, i especially liked the first half, but i don't thing it quite belongs among an elite of 60.

Scorsese seems to be living off his earlier reputation- only 2 very good films in 28 years, and some stinkers- Kundun, Bringing out the Day and the execrable Gangs of New York. Like most winners, Departed was way short of Oscar worthy, a competent crowd-pleaser remake, its duel identity issues not original- so now Scorsese joins the ranks of the not so great- none of the very greatest directors have won best director oscar. Taxi Driver may be a seminal film, and of course there may be quite a bit to admire and debate, but Schrader's right wing thinking wins out- cathartic redemption through vigilante violence? No thanks. That sort of phoney Catholic spirituality i can do without. Scorsese has played on the sensitive/violent contrast often enough but in the end all too often he likes to wallow in bloodshed, and play to teenage masturbation fantasies. The life has gone from his fiction films. He's still a grown up with his documentaries, and should bring that depth of knowledge and thoughtfulness to his regular features.

Re: Paul Schrader's Film Canon (2006)

Postby wpqx » Thu Sep 25, 2008 8:46 pm

I actually loved Bringing Out the Dead and Gangs of New York, although I can see people's problems with the latter. The Departed was certainly entertaining and has grown on me since getting a chance to see it a few more times via cable and on DVD. However Scorsese ranks extremely high on my director list so I'm prone to defend much of his work because I genuinely love it.

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