25 Flawless Masterpieces

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25 Flawless Masterpieces

Postby MikLosk » Thu Nov 16, 2006 8:15 am

I promised to start this new thread. I do believe that real cinematic masterpiece is a miracle because cinema is the most complicated and complex form of art. Miracles can't happen too often. So, despite great number of films I've seen in the years I consider only 25 of them as real, flawless, perfect masterpieces which changed my mind, my attitude to cinema and my taste. I've decided recently to rewatch them. I'll try to understand what makes them so perfect, why they can strike me so much. Maybe I'll understand magic origin of cinema? I think some of you remember John's list of twenty must see movies on the old board (wpqx - the oldest member of all - must remember). I'll try to make a similar list. But this one will be more subjective. If someone find it too pretentious I'll ask him not to treat it too seriously: after all, it's just a list with some comments. Notes will be posted without any particular order. Some notes are already posted:

1. Giorgino (Laurent Bouttonat, France, 1994)

2. 8 1/2 (Federico Fellini, Italy, 1963)

3. Picnic at Hanging Rock (Peter Weir, Australia, 1975)

4. L'Eclisse (Michelangelo Antonioni, Italy, 1962)
MikLosk
 


Re: 25 Flawless Masterpieces

Postby MikLosk » Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:43 am

5. Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, USA, 1941)

This film is widely acclaimed as the greatest movie of all time. Both critics and directors in last Sight and Sound poll declared it as the best. Even imdb users rate it very highly (8.6/10). To say something new about this film is almost impossible, but I'll try to say a couple of words about its original screenplay because everyone knows everything about Toland's really great and innovative cinematography.

Maybe the most amazing point of the movie is the fact that this technically brilliant and emotionally powerful masterwork was created by 25 (!) years old actor, director, producer and screenwriter Orson Welles. Today perspicaciousness of young author is becoming more and more obvious: on the base of contemporary for him material (he used destiny of newspaper owner Hurst) he created mythological personality. Inconceivability of Kane is in the narrative structure of the film: it used almost impossible for that time aesthetics of fundamental mismatching between chronological order of events and order of constituent parts of the work (they are five different stories by different people which thought they had known Kane). Besides, formal plot is not corresponded with so called "time of narrator".

Some critics find Citizen Kane to some extent close to Proust's concept of time (although some episodes repeat we can see his life in its natural evolution). Word "rosebud" as told by dying Kane becomes initial point in the plot development - like in Proust's work the cookie "madeleine" in the cup of tea stimulates recollections. "Empirical time" dissolves in "subjective time".

It seems that simulated newsreel in the beginning of the movie should bring in historical objectivity. However it turned out to be a mythological situation: like in Joyce's "Ulysses" Dublin inhabitants correspond with heroes of "Odyssey". And Kane's attempt to build huge castle "Xanadu" with collection of art masterworks is an aspiration for running from the present to the past for the sake of creating of mythological world, "neverland". But after his death - it's a useless world, like a storehouse of forgotten, useless things.

And far childhood of the hero loses its entity like his sleigh with rosebud - just a thrown out and burned down forever piece of wood. And glassy ball with winter landsape falled out Kane's hand is evidence of unavailability of that part of his being. Actually Orson Welles created not the secret of Kane's life but the greatest cinematic puzzle which becomes every day more and more unresolvable. There is a peculiar "time of a viewer" in the complex narrative structure of the film that allows to carry on a dialogue with this cinematic masterpiece, which makes multiversion nature of human destiny and many-sided origin of human personality an aesthetical principle of fixing of the eternally changing reality in the film.
MikLosk
 

Re: 25 Flawless Masterpieces

Postby wpqx » Thu Nov 16, 2006 5:45 pm

We seem to be in agreement with at least a couple of these flawless masterpieces. I've made no secrets about Kane being my all time favorite film, and reading your thoughts kinda makes me want to watch it again, but everything makes me want to watch Kane again. I like the idea of this thread, and I like the way you gave yourself an excuse to revisit these classics. Perhaps Sara can contribute as she was also mentioning rewatching some gems. At this point I'm far too immersed in watching new films (new to me anyways) that I don't really have any burning desire for revisiting my favorites right now. I look forward to reading your upcoming reviews.
wpqx
 

Re: 25 Flawless Masterpieces

Postby MikLosk » Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:10 am

Thanks for kind comments, wpqx. You makes me continue this list.
MikLosk
 

Re: 25 Flawless Masterpieces

Postby madhuban » Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:11 pm

Please continue Mik. I'm extremely curious to know which films will make the list.

M
madhuban
 

Re: 25 Flawless Masterpieces

Postby MikLosk » Mon Nov 20, 2006 1:16 pm

Oh, my list is interesting for someone? These notes exhaust me, so it's rather hard to post them often. Ok, I'll continue tomorrow.
MikLosk
 

Re: 25 Flawless Masterpieces

Postby madhuban » Mon Nov 20, 2006 3:51 pm

Your Soviet cinema top 50 list still occupies pride of place on my desktop
madhuban
 

Re: 25 Flawless Masterpieces

Postby MikLosk » Mon Nov 20, 2006 4:03 pm

Pleased to hear such kind words about my lists
MikLosk
 

Re: 25 Flawless Masterpieces

Postby Sara » Mon Nov 20, 2006 10:05 pm

Your lists are very helpful and insightful. Especially this one on "flawless masterpieces."

And your quizzes are wonderful and have introduced me to many films I would not have seen otherwise.

Sara
Sara
 

Re: 25 Flawless Masterpieces

Postby MikLosk » Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:37 am

Thanks a lot, Sara!
I try to make this board more interesting and funny. Pleased to know that users appreciate my benefit
MikLosk
 

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