The Discreet Bourgeois

Possessed by an urgency to make sure all this stuff I love doesn't just disappear

The Last Ten Films I’ve Seem

4 Comments

  1. Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (Jaromil Jires)
  2. Julie (Andrew L. Stone)
  3. A Man Escaped (Robert Bresson)
  4. Isle of the Dead (Mark Robson)
  5. Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau)
  6. Eyes Without A Face (Georges Franju)
  7. Chance At Heaven (William A. Seiter)
  8. Les Enfants Terribles (Jean-Pierre Melville)
  9. The Most Dangerous Game (Schoedsack/Pichel)
  10. Love Affair, or the Case of the Missing Switchboard Operator (Dušan Makavejev)

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1 Some of that Eastern European New Wave stuff really drives me nuts.  I recently watched Daisies which I found insufferable, even though it presages my beloved Celine And Julie Go Boating. Valerie and Her Week of Wonders was in the same vein, but seemed to be playing with psychosexual stuff and who cares.

2 Ever want to see Doris Day, as a stewardess emergency-landing a plane after the pilot has been shot? Then Julie is the film for you. Some fun nuttiness from the 60s.

3- Cat People might be the most famous film of the Val Lewton oeuvre, but Isle Of The Dead really gives it a run for its money.  A eerie film with no trace of the supernatural. It is shot through with superstition and paranoia and is drenched in the legendary Lewton atmosphere.

4- I had the privilege of sitting in on Michael Glover Smith’s film history class at Harold Washington College.  He is a teacher that teaches up to the material and not down to the students.  This is particularly amazing when you consider that the class I attended contained a lecture and viewing of Robert Bresson’s A Man Escaped.  Bresson is one of the most, if not the most, rigorous filmmaker, and these kids ate it up. Good going, MGS.

5- I want to love Vampyr by Dreyer as much as I love Nosferatu by Murnau, but that is never going to happen. The first (illegal) adaptation of Dracula, Nosferatu is iconic – with an over-the-top performance by the rat-like Max Schreck – yes folks, apparently that was his real name!

6- It was fun to watch Eyes Without A Face after my recent love-fest with Holy Motors.  Eyes Without A Face is icky in the same way as its contemporaries Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? and Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte. Eyes Without A Face is way more fun and much more stylish. Brava, Edith Schob

4 thoughts on “The Last Ten Films I’ve Seem

  1. Great to see another blog post by you:) Though the same can be said of me since I have not blogged in a month:) Anyway, I am actually getting the criterion edition of A Man Escaped for Christmas. Aside from loving that one, I also love Nosferatu and Isle of the Dead. Max Schreck’s vampire is no romantic icon (i.e. Bela Lugosi). He is one freaky looking guy that will be hard for any viewer to get out of anyone’s head. Vampyr is a great film too though. Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie, The Leopard Man and The Seventh Victim are great and Isle of the Dead, Curse of the Cat People, Bedlam and The Ghost Ship are very good. I will admit though that I often find myself coming back and talking about Isle of the Dead more than usual and I feel that your reasons are my exact ones as well. In my next blog entry, I plan on writing about my top 10 best films of the year. This is going to be in a few weeks though:) Glad to hear that you were in a class with Michael Smith:) P.S. what do you think of Jacques Tati because I love all of his films. On my cinematiccoffee site, I have a list of my favorite films he directed:) You are awesome as usual:)

    • Hi John. Thanks for writing. Those Val Lewton films are gems. I agree, though, that there is something very special about Isle Of The Dead. Vorvalaka! Vorvalaka! Great stuff! You’re going to love the Criterion A Man Escaped. Fantastic extras. I’ve loved the Jacques Tati I have seen, but I must admit I haven’t seen his stuff in years. If you love Tati, I would very much recommend you check out the films of Pierre Etaix. Criterion just released his complete works. What a treasure. He is a link between Tati and later Bunuel. Watch his films and you’ll see what I mean.

      Looking forward to your top 10 of the year list!

  2. I just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year:) Keep up the great work as always:)

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