Brandon’s Twenty Favorite Old Movies of 2007

All seen on video for the first time, none are current releases, except maybe “The War Tapes” because I can’t remember if it played theaters here or not.

Top ten, in order:

1. Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974, Jacques Rivette)
far exceeds its reputation, a truly amazing film, like candy on my TV
2. Muriel (1963, Alain Resnais)
3. Dog’s Dialogue (1977, Raoul Ruiz)
one of my favorite short films ever
4. Pennies from Heaven (1981, Herbert Ross)
one of my favorite musicals ever
5. Three travel films by Chris Marker:
Sunday In Peking (1956 China)
Description of a Struggle (1960 Israel)
The Koumiko Mystery (1965 Japan)
6. Matinee (1993, Joe Dante)
7. Miami Vice (2006, Michael Mann)
a work of art unfairly lumped in with “dukes of hazzard” and other TV remakes
8. The War Tapes (2006, Deborah Scranton)
I cried tears of pure sadness
9. Army of Shadows (1969, Jean-Pierre Melville)
fewer tears, but still a shocking war story
10. Little Dieter Needs To Fly (1997, Werner Herzog)
third war movie in a row, this one considerably happier

Next ten, alpha:

Cabin Fever (2002, Eli Roth)
The Exterminating Angel (Luis Buñuel)
The Face of Another (1966, Hiroshi Teshigahara)
The Girl Can’t Help It (1956, Frank Tashlin)
Guys and Dolls (1956, Joseph Mankiewicz)
The Lady Eve (1941, Preston Sturges)
Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003, Thom Andersen)
The Tales of Hoffmann (1951, Powell & Pressburger)
Waiting For Happiness (2002, Abderrahmane Sissako)
Werckmeister Harmonies (2000, Béla Tarr)

Runners-up:
Le Joli Mai (1963), Zazie dans le métro (1960), David Copperfield (1935)

honorable mention:
A Brighter Summer Day (1991, Edward Yang)
seemed like it lives up to its masterpiece reputation, but in the crummy version I watched, I think I lost a ton of plot details… will surely place higher when I see it again.

happy auteur discoveries:
John Ford (The Searchers)
Billy Wilder (Some Like It Hot)
Shohei Imamura (Vengeance Is Mine)
Eric Rohmer (first two moral tales)

five more great musicals:
The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967, Jacques Demy)
The Music Man (1962, Morton DaCosta)
Fiddler on the Roof (1971, Norman Jewison)
Meet Me In St. Louis (1944, Vincente Minnelli)
Red Garters (1954, George Marshall)

the better-than-it-should-be award:
a tie between Hard Candy & Lord of War (both 2005)

the most awesome cult / b-movie award:
Brain Damage (1988, Frank Henenlotter)

the “ahh, I get it now” award:
L’Avventura (1960, Michelangelo Antonioni)
runner-up: Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959, Alain Resnais)

the saddest movie award:
The Road to Guantánamo (Michael Winterbottom)

the “child favorite that is, against all odds, still a favorite 20 years
later” award: a three-way tie!
Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990, Joe Dante)
Night of the Creeps (1986, Fred Dekker)
Little Shop of Horrors (1986, Frank Oz)

the “makes me feel cooler just for having seen it” award:
Pandora’s Box (1929, G.W. Pabst)

funniest movie ever seen on an airplane:
Jackass The Movie 2

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