Author Topic: Year-by-Year: Something Old, Something New  (Read 6765 times)

pixote

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Year-by-Year: Something Old, Something New
« on: May 29, 2015, 05:56:26 PM »
I've been grading films since 2008, and in that time I've graded 264 films at least a B+ (Very Good, 8/10). Looking at the distribution per year, there are some clear gaps. For example, I've seen six Very Good-to-Great films from 1957 — Night of the Demon, The Tall T, What's Opera, Doc?, Time Without Pity, Paths of Glory, 12 Angry Men — but zero from 1958. That bothers me.

So this is how I'm going to structure my film viewing this summer (and possibly beyond). First I'm going to go through all the years with zero B+/A-/A films and watched two films from each: one that I've seen before and remember being good (but never graded); and one that I've never seen. After I cycle through all of those, I'll move to the films with just one highly graded film per year, etc.

I'm focused just on 1919 and beyond, for starters, though I might treat the pre-1919 years as its own distinct group.

Initial Blindspot Years (0 films graded B+ or better)

1919 — FAIL
     Male and Female  (Cecil B. DeMille, 1919) — C+
     Back Stage  (Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, 1919) — C+
     The Hayseed  (Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, 1919) — C
     Broken Blossoms  (D.W. Griffith, 1919) — B

1920 — ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED! TOP 100 BONUS!
     Just Pals  (John Ford, 1920) — B-
     One Week  (Buster Keaton & Edward F. Cline, 1920) — B+
     Convict 13  (Buster Keaton & Edward F. Cline, 1920) — C+
     The Scarecrow  (Buster Keaton & Edward F. Cline, 1920) — A-
     Neighbors  (Buster Keaton & Edward F. Cline, 1920) — B-
     The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari  (Robert Wiene, 1920) — B+

1922 — ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!
     Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler  (Fritz Lang, 1922) — B-
     Nanook of the North  (Robert Flaherty, 1922) — B+

1923 — FAIL
     The Balloonatic  (Buster Keaton & Edward F. Cline, 1923) — C
     The Love Nest  (Buster Keaton, 1923) — C
     La roue  (Abel Gance, 1923) — C+
     Safety Last!  (Fred C. Newmeyer & Sam Taylor, 1923) — B-

1925 — ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!
     Varietι (E.A. Dupont, 1925) — B+
     The Big Parade (King Vidor, 1925) — B+
     Chess Fever (Vsevolod Pudovkin & Nikolai Shpikovsky, 1925) — C+

1926 — FAIL ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!
     Rien que les heures (Alberto Cavalcanti, 1926) — C+
     Slick Sleuths (Charles R. Bowers and Bud Fisher, 1926) — C
     A Page of Madness (Teinosuke Kinugasa, 1926) — B-
     3 Bad Men (John Ford, 1926) — B+

1929 — ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED! TOP 100 BONUS!
     Un chien andalou (Luis Buρuel, 1929) — B
     Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929) — A+
     Laila (George Schnιevoigt, 1929) — C+
     I Graduated, But... (Yasujiro Ozu, 1929) — C
     A Straightforward Boy (Yasujiro Ozu, 1929) — C-

1930 — ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!
     School's Out (Robert F. McGowan, 1930) — C-
     All Quiet on the Western Front (Lewis Milestone, 1930) — B+
     People on Sunday (Robert Siodmak and Edgar G. Ulmer, 1930) — B

1950

1958 — ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED! TOP 100 BONUS!
     Cairo Station (Youssef Chahine, 1958) — B-
     Ashes and Diamonds (Andrzej Wajda, 1958) — A-
     Blackbird (Norman McLaren, 1958) — B+

1977 - IN PROGRESS

1988 — ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED! DOUBLE TOP 100 BONUS!
     Time of the Gypsies (Emir Kusturica, 1988) — B+
     The Thin Blue Line (Errol Morris, 1988) — A-
     My Neighbor Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki, 1988) — A-
     Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (Todd Haynes, 1988) — B

This range is pretty silent-era heavy; hope that doesn't stall the project.

pixote
« Last Edit: October 18, 2017, 10:24:31 PM by pixote »
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

pixote

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Re: Year-by-Year: Something Old, Something New
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2015, 06:17:15 PM »
1930 (Poll)

Films graded: None!

Films remembered: The Blue Angel, Salt for Svanetia, Under the Roofs of Paris, Hell's Angels, Earth, All Quiet on the Western Front, Animal Crackers, ΐ Propos de Nice, L'Age d'Or

Watchlist: The Dawn Patrol, City Girl, Westfront 1918, Morocco, People on Sunday

All Quiet on the Western Front used to be in my Top 20, so it's high time I rewatched that for my Something Old film. And I think Westfront 1918 is my most highly anticipated watchlist film, assuming I can find it. Makes for a logical double feature, too.

pixote
« Last Edit: May 29, 2015, 06:18:54 PM by pixote »
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Year-by-Year: Something Old, Something New
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2015, 06:20:22 PM »
1930 (Poll)

Films graded: None!

Films remembered: The Blue Angel, Salt for Svanetia, Under the Roofs of Paris, Hell's Angels, Earth, All Quiet on the Western Front, Animal Crackers, ΐ Propos de Nice, L'Age d'Or

Watchlist: The Dawn Patrol, City Girl, Westfront 1918, Morocco, People on Sunday

All Quiet on the Western Front used to be in my Top 20, so it's high time I rewatched that for my Something Old film. And I think Westfront 1918 is my most highly anticipated watchlist film, assuming I can find it.

pixote

I don't know the other but Blue Angel is an all-time outstanding movie. Please rewatch it. I have it on DVD and it is a (bittersweet) joy !
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Bondo

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Re: Year-by-Year: Something Old, Something New
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2015, 06:24:08 PM »
1958 is my first year (going backward) that has zero films I'd give a B or better. Maybe it's just the year? If I was doing this my list would be:

1919
1920
1923
1924
1925
1928
1930
1934
1935
1945
1958

So same number of years (with significant overlap). I go back and forth feeling like it's a failure on my part and feeling that it would be drawing blood from stone.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Year-by-Year: Something Old, Something New
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2015, 06:27:26 PM »
Silent films are awesome.

pixote

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Re: Year-by-Year: Something Old, Something New
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2015, 06:28:17 PM »
I go back and forth feeling like it's a failure on my part and feeling that it would be drawing blood from stone.

Yeah, my original plan was to keep banging away at the same year until I found a worthy film; but then I remembered that some years are better than other, so I'm just going to limit myself to two films and then move on.

Silent films are awesome.

Agreed, but for me they require a little extra effort to watch, sometimes. Especially when trying to coordinate with other people (or my general exhaustion).

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

Junior

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Re: Year-by-Year: Something Old, Something New
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2015, 06:32:44 PM »
1930 (Poll)

Small shoutout to Liliom, which has to be seen to be believed. Though now that I know it's also the basis for Carousel makes it less unique.
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pixote

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Re: Year-by-Year: Something Old, Something New
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2015, 06:39:46 PM »
By the way, was 2010 a down year for film, or was I just busy with other stuff? I only graded two films a B+ that year (Toy Story 3, Poetry) and nothing above that. For comparison, 2009 had 9 films; and 2011 had 8.

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Year-by-Year: Something Old, Something New
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2015, 06:41:57 PM »
A quick Google search gave me The Social Network and Never Let Me Go. Just sayin'...
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Re: Year-by-Year: Something Old, Something New
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2015, 07:07:35 PM »
By the way, was 2010 a down year for film, or was I just busy with other stuff?
My 2010 matched the years just before and after, but on closer inspection I noticed the list was padded with short films (The External World, I'm Here), non-theatrical releases (Temple Grandin, Sherlock) and a Bollywood recommended by roujin (Band Baaja Baaraat)