Mizoguchi, I get - he dwells in bleak melodrama; the women suffer. I can see that with the non-samurai Kurosawas (though, it maybe exactly his samurai pics that you feel are chores!). But Ozu... Have you seen his comedies? There are lots of humor in his melodramas as well. I chuckle throughout Late Spring, for instance. It seems like people (not you) lump Ozu with directors like Bresson and non-early Dreyer (see what you did Paul Schrader), but Chaplin's, Harold Lloyd's (who, for my money, is up there with Keaton and Chaplin) and Lubitsch's influence can be spotted in Ozu's films. On the other hand, it's probably Ozu's comedies that you feel are chores so nevermind
I'm trying to remember what Ozu comedies I've seen. I Was Born But...
were both delightful. Yeah, it's not really that. It's more just that the last Ozu film I watched was Floating Weeds
(1959), and I was looking as forward to seeing that about as much anything, and it ended up really disappointing me. So I've sort of been shying away from Ozu for a bit. Presumably, the next film I see from him will get start the cycle again, with me excited to see everything he's done, only to get disappointed somewhere in there and back off for a while, etc.
Don't forget the incredible The Little Foxes! I think it's Wyler's best film.
You know, I actually haven't seen The Little Foxes
yet. It's one of those film I've recorded a bunch of times or planned to watch live or whatever, but it's not yet happened. There was also probably a time in there where I thought, hmm, maybe I should read Hellman's play first. It's not on TCM anytime soon, so I might have to rent it, now that you've reignited my interest. The Big Country
is on TCM in a couple days, though. Looking forward to that one. I should also maybe watch Ben-Hur
at some point, but that's another one of those where I always make an excuse (need to read the book first, need to see the silent version first, need to see it in 70mm, like I've had more than a couple chances to, etc.). Plus I'm scared of Charlton Heston.
What's the reason for that? The Big Sky is pretty underrated. And, yes, I am one of those who thinks Rio Bravo is his best film.
My hesitancy to see more of Hawks' work from after 1950 is mostly just an instinct thing — a reluctance to see him work in color, fail to grow more as a director, recycle more of his older work, and such. I've seen only seen Rio Bravo
and bits and pieces of Monkey Business
and Gentleman Prefer Blondes
, and I just got a bad vibe from all of those. I wish I remembered more clearly why I didn't like Rio Bravo
; I suppose I should watch it again. I'll try to catch The Big Sky
at some point, too — but probably after Ceiling Zero
and Air Force
Have you seen Victor Erice's Dream of Light?
No, but I just put a hold on one of the VHS copies at the library.
What do you think of the films of Bill Douglas, Morris Engel, Ermanno Olmi, early Milos Forman, the Dardenne brothers, Cassavetes, and Peter Watkins?
I'm totally unfamiliar with Bill Douglas. What should I hunt down first? I think Engel's The Little Fugitive
is such a special film, just on it's own, but also in the way it was made and the influence it feels like it had on The 400 Blows
. Haven't seen anything else by Engel. For Olmi, I've only seen The Tree of Wooden Clogs
, which didn't do much for me, but I don't remember it very well at all, and the fact that I'm surprised to see Olmi's name among these others tells me I should probably watch The Legend of the Holy Drinker
sooner rather than later. Except for Svankmajer, really, Czech film is a huge gap in what I've seen, and that extends to early Forman (and Chytilová). I should really get on that. The Dardennes seem like they'll probably be on my top directors list if we do it again in five years — and I base that on having seen just La Promesse
. Their style is perfectly appealing to me. Cassavetes is a director I respect but don't really like — but I really haven't seen enough to make that kind of judgment (Shadows
and A Woman Under the Influence
, I guess). In my head, I've sort of written off his films as having too many scenes of people shouting at each other. That said, I still really really want to see The Killing of a Chinese Bookie
. I finally saw Watkins' The War Game
recently, the first of which I thought was good but not great. I remain really optimistic about Edvard Munch
I get the feeling that you took an 'outside the box' approach to your list.
That wasn't my intent, really. There was a moment where I thought I might throw in some tv directors (Mark Tinker!) or directors with just one film to their credit (Lee Kwang-mo!), but the more time I spent thinking about it, the more effort I put into creating I list that I feel like I can truly stand behind. I didn't even try to game the system by ranking the underdogs higher or anything like that. What I posted was as accurate as I could make it.
I'm genuinely surprised at the inclusion of [Bresson] since I've never seen pix talk highly too highly of him.
I just feel very very comfortable in his world.