Thursday, January 12, 2006

100 (or so) Films (and 10 TV shows) you should see...sometime

I suppose it was inevitable but my students asked me for a list of 100 films they should see before graduating. But a similar list concerning books has filled me with anxiety ever since high school. (Apparently, we got to "everything" save for PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN and JUDE THE OBSCURE. Read the former immediately upon graduation but never got around to the latter. Never having read it seems like a minor triumph now.) So instead, I gave them a list of 100 (or so) films that I merely adore. I tried to pick obscure films/directors not for obscurity's sake but for the students' own. Perhaps I'm naive in assuming this but I believe that someone someday will tell them that ALL ABOUT EVE or NIGHT OF THE HUNER are great films and that they should seem them right now. In fact, I already did that myself during class. So the titles below exclude some personal faves (like the above) so that they'll move beyond Welles and Chaplin.

But I had an ulterior motive in making this list. I always actively encourage my students to support local businesses. So for better or worse, almost all of these titles are available at Austin's amazing video stores (I Love Video and Vulcan Video). Still, I included a few films that have never been released on video (never mind DVD) just to remind them to seek out films on film when they can.

An Actor's Revenge (Kon Ichikawa 1962)
Alone. Life Wastes Andy Hardy (Martin Arnold 1998)
Angel, Angel, Down We Go (Robert Thom 1969)
Angel Face (Otto Preminger 1952)
The Apple (Menahem Golan 1980)
Au Hasard Balthazar (Robert Bresson 1966)
Autumn Tale (Eric Rohmer 1998)
Awaara (Raj Kapoor 1951)
The Black Cat (Edgar G. Ulmer 1934)
Blow Job (Andy Warhol 1963)
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (Sam Peckinpah 1974)
By Brakhage - Cheating, I know but...
Careful (Guy Maddin 1992)
Céline and Julie Go Boating (Jacques Rivette 1974)
The Chambermaid on the Titanic (Bigas Luna 1998)
A Chronicle of Corpses (Andrew Repasky McElhinney 2000)
La Cienaga (Lucretia Martel 2001)
Close My Eyes (Stephen Poliakoff 1992)
The Color of Pomegranates (Sergei Paradjanov 1968)
Conspirators of Pleasure (Jan Svankmajer 1996)
Crash (David Cronenberg 1996)
Crazy in Alabama (Antonio Banderas 1999)
Dance, Girl, Dance (Dorothy Arzner 1940)
Distant Voices, Still Lives (Terrence Davies 1988)
The Driller Killer (Abel Ferrara 1979)
Edge of Hell (Hugo Haas 1956)
8 Women (François Ozon 2000)
Esther Kahn (Arnaud Desplechin 2000)
The Exterminating Angel (Luis Buñuel 1962)
Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (Russ Meyer 1965)
Female on the Beach (Joseph Pevney starring Joan Crawford 1955)
The Five Senses (Jeremy Podeswa 1999)
Flaming Creatures (Jack Smith 1963)
Flowers of Shanghai (Hou Hsiao-hsien 1998)
Force of Evil (Abraham Polonsky 1948)
The Gay Deceivers (Bruce Kessler 1969)
The Girl From Chicago (Oscar Micheaux 1932)
Hallelujah, I'm a Bum (Lewis Milestone 1933)
The Hole (Tsai Ming-liang 2000)
I Am Cuba (Mikhail Kalatozov 1964)
Illusions (Julie Dash 1980)
Imitation of Life (Douglas Sirk 1959)
It's Pat - The Movie (Adam Bernstein 1995)
Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Akerman 1975)
Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray 1954)
Kal Ho Naa Ho (Nikhil Advani 2003)
Love Me Tonight (Rouben Mamoulian 1932)
Love Streams (John Cassavetes 1982)
Make Way for Tomorrow (Leo McCarey 1937)
Katzelmacher (Rainer Werner Fassbinder 1969)
Kikujiro (Takeshi Kitano 1999)
The Ladies Man (Jerry Lewis 1961)
Lost Book Found (Jem Cohen 1996)
Lovers of the Arctic Circle (Julio Medem 1999)
Love Streams (John Cassavetes 1984)
Manji (Yasuzo Masumura 1964)
Meet Me in St. Louis (Vincente Minnelli 1944)
Mikey and Nicky (Elaine May 1975)
Moonrise (Frank Borzage 1948)
The Mother and the Whore (Jean Eustache 1973)
My Architect (Nathaniel Kahn 2003)
My Parents Read Dreams I’ve Had About Them (Neil Goldberg 1998)
The Naked Spur (Anthony Mann 1953)
Nightdreams (Francis Delia 1981)
Oasis (Chang-dong Lee 2002)
The Old Dark House (James Whale 1932)
On Top of the Whale (Raul Ruiz 1982)
Page of Madness (Teinosuke Kinugasa 1926)
The Palm Beach Story (Preston Sturges 1942)
The Pajama Game (George Abbott/Stanley Donen 1957)
Pink Flamingos (John Waters 1972)
Playtime (Jacques Tati 1967)
The Plot Against Harry (Michael Roemer 1968)
Porn Theater (Jacques Nolot 2002)
Red Line 7000 (Howard Hawks 1965)
La Région Centrale (Michael Snow 1967)
Russian Ark (Alexander Sokurov 2002)
Seeds (aka Seeds of Sin) (Andy Milligan 1968)
The Seventh Victim (Mark Robson 1943)
7 Women (John Ford 1966)
Sextette (Ken Hughes starring Mae West 1978)
Sherlock Jr. (Buster Keaton 1924)
Shoah (Claude Lanzmann 1985)
Shock Treatment (Jim Sharman 1981)
Showgirls (Paul Verhoeven 1995)
Some Call It Loving (James B. Harris 1973)
The Story of the Late Chrysanthemums (Kenji Mizoguchi 1939)
Submit To Me Now (Richard Kern 1987)
Sylvia Scarlett (George Cukor 1935)
The Target Shoots First (Chris Wilcha 1998)
Ten (Abbas Kiarostami 2002)
Those Who Love Me Can Take The Train (Patrice Chéreau 1998)
Time Out (Laurent Cantet 2002)
To Sleep with Anger (Charles Burnett 1990)
Tough Guys Don't Dance (Norman Mailer 1987)
Track of the Cat (William Wellman 1954)
Trouble in Paradise (Ernst Lubitsch 1932)
Les Vampires (Louis Feuillade 1915-16)
The Vyrotonin Decision (Matt McCormick 1999)
Wanda (Barbara Loden 1971)
White Dog (Sam Fuller 1982)
Women of the Night (Zalman King 2000)
Xanadu (Robert Greenwald 1980)
The Young Girls of Rochefort (Jacques Demy 1967)

TV -
The Ben Stiller Show
The Critic
The Ernie Kovacs Show
Get A Life
Green Acres
Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
The Outer Limits (especially episodes directed by Gerd Oswald)
Parker Lewis Can't Lose
Pink Lady (terrible early 1980s revue show but the Jerry Lewis guest spot is jaw-dropping)
Sabrina The Teenage Witch


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