DIRECTED BY: Luis Buñuel
FEATURING: Fernando Rey, Paul Frankeur, Delphine Seyrig, Bulle Ogier, Stéphane Audran, Jean-Pierre Cassel
PLOT: Six friends attempt to have dinner together, but repeatedly fail for increasingly bizarre reasons.
WHY IT SHOULD MAKE THE LIST: A plot so simple it’s barely a plot at all starts out small . . . → Read More: LIST CANDIDATE: THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE (1972)
Buster Keaton‘s Seven Chances (1925) features the greatest chase scene in silent cinema. It is a typically no-holds barred, Keatonesque climax. The film also highlights Keaton’s major flaw: his inability to rise above the racism of his society. This is a flaw that cannot be ignored; it factors into our moral and aesthetic assessment of the . . . → Read More: SEVEN CHANCES (1925)
Buster Keaton further explored his fascination with the west in his feature Go West (1925). Keaton had previously parodied the westerns of William S. Hart in Frozen North (1922) and Go West is a further development of that exploration. Go West, however, is more influenced by Charlie Chaplin than by Hart; it has qualities which have to come to . . . → Read More: GO WEST (1925) AND ONE WEEK (1920)
DIRECTED BY: Luis Buñuel
FEATURING: Fernando Rey, Carole Bouquet, Angela Molina
PLOT: A rich French businessman courts a beautiful young Spanish woman over the years, but although she sometimes professes to love him, she continually refuses to consummate the relationship.
WHY IT WON’T MAKE THE LIST: Obscure Object is one of Buñuel’s best, . . . → Read More: CAPSULE: THAT OBSCURE OBJECT OF DESIRE (1977)
The Navigator (1924) was Buster Keaton‘s biggest commercial success and remains one of his most popular features. Co-directed by Donald Crisp, it is a bona fide classic. Affluent society heir Rollo (Keaton) wakes up one morning, sees a newlywed couple outside of his window, and, bored to tears, decides he wants to get married. Love, of . . . → Read More: THE NAVIGATOR (1924) AND FROZEN NORTH (1922)
An alien race comes to Earth to rid everyone of their opposable thumbs, but their plan doesn’t go so smoothly when they have a run in with a Texas Sheriff.
These two Buster Keaton films, separated by seven years, represent the artist at his most hyperkinetic. Playhouse (1921), co-directed by Keaton and Eddie Cline, is a twenty-two minute short and one of Keaton’s most surreal efforts. The movie iris-ins on Keaton’s Opera House. It’s actually a vaudeville show, in which Keaton is the conductor, every . . . → Read More: PLAYHOUSE (1921) AND STEAMBOAT BILL JR. (1928)
DIRECTORS: John Huston, Ken Hughes, Joseph McGrath, Robert Parrish, Val Guest, Richard Talmadge (uncredited)
CAST: David Niven, Peter Sellers, Ursula Andress, Orson Welles, Woody Allen, Barbara Bouchet, Joanna Pettet, Terence Cooper, Daliah Lavi, Deborah Kerr, Jacqueline Bisset, Bernard Cribbins, Ronnie Corbett, Anna Quayle, John Huston, William Holden, Charles Boyer, Vladek Sheybal, Burt Kwouk, Peter O’Toole, . . . → Read More: CAPSULE: CASINO ROYALE (1967)
Our Hospitality (1923) was Buster Keaton‘s first true feature film. Keaton’s previous “feature,” Three Ages (1923) was actually three short films assembled together. There was both an artistic and a commercial reason for this: Three Ages was a parody of the similarly structured D.W. Griffith feature Intolerance (1916). Additionally, Keaton had proved his audience appeal in shorts. Metro Pictures . . . → Read More: OUR HOSPITALITY (1923)
Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain
DIRECTED BY: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
FEATURING: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Dominique Pinon, Rufus
PLOT: An introverted and imaginative Parisian girl devotes herself to secretly helping those around her, but is it only because she’s afraid to go after love herself?
WHY IT MIGHT MAKE THE LIST: If Amélie makes . . . → Read More: LIST CANDIDATE: AMELIE (2001)