For Antonioni, I really think it would be better for you to start with his colored films like Il deserto rosso or Blowup. Even titles like Zabriskie Point and Professione: reporter would do because the fact that is colored takes away a lot of emphasis on the need for plot and would awe you in his Mise-en-scène with all those amazing colors.
Lol, just went from watching The Third Man to Tropic Thunder. Aaah, my cinematic tastes…
12 is young and I would not recommend some of the films listed above. However YES see all you can, you only go around once.
But back to your original question. I would strongly suggest watching any directors films chronologically whenever possible. This can be much easier when looking back. You will learn a great deal more about the artist doing this.Truffaut or Fellini are great examples of this. Cherry picking filmmakers of this caliber is much like looking thru the wrong end of a telescope. Blah…Blah…enjoy!
Man, when I was twelve, I was listening to Limp Bizkit and Celine Dion.
Fellini is definitely a director you can gain some insight into by watching his films in chronological order… He changed so much due to his own growth as a filmmaker, but also the money he received and the changes in technology….
chronologically is how I watched Fellini for the first time and was able to pick out my favourites to watch again and again….
start with I Vitelloni and La Strada and work on from there
Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt. Get the Criterion Collection edition and watch it a 2nd time with commentary. It blew my mind how much Godard owned that movie. Also, take a look at the post “What films changed the way you saw cinema?”
Another good choice, though not Criterion, is Martin Scorsese’s Journey Through American Film. A good introductory tour through what shaped American Cinema, as told by a true auteur and lifelong cinephile.
i think it’s funny, ryan, that you have posted a number of follow up comments, but there are still posters who write as if you aren’t in the room. happy hunting, my friend. the more you watch films, the more you realize how few you’ve seen.
For Samuel Fuller, go with PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET. It’s an amazing film you’ll probably love. You’ll probably also dig THE BIG RED ONE.
I have to say it’s pretty neat that you’re so into these types of films at such a young age. I didn’t get into these types of films until I was around 16. (I’m 28). Are your parents film buffs too?
Ryan – you have some great suggestions here, now go and watch! Don’t be put off by someone telling you to watch something when you are older – watch whatever you want now! FYI three of my all time favorite films are by Kurosawa, Fellini, and Antonioni. They are: Rashomon, 8 1/2, and Blowup. I can watch them again and again. My other perennial favorites are Third Man, 2001, Stalker – a film by Tarkovsky (and no, you are not too young for it, but try Ivan’s Childhood for the perspective of a Tarkovsky hero about your age), Also on my list is John Ford’s Grapes of Wrath – a film I first saw around your age and it changed my life. You have to do Bergman now, too, My favorite pick would be Wild Strawberries, but you might prefer Fanny & Alexander because it is partly told from the standpoint of – you guessed it – someone around 12). Resnais is another that will get you a life-time membership in the cinephile elite if you watch Last Year at Marienbad – and shoot anyone (figuratively, of course) who says it is boring. Of course, you must see Citizen Kane. When you have seen all these, you can then b.s. with the best of them on this site.
For more, Fellini’s Juliet of the Spirits is a must see for you, if you like Fellini. For Truffaut, no surprises here, go with the standards everyone raves about – 400 Blows and my personal favorite Truffaut – Jules & Jim. Happy viewing! And the best thing about this site – no tests, no assignments (just what you want), no kids in class saying, “Why do you want to watch that for?”
Saw Citizen Kane, 2001, Third Man, Grapes of Wrath, Rashomon. Juliet of the Spirits is Fellini? Okay, so I have seen some Fellini.
Dead on, man. Dead on.
Don’t worry – I am a GIANT hip-hop/rock fan. Just cuz I like to study film doesn’t mean Kanye West and The Beatles aren’t my faves.
Wow, Ryan – you are moving very fast through the list. How about, for fun, trying a Billy Wilder film? Start with Some Like It Hot (if you haven’t seen it already, in which case you are starting to scare me). See if you think it funny – or dated and dumb. This won’t make a cinephile of you, but it is one of my favorites: The World of Henry Orient with Peters Sellers. It is sort of a comedy/drama, you know, starts funny, ends kind of sad. When I saw it, I fell in love with the girls in, as I was about their age at the time. If you ever do see it, I would be interested what you think of the two very inventive girls in the pic – this was made in the early 60s. Back then, they would be considered smart and sophisticated, for their age. Give it a try, when you aren’t working your way through the ‘greatest films’ list. Watching good movies makes you smarter – it’s a scientific fact!
Truffaut: Antoine Doinel series. THere absolutely amazing and this series contains his masterpiece “the 400 Blows”
Kurosawa: “The Bad Sleep Well” “Seven Samurai” is probably the best to see first but my favorite of all his films is the bad sleep well.
Louis Malle: He is not on the list but if you like french new wave then see some of his films. Especially “Au Revoir Le Enfants” and “The Fire Within”
I agree with Bob… there are some great films to check out on the lighter side of cinematic history… Billy Wilder is an amazing place to start. SOme Like it Hot is awesome, but my personal favourite is The Apartment.
Also I suggest Umbrella’s of Cherbourg and Model Shop by Jacques Demy
And Play Time by Jacques Tati is great…..and The Party with Peter Sellers.
Just creating a balance between the powerful and the lighter side of cinema is great, it gives a better perspective of all that the tradition and art form has to offer.
Although the Kurosawa greats are always on my lists, my favorite is, and always will be, ‘Dreams’. It is amazing to see so much packed into each and every short film which makes up ‘Dreams’. If you like ‘Dreams’, I recommend also checkong out ‘Kwaidan’, these short Japanese horror stories are wonderful (speaking of Kwaidan I should check out some more Kobayashi myself). In addition, if you’d like to see a European spin on samaurai films (Kurosawa in reverse); watch Melville’s ‘Le Samourai’.
Have you seen Fellini’s ‘La Strada’? It stayed in my mind for months.
I must admit I haven’t seen any Antonioni and although I have a few Truffaut DVDs I still have not watched them. There is just so much to see. Maybe you can tell me which one’s to watch first? :)
For Kurosawa i recomend anything with Mifune in it as his sheer charisma and stage presence may keep the running times, themes, and structurally different films of japan more than palpable. I won’t list them here as you can look them up on imdb.com
i can’t comment much on the other directors (as i haven’t seen too much from from them :S) I can however recommend Amarcord from mr. fellini it will get you used to long almost plotless films :D
Yes I’ve seen Some Like It Hot and The Apartment, hehe.
What should I see this weekend? Rachel Getting Married or Slumdog Millionare?
Slumdog Millionaire for sure!!!!
Just thinking of what I saw when I was about your age that blew me over. There were two (I think I was about 16, so “considerably” older): Potemkin by Eisenstein and Ivan’s Childhood by Tarkovsky. Someone here wrote to you not to limit yourself to the “greats.” Go out and see lots of movies — the more you see, the more discerning you’ll be. And there are lots of masterpieces — and even movies that aren’t masterpieces can teach you about film and raise your expectations.
What kind of 12 year is into Antoinoni? Ah well, good for you for being outside the box. =)
It may not be an essential film of his, but try watching Truffaut’s adaptation of Fahrenheit 451. It’s not exactly faithful to the text, but its beautifully acted with some amazing shots.
i’m fucken impressed, dude.
See Jean Pierre Melville films like Bob the Gambler and Le Samourai— or Rififi or Touchez pas au Grisbi. Stsrt off with ganster and Noirs for sure. But if you want a Kurosawa film go for High and Low. If you want Truffaut, watch Fahrenheit 451— his only english film— then jump directly to Shoot the Piano Player,
But you should get a taste for classic Americ Cinema with American touches like Bullitt or Vanishing Point. And westerns are essential—the Professionals, Django, and The Good the Bad And The Ugly. Why doesnt Criterion release westerns
Littlerifi: Seen the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!
Scott: I loved the book Fahrenheit 451, I’ll check out the movie.
Michael: I saw Battleship Potemkin, I actually hated it. The stairs sequence was excellent and probably set the stage for Godfather and The Untouchables. But it was boring and preachy.
Pooch: Seeing Slumdog on Friday. Trying to catch Rachel Getting Married.
I don’t know you personally but my advice is when people say to wait to be more mature before seeing certain films ignore them. People told me when I was 12 to wait on many films and finally I said screw it and fell in love with the films I was supposedly too young to enjoy. Now the average 12 year old probably is too immature but the average 18 year old is too immature so know your own maturity and don’t necessarily listen when people tell you to wait (no offense to the people who gave this advice hahaha).
In regards to Kubrick who you say you love make sure to see Barry Lyndon, Paths of Glory, and Eyes Wide Shut. I also just want to say it is great to see a 12 year old who appreciates great films.
Just a general not for you, Ryan: At your age it is safe to assume there may be films that you are not going to enjoy right away (I’m not harping on your age, and it seems you’re quite mature for your age). The main thing I’ve learned from getting into art films at an early age is to never write-off a film you watched at 12 when you’re 20 or 25. I know with so much cinema out there you will constantly be wanting to watch everything you haven’t seen yet…but give yourself the time to rewatch some of the classics you just didn’t get the first time around. I know some of my favorite films today were ones I hated when I was 15.
Also, in response to Ryan Boudinot…as a Brian, it sucks to be called Ryan all the time.
What a great thread. You seem to have had a good number of suggestions for the directors you’ve listed so I’ll suggest a few other directors / films that you may of may not have seen but were essential viewing for me when I first began to love film. Firstly I don’t think anybody’s mentioned Hitchcock yet. Obviously one of the giants of cinema history so you probably have already seen some. If not I’d recommend The 39 Steps, Rope and the re-make of The Man Who Knew Too Much as starting points.
There’s also a large amount of British cinema, especially from the 1940s that is really special. Powell and Pressburger are excellent and if you haven’t seen A Matter of Life or Death, then I would make that a priority, although The Red Shoes and I Know Where I’m Going are also good starting points. Also the Ealing comedies Passport to Pimlico, Kind Hearts and Coronets, The Lavender Hill Mob and The Ladykillers are outstanding. In terms of European cinema I’d certainly second the Melville recommendations. La Samourai and Le Circle Rouge are excellent but Army of Shadows is still probably my favourite. Finally Clouzot’s Wages of Fear is probably the most nail-biting cinematic experiences you are ever likely to have.
Most importantly of all just keep going, see as much as you can see and if you don’t like something by a particular director don’t give up, try something else to see if it will change your opinion. I almost wrote off Antonioni after watching The Red Desert and disliking it because I was too young to appreciate it, but the benefits of a being a couple of years older, combined with the beauty of L’Avventura just about won me back.
Kurosawa: HIGH AND LOW – i dont think anyone has mentioned it yet, and it is so fantastic. its also fairly western, and in my opinion, a nice starting place for Kurosawa.
Fellini: Nights of Cabiria THEN 8 1/2.
Also, while you didn’t mention this director, i’d check out Kieslowski. His films are extremely beautiful and incredibly philosophical and thought provoking. And for some fun check out Brazil and Guy Madden. Watch whatever you can and lots of it!