Okay. Let’s say you are a precocious cinephile under the age of 17. You’re too intelligent to watch Disney or American Pie all the time. What are some great films that you can watch without being exposed to anything too sick, perverse or violent at too young an age (provided you don’t want to be exposed to those things).
Truffaut’s 400 Bloods
Renoir’s Grand Illusion and The Rules of the Game
Bergman – but what by Bergman?
Howard Hawks’ Monkey Business, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Only Angels Have Wings
Carl Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc
Robert Bresson’s Au Hasard Balthasar
The Red Shoes
Solaris, Herzog’s documentaries,
Anything by Jarmusch—in fact, I think that would be an ideal place to start—hip and wry without being glib.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Passion of the Christ
Dawn of the Dead
Man Bites Dog
Ichi the Killer
Nate, be serious.
Anything pre-1970s is easily clean. Thema may not be (e.g. Bergman), but there’s nothing show (as there is in American cinema post-1970), only hited at.
Rebel Without a Cause – every teenager should identify somewhat with James Dean – he’s the lad!
Anything by Kubrick, like Jarmusch mentioned above.
For Bergman, I’d pick Fanny & Alexander (theatrical version), because it takes the story in its second half esp., from the young boy’s perspective.
Casablanca, although most any interested kid would have probably seen it already. Also, Bogie’s Maltese Falcon. Basically any Bogart movie.
World of Henry Orient – just for the sake of being a bit lighter and for those wonderful two girls.
Anything by Billy Wilder: Some Like it Hot, The Apartment, Sunset Boulevard – saw these all as a kid myself and loved them.
Fellini’s 8 1/2 for the more adventuresome.
Carol Reed’s Third Man and Odd Man Out – both are must sees.
De Sica’s Umberto D. and for more light-hearted mood, After the Fox – two very contrasting films. Heck, why not Bicycle Thieves, too?
Tarkovsky’s Ivan’s Childhood
Ford’s Grapes of Wrath
Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai
For any 17 or unders reading these posts:
After you have seen a film, then write a one page paper on it explaing what you thought. If you follow the postings here by everyone, you are well on your way to being a ‘cinephile’. Come back to the auteurs and trade stories with us, eh Justin?
I actually watched all those films I mentioned before I reached the age of 17. I am 17 years old.
To be serious, Justin’s and Bob’s lists are good.
Chaplin’s films would be good.
Nate, I hear you, I watched my first Godard films when I was twelve, and my first Fassbinders when I was about thirteen or fourteen. And I think I turned out okay. I certainly didn’t like being patronized at that age. But Jason raised a good point on the Eyes Wide Shut thread — we might as well try to find some films that are intelligent and great, but not necessarily overly sexual and violent in nature.
My answer is … ANY FILM THE KID MIGHT WANT TO SEE.
I’m sorry, but I was a child of the 70s who had some very hip, mod, happening parents and I grew up in an older suburban college town. I saw THE EXORCIST at 9 and NASHVILLE and ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST and TAXI DRIVER at 11, and, while I didn’t necessarily understand everything in those films at the time, the experiences of seeing them then nevertheless stay with me still and helped as much as anything toward my personal development. I don’t buy into the whole idea that children must be “protected” from art or language. I look at it more as ‘Knowledge is Power.’ ( <= as taught to my entire generation by Schoolhouse Rocky!)
In fact, I see the whole “Child Worship” movement, as George Carlin labeled it as it developed from the early 80s onward, as one of the major reasons cinema (and art in general) is so lacking today. What are we REALLY protecting? Further, it’s a reason why drivel like FORREST GUMP and CRASH is celebrated, while films with points to make like QUIZ SHOW and THE THIN RED LINE and anything by Tarantino are sequestered. Oh-oh,must protect little Johnny’s and Janey’s fragile sensitivities and, above all, their self-esteem. Quick, throw on some Barney! Or Mel Gibson’s fanatical religious claptrap, even if it is violent, because it’s about you-know-who.
Be real — who wouldn’t take the bet of the entire Bad News Bears team taking on ANY of today’s youth icons?!? And if it’s Hannah from Montana … well, that takes us back to the ratings system argument.
Are we talking content or what the average under 17 year old would be willing to watch? Those are two very different answers. Honestly the great films that have intense violence or sex a 17 year old would be more likely to watch and then be exposed to great films. Some would just like the violence or sex, but some would find the real reasons to like the film. I’m under 17 and I take this into consideration when showing my friends movies since they aren’t that open minded. Now I don’t want them liking the films for the wrong reasons but it just seems they will pay more attention if the film starts with sex or violence.
Answering the original question I agree with the person that said anything pre-1970s. Post-1970s there are plenty also. Sure they might have violence but would you really say The Godfather is scarring to an under 17 year old? There are very few movies that are extremely explicit (at least in my opinion).
I understand you Justin, I think it’s good that you wrote in your original post in parenthesis, “(provided you don’t want to be exposed to those things)”.
Because I wanted to be exposed to all film, bad and good, so that I experienced everything film had to offer.
I think the two lists by Bob and you are good starters.
I remember 5 films that kinda jump-started me early on that weren’t too explict were:
2001: A Space Odyssey
The Seventh Seal
The Passion of Joan of Arc
Christopher and Drew bring up an interesting point. Who are we trying to protect? My own daughter was exposed to long marathon sessions of Tarkovsky films from an early age. My wife took her when she was very young to a screening at a film festival for a feature done by Bunuel’s daughter that contained a rather brutal rape scene. My wife didn’t realize it was for for 18 and over and had read it was a comedy! Nobody stopped our daughter from going in. She just shut her eyes for the scene. My wife got dirty looks from everyone when she took our daughter out, but our daughter wasn’t upset. When we took our daughter at about six to see the first Indian Jones movie, she watched everything, but my wife closed her eyes, as she is very paranoid about snakes. Didn’t faze our daughter, at all. My daughter was like Christopher, exposed to everything we watched. She is now a well-adjusted film lover whom nothing shocks. Still, we want everyone to see the best, and it depends on their own sensibility what they will like or can take.
Yeah, I’d agree—I saw Blue Velvet and Clockwork Orange, etc before I was 17, multiple times. Not to mention the countless horror films that aren’t exactly well made. But I’m not sure I’d necessarily recommend those—it’d depend on the parent. By 14 or so, most of what I watched my parents had no clue about.
How about films that might build positive self-esteem in young women? Take Care of My Cat, maybe?
NATE- those are exactly the movies i sought out when i was 15. i have no idea why. that’s when i saw begotten, and loved it.
-When you say “too intelligent to enjoy Disney”…are you referring to Disney animation, non-animation Disney, or the whole lot? Or are you referring to animation in general (using Disney as a connotation to include all animation)? Because while I agree most Disney animation can be throwaway to those above the age of 12 (ESPECIALLY Disney’s attempts at 3D animation sans Pixar…ugh), I think there are a number of Disney and animation films in general worth checking out for artistic merit. Some of my all-time favorite films are animation! (asterisks by my personal faves)
Top animation of recent years (off the top of my head):
-The Triplets of Belleville*
-Howl’s Moving Castle
-The Nightmare Before Christmas
…and while I haven’t seen “Waltz With Bashir” I’ve heard nothing but good things.
Hey Justin, its The 400 Blows. Just putting it out there.
Ron, I was using Disney as more of a generic term for young adult fare.
Eggman, thanks, this is what happens when I try to type too fast or too late at night, lol. There Will Be 400 Bloods!
Tho’ I’m looking forward to the sequel “400 Crips”
Ah, well played.
Richard, I was gonna do a crips-blood thing! lol
I think Clockwork Orange and Blue Velvet are very good young women self-esteem growing films!
On a more serious note though good films for this thread would be Cassavetes’ films and Kobayshi’s Kwaidan, which is eerie, but not perverse or overly crazy.
positive self-esteem in young women, oh god. What am I supposed to watch for that? Steel Magnolias? yuck, yuck, yuck. I’ll watch Blue Velvet over that any day.
Bringing Up Baby
Before Sunrise/Before Sunset
Being John Malkovich
Night of the Hunter
Paths of Glory
Rules of the Game
To Have and Have Not