I mentioned Five Easy Pieces because, while critically acclaimed in it’s release, I’ve never had anyone personally recommend it to me/talk about it and I feel as though it’s kind of overshadowed or forgotten in the discussion of ’70s cinema.
When you unpack, we’ll do a weigh off :)
Hope moving goes well. Always a stressful time.
I think five easy pieces is one of the 70’s best.
Brother—I said generally underrated, and obviously Mubi’s ratings are not what I would consider general. But even by Mubi standards it’s underrated (number of fans):
Dr. Srangelove: 11,433
Clockwork Orange: 20,819
Full Metal Jacket: 10,750
Eyes Wide Shut: 5,933
I was actually surprised to find that Clockwork Orange, which I don’t think I’ve heard anyone argue as his best film, was number one. Just goes to show the arbitrariness of these things. I rarely refer to them and only point them out in response to your post.
EDIT: In fact, the real underrated Kubrick film, judging by Mubi fan standards, is Paths of Glory, which I didn’t include since it has a Criterion release, but look at these numbers:
Paths of Glory: 2,608
And it’s easily one of his best films.
Interesting seeing The Shining in third place… I’m guessing that Clockwork Orange captured the most hearts because it is a violent, crazy, beautiful rollercoaster ride into the pit of hell. Good stuff, people my age take kindly to it. (I showed it to my brother, and I believe it’s his favorite film now)
And Eyes Wide shut is the lowest ranked…
Pop culture, rather than cinephilia, has something to do with that, I’d think.
You’re probably right. I just like to think that when people watch it, their minds open and they think more thoughtfully than they usually would. I hope they aren’t just getting sadistic kicks out of it.
My counter argument would be Tarantino.
A few directors and their (relatively) least focused upon,(possibly) most underestimated:
Paul Schrader – Light Sleeper
Mary Harron – I Shot Andy Warhol
John Huston – Under the Volcano
Films that I think deserve more attention:
The Demon (1978, Nomura)Proof (1991, Moorhouse)The Onion Field (1979, Becker)
Tarantino is an inspiration to clerks everywhere… But I’m not sure we need copycats.
When the violence and sadistic stuff isn’t going on in his movies, there is his writing and storytelling. I hope they pick up on that (I also hope I’m not coming off as an arrogant prick).
Tarantino is a huge copycat. Reservoir Dogs is City on Fire. And I like most of his films, but he’s not an innovator.
City on Fire. Haven’t heard of that. How obvious is it?
I guess Tarantino is my favorite copycat.
Scenes directly lifted. And I like Dogs a lot—I love it and a lot of his films, especially the early ones, but he’s stolen more than he’s created.
True. I would be rather okay with this (seeing as how I love everything he’s made regardless) if he didn’t take full credit and admit he’s stolen. But I think I heard someone say that he took full credit for a scene he lifted completely from another film. I love you, Quentiy, but not cool.
@ HOUSE OF LEAVES
I used to love his films too, until I found his influences were far more interesting and insightful than he was.
Yeah, he became a pop-culture phenom, and it all got swept under the rug. Still, I think his best film, and maybe the one that is most him, is Pulp Fiction.
Wonderland is a flick I really enjoy that noone really talks about. It’s Rashomon with porn stars and drugs. Some solid performances and interesting visual flairs, I enjoy it a lot.
S1mone I think this one has been forgotten about for the most part. I think it’s one of Pacino’s best performance, and you can cut the satire and commentary on the film industry with a butter knife.
Falling Down Those that talk about it generally love it, but they are few and far between. The aftermath of the arms race and fall of the wall heavily influence this film. The idea of being disenfranchised from your own world is a terrifying concept, and they paint both sides of a deeply flawed protagonist.
Synecdoche, New York also deserves more accolades. Heart wrenching.
Ahoy. Pulp Fiction is in my top 10. I love that and it has had the most influence on me dialogue wise. (if I had a quarter for everytime I quoted it, I’d be the richest bastard on the planet)
He was just a video store clerk, then an usher at skin flicks, then became an academy award winner. Pretty inspiring, but won’t happen to everybody (but still).
Tarantino actually has some great advice for writers trying to create realistic dialoug, advice which I used in my first novel—essentially, listen to conversations and write them down.
You wrote a book? I’d love to read it!
I use the Scorsese method, and just observe how people act while looking creepy.
Thanks, but I wrote it ten years ago, and it makes me cringe now. Thinking about rewriting, though…
I respect a writer who can see changes that need to be made to their past work and are willing to admit they cringe at them. What was it about if you don’t mind my asking?
The easiest explanation I can give is the difference between who I was then, when Lawrence of Arabia was my favorite film, and now, when I have a much greater appreciation of the world of cinema. I’ve just grown a lot, and while I like the concept and the themes of my book (titled My Private Apocalypse in a nod to John Kennedy Toole), it was an immature attempt and while I’m glad I “got it out” I’ll never try to publish it. Right now I’m more interested in screenplays, and I have what I think is a good one under my belt but even that one has to be massively re-written.
But we’re way off topic. Sorry bout that.
@House,— I’m not sure what all the ratings of Kubrick’s other films means in relation to EYES WIDE SHUT being underrated. You’re saying that the film is underrated by his usual popularity? OK, but he’s one of the most rated people on MUBI—perhaps the single most rated. I thought that underrated had to to with world cinema at large, not merely the most popular director on MUBI not getting enough credit for his last film. I admit that you act like a good fan.
I was under the impression that an underrated film was an excellent film which unfortunately has very few viewers, due to one thing or another—perhaps it’s been banned, was pulled after a disappointing release, caught in a legal battle, merely forgotten in the huge data base of available films. That would make for an interesting list, not an original list perhaps, but it would at least speak to films of great value which aren’t being viewed or appreciated. I will imagine that many, many of the greatest films ever made have less than 1000 fans on MUBI, which is supposed to be a group with more than average film interest. For you to qualify one of Kubrick’s films into a forgotten masterpiece even though its been seen by millions upon millions of viewers on initial release, VHS, DVD, streaming video, retrospects, museums, cinematiques, and written about in reviews, books, blogs, articles, scholarly academic studies. Well, I’m still not sure how you feel this film is underrated.
Many critics or mubites might argue that other films by other directors might deserve a title as underrated. You have chosen the most popular director on MUBI, Stanley Kubrick (as of last year at least) to chose the most underrated film, even though it’s popularity among ALL other films is written in stone. Kubrick has 5 films with more votes than Star Wars which is known as a popular film and arguably the godfather of special effects styled films which lead the popularity charts every year. If this style of popularity isn’t what you had in mind. But rather, you wanted critics and more discerning viewers to chose EYES WIDE OPEN, we can look how it fares in comparison to the popularity of critically appreciated titles: Here’s an impressive list, though a rough one of some critically valued films:
Eyes Wide Shut (Kubrick) 5,933 fans
Napoleon (Gance)—186 fans
Color of Pomegranates (Parajanov)—930 fans
Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein) 1643 fans
The Searchers (Ford) 1,900 fans
Zodiac (Fincher) 3,300 fans
Rules of the Game (Renoir) 2,200 fans
Wings of Desire (Wenders) 4,500 fans
Greed (von Stroheim) 327 fans
Singin in the Rain (Donen & Kelly) 4300 fans
Roshomon (Kurosawa) 5,060 fans
Grand Illusion (Renoir) 1,800 fans
Syndromes and a Century (Weerasethakul) 626 fans
Aguirre the Wrath of God (Herzog) 3,700 fans
La Dolce Vita (Fellini) 5300 fans
The General (Keaton & Bruckman) 2500 fans
Tokyo Story (Ozu) 2,260 fans
Best Years of Our Lives (Wyler) 380 fans
Tree of Life (Malick) 2,700 fans
Social Network (Fincher) 3,500 fans
Heat (Mann) 3,500
White Ribbon (Haneke) 2,900 fans
Hurt Locker (Bigelow) 2,360 fans
All of these films in the list above have less votes, and it can be argued less critical acclaim than Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut. In other words, your film is not underrated in the slightest, but is far too well known. We are a society in which celebrities are given far more attention than perhaps should be given to any individual, especially if those celebrities are film directors. Along with Scorsese, Chistopher Nolan, and a few other more modern filmmakers, Kubrick’s films are all given lots of critical and viewer attention. As you can judge from the list above, Eyes Wide Shut is being considered far more than some of the greatest films of all time. You may still believe Kubrick’s last film to be an undernourished whelp, but in reality EWS has been given far more attention than it deserved. He was a great crossover director who satisfied box office and critics, so that even today his films are granted a status very few others have ever enjoyed. Remember that 6 Kurbrick films have more fans than any of the list above, which many might consider a pantheon of great films. Nope, EWS is not a very good example of an undervalued or underrated film. (OCICBW).
I hope its okay if we end this little back and forth opinion bashing, believe what you want. But, in your thread participations, perhaps you can use your own popularity to get people interested in other, less advertised, less culturally iconographic films from top industry directors. You probably know every film in the list above, why not start with some of those. They ARE underrated.
Hurt Locker, underrated…? Any positive attention that film gets is too much. Surprising to see Greed has so few fans.
As I am a massive De Niro/Scorsese fan I have to recommend the highly dramatic and wonderfully acted ‘The King of Comedy’ which I personally think is one of their finest works and although not as good as say Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, it is still something to marvel at. Another underrated film is ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ which is an Australian film made in 1975 (I think!), It is a true story based on a group of private school girls in Australia who go on a picnic at a place called Hanging Rock (kind of in the title but hey!), a few of the girls wonder off into the rock and the story progresses from there. That may sound like a very childish movie but believe me it is chilling to the bone and at some points the suspense is horrifying, this film is amazingly acted and directed. A film which I think was quite stunning and slightly underrated is the original 1962 version of Cape Fear which included a brilliant performance by Robert Mitchum as Max Cady (although I still do not think this is better than the Scorsese /De Niro 1991 version which was a one man show but a show worth watching).
What about ‘Tyrannosaur’ which is a movie released in 2011 and as a Brit myself, I was very keen to see this movie. It is a ghastly depiction of a man on the edge and by the end you could almost say that it is heart warming. Although be warned that this is a very violent and tough movie to watch and is very intense. Beautifully acted though and must be seen by all, it even reminded very slightly of my tied favourite film Taxi Driver.
A Night To Remember is a film about the Titanic made in the 50s and is wonderful. So wonderfully shot and the film is filled with so many characters that make short but brilliant performances. The main thing I love about this film that sets apart from the usual jargon like ‘Titanic’ and others is that this film has no fictional sub-plot and it stays pin sharp on the actual story which is great to see.
’Miller’s Crossing’ is a Coen brothers classic that is not by any means better than Casino, Goodfellas and The Godfather but it is up there and is a must watch.
That’s it, what do you think?
Can’t judge a film based on how many mubi fans there are that’s like saying imdb’s top 250 is an accurate ranking of the greatest films of all time it just means those films are more popular. HoweverI get the point that a given film from a well known director can be underrated like Bergman and Summer Interlude which was the original point of this thread.
A King in New York
House by the River
To this discussion I would add Terrence Malick’s The New World.