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Movie Challenge- 77 Films in 70 Days

by Kim Packard
Movie Challenge- 77 Films in 70 Days by Kim Packard
Created May/June 2012 Initially, I intended this project to be limited to 70 films but wasn’t sure which films to weed out to trim the list down to 70. I finally selected the following films to be removed from the list (with some reservation for the Shawshank Redemption) as follows: 1. Chocolat (a nice example of magic realism but somewhat predictable) 5. Castle in the Sky (I prefer Nausicaa.) 10. She’s All That (There are better teen movies, aren’t there? e.g. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants ?) 17. The Count of Monte Christo (A great prison escape film based on a well-known novel, but a bit predictable.) 25. The Princess Bride… Read more

Created May/June 2012

Initially, I intended this project to be limited to 70 films but wasn’t sure which films to weed out to trim the list down to 70.

I finally selected the following films to be removed from the list (with some reservation for the Shawshank Redemption) as follows:

1. Chocolat (a nice example of magic realism but somewhat predictable)
5. Castle in the Sky (I prefer Nausicaa.)
10. She’s All That (There are better teen movies, aren’t there? e.g. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants ?)
17. The Count of Monte Christo (A great prison escape film based on a well-known novel, but a bit predictable.)
25. The Princess Bride (not enough substance, if I may be bold enough to say so)
38. The Illusionist (not enough substance) Wikipedia article
40. Pi (too extreme as a plot somehow with a lot of violence that doesn’t seem to lead anywhere) Psychflick review / a review by Brooke J. Cannon, Ph.D.
43. The Thomas Crown Affair (really enjoyed it but not enough substance that leaves a trace except for the sophistication that’s comparable to the best martini ever tasted)
45. The Maltese Falcon (not my favorite film noir)
51. Labyrinth (interesting but Alice in Wonderland is already on the list)
62. The Shawshank Redemption (A feel-good prison film with an innocent protagonist, maybe I should keep this one?)
72. Snatch (Brad Pitt is well-cast but somehow that’s not enough.)
78. The Squid and the Whale (I don’t like it enough to recommend it to others.) Is There Such a Thing As A “Good” Divorce”? A Review of The Squid and the Whale
81. Psycho (There are better Hitchcock films and also better horror films.)
83. The Bakery Girl of Monceau (I prefer other films from the series of six moral stories by Rohmer.)

I was specifically looking for films that appeal to low to mid-teens (12/13-14/15) and upper teens (16/17- 18) that are also sought out by college students/adults and can be used as a springboard for writing activities such as prompt writing (short essays), film analysis, etc. Weeding out more and keeping the number of films to 70 meant eliminating many good films, so I separated out the films that are appropriate for younger teens (as shown below) to see how many will be left for the more mature teens before selecting the films that can overlap for the two age groups. I turned to Common Sense Media to gauge the age appropriateness of each film.

However, ultimately, I could not eliminate any further so the title became Movie Challenge- 77 films in 70 Days (which indicates a double feature once a week except for three weeks out of ten… or a double feature twice a week to allow for a day off now and then…or spread out over the holidays and weekends throughout the year.)

APPROPRIATE FOR YOUNGER TEENS (27 films) *animated film, short film or documentary to be combined with a feature film for a double feature viewing?

2. True Grit Age 13/14 and up, according to Common Sense Media
3. Alice in Wonderland Age 9/10 and up
*6. Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind Age 10 and up
*15. Bee Movie Age 5 and up
16. The King’s Speech Age 13/14 and up (Wikipedia article )
20. The Devil Wears Prada Age 13 and up
22. Chariots of Fire Age 11 and up
24. Bridget Jones’s Diary Age 15 and up
26. The Matrix Age 13/14 and up
27. The Seventh Seal by Ingmar Bergman Age 13/14 and up
29. The Sand Pebbles (Wikipedia article )
*30. Fantastic Mr. Fox Age 7 and up
32. Citizen Kane Age 12 and up (Paul Schrader’s Film Canon- Gold)
34. Groundhog Day Age 10/11 and up (Philosophical Films page and Perry Garfinkel article and Shambhala Sun article )
35. Gattaca Age 12/13 and up
*44. Food, Inc. Age 13 and up (documentary)
*46. Once Upon a Time by Carl T. Dreyer (Perhaps this can be replaced by The White Balloon or The Apple .)
48. The Truman Show Age 9 and up (Linda A. Mercadante article )
*57. Antz Age 7 and up
*58. Born into Brothels: Calcutta’s Red Light Kids ( KIds with Cameras ) documentary
65. Days of Summer Age 13 and up
67. The Philadelphia Story Age 10/11 and up
75. The Help 12 and up
82. Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle (Rotten Tomatoes link )
89. Julie and Julia by Nora Ephron ( Charlie Rose Interview Videos ) Age 12/13 and up
91. Ran by Kurosawa Akira (Wikipedia article )
92. K-PAX Age 13/14/15 and up (Wikipedia article and IMDb user review ) Q: Stigma-producing, anti-psychiatry, or neither?

APPROPRIATE FOR MATURE TEENS (50 films) +27 from above= 77

4. A Beautiful Mind Age 14 and up psychflick review
7. I Heart Huckabees Age 16 and up ( philosophical essay by Daniel Garrett)
8. Taxi Driver Age 15 and up (Paul Schrader’s Film Canon- Silver) Psychflick review
9. Changeling Age 15/16 and up
11. Before Sunrise Age 16 and up
12. Before Sunset Age 16 and up (prerequisite being Before Sunrise)
13. The Roundup (La Rafle) (Wikipedia article )
14. Shaft 15 and up
18. Black Swan Age 16 and up
19. Inception Age 14 and up
21. Barton Fink Age 16 and up
23. Elizabeth Age 16 and up
28. Another Earth Age 14/15 and up
31. Network Age 15/16 and up
33. The Last King of Scotland Age 16/17 and up Psychflick review
36. District 9 Age 15/16 and up
39. A Fish Called Wanda Age 15/16 and up
41. Nosferatu
47. 8 1/2 by Frederico Fellini (Paul Schrader’s Film Canon- Gold)
49. Richard III (Wikipedia article )
53. Once Upon a Time in the West (A beautiful film despite the violence that is typical of the Western genre with an interesting character equipped with a harmonica played by Charles Bronson.) (Paul Schrader’s Film Canon- Bronze)
54. The Social Network Age 14/15 and up
55. The Wild Bunch (Roger Eber’ts review ) Paul Schrader’s Film Canon- Silver
56. The Godfather Age 15/16 and up (Paul Schrader’s Film Canon- Gold)
59. Trainspotting Age 16/17 and up (Wikipedia article ) Psychflick review
60. Donnie Darko Age 15/16 and up
61. Sunshine (Wikipedia article and interview of Dr. Brian Cox)
64. Do the Right Thing Age 16/17 and up (Wikipedia article ) Psychflick review
66. The Man Who Wasn’t There Age 15/16 and up
69. The Searchers (a link to an article by Tim Dirks (Paul Schrader’s Film Canon- Gold)
70. The White Ribbon ( a review by Jonathan Romney )
71. The Birth of a Nation 14/15 and up
73. Badlands
74. Rushmore 15/16 and up (Review article on Wes Anderson by Roger Ebert )
76. The Lion in Winter ( Wikipedia article ; I personally liked the scene where Katherine Hepburn says “The origins of war are us— Why can’t we just love each other?” or something to that effect. It was a few sentences long and said to all of her three sons. I also like the fact that she says it is 1183 which means it was 32 years before Magna Carta (signed later by John during his reign, I think.) was wondering where the family held this Christmas family reunion and it turns out to be in France and Eleanor of Aquitaine was being held prisoner at the Windsor Castle so she had crossed the English Channel in a different direction than I had assumed. Too bad the family was so divided probably due to the fact that Eleanor of Aquitaine was a Queen in her own right and wanted her son Richard to succeed as king whereas Henry preferred the youngest son John but in the end they both became the King of England, one after the other. Alais Capet of France who marries someone other than Henry the father or Richard the son eventually has a descendant (Eleanor of Castile) who marries Edward I of England. Anyway, interesting history, all that.)
77. Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona 16/17 and up (In the Wikipedia article it is mentioned that "As the summer winds to a close, Vicky realizes she is unsatisfied in her married life and is still attracted to Juan Antonio. She learns that Judy is also unhappy in her marriage and confides in the older woman. Judy, who sees Vicky as a younger version of herself, decides to bring Juan Antonio and Vicky together. Vicky, however, believes that Judy, through Vicky, is “trying to rewrite” her own history." I found this to be a very interesting insight on Vicky’s part as to how people end up meddling with each others’ lives. I am of the opinion that a personal history is the intellectual/emotional property of the individual who happens to be the locus of the perceived events. Perhaps people go to psychologists/psychotherapist to rewrite their own history through insights and, of course, this is very different from what Vicky means. It’s so much easier psychologically on oneself to influence other people so that their stories turn out to be what you wish it would have been for yourself since working on oneself takes more courage and efforts. Sometimes, well-meaning people are motivated by self-interests that interfere with what would be in other people’s best interest. So, Woody Allen who has spent many years in psycho-analysis weaves a mature narrative in this film that I found to be very interesting.)
79. Winter’s Bone 15/16/17 and up ( Review Winter’s Bone, Film Noir and Feminism )
80. No Country for Old Men 16/17 and up
84. Suzanne’s Career from Eric Rohmer’s Contes moraux
85. My Night at Maud’s (idem) Religious Affiliation of Director Eric Rohmer
86. Love in the Afternoon by Eric Rohmer— Contes moraux No. 6
87. The Shining Age 16/17 and up (Wikipedia article )
88. When Harry Met Sally Age 15/16 and up
90. The Rules of the Game by Jean Renoir (Paul Schrader’s Film Canon- Gold)
93. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Hearing voices : "How can we understand differences between an inspired voice, an isolated instance of hearing one’s own name, and the voices of the mentally ill? One answer is that “non-pathological” voices occur rarely or perhaps only once. Not so for the person with mental illness. Without treatment, these experiences recur relentlessly.") Paul Schrader’s Film Canon- Silver
94. Dr. Strangelove: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb Age 14/15/16/17 and up ( Wikipedia article , a Bosley Crowther’s review and a Study Guide by Dan Lindley )
95. Fight Club Age 16/17 and up ( Taoist Philosophy in Fight Club ) Psychflick review
96. Leon: The Professional Age 15/16 and up
97. Raging Bull Age 16/17 and up (Wikipedia article )
98. Tokyo Story (Paul Schrader’s Film Canon- Gold) Psychflick review

ONLY FOR THE VERY MATURE (6 films) – Anybody who has watched the 77 films above (and learned to do their homework) is “theoretically” ready for these. :-)

37. Blue Valentine Age 17/18 and up, for adults
42. Blue Velvet Age 18 and up, for adults (Paul Schrader’s Film Canon- Silver) Psychflick review
50. Mulholland Drive Age 16/17 and up, for adults (the ten clues explained by Anthony Kusich)
52. The Big Lebowski Age 16/17 and up, for adults (Wikipedia article on dudeism ) Paul Schrader’s Film Canon- Silver
63. Everything for Sale (Rotten Tomatoes link )
68. Talk to Her (Rotten Tomatoes link ) Paul Schrader’s Film Canon-Bronze Psychflick review

WHERE TO GO FROM HERE?

Paul Schrader’s Film Canon

What Constitutes a Cinematic Masterpiece by Paul Schrader

A critical response to Schrader’s film canon from Donato Totaro

99. Vertigo (Schrader’s Film Canon- Gold)

FURTHER FODDER- Readers respond to Paul Schrader’s Film Canon- Top 20 Directors Omitted from the Canon

100. Salaam Bombay by Mira Nair
101. Children of Heaven Age 10 and up
102. 1900 (In light of Roger Ebert’s review , maybe not.)
103. Water (Interesting review the perspective of which I don’t necessarily endorse entirely.)
104. Crimson Gold (sitting on a fence after this review )
105. La Haine
106. Where the Wild Things Are (David Denby’s review )
107. Full Metal Jacket New York Times review
108. Apocalypse Now / Film 4- 50 Films to See Before You Die
109. Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner Open University discussion with key cast and crew / Study Guide link

MUBI list Aesthetically Complex link

Open Culture free movies

The Auteurs/MUBI World Cup Films, 2009
2010 Directors’ Cup Statistics
2011 Directors’ Cup Statistics
2012 MUBI World Cup
NPR- Movies I’ve Seen a Million Times

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