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THE CINEMASEEKERS HONOR ROLL: 100 Years of Art Cinema (From a Spiritual Perspective)

by Jared Kruchowski
THE CINEMASEEKERS HONOR ROLL: 100 Years of Art Cinema (From a Spiritual Perspective) by Jared Kruchowski
(Work in Progress) Gregory and Maria Pearse, circa 2010. This alternative look at the history arthouse cinema through the eyes of filmmaking couple Gregory and Maria Pearse (“Return to Light”) struck me as an interesting counterpoint to lists such as “Arts and Faith’s Top 100 Most Spiritual Films”, while being representative of the downward slide of both 21st century film and its morals. I can’t say I fully agree with their somewhat revisionist (i.e. Biblical God using reincarnation), esoteric spirituality primarily rooted in the teachings and writings of the mystic Abd-ru-shin, but their vision of what cinema should be, along with their… Read more

(Work in Progress)


Gregory and Maria Pearse, circa 2010.

This alternative look at the history arthouse cinema through the eyes of filmmaking couple Gregory and Maria Pearse (“Return to Light”) struck me as an interesting counterpoint to lists such as “Arts and Faith’s Top 100 Most Spiritual Films”, while being representative of the downward slide of both 21st century film and its morals. I can’t say I fully agree with their somewhat revisionist (i.e. Biblical God using reincarnation), esoteric spirituality primarily rooted in the teachings and writings of the mystic Abd-ru-shin, but their vision of what cinema should be, along with their uncompromising “search for truth in cinema and life” and aesthetic ideals in spite of the postmodern threat of the soul’s extinction, moves me deeply and serves as such a salve despite vacillating between Christian and agnostic beliefs for the past few years myself. I have yet to see any of their films, but Alexander Sokurov has said of their work: “This is a light-bearing work, professionally bright…I am sure that such films doubtlessly have to be made.”


The mystical Abd-ru-shin.

NOT ON MUBI:
Winterreise (David Alden), 19—, would have been #15
The Lover (Valery Todorovsky), 2002, would have been #168
A Bad Joke, or The Ugly Story (Alexander Alov and Vladimir Naumov), 1966, would have been #179
A Simple Death (Alexander Kaidanovsky), 1985, would have been #191
The Black Hen, or Dwellers of the Underground (Viktor Gres), 1980, would have been #196
Prayer (Tengiz Abuladze), 1968, would have been #278
Dead Souls (Mikhail Shveytser), 1984 miniseries, would have been #317
Adonis XIV (Bako Sadykov), 1977, would have been #321
The Kerosene Seller’s Wife (Alekander Kaidanovsky), 1988, would have been #323
I Was Stalin’s Bodyguard (Semyon Aranovich), 1990, would have been #351
A Higher Verdict, or The Final Judgement (Herz Frank), 1987, would have been #353
The Overcoat (Alexei Batalov), 1959, would have been # 355
The Bay Boy (Daniel Petrie), 1984, would have been an honorable mention
A Dream of Life (Conrad Steeves) , 2006, would have been an honorable mention

Note:

“Spirits of the Dead” is listed only for Fellini’s contribution, “Toby Dammit”
“Caprice Italian Style” is listed only for Pasolini’s contribution, “Which are the Clouds?”
“The Witches” is listed only for Pasolini’s contribution, “The Earth Seen from the Moon”
“Love and Anger” is listed only for Pasolini’s contribution, “The Sequence of the Paper Flower”

(The Melies shorts are also meant to represent his entire body of work.)

They have hierarchically ranked entries #1-119 as Summa Cum Laude, #120-279 as Magna Cum Laude, and #280-368 as Cum Laude. Honorable Mentions, which are alphabetical, went to entries #369-402, along with special merit for their favorite TV productions, operas, ballets, etc., many of which I will list here.

SPECIAL MERIT FOR PERFORMING ARTS PRODUCTIONS

Voices of Our Time: Ian Bostridge (Rodney Greenberg) – this recital is spirituality personified
Gustav Mahler – Symphonies 1 – 9 Leonard Bernstein conducting the Vienna Philharmonic (H. Burton 1970’s – Unitel DVD – Japan)
Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphonies 1 – 9 Leonard Bernstein conducting the Vienna Philharmonic (Humphrey Burton 1978 – Unitel DVD – Japan)
Johannes Brahms – Piano Concertos 1 & 2 Leonard Bernstein conducting the Vienna Philharmonic with Krystian Zimerman pianist (H. Burton Unitel DVD – Japan)
The Unanswered Question – Six Talks at Harvard by Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein – Young People’s Concerts / New York Philharmonic
Leonard Bernstein Conducts “West Side Story”
Ludwig van Beethoven – Piano Concertos 3 – 5 Leonard Bernstein conducting the Vienna Philharmonic – Krystian Zimerman pianist (H. Burton 1990 – Unitel DVD – Japan)
Krystian Zimerman plays Chopin & Schubert (Unitel DVD – Japan)
The Creation (Franz Joseph Haydn) Leonard Bernstein conducting the Chor und Symphonie-Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (H. Burton 1988 – Unitel DVD)
Bach Cantatas – Sir John Eliot Gardiner (BBC)
Kronos on Stage: Black Angels by George Crumb
Beethoven The Cello Sonatas – Rostropovich and Richter (EMI Classics DVD)
Vespro della Beata Vergine – John Eliot Gardiner (Basilica di San Marco, Venice) (Archive DVD)
Celibadache! [doc] (Serge Iona Celibadache) (Facets)
Tchaikovsky Festival from the Alte Oper Frankfurt – Mikhail Pletnev performing Piano Concertos No.1 and No.2 with Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra (Poloarts DVD)
Anton Bruckner – Symphony No. 8 – Herbert von Karajan Vienna Philharmonic (1979 -Unitel DVD – Japan)
The Art of Conducting – Great Conductors of the Past

BRUNO MONSAINGEON
Richter, the Enigma (Bruno Monsaingeon)
The Art of Violin: The Devil’s Instrument – Transcending the Violin [doc] (Bruno Monsaingeon)
Glenn Gould – The Alchemist (Bruno Monsaingeon)
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau – Autumn Journey (Bruno Monsaingeon)

BALLET
Baryshnikov’s Nutcracker (American Ballet Theater)
Bolshoi at the Bolshoi – Spartacus (1984 Live Version – Choreography Yuri Grigorovich – music Aram Khachaturian)
Bolshoi at the Bolshoi – The Giolden Age (1984 Live Version – Choreography Yuri Grigorovich – music Dmitri Shostakovich)
Bolshoi at the Bolshoi – Raymonda (1984 Live Version – Choreography Yuri Grigorovich – music Alexander Glazunov)
Bolshoi at the Bolshoi – Stone Flower (1984 Live Version – Choreography Yuri Grigorovich – music Sergei Prokofiev)
Kirov Ballet – Giselle (Galina Mezentseva, Konstantin Zaklinsky)
Swan Lake – Royal Swedish Ballet (BBC) music by Tchaikovsky
Romeo and Juliet (Sergei Prokofiev) – Royal Ballet with Alessandra Ferri and Wayne Eagling (choreography Kenneth MacMillan)
Balanchine [doc] (Merrill Brockway)
Sleeping Beauty – Royal Ballet (Viviana Durante and Zoltan Solymosi) music by Tchaikovsky
La Fille mal gardee – Royal Ballet Covent Garden (Leslie Collier and Michael Coleman – choreography John Lanchberry – music Ferdinand Herold)
Suzanne Farrell: Elusive Muse [doc] (Anne Belle)
Cinderella Ballet (Prokofiev) Berlin Comic Opera Ballet
The Sleeping Beauty (Tchaikovsky) Paris Opera Ballet (Rudolf Nureyev production)

OPERA
Boris Godunov Opera by Modest Mussorgsky (Production by Andrei Tarkovsky – Kirov Opera – Valery Gergiev conductor)
Don Giovanni – Wilhelm Furtwangler conducting the Vienna Philharmonic (Unitel DVD)
Ruslan and Lyudmila – Valery Gergiev conducting Kirov Opera (music Mikhail Glinka)
The Ring Cycle (Richard Wagner) – James Levine conducting the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra (Deutsche Grammophone DVD)
Tristan und Isolde (Richard Wagner) – James Levine conducting the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra (Deutsche Grammophone DVD)
Parsifal (Richard Wagner) James Levine conducting the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra (Deutsche Grammophone DVD)
La Damnation de Faust (Hector Berlioz) – Staatskapelle Dresden
Pique Dame (Tchaikovsky) – Valery Gergiev conducting the Kirov Opera and Orchestra
William Tell (Rossini) – Ricardo Muti conducting the Teatro Alla Scala, Milan
Othello (Verdi) – Herbert von Karajan
Orphee et Eurydice (Gluck) – Sir John Eliot Gardiner (Robert Wilson production)
Un Ballo in Maschera (Verdi) – James Levine and the Met (Deutsche Grammophone DVD)
Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky) – Live from the Kirov Opera
Il Ritorno D’Ulisse in Patria (Monteverdi, adapted by Hans Werner Henze) (Michael Hampe production)
Orlando Furioso (Vivaldi)
Le Nozze Di Figaro – Bryn Terfel, John Eliot Gardiner (Archive DVD)
La Cenerentola (Rossini) – Ann Murray, Riccardo Chailly conducting the Vienna Philharmonic (Michael Hampe production)

See: http://www.cinemaseekers.com/HOME.html and http://www.cinemaseekers.com/honor_roll.html for further information.

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