Movie quote of the day: “Today we make everything so complicated. The lighting, the camera, the acting. It has taken me thirty years to arrive at simplicity.” – Sven Nykvist (1993)
Everytime I accidentally do a double post, I’m going to add a quote instead of simply “dp”. I might as well take advantage of the space.
^ I believe that.
If you are going to become a master at what you do, it takes years of refinement.
That’s why I don’t understand why people think they need to “make it” when they are so young. What the hell does anyone really know about life at 25? Not a hell of a lot.
‘Course, it also depends on how you process what life throws at you… some people don’t do that as well as others…
One thing I would like to point out here, at the end of all things, is that one silly dramatic moment has come to a happy conclusion. Warren and I started off on a bad foot, but due to some late night PMs and genuine honesty, humility, and respect on both sides, have buried the hatchet and are now co-followers, for what that’s worth.
Thanks, Warren. You’re okay in my book, even if you didn’t care for Tie Xi Qu.
I’d also appreciate any PM links to some of the more obscure of the winners.
Some of these surprise me but I guess as much as I like a number of these films they are often not [in my opinion] the best work by each director.
Shadow of Forgotten Ancestors is not Parajanov’s best – although it is a good film. Sansho the Bailiff is not Mizoguchi’s best – but lots of people think it is. Not sure why and I love Mizoguchi. And 3 Women [!!] is good but wow not Altman’s best. I must have missed the post to vote! Also Cloud Capped Star sort of fades on a second viewing – not that the first was great.
On the other hand, I love that Cameraman made it. That’s a terrific Keaton film that doesn’t get mentioned as much as some of his others. Celine and Julie Go Boating is great and A Man Escaped is a perfect movie.
Glad to at least see films that don’t normally make it on ‘the canon’.
I kept track of the occasional round, and I have some idea how much work Polaris put into this. Thanks a lot for that. Early on I had my doubts about how interesting the results would be, but I really like the final list. I think it represents the mubi I know very well. This was a lot of fun.
Even though ozufan consistently tried to kill off my Singing Blackbird, I am willing to forgive him.
I hate to risk Santino closing his account down again, but if any of the final movies are not on youtube, I will put them up quickly.
Jirin—PM me with specific requests.
Taking a quick break from watching The Executioner to reflect a bit more about why some films maybe made it past all the top-guns shooting down certain films. Seems to me, if one or two persons were consistently voting up a film (day in and day out) that few people had seen, it would continue to rise because no one was casting negative votes. Negative votes killed off most of the top films from the first version of this, when DiB just put the films with the most votes from everyone’s list. That list did resenble other polls.
This list is different because some films just slipped under the radar because no one was gunning for them. Moral of story: it’s better to be a little fish in a big pond than a big fish. Big fish are easier to spot . Of course, if the film trying to slip under the radar is too obvious, as was Three Godless Years, then not being seen by many could still work to a film’s detriment.
Lost my interest after Chimes At Midnight has gone but thanks to this wonderful game I am introduced to a great variety of films.Great job by PolarisDiB
There are obviously a lot of excellent films on this list (personally, among the ones I’ve seen, even my least favorite is still a solid 4.5/5 film), so to say that the list has nothing to do with cinema is dubious at best (and fucking ridiculous at worst). The titles which appear on more typical lists are all similarly excellent, but to say that those lists are “free of politics” isn’t correct either. Those lists just suffer from a different kind of limitation — contributors who have not seen or thought enough about some of the films that featured prominently over the course of the voting here (labeled “obscure” by some). There were about a million different factors which influenced the final outcome, so to attach any “meaning” to the list as a whole, beyond commenting on the quality of the individual films which ended up on it, is a futile endeavor. As an example, if we’d stopped at the top 50, Kobayashi would have 2 films in the top 5, if Polaris had made up another rule and just chopped off the last two films instead of having the last round, Sansho the Bailiff wouldn’t even be on the list, let alone become “the MUBI users’ greatest film of all time”. It was clear that during the later rounds, the voting got more and more random (films near the bottom at the beginning of a round would end up near the top at the end of it, and vice-versa), so the final collection is nothing more than a random collection of great films. Which is what pretty much what most (if not all) lists can be at best. Of course, the fact that there are a lot of Criterion titles isn’t surprising at all. A lot of the Criterion titles are art-house classics (some of them not on many of the more popular lists, so non-canonical in that regard) that have been seen by a majority of the people here, so as the list got smaller, the more popular Criterions which survived the earlier anti-canon backlash would be the films most people would rally around.
This was a lot of fun, and as I said, the final list has some great films, but to really “champion” these films clearly involves a lot more work than just putting +2s in front of them, which is why I still prefer the DC, which takes a step, however small, in that direction, with the intros and the analyses and the discussions.
Thanks Polaris for doing such a great job and devoting so much time to this project.
From my original 20 – 0 (the last one dropped off was “Men on the Mountain”)
Love – 5
Mixed – 13
Hate – 1
Not seen – 1 (West of the Tracks)
Favorite first viewing – Three Godless Years
Special mention – Stone Wedding (among the several films with subtitles in my language translated by myself it was the top ranked)
What I like the most – absence of the usual suspects (Kubrick, Bergman, Tarkovsky, Godard…)
What I like the least – only one film between 1895 and 1953 (yes, I love vintage cinema)
Availability in Spain:
DVD (Spanish dubbed, Spanish subtitles) – Sansho the Bailiff, 3 Women, Harakiri, (The Executioner)
DVD (Spanish subtitles) – The Cameraman, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, A Man Escaped, We Won’t Grow Old Together, Celine and Julie Go Boating, The Age of the Earth
Spanish fansubs – all but A Brighter Summer Day
i’m just wondering how many people actually watched any new films for this ‘game’. at least in the DC you were actually obliged to watch some films. i don’t reckon more than 20 or so people watched a film for this that they’d never seen before. which was probably the same level of participation the DC got. so what use the final list?
I watched The Lady Eve, Celine and Julie go Boating, Third Part of the Night, Sherlock jr., Il Posto, Tale of Tales and The House is Black thanks to this game/list (and not specifically because of this game, but they were still in, so I felt more urge to watch them: Sans Soleil and Maborosi).
I watched 39 films for this game, 37 of these were completely new to me. I am a good cinephile.
As a lurker (maybe I’ll actually participate next time something like this happens), I watched three films due to their continued presence on this list; The Man Without a Past, Insiang, Stone Wedding. I hope to watch everything I haven’t seen from the final 20 within the next year or so (with the exception of A Brighter Summer Day, which I’ll watch once a good print becomes available).
I watched 23 from the list since the beginning of the game (some of them I never heard of before).
The start of the top 20
Sansho the Bailiff 25
3 Women 17
Woman in the Dunes 17
Jeanne Dielman, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles 17
A Man Escaped 15
A Brighter Summer Day 15
The Cameraman (Keaton) 11
The Age of the Earth 11
The Cloud-Capped Star 9
Celine and Julie Go Boating 9
We Won’t Grow Old Together 7
City of Pirates 7
Shadow of the Forgotten Ancenstors 5
Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks 5
Death in the Land of Encantos 5
Once upon a Time there was a Singing Blackbird 5
The Third Part of the Night 5
The Executioner 5
I regretted of my lazinesses, next time I would submit my own list.
The one film i’d not paid attention to but now on my must-see list is We Will Never Grow Old Together. It hadn’t been on my radar as considered to be Pialat’s best. A Nos Amours especially and L’Enfant Secret may be better known, and Van Gogh made Cahiers du Cinema’s 100 films recently.
I still don’t understand how Sansho won, so close to being eliminated the previous day. It’s a pity Rohit doesn’t like it (can’t win em all, we all have different taste and reasons) but the main thing is for all these films to be better known, and that there’s a fairer chance for so many neglected directors and national cinemas worldwide. We had a Filippino film in the final 20 after all, and not Three Godless Years.
This project has worked differently to the Directors Cups, which come with the need (maybe felt as a pressure by some) to see certain films by a deadline. This has had a looser feel and flow, and unexpected turns in the spotlight. A pity that along with heightened emotions and engagement there was ill-feeling at times and some knowledgeable people stopped taking part as a result. But I think we can draw on the positives
I was able to watch these great films, Once upon a Time there was a Singing Blackbird, Stone Wedding, Woman in the Dunes, The Age of the Earth, A I was Moving Ahead Occasionally I saw glimpses of Beauty, City of Pirates, The Travelling Players, Sherlock Jr.
Sherlock Jr. was an instant favorite as was As I was moving ahead...
@Oxymoron, agree with your viewpoint, I for one never gunned down anything that I hadn’t seen, and there could be many like me.
@ Matt L, A Man Escaped is a perfect movie but I thought fades against the overpowering Au Hasard Balthazar, I think that is Bresson’s perfect concoction.
I hadn’t seen these before the list game started:
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
Donkey in a Brahmin Village
Ogre of Athens
I rewatched a couple as well.
i watched we won’t grow old together, stone wedding and the ogre of athens (all in my favorites now =D) as well as ornamental hairpin and that crap copy of a brighter summer day, and i have donkey in a brahmin village, the executioner, singing blackbird, veredas, jeanne dielman, daisies and the travelling players lined up as well. holidays took up a lot of my time but i at least tried!
re: 3 women —i love this film but was also surprised to see it make the list. many altmans are divisive but it seems this is one even non-altman fans can love. and once again, so proud of buster xD
oh yeah, how could I forget Donkey in a Brahmin Village and Titicut Follies, Medium Cool, Train of Shadows, Harakiri..
that takes my tally to 14 films discovered during the poll.
Elated that Ruiz’s City of Pirates held on for a Top 20 place!!
I think this was a much better exercise to discover films compared to the DC. The DC has just two films pitted against each other which makes the chance of watching the film without personal prejudice very low. Here, we had too many films in the fray for the competitive spirit to overshadow our viewing experience. I am sure people watched films with a much more open mind and hence enjoyed discovering them.
^ agree Rohit and there was no rush/deadline in trying to finish watching before the voting closed as it happened in DC.
^yes…that rush really gets me nervous. Here we had a lot of time to watch films and there was no compulsion to do that in order to participate in this game. That made things even more convenient.
I would argue that the DC format encourages people to go farther outside their comfort zone, and that this format prejudices your expectations more.
For instance, I saw Women In The Dunes because of the list project and thought it was great. …But, I didn’t think it was one of the greatest films of all time, so I came away a little bit disappointed. Why should I be disappointed when I really liked the film? Because I saw a whole lot of people singling it out as one of the greatest films of all time.
I am not sure what you mean by going deeper. I know that the DC involves making write ups for directors and their films. The films are analyzed and reviewed by the person representing the director. All that is fine. But eventually, we bring it down to voting one film against the other which is pure frivolous competition when it comes to films with entirely different genres, styles and content. I am sure even the directors would cringe at anything like that being done with their films.