Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Motion Picture Draft, final roster

Last night a chapter in my life closed as I made my 10th and final selection in the 1st Annual BigSoccer Motion Picture Draft. I can now go back to normal nights of sleep without fearing that Nico swiping Yojimbo from me. This was insanely fun and equally geeky. My netflix queue is filled with tons of new films brought to my attention through this draft. I figured I'd give my roster here and say a sentance or two about each film. Before that though let's look at the original criteria for the draft...

If humanity were destroyed tonight, what movies would you place inside a time capsule to be discovered by either possible survivors, future sentient beings, or aliens?

Movies can be of any period or language. TV shows or music videos are not allowed.

We'll start with ten rounds. The winner will be the one who selects ten movies that the judges feel best offer the greatness of cinema to future civilizations. "Greatness," of course, will be defined by the three judges according to their individual tastes.

So, with that in mind my roster was...

1. the Deer Hunter, d. Cimino - Possibly a strech as my first round pick, but definately one of my favorite films ever. I wanted to go epic and huge with my first pick and this surely did that.

2. Band of Outsiders, d. Godard - This has already become probably my favorite film ever. I just recently saw this for the first time. Bought the Criterion Collection DVD, and have watched at least 5 times since then. Humour, romance, robbery, just an amazing film. Godard is a genius.

3. Decalogue, d. Kieslowski - 10 short films, each loosely based around one of the 10 Commandments. This got an exception as 1 entry as did my 10th round pick since multiple films were concieved as part of larger whole concept. Kieslowski is my favorite director. This is his greatest achievement. He said, "For over 6000 years these rules have been unquestionably right, yet we break them every day." Here he shows, how, why, and the aftermath. I am probably proudest of having this in my collection.

4. Wings of Desire, d. Wenders - I just watched this again last night. There is nothing like watchjing this with someone who's seing it for the first time. Just to see there reaction when the first burst of color comes through the black and white, and then is gone again. "Whoa! What?" At any rate, this is probably the most positive, uplifting, and lyrical of my selections.

5. East of Eden, d. Kazan - James Dean needed a place here. Besides that, there has been a total lack of great American "coming of age" films. The 80's John Hughes movies don't do it, and neither really do the glut of newer independent films like Garden State. This, however was pitch perfect, beginning to end.

6. Paths of Glory, d. Kubrick - I needed Kubrick represented somehow, and this is how he made it in. I didn't want two war movies really. Maybe the Deer Hunter doesn't count as a watr movie though. At any rate, this is probably one of the greatest "anti" war movie evers. I am not entirely a pacifist, there are just wars, still I feel good about having the statement this film makes in my collection.

7. Do the Right Thing, d. Lee - How this film fell through 7 1/2 rounds of 22 selections each I have no idea. I've seen this 15-20 times. Each time, even though I know what's gonna happen the final 1/2 hour still makes my chest hurt. This was made in 1989 the central message is still as important today.

8. Breaking the Waves, d. von Trier - 5 years ago I made a top 75 movie list and this was #1. It probably still hasn't fallen far from that. Religion, Faith, and Love are all put through the ringer in this film. Emily Watson does the best acting I have ever seen. This isn't one you watch every weekend to feel good about life in general. But it is one that sticks with you, pretty much forever.

9. Kwaidan, d. Koboyashi - Since Nico stole Yojimbo, and since I still wanted an asian film I took this. 4 stories, all horor or suspense. Beautifully filmed. I could go on for hours about this one. But not today.

10. Three Colors, d. Kieslowski - Kieslowski makes his second, or 11th-13th, appearance in my draft with this trilogy. Each film is representing a color of the French flag and their symbols of liberty, equality, and fraternity. The way Kieslowski ties these three stories together is probably the best synopsis of his view of film and art in general. He seemed obsessed with chance meetings and interactions. Red is the densest film I have ever seen, but I immediately started it over to watch again after my first viewing. It was that good. I just needed this in my collection as well.


nico said...

I can't wait to see the ones on your list I haven't seen.

I think I need to make a similar post on my blog, but it'll have to wait since I'm going out of town today.

scot said...

which one's haven't you seen.

i am excited to see vertical ray of the sun, off yours, among others.

nico said...

I'm kind of embarrassed to say I've only seen The Deer Hunter and Three Colors, but the other stuff really seems like stuff I'll dig.

Vertical Ray of the Sun is stunningly beautiful visually. Very atmospheric. (I may have to go watch it right now.)

I almost chose another by the same director (Tran Anh Hung) called The Scent of Green Papaya that was nominated for an Academy Award and won some stuff at Cannes. It's a beautiful film.

Also check out Cyclo by the same director. That one is brutal.

Overall though, there's a TON of those movies I haven't seen. I'm not well versed in older American cinema, nor in older European stuff. I'm a modern film ninja though and an Eastern European and Asian afficianado.

scot said...

So, did you throw in Vertical Ray of the Sun, at 322am Nico? Thanks for the recs.

I am pretty confident that you will be extremely moved by Decalogue, Breaking the Waves, and Wings of Desire, and at least like the other ones on my list. I honestly wish I could watch them with you just to see your initial reaction!

nico said...

Yes, I did put it in after I posted that, but I got exceptionally sleepy about 45 minutes into it and will finish it today.

It is very slowly paced and I think that helped me drift off.

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