Our Favourite Films of the 1950s

Our consensus vote: 

1. Seven Samurai
2. Night of the Hunter
3. The Seventh Seal
4. Some Like It Hot
5. The 400 Blows
6. Sweet Smell of Success
7. Paths of Glory
8. North by Northwest
9. The Searchers
10. Singin' In The Rain

Scout Tafoya
1. The Tarnished Angels (alternately: North By Northwest)
2. Lola Montès
3. Park Row
4. Kiss Me Deadly 
5. M. Hulot's Holiday
6. Inferno
7. Pandora & The Flying Dutchman
8. Day of the Outlaw
9. The Revenge of Frankenstein
10. Wagonmaster

Olivia Collette
1. Some Like It Hot
2. Nights of Cabiria
3. The 400 Blows
4. Mesa of Lost Women (aka Tarantula)
5. A Streetcar Named Desire
6. All About Eve
7. The Trouble with Harry
8. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 
9. Funny Face
10. Strangers on a Train

Mark Lukenbill
1. Rear Window
2. Magnificent Obsession
3. Bonjour Tristesse
4. Shadows
5. Brigadoon
6. Anticipation of the Night
7. Johnny Guitar
8. Diabolique
9. All About Eve
10. Charlotte et son Jules

Tucker Johnson
1. Sweet Smell of Success
2. Paths of Glory
3. Sunset Boulevard
4. On the Waterfront
5. Night of the Hunter
6. Vertigo
7. In a Lonely Place
8. The Killing
9. Bridge of the River Kwai
10. High Noon

Monica Castillo
1. Seven Samurai
2. Singin' In The Rain
3. On The Waterfront
4. Vertigo
5. Night of the Hunter
6. Bridge on the River Kwai
7. Pickpocket
8. Sunset Boulevard
9. Pather Panchali
10. An American in Paris

Dan Khan
1. The Searchers
2. Wages of Fear
3. All That Heaven Allows
4. The Ladykillers
5. North by Northwest
6. Paths of Glory
7. Creature from the Black Lagoon
8. Nights of Cabiria
9. Seven Samurai
10. The Cranes Are Flying

Theodora Blasko
1. All About Eve
2. Seventh Samurai
3. 12 Angry Men
4. Rear Window
5. Singin' In The Rain
6. A Streetcar Named Desire
7. Some Like It Hot
8. Strangers On A Train
9. Vertigo
10. Lady & The Tramp

Tori Davis
1. The Bridge On The River Kwai
2. Seven Samurai
3. The 400 Blows
4. Dial 'M' For Murder
5. The Seventh Seal
6. Vertigo
7. Encore
8. Some Like It Hot
9. Sabrina
10. Ikiru

Diana Drumm
1. Sunset Boulevard
2. The Searchers
3. Rashomon
4. The Seventh Seal
5. A Streetcar Named Desire 
6. The Quiet Man 
7. The Ladykillers
8. Marty
9. Vertigo
10. Some Like It Hot

Tim Earle

1. Sweet Smell of Success
2. In a Lonely Place
3. Singin' in the Rain
4. Wild Strawberries
5. Touch of Evil
6. North by Northwest
7. Seven Samurai
8. Hiroshima Mon Amour
9. The 400 Blows
10. Night of the Hunter

Lucas Mangum
 1. Godzilla
2. Creature from the Black Lagoon 
3. Horror of Dracula 
4. The Day the Earth Stood Still 
5. On the Waterfront 
6. Seven Samurai 
7. War of the Worlds 
8. Throne of Blood 
9. Curse of the Demon 
10. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Julian Lazare
1. Seventh Seal
2. Strangers on a Train
3. Ikiru
4. Path of Glory
5. Marty
6. Ace in the Hole
7. Touch of Evil
8. Pickpocket
9. The Man with the Golden Arm
10. Shadows

My Funeral in 15 Films

The following is inspired by Kyle Turner's questionnaire over at his Film Critic of the Week podcast. It is how I'd like my funeral to be conducted. I'd like it to be celebrated by a day of movies at my favourite theatre in the world. 

Arrive at the Brattle Theatre, Boston, at 5:00 AM. Be seated by ushers and given coffee and breakfast. Catering by the staff of the Pulse Cafe (may they similarly rest in peace). 

5:30 AM : The Wrong Trousers directed by Nick Park

6 AM : La Belle Endormie directed by Catherine Breillat

7:30 AM : The Long Day Closes directed by Terence Davies

9:00 AM : Leave Her To Heaven directed by John M. Stahl

11:00 AM : The Big Bird Cage directed by Jack Hill

1:00 PM : The Royal Tenenbaums directed by Wes Anderson

3:00 PM : Mon Oncle directed by Jacques Tati

5:00 PM : L'Avventura directed by Michelengelo Antonioni 

7:30 PM : Pierrot Le Fou directed by Jean-Luc Godard

9:30 : Unsere Afrikareise directed by Peter Kubelka

9:40 : Rabbit Seasoning directed by Chuck Jones

9:50 : A Sheep in the Deep directed by Chuck Jones

10:15 PM : The Red Shoes directed by Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger

12:35 AM : Pandora & The Flying Dutchman directed by Albert Lewin

2:40 AM : Apocalypse Now Redux directed by Francis Ford Coppola 

6:00 AM Coffee while Paul Robeson records are played. Leave as the sun comes up. 


So I finally got to make a video essay on the films that have sort of become the embodiment of failure in American cinema. A lot has been written over the years about Heaven's Gate and pretty much as soon as The Lone Ranger's box office receipts started getting tallied, it was clear that people were ignoring a beautifully weird movie. Everyone knew the score right away. So why talk about them? Because when movies like this fail, the conversation becomes about why they failed (economics, people don't like westerns, blah blah fucking blah), rather than the movie itself. Ryland Walker Knight seemed to be the only guy post-failure who wanted to talk about something other than its non-commercial braggadocio. So yeah maybe I'm being redundant by talking about two of the highest profile failures in living memory, but these films are beautiful and deserve to be talked about. I don't need people to reassess their opinion of the films (that'd be nice, but it's a secondary concern) I'd just like it if maybe we could have an excuse to talk about the genocides this country was founded upon. I'm also proud that I finally made an Unloved that feels a little like one of my own movies. The great filmmaker/critic Kevin B. Lee got me thinking about the disparity between my own work and my video essays and this was the first time I really made an effort to make something informative that was paced like my fiction, and a little more reliant on poetry than fact. I made this fully expecting my very patient editors to say "No thanks, too weird," but thankfully they liked it. It's tough and maybe pointless and foolish to think about your own work, but it felt nice when someone whose opinion I trust said it was the best video essay I'd ever done. That meant a lot to me. I'm gonna feel good about that for a little while if that's ok with you.