August 16, 2012
New Great Films and The Best of the Decade (2000-2009)
I have a tab on the right side of this blog that is called Great Films. On that page is a list of the films that I have seen that I consider to be “Great”. These are, in my opinion, the classics of the medium. I want to start watching more films from the past and present, in my free time, in hopes of adding to this list. But in the meantime here is the first of my new additions to that list. I hope that some of you will seek out these two wonderful films. They are truly great movies.
Jules and Jim
My Janus film collection has been eye balling me for the past 4 years and this past Tuesday I couldn’t take it anymore. So I picked out the film Jules and Jim from its vast array of movies and watched my second French New Wave film (my first being Truffaut’s masterwork, Breathless). Jules and Jim is a portrait of three young souls searching for answers in a sea of expectations. It isn’t hard to see destruction here as our heroes walk through a path of happiness, loneness, and self-realization. Truffaut has a powerful ability of showing human emotions in the prism of the human self. Each character is confined by their want to capture a ray of light that has since gone out. Edited and shoot in the true new wave form, Jules and Jim weaves through the years with grace. It may seem like a short running time but Jules and Jim takes its time showing time slip by. Jules has an hourglass, which he uses to determine when an event must come to an end (a night, a trip) but in the end he betrays it. He and his fellow doomed lovers have let the sand run out without the thought of its consequences. Finding perfection in a world devoid of it can only lead to suffering and these three have their share of it. The ashes never make it home because our home is usually someplace we were never able to find.
Recently dubbed by Sight and Sound as the greatest film of all time (which is in my opinion, the highest honor a film can achieve), Vertigo has been somewhat the talk of the town as of late. I sat down to watch the film for the second time and I am glad I did. This may not be my favorite Hitchcock film (Rear Window) but it is most likely his best. This is the most personal and deepest film from this masterful director. Vertigo is a suspenseful and ugly look at the act of “falling” in love. Separated in two acts, Hitchcock beautifully paces the film to a conclusion that is both conflicted and heartbreaking. Jimmy Stewart has never been better as he mixes his signature charm with his most sinister performance ever. He gives Scottie so many dimensions that you don’t know whether to loathe him or pity him at the end. Kim Novak is also excellent as she mixes cold determination with helpless emotion. Vertigo is a brutally honest depiction of obsession and lust. Scottie is lost in his own pursuit of the woman that never existed. If you look closely you will see a man teetering between what’s real and what is not and his realization is not a triumph but a sad truth that he will never fully be able to recover from. Where does that woman from our dreams go? They go to a place that never is and never was.
The Best of the Decade (2000-2009)
On a side note I just finished my list for the best of the decade (2000-2009). Hope you guys enjoy it. The last decade was the start of my obsession with film so these movies were my first introduction to powerful filmmaking. These ten movies mean the world to me and each one is a fine example of what film can be.