Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What 12 Films Would You Choose for a Film Festival?

I got tagged twice (by both Burbanked and Electronic Cerebrectomy), for this meme, and so two people get some credit for me doing this.

Basically, the gist of this is that as a blogger, you are tasked with putting together 12 movies that would comprise a film festival. Here are the rules which I am following for this little exercise:

1) Choose 12 Films to be featured. They could be random selections or part of a greater theme. Whatever you want.

2) Explain why you chose the films.

3) Link back to Lazy Eye Theatre so I can have hundreds of links and I can take those links and spread them all out on the bed and then roll around in them.

#4 involved me tagging people, and you all know that I am not big on the tagging.

So, here is what I came up with for my film festival:

Monday-Tuesday - Animation: In paint and in clay

Allegro Non Troppo: An Italian parody of Fantasia, which I will always remember for the strange yet moving version of Ravel's Bolero as the backdrop to the evolutionary process (the beginning of which is the intro clip I've selected above).

Chicken Run: What do you get when you combine Aardman animation with a story of a group of chickens trying to escape an English farm in the 1950's? Pure magic, and a loving tribute to 1963's The Great Escape.

- Veracity: Documentary Film

Comic Book Confidential: Even though I don't follow comics, this documentary by Ron Mann released in 1988 is a fascinating look at not just the evolution of comics in both book and strip form, including the disastrous implementation of the original Comics Code Authority. Subjects featured in the documentary include Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Frank Miller, Art Spiegelman, Will Eisner and Harvey Pekar.

The Fog of War: Robert McNamara, the Secretary of Defense for the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, discusses the Eleven Lessons he learned during his life. Filmed with a device dubbed by Errol Morris "The Interrotron" which makes it seem like the subject is talking directly to the audience.

Friday-Saturday - The Western Through Non-American Eyes

El Topo (Midnight Screening): One of the first Midnight Movies, Alejandro Jodorowsky's epic combined elements of Spaghetti Westerns with sheer oddity and religious overtones to create a truly stunning film. It is a very weird Mexican movie.

Once Upon a Time in the West: Sergio Leone's refashioning of the entire Western genre, with the help of then film critics Dario Argento and Bernardo Bertolucci, became a movie that influenced generations of filmmakers and has been widely hailed as one of the first postmodern movies ever made.

Sunday-Monday - The Chinese Empire: Beginning to End

The Emperor and the Assassin: The story of a tyrant, the King of Qin, and the forces that ally against him in China c. 230 BC, starring Gong Li amongst others. A historical epic which works well as a companion piece for Hero.

The Last Emperor: The tale of Puyi, the last Qing Dynasty Emperor of China (born 1906) Starring John Lone, Joan Chen and Peter O'Toole, directed by Bernardo Bertolucci and winner of 9 Academy Awards, it is a lush modern historical epic.

Tuesday-Wednesday - The Dystopic Future (1970's version)

Soylent Green: I read the book that was the partial basis for this film (Make Room, Make Room) many years ago, and somehow despite the fact that the movie went in directions that the original novel didn't, but those elements may have been what took this one over the top. The movie takes place in 2022 in a world that is ravaged by global warming, a lack of resources and overpopulation. Charlton Heston is a New York City Detective investigating the death of a high-ranking executive of the Soylent Corporation.

Rollerball: The year is 2018, and the world is controlled by a small number of large corporations. War has been abolished and there is but one sport: Rollerball... a game designed to entertain the masses with bloodshed while giving the audience the clear message that success can only be won through group effort. Can an individual succeed in a game meant to destroy men?

Thursday-Friday - The Unconventional Musical

Phantom of the Paradise: A campy rock opera written and directed by Brian DePalma, featuring elements of Faust and Phantom of the Opera. Starring Paul Williams, Gerrit Graham, William Finlay and Jessica Harper.

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg Jacques Demy directed this French musical featuring Catherine Deneuve and Nino Castelnuovo. Every piece of dialogue is sung, giving the film an odd quality because it is just dialogue and not poetic lyrics being sung. It is a little surreal.

So what do you think of my pairings?


Megan said...

I like em.

Arjan said...

I don't know half of them, but it looks like you did a good job theme-pairing them.
I always want to go to a film festival..but then they're on the other side of the country..and in the middle of the year (not in the holidays) in the middle of the week.

MC said...

Megan: Danke.

Arjan: Though admittedly, given the number of festivals in Europe generally, I am sure there is one going on during the holiday somewhere.

Keith said...

Excellent choices! I like the non-american western night... I did something similar on my list... I was actually really close to pairing up Exiled with Once Upon a Time in the West, just because of how much Johnnie To got from Leone (and how much I love that movie).

Also: yay for Umbrellas of Cherbourg!

MC said...

Yay for Umbrellas indeed!