The Pendragon Society’s 1000 Greatest Films (2020) 360-341


360. Autumn Sonata (1978) Dir. Ingmar Bergman, 99 mins.

The movie tells the story of a celebrated classical pianist who is confronted by her neglected daughter.

359. The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972) Dir. Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 124 mins.

The film has an all-female cast, and it is set in the home of the protagonist Petra von Kant. It follows the changing dynamics in her relationships with the other women.

358 The Puppetmaster (1993)

357. Kes (1969) Dir. Ken Loach, 110 mins.

A 15-year-old named Billy Casper (played by acting newcomer David Bradley) suffers abuse both at home and at school in Yorkshire, England. At his home in the working-class section of Barnsley, Billy’s brother beats him and his family neglects him. At school, most of his teachers ridicule and reject him, especially sadistic Mr. Sugden (Brian Glover). Like other downtrodden children in an outmoded social system favouring the ruling class, Billy appears headed for a menial job with no future. Consequently, he has no motivation and nothing to look forward to, until the day he finds a kestrel.

356 Still Walking (2008)

355. The Best of Youth (2003) Dir. Marco Tullio Giordana, 366 mins.

Directed by Marco Tullio Giordana and La Meglio Gioventu, the film chronicles the youth, emotional development, and milestone events in the lives of brothers Nicola (Luigi Lo Cascio) and Matteo Carti (Alessio Boni) between 1966 and the early 2000s.

354. White Heat (1949) Dir. Raoul Walsh, 114 mins.

This gangster movie centres on a psychotic, mother-obsessed thug. Watch

353. Rebecca (1940) Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 130 mins.

Hitchcock’s first American film is a haunting gothic tale starring Laurence Olivier as the brooding, aristocratic widower Maxim de Winter and Joan Fontaine as the shy and naive young woman who becomes his second wife. When Maxim returns with his new bride to his vast English estate, Manderly, the servants are hostile towards her, having adored his first wife Rebecca, whose death is shrouded in mystery.

352. Le Cercle Rouge (1970) Dir. Jean-Pierre Melville, 140 mins.

Corey (Alain Delon) is the young gun in the French underworld who has just been released from prison. Escaped convict Vogel (Gian-Maria Volonté) hides in the trunk of Corey’s car and the two enlist the help of an alcoholic former cop (Yves Montand) for an elaborate jewelry-store robbery.

351 Sigur Rós: Heima (2007)

350. Pastoral Hide and Seek (1974) Dir. Shuji Terayama, 104 mins.

A visionary masterpiece based on avant-garde director Shuji Terayama’s play about a young boys’ coming of age in a strange, carnivalesque village that becomes the recreation of a memory that the director has twenty years later. Arresting and spellbinding cinema from a very underrated film-maker.

349. F for Fake (1973) Dir. Orson Welles, 85 mins.

Initially released in 1974, it focuses on Elmyr de Hory’s recounting of his career as a professional art forger. de Hory’s story serves as the backdrop for a fast-paced, meandering investigation of the natures of authorship and authenticity, as well as the basis of the value of art.

348. Zero for Conduct (1933) Dir. Jean Vigo, 41 mins.

The film draws extensively on Vigo’s boarding school experiences to depict a repressive and bureaucratised educational establishment in which surreal acts of rebellion occur, reflecting Vigo’s anarchist view of childhood. With its notable score by Maurice Jaubert, the film has been influential on future films featuring youth rebellion such as The 400 Blows and If…Watch

347. Germany Year Zero (1948) Dir. Roberto Rossellini, 78 mins.

The third and final film of Rossellini’s neo-realist WWII trilogy, Germany Year Zero was mainly shot in Italy, although the director shifts his focus from his native land to the war devastated ruins of Berlin, where 12-year-old Edmund Koehler struggles for survival. Among the nine people he lives with are: a father, who is suffering from malnutrition and a fatal illness; a brother, who is a former Nazi soldier hiding to avoid arrest; and a sister, who has turned to prostitution. Scouring the rubble-strewn city for food, money, and cigarettes, he comes upon a former teacher, Herr Enning (Erich Guhne), who evinces a barely restrained sexual attraction to the boy while providing him with records of Hitler’s speeches that can be bartered on the black market. He also drums into the boy a classic piece of Nazi propaganda about the importance of having the courage to let the weak be destroyed. Under his influence, the confused young protagonist heads down a tragic path. Made as much for international audiences as it was for Italian, the film is a bleak vision tempered by a spirit of faint hope that understanding will prevail between the victors and the vanquished.

346. All About My Mother (1999) Dir. Pedro Almodóvar, 104 mins.

A single mother in Madrid sees her only son die on his birthday as he runs to seek an actress’ autograph. Beside herself with grief, she returns to Barcelona where she hopes to find her son’s father, Lola, a transvestite she kept secret from the boy, just as she never told Lola they had a son.

345. A Moment of Innocence (1996) Dir. Mohsen Makhmalbaf, 78 mins.

In Tehran, a former policeman in his forties gets in contact with the Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf, reminding the filmmaker that he had promised him a part in his next movie. In fact, the two men had “met” 20 years earlier under rather dramatic circumstances: in 1975, the young Makhmalbaf, a dissident under the Shah’s regime, stabbed this policeman while trying to steal his revolver. Imprisoned, the future filmmaker was released during the height of the Revolution.

344. The White Ribbon (2009) Dir. Michael Haneke, 144 mins.

The film darkly depicts society and family in a northern German village just before World War I.

343. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) Dir. Lewis Milestone, 130 mins.

It follows a group of idealistic young men as they join the German Army during World War I and are assigned to the Western Front, where their patriotism is destroyed by the harsh realities of combat.

342. Paper Moon (1973) Dir. Peter Bogdanovich, 102 mins.

A bible salesman teams up with an orphan girl to form a money-making con team in Depression-era Kansas.

341 Opening Night (1977)

The Pendragon Society’s 1000 Greatest Films (2019) 360-341


360. The Long Goodbye (1973) Dir. Robert Altman, 112 mins.

Based on Raymond Chandler’s novel but set later in the 1970s, the film follows smart-aleck, cat-loving private eye Philip Marlowe (Elliott Gould) who is certain that his friend Terry Lennox (Jim Bouton) isn’t a wife-killer, even after the cops throw Marlowe in jail for not cooperating with their investigation into Lennox’s subsequent disappearance.

359. Peeping Tom (1960) Dir. Michael Powell, 101 mins.

The notoriously vilified film was Powell’s most important outside of his prominent collaborations with Emeric Pressburger. Peeping Tom follows the tormented son of a neurologist Mark Lewis (a chilling performance by Carl Boehm) who works as an assistant cameraman at a London film studio, but is also an amateur documentary maker, aspiring movie director and a part-time taker of pornographic pictures. His voyeuristic perversions lead him to murdering women while filming them, forcing his victims to view their own deaths in a mirror attached to his tripod equipped with a deadly protruding blade. At the time of release the film did not always connect with mainstream audiences and was attacked by many critics. As a result it was heavily cut and altered for overseas distribution. While it hugely damaged Michael Powell’s reputation, it has since been re-evaluated as a masterpiece of self-reflective perversity and been championed by the likes of Martin Scorsese.

358. L’Age d’Or (1930) Dir. Luis Bunuel, 60 mins.

A French surrealist comedy directed by Luis Buñuel about the insanities of modern life, the hypocrisy of the sexual mores of bourgeois society and the value system of the Roman Catholic Church. The film confirmed Bunuel’s originality after the acclaim for An Andalusian Dog but also brought controversy to the surrealist movement when extreme white wing activists attacked the cinema where it was showing, leading to the film being banned by the authorities.

357. The Man Who Would Be King (1975) Dir. John Huston, 129 mins.

Michael Caine and Sean Connery replaced Huston’s original American choices in an adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s cautionary tale as two rogue ex-soldiers, former non-commissioned officers in the British Army, who set off from late 19th-century British India in search of adventure and end up in faraway Kafiristan, where one is taken for a god and made their king.

356. Diary of a Country Priest (1951) Dir. Robert Bresson, 115 mins.

It tells the story of a young, sickly priest, who has been assigned to his first parish, a village in northern France.

355. Rocco and His Brothers (1960) Dir. Luchino Visconti, 177 mins.

Set in Milan, it tells the story of an immigrant family from the South and its disintegration in the society of the industrial North.

354. The Prestige (2006) Dir. Christopher Nolan, 130 mins.

The story follows Robert Angier and Alfred Borden, rival stage magicians in London at the beginning of the 20th century. Obsessed with creating the best stage illusion, they engage in competitive one-upmanship with tragic results.

353. Ballad of Narayama (1983) Dir. Shohei Imamura, 130 mins.

The film looks at the cruelties of life in a small Japanese 19th century village where once anyone reaches 70 years old they must leave and go to a mountain top to die.

352. Bride of Frankenstein (1935) Dir. James Whale, 75 mins.

A chastened Henry Frankenstein abandons his plans to create life, only to be tempted and finally coerced by the Monster, encouraged by Henry’s old mentor Dr. Pretorius, into constructing a mate for him.

351. Le Cercle Rouge (1970) Dir. Jean-Pierre Melville, 140 mins.

Corey (Alain Delon) is the young gun in the French underworld who has just been released from prison. Escaped convict Vogel (Gian-Maria Volonté) hides in the trunk of Corey’s car and the two enlist the help of an alcoholic former cop (Yves Montand) for an elaborate jewelry-store robbery.

350. Farewell, My Concubine (1993) Dir. Kaige Chen, 156 mins.

Farewell My Concubine explores the effect of China’s political turmoil during the mid-20th century on the lives of two male stars in a Peking opera troupe and the woman who comes between them. Financed with Taiwanese money, the film was the first from China to win the Palm d’Or at Cannes.

349. Duck Soup (1933) Dir. Leo McCarey, 68 mins.

A wealthy widow offers financial aid to the bankrupt country of Freedonia on condition that Rufus T. Firefly be made leader. But his chaotic, inept regime bumbles into war with neighbouring Sylvania.

348. This is Spinal Tap (1984) Dir. Rob Reiner, 82 mins.

By following a fictional British heavy metal band Spinal Tap, the film satirises the wild personal behaviour and musical pretensions of hard rock and heavy metal bands, as well as the hagiographic tendencies of rock documentaries of the time.

347. Death in Venice (1971) Dir. Luchino Visconti, 130 mins.

Based on a novel by Thomas Mann, Death in Venice stars Dirk Bogarde as a German composer who is terrified that he has lost all vestiges of humanity. While visiting Venice, he falls in love with a beautiful young boy (Bjorn Andresen). Most notable for the remarkable imagery, lyrically stunning final scene and the music of Gustav Mahler.

346. Underground (1995) Dir. Emir Kusturica, 170 mins.

The film uses the epic story of two friends to portray a Yugoslav history from the beginning of World War II until the beginning of the Yugoslav Wars.

345. Blade Runner 2049 (2017) Dir. Denis Villeneuve, 163 mins.

Set thirty years after the first film, K (Ryan Gosling), a blade runner, uncovers a secret that threatens to instigate a war between humans and replicants. While it lacks the strong dialogue and iconic supporting characters of the original, the film works thanks to an excellent lead performance from Gosling and stunning visual work from British cinematographer Roger Deakins who finally won an Oscar after thirteen previous nominations.

344. The Grapes of Wrath (1940) Dir. John Ford, 129 mins.

The film tells the story of the Joads, an Oklahoma family, who, after losing their farm during the Great Depression in the 1930s, become migrant workers and end up in California. The motion picture details their arduous journey across the United States as they travel to California in search of work and opportunities for the family members.

343. Heat (1995) Dir. Michael Mann, 188 mins.

A surprisingly literate action film from the master of stylised drama, where Robert De Niro plays Neil McCauley, a professional thief, while Al Pacino plays Lt. Vincent Hanna, a LAPD robbery-homicide detective tracking down McCauley’s crew. It’s an influential and engrossing crime thriller that also provides insight into the psychology behind the actions of those on both sides of the law.

342. Requiem For a Dream (2000) Dir. Darren Aronofsky, 102 mins.

The film depicts different forms of addiction, leading to the characters’ imprisonment in a dream world of delusion and reckless desperation that is subsequently overtaken and devastated by reality.

341. All the President’s Men (1976) Dir. Alan J. Pakula, 138 mins.

Directed by Alan J. Pakula with a screenplay by William Goldman, the film is based on the 1974 non-fiction book of the same name by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, the two journalists investigating the Watergate scandal for The Washington Post.