The Pendragon Society’s 1000 Greatest Films (2018) 700-681


700. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011) Dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 150 mins.

Turkish drama film, co-written and directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan based on the true experience of one of the film’s writers, telling the story of a group of men who search for a dead body on the Anatolian steppe.

699. 21 Grams (2003) Dir. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, 124 mins.

21 Grams revolves around the consequences of a tragic automobile accident. Penn plays a critically ill mathematician, Watts plays a grief-stricken mother, and Del Toro plays a born-again Christian ex-convict whose faith is sorely tested in the aftermath of the accident.

698. Zelig (1983) Dir. Woody Allen, 79 mins.

Allen plays Leonard Zelig, a nondescript enigma, who, out of his desire to fit in and be liked, takes on the characteristics of strong personalities around him. The film, presented as a documentary, recounts his intense period of celebrity in the 1920s and includes analyses from contemporary intellectuals. More of Allen’s much loved neurotic humour as the human chameleon.

697. The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967) Dir. Jacques Demy, 128 mins.

Romance begins busting out all over in Rochefort. A fair is being organized, giving the town an air of excitement and effervescence. Twin sisters Delphine, a dance teacher, and Solange, a pianist and a composer, dream of making it big in the world of music. The sisters, like many in Rochefort, including a dashing American pianist, are looking for love, without realizing that their ideal partners are right before their eyes.

696. The King of Comedy (1982) Dir. Martin Scorsese, 109 mins.

Practising his patter in his basement with cardboard cut-outs of his favorite celebrities, mediocre aspiring comedian Rupert Pupkin (Robert De Niro) believes that one appearance on the evening talk show of the Johnny Carson-esque Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis) will be his ticket to stardom. One of a string of box office disappointments for Scorsese in the early 80s which is now considered among his best work.

695. The Road Warrior (1981) Dir. George Miller, 95 mins.

The film’s tale of a community of settlers who moved to defend themselves against a roving band of marauders follows an archetypal “Western” frontier movie motif, as does Max’s role as a hardened man who rediscovers his humanity when he decides to help the settlers.

694. Atlantic City (1980) Dir. Louis Malle, 104 mins.

Burt Lancaster was at his best when blending pathos with bravado as shown with Atlantic City where he plays an ageing petty crook granted the chance to live out his own absurd fantasies and rediscovering his self-respect.

693. Grey Gardens (1975) Dir. Ellen Hovde, Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Muffie Mayer, 100 mins.

An exploration of the inner psychological world of a mother and daughter, Edith and Eddie, who live in a rundown house in exclusive Easthampton, Long Island. Their superficially supportive, though mutually destructive, relationship is a study in family pathology. The film-makers move away from an observational approach an act as catalysts in this film, actively interacting with their subjects.

692. Gilda (1946) Dir. Charles Vidor, 110 mins.

Rita Hayworth stars as the sexy wife of crippled casino owner George Macready. She is also the former love of gambler Glenn Ford, who takes a job in Macready’s Buenos Aires casino. Macready goes out of his way to throw the two of them together.

691. Rocky (1976) Dir. John G. Avildsen, 119 mins.

A slightly dimwitted amateur boxer from Philadelphia’s tough neighbourhood gets a surprise shot at fighting for the heavyweight championship, while at the same time he finds love in the arms of a shy, reclusive girl who works in the local pet store. Sylvester Stallone wrote and starred.

690. All That Jazz (1979) Dir. Bob Fosse, 123 mins.

The screenplay, by Robert Alan Aurthur and Fosse, is a semi-autobiographical fantasy based on aspects of Fosse’s life and career as a dancer, choreographer and director. An irreverent send up of show business conventions.

689. Pickup on South Street (1953) Dir. Samuel Fuller, 80 mins.

A professional informer will not sell information to any enemy of country even at the cost of her life.

688. Before Midnight (2013) Dir. Richard Linklater, 108 mins.

Co-written by Linklater, Hawke and Delpy, the film picks up the story nine years after the events of Before Sunset; Jesse (Hawke) and Céline (Delpy) spend a summer vacation together in Greece.

687. 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. The two enlist the help of an alcoholic former cop (Yves Montand) for an elaborate jewelry-store robbery.

686. As I was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (2000) Dir. Jonas Mekas, 320 mins.

As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty offers a long glimpse into the life of Jonas Mekas as he spends time with his wife, his children, and his friends (among them fellow filmmakers Hollis Frampton and P. Adams Sitney) and travels from his home in New York City to various spots around the United States and Europe, all captured with an intimacy and immediacy that the filmmaker regards as more vitally important than a more polished technique.

685. The Dark Knight Rises (2012) Dir. Christopher Nolan, 164 mins.

Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, merciless revolutionary Bane forces an older Bruce Wayne to resume his role as Batman and save Gotham City from nuclear destruction. An uneven plot.

684. Road to Perdition (2002) Dir. Sam Mendes, 117 mins.

A mob enforcer and his son seek vengeance against a mobster who murdered the rest of their family. While some will find it hard to accept Tom Hank’s character as a hitman.

683. Lonesome Dove (1989) Dir. Simon Wincer, 384 mins.

The Western epic, adapted from Larry McMurtry’s novel, starred Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones as two ageing cowboys and former Texas rangers, who organise a cattle drive from Texas to Montana. Critically acclaimed TV mini-series.

682. The Untouchables (1987) Dir. Brian De Palma, 119 mins.

Ness forms the Untouchables team to bring Al Capone to justice during Prohibition. While some were disappointed with Robert De Niro’s performance as Al Capone, Sean Connery delivers an Oscar winning performance as the Irish beat cop (with a Scottish accent) who joins Elliot Ness’s band of uncorruptibles.

681. Heimat: A Chronicle of Germany (1984) Dir. Edgar Reitz, 924 mins.

Shot in 35 mm, the sixteen hour epic TV series depicts over sixty years, beginning 1919 and ending in 1982, German political history through its impact on family life in the fictitious German rural village of Schabbach in the Rhineland. A revisionist film, Reitz pursues history in terms of personal stories, seeking to restore a sense of continuity to the discontinuous and fragmented history of Germany. He integrates the Hitler regime into the lived experiences of the simple, unpolitical German villagers who consequently appear more as victims than anywhere near participants in the Third Reich. Becoming the most widely known and critically acclaimed history film of New German Cinema, it features remarkable attention to detail in its reconstructions of the various historical periods. It was screened as a film in two parts in European film festivals and all major German cities in the summer of 1984 before its release as on TV.


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