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) Dir. Hsiao-hsien Hou, 142 mins.

Based on the memoirs of Li Tian-lu, Taiwan’s most celebrated puppeteer, this story covers the years from Li’s birth in 1909 to the end of Japan’s fifty-year occupation of Taiwan in 1945.

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) Dir. Hirokazu Kore-eda, 114 mins.

The film is a portrait of a family over roughly 24 hours as they commemorate the death of the eldest son.

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) Dir. Dean DeBlois, 94 mins.

A documentary about the tour around Iceland in the summer of 2006 of the band Sigur Rós.

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) Dir. John Cassavetes, 144 mins.

A renowned actress teeters on the edge of a breakdown as she counts down the days toward a big Broadway opening.


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