The Pendragon Society’s 1000 Greatest Films (2020) 480-461


480. Diary of a Lost Girl (1929) Dir. Georg Wilhelm Pabst, 104 mins.

Louise Brooks stars, in the second of her two films with Pabst,  as the innocent, naive daughter of a pharmacist who becomes puzzled when on the day of her confirmation their housekeeper, Elisabeth, leaves suddenly. It turns out she is pregnant with the pharmacist’s baby and later that day appears to have committed suicide. Brooks is a beautiful and compelling presence that helps lift the film from lurid melodrama into the realm of haunting human drama.

479. 3 Women (1977) Dir. Robert Altman, 124 mins.

It depicts the increasingly bizarre, mysterious relationship between a woman (Shelley Duvall) and her roommate and co-worker (Sissy Spacek) in a dusty, underpopulated Californian desert town.

478. Mon Oncle (1958) Dir. Jacques Tati, 117 mins

The film centres on the socially awkward yet lovable character of Monsieur Hulot and his quixotic struggle with postwar France’s infatuation with modern architecture, mechanical efficiency and consumerism.

477. Être et Avoir (2002) Dir. Nicolas Philibert, 104 mins.

It is about a primary school in the commune of Saint-Étienne-sur-Usson, Puy-de-Dôme, France, the population of which is just over 200. The school has one small class of mixed ages (from four to twelve years), with a dedicated teacher, Mr Lopez, who shows patience and respect for the children as we follow their story through a single school year.

476. The Gleaners & I (2000) Dir. Agnès Varda, 82 mins.

The film tracks a series gleaners as they hunt for food, knicknacks, thrown away items, and personal connection.

475. His Girl Friday (1940) Dir. Howard Hawks, 92 mins.

Rosalind Russell plays Hildy, who is about to forsake journalism for marriage to cloddish Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy). Cary Grant plays Walter Burns, Hildy’s editor and ex-husband, who feigns happiness about her impending marriage as a ploy to win her back.

474. Magnolia (1999) Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson, 188 mins.

The film stars Jeremy Blackman, Tom Cruise, Melinda Dillon, Philip Baker Hall, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ricky Jay, William H. Macy, Alfred Molina, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Jason Robards and Melora Walters, and is a mosaic of interrelated characters in search of happiness, forgiveness and meaning in the San Fernando Valley.

473. The Celebration (1998) Dir. Thomas Vinterberg, 105 mins.

The film tells the story of a family gathering to celebrate their father’s 60th birthday. At the dinner, the eldest son publicly accuses his father of sexually abusing both him and his twin sister (who has recently killed herself).

472. Band of Outsiders (1964) Dir. Jean-Luc Godard, 95 mins.

The film is about three people who commit a robbery.

471. Vampyr (1932) Dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer, 73 mins.

Although now lauded for its disorientating visual effects and atmosphere, Vampyr  was considered a low point in Dreyer’s career at the time of release. The film was written by Dreyer and Christen Jul based on elements from J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s collection of supernatural stories ‘In a Glass Darkly’ and follows Allan Gray, a student of the occult who enters the village of Courtempierre, which is under the curse of a vampire.

470. Ida (2013) Dir. Paweł Pawlikowski, 82 mins.

Set in Poland in 1962, the film is about a young woman who was orphaned as an infant during the German occupation of World War II. On the verge of taking vows as a Catholic nun, she must first meet her aunt. The former Communist state prosecutor and only surviving relative tells her that her parents were Jewish and the two women embark on a road trip into the Polish countryside to learn the fate of their family. Watch

469. Journey to Italy (1954) Dir. Roberto Rossellini, 97 mins.

Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders play Katherine and Alex Joyce, an English married couple whose trip to Italy unexpectedly undermines their marriage.

468. Mind Game (2004) Dir. Masaaki Yuasa, 103 mins.

After a deadly encounter with two yakuza, a loser with a crush on his childhood girlfriend goes to heaven and back, embarking on a psychedelic self-discovery experience with her and his friends.

467. Repentance (1984) Dir. Tengiz Abuladze, 153 mins.

A provincial woman (Zeynab Botsvadze) is put on trial for robbing the grave of an absurd Soviet dictator (Avtandil Makharadze).

466. Cria Cuervos (1976) Dir. Carlos Saura, 110 mins.

The film is an allegorical drama about an eight-year-old girl dealing with loss. Watch

465. Suspiria (1977) Dir. Dario Argento, 98 mins.

Full of the stylistic delirious excess that made Argento a cult director, Suspiria follows a young American ballet student who transfers to a prestigious dance academy in Germany and, amidst a series of murders, finds herself battling a witches coven. As well as being recognised as influential in the horror genre, The Village Voice ranked Suspiria #100 on their list of the 100 greatest films made in the 20th century. It was also ranked #312 on Empire magazine’s 500 greatest films ever as well as number 45 on their list ‘The 100 Best Films of World Cinema’.

464. Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) Dir. Woody Allen, 104 mins.

Crimes and Misdemeanors is an alternately comical and dramatic examination of scruples as it follows two parallel storylines that manage to connect by the story’s end.

463. Shame (1968) Dir. Ingmar Bergman, 103 mins.

The film explores shame, moral decline, self-loathing and violence through a politically uninvolved couple, concert pianists Max von Sydow  and Liv Ullmann, who are attempting to flee a civil war-ravaged European nation. They take refuge on a remote island but find no escape when large numbers of soldiers arrive. Bergman provides a chillingly real vision of a world in tatters where love and trust have fallen by the wayside.

462. Distant Thunder (1973) Dir. Satyajit Ray, 101 mins.

Gangacharan is a village Brahmin who teaches, organises religious events and tries to prevent epidemics. However, things get difficult with a raging war and an approaching famine.

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

Practicing 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. Watch


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