The Pendragon Society’s 1000 Greatest Films (2020) 580-561


580. The Great Silence (1968) Dir. Sergio Corbucci, 105 mins.

Conceived by Corbucci as a politically-charged allegory inspired by the deaths of Che Guevara and Malcolm X, the film’s plot takes place in Utah prior to the Great Blizzard of 1899. It pits a mute gunslinger (Jean-Louis Trintignant), fighting in the defence of a group of outlaws and a vengeful young widow (McGee), against a group of ruthless bounty killers led by “Loco” (Klaus Kinski) and the corrupt banker Henry Pollicut (Pistilli).

579. Olympia Part Two: Festival of Beauty (1938) Dir. Leni Riefenstahl, 100 mins.

The second of a two part A Nazi German propaganda sports film which documented the 1936 Summer Olympics, held in the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.

578. Hour of the Wolf (1968) Dir. Ingmar Bergman, 90 mins.

Ingmar Bergman’s spin on the demons that plague his fellow creative artists, follows Max von Sydow as a painter who, while spending a summer in seclusion with his pregnant wife Liv Ullmann, is visited by bizarre and disturbing visions.

577. Fantastic Planet (1973) Dir. René Laloux, 71 mins.

It’s an allegorical story, about humans living on a strange planet dominated by giant humanoid aliens who consider them animals.

576. Near Death (1989) Dir. Frederick Wiseman, 346 mins.

Filmmaker Frederick Wiseman studies four cases of terminal patients, their families, and their doctors and nurses in Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital.

575. Seconds (1966) Dir. John Frankenheimer, 107 mins.

Banker Arthur Hamilton (John Randolph) gets a call one day from a friend he thought was dead. It turns out that the friend is not a ghost, but was simply faking all along, and was placed into a new existence by a company who can give you a completely new face and life. Hamilton decides to undergo the procedure himself and becomes Tony Wilson (Rock Hudson), an artist who lives in Malibu. He is given a manservant to help him adjust but soon finds that adjusting will be the least of his worries.

574. Le Doulos (1963) Dir. Jean-Pierre Melville, 108 mins.

Melville’s stylish gangster noir follows backstabbing criminals in a shadowy Paris underworld.

573. 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.

572. Spring in a Small Town (1948) Dir. Mu Fei, 93 mins.

The heroine Wei Wei (Zhou Yuwen) is married to a prominent landowner who seems to be suffering from severe depression, which, with World War II having just ended, no one would fault him for. When a charming doctor comes to visit the family, Wei Wei is thrown into turmoil. She was in love with this doctor before marrying her husband and now he clearly wants her back.

571. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) Dir. Woody Allen, 103 mins.

Hannah and Her Sisters tells the intertwined stories of an extended family over two years that begins and ends with a Thanksgiving dinner.

570. Masculin Feminin (1966) Dir. Jean-Luc Godard, 105 mins.

The film focuses on a love affair between a young Parisian radical and a ye-ye singer.

569. Amores Perros (2000) Dir. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, 154 mins.

The film is an anthology containing three distinct stories which are connected by a car accident in Mexico City.

568. The Hustler (1961) Dir. Robert Rossen, 134 mins.

It tells the story of small-time pool hustler “Fast Eddie” Felson (Paul Newman) and his desire to break into the “major league” of professional hustling and high-stakes wagering by high-rollers that follows it. He throws his raw talent and ambition up against the best player in the country, seeking to best the legendary pool player “Minnesota Fats”. After initially losing to Fats and getting involved with unscrupulous manager Bert Gordon, Eddie returns to try again, but only after paying a terrible personal price. Watch

567. Point Blank (1967) Dir. John Boorman, 92 mins.

In this film, Lee Marvin and John Vernon have just swiped a large amount of mob money. As they sit down to divvy up the loot, Vernon pulls out a gun and shoots Marvin. Left for dead, Marvin manages to recover sufficiently to seek revenge.

566. Limite (1931) Dir. Mário Peixoto, 120 mins.

The only finished film from novelist and poet Peixoto follows three people sailing aimlessly while remembering their past.

565. Dead Man (1995) Dir. Jim Jarmusch, 121 mins.

A western black comedy, shot in black and white, about a city slicker clerk (Johnny Depp) who goes to a wild west town to take an accountancy job and, after accidentally killing a man, ends up a gunfighter on the run with an enigmatic Indian buddy in the Northwest wilderness. It’s as odd as one would expect from Jarmush, but there are some memorable sequences and an interesting and well used supporting cast that includes Robert Mitchum, John Hurt, Gabriel Byrne and Iggy Pop.

564. Rushmore (1998) Dir. Wes Anderson, 93 mins.

Rushmore is a comedy-drama directed by Wes Anderson about an eccentric teenager named Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman in his film debut), his friendship with rich industrialist Herman Blume (Bill Murray), and their mutual love for elementary school teacher Rosemary Cross (Olivia Williams).

563. 12 Monkeys (1995) Dir. Terry Gilliam, 129 mins.

Inspired by Chris Marker’s La Jetee, the film follows James Cole (Bruce Willis), a prisoner of the state in the year 2035 who can earn parole if he agrees to travel back in time and thwart a devastating plague. The virus has wiped out most of the Earth’s population and the remainder live underground because the air is poisonous. It’s a cerebral time travelling tale from Gilliam, with Willis at the peak of his powers. Watch

562. Day for Night (1973) Dir. Francois Truffaut, 115 mins.

The film details the making of a family drama called “Meet Pamela” about the tragedy that follows when a young French man introduces his parents to his new British wife.

561. Senna (2010) Dir. Asif Kapadia, 106 mins.

The film’s narrative focuses on Senna’s racing career in Formula One, from his debut in the 1984 Brazilian Grand Prix to his death in an accident at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, with particular emphasis on his rivalry with fellow driver Alain Prost.


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