The Pendragon Society’s 1000 Greatest Films (2020) 760-741


760. Amici miei (1975) Dir. Mario Monicelli, 140 mins.

Necchi, a bar owner, Perozzi, a journalist, Melandri, an architect, and Mascetti, a broken nobleman, live in Florence. Friends since childhood, they enjoy playing practical jokes and exploring Tuscany.

759. Kaili Blues (2015) Dir. Bi Gan, 113 mins.

In the mystical province of Guizhou, there is a small county clinic surrounded by fog. At the Kaili clinic, there are two doctors who live quiet, lonely lives. One of the doctors, Chen Sheng, embarks on a journey by train to find his nephew, who had been abandoned by his brother.

758. Lost in Translation (2003) Dir. Sofia Coppola, 102 mins.

It stars Bill Murray as ageing actor Bob Harris, who befriends college graduate Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) in a Tokyo hotel.

757. Fat City (1972) Dir. John Huston, 100 mins.

With Huston’s reputation having plummeted by the late 60s, the pendulum began to swing back with Fat City, a study of small time, Dead end boxers, filmed with laconic sympathy and unmistakable, seemingly effortless authority.

756. Simon of the Desert (1965) Dir. Luis Bunuel, 45 mins.

It is loosely based on the story of the ascetic 5th-century Syrian saint Simeon Stylites, who lived for 39 years on top of a column.

755. Oslo, August 31st (2011) Dir. Joachim Trier, 95 mins.

Thirty-four-year-old Anders (Anders Danielsen Lie) is a fortunate, but deeply troubled man battling drug addiction. As part of his rehabilitation program, he is allowed to go into the city for a job interview, but instead uses the opportunity as a way to drift around and revisit old friends. The day grows increasingly difficult as he struggles to overcome personal demons and past ghosts for the chance at love and a new life.

754. For Love and Gold (1966) Dir. Mario Monicelli, 120 mins.

A band of rogues steal a scroll and try to take over some land, with help from a shaggy knight.

753. Who’s Singin’ Over There? (1980) Dir. Slobodan Šijan, 87 mins.

The film tells a story about a group of passengers traveling by bus to Belgrade in 1941, during the last days of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, just before the Axis occupation of Yugoslavia.

752. Salaam Bombay! (1988) Dir. Mira Nair, 113 mins.

The first feature film directed by Nair, Salaam Bombay! depicts the daily lives of children living in slums in Bombay (now Mumbai), India’s largest city, as well as organized crime scenes in the country.

751. This Sporting Life (1963) Dir. Lindsay Anderson, 85 mins.

Adapted by former professional rugby league footballer David Storey from his own novel, Anderson’s raw and brutal ‘kitchen sink’ drama follows a rugby league player, Frank Machin (Richard Harris), in Wakefield, a mining area of Yorkshire, whose romantic life is not as successful as his sporting life.

750. The Port of Shadows (1938) Dir. Marcel Carné, 91 mins.

An example of poetic realism, the film follows an army deserter who seeks refuge in the town of Le Havre, while looking for a way to flee the country. He meets and falls in love with Nelly, a beautiful 17-year-old girl with a questionable past.

749. Un Chant D’Amour (1950) Dir. Jean Genet, 26 mins.

Long banned due to its explicit (though artistically presented) homosexual content, writer Jean Genet’s only film shows two prisoners in complete isolation, separated by thick brick walls, who in desperate in need of human contact, devise a most unusual kind of communication.

748. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974) Dir. Sam Peckinpah, 112 mins.

From a story by Peckinpah and Frank Kowalski, the film follows an American bar room pianist and his prostitute girlfriend on a trip through the Mexican underworld to collect a bounty on the head of a dead gigolo.

747. Call Me by Your Name (2017) Dir. Luca Guadagnino, 132 mins.

Set in northern Italy in 1983, Call Me by Your Name chronicles a romantic relationship between 17-year-old Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet) and his professor father’s 24-year-old graduate-student assistant Oliver (Armie Hammer).

746. Downfall (2004) Dir. Oliver Hirschbiegel, 156 mins.

The film depicts the final ten days of Adolf Hitler’s life in his Berlin bunker and Nazi Germany in 1945. Bruno Ganz delivers a startling performance as Hitler.

745. The Piano Teacher (2001) Dir. Michael Haneke, 131 mins.

It tells the story of an unmarried piano teacher at a Vienna conservatory, who is in her 40s and still living with her mother. Trapped in a state of emotional and sexual repression, she becomes attracted to a pupil but in the end repels him by her need for humiliation and self-harm. Some will question the purpose of Haneke’s psychological thriller and it’s certainly not an easy watch but does include perhaps Isabelle Huppert’s best performance as the troubled teacher.

744. Titicut Follies (1967) Dir. Frederick Wiseman, 84 mins.

It deals with the patient-inmates of Bridgewater State Hospital for the criminally insane, a Correctional Institution in Bridgewater, Massachusetts.

743. The Blue Planet (1982) Dir. Franco Piavoli, 83 mins.

The passage of time in different dimensions illustrated by biological evolution, the changing seasons and the everyday moments of human life.

742. Diaries Notes and Sketches (1969) Dir. Jonas Mekas, 177 mins.

Filmmaker Jonas Mekas presents a collection of home movies, outtakes and unfinished projects.

741. Distant (2002) Dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 110 mins.

After losing his factory job, Yusuf (Mehmet Emin Toprak) leaves his Turkish village and travels to Istanbul in search of work. There, he lives with his cousin Mahmut (Muzaffer Özdemir), a well-to-do photographer. Yusuf, who assumed it would be easy to secure a position aboard a ship, has little luck in his job search. As the days go by, Mahmut clashes with his countrified cousin over their vast differences in personality and, perhaps more so, their uncomfortable similarities.


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